Sunday, September 19, 2010


This list of songs frightened me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Japanese Wedding - A Food Jackpot

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend my first Japanese weddding as my colleague from the school was marrying a local. It was an amazing experience that was full of unique traditions, beautiful clothing and amazing food.

I thought you might like to see the bountiful dishes that were served at this wedding. I couldn't believe it when dish after dish after dish came and went. And yet...I kept on eating.
The entree (or starter) with lots of sushi.  On the right is seaweed, egg and eel.  The middle was fish and long necked crab and the pot was caviar kinda stuff.  All yummy.  
Had to show a close up of the beans.  Aren't they to die for?
Sashimi - I dug everything on this plate bar the lighter white fish with the three stripes...ick
I am not exactly sure what this was but it was warm and it tasted good so who am I to argue?
Vegetable soup - my mum makes better :)
This was fantastically amazing.  Japan has given me a renewed interest in the humble fish or 'sakana'.
Reeeeed Meeeeeat - I was in sheer heaven.  Steak, how I have missed thee these past 9 months.
Celebration rice
Miso soup to finish off the meal.
Dessert - cheesecake and chocolate sponge (which some of the guests found a little hard to define. )
The Cake.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Can Make Gyoza!

I don't cook.

Well I cook a little but that meant nothing when I came to Japan. You see...the Japanese don't have ovens. So all the things I knew how to cook weren't possible here. I can't mix up a huge lasagna or bake a birthday cake and that's kinda soul destroying. Also, I can't distinguish between ingredients in the store as either 1) I can't read Japanese or 2) I've never seen that vegetable before to know what it is.

Anyway bechamel sauce is magical and I miss it dearly.

Last weekend a co-worker, a native to Japan and its yummy cooking ways taught me how to make gyoza.  Originating in China, gyoza has been adopted by Japan, Korea and a multitude of other countries.  And it is gooooood.

This Thursday I had a go on my own.  Thankfully the previously mentioned co-worker helped me buy the right ingredients of which I can tell apart from the colour of their labels.

This mixture is a little pork (not much at all), some cabbage and some Chinese leek. Add in tablespoons of sesame oil, cooking sake, oyster sauce and soy sauce and you are good to go.  I mix with my hands because I roll that way :)

You buy these little circular doughy pieces, spoon some of the pork mixture into the middle and coat 180 degrees of the edge with some oil.  Smoosh the sides together and then periodically fold the edges back on themselves for a cool pleated effect.  This is my favourite part of making them due to the fact that I was able to do it relatively well from the beginning.  Success = joy.
And this is the final product!

This is the third attempt at cooking them as I couldn't get the timing or the water levels right.  You basically fry one side for a bit and then add some water to cook them through.  You don't turn them over so you are cooking them a little blind.

Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and soy sauce together and dip away.

I love gyoza.

I can cook gyoza.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Times Square

The first time I went to Times Square it was 10am. I stood there with people milling around me and thought 'huh'. I had officially gotten there but I swiftly realised that there wasn't really anything to do other than take a few snaps, look around and then move on.

 It was a little anti-climatic.

The photo to the left was taken on the last occasion I went to Times Square.  I went with my hostel friend, Tim and we were passing time until we had to head to the St. James Theatre to see the Broadway production of American Idiot.  It was a fantastic people watching opportunity but the thing that surprised me the most sits squarely in the middle of this picture.  There is a memorial for a guy that served as religious counsel in 2-3 wars.  It seems weirdly at odds with its surrounds.

I took about 5 pictures in 12 days that have me in frame.  This one is thanks to Tim as I took his photo in the same spot and he insisted I do the same despite my protests to the contrary.  Within a day of being in NYC I dressed for comfort which meant ugly shoes, no make up and clothes I felt comfortable sweating in - it is NOT glam.
Hacing been in the Square on a normal day, I believe being there on the busiest night of the year would equate with being burned alive, trampled and shot three times.  There is NO way you'd find me there on that night ball dropping or not.
The infamous ball that drops.  
I couldn't take pictures of the fantastic production so the billboard will have to do.  American Idiot is a production that threads Green Day songs together with little to no plot.  I didn't care, the performances were great, the set AMAZING and it was a fantastically fun 90 minute show.  Except for the seats.  I am 5"11 and my legs were mashed almost into my chest.  It hurt sitting in tiny seats with no leg room.  Seriously, it made an aeroplane look spacious.  Tim, at well over six foot looked like a giraffe trying to fit into a suitcase.  It wasn't pretty.  But we suffered happily to say we'd seen a Broadway show, a good one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Natural History Museum of Awesomeness

Over the next few weeks I will be posting about my time in NYC.

One of my favourite places to visit was the Natural History Museum where my not-so-inner geek was permitted to fly free and revel in awesomeness.
Isn't it a pretty building?

The ceiling is pretty flash too. Though this is all I could see of the dinosaur in the entrance area as it was undergoing some repairs.
The planetarium was amazing and I found myself becoming interested in space beyond the application of astrology in my daily life. It helped that my cohort, Steph, is a massive science nerd in the coolest way possible and her enthusiasm rubbed off.

But what really grabbed my attention?

The freaking dinosaurs.
C'mon? Like this wouldn't get you hopping up and down with glee like a three year old with a sugar rush. The funniest thing is there were many little kids geeking out but the worst offenders were the dads. They were master geeks and I loved watching them examining the displays and smiling like loons.

It's incredible that these creatures once tread the same paths we've sealed with asphalt.
I felt like I was in Jurassic Park 5: Bone Yard.
I can't remember for the life of me what this was but I would marry it....if it still existed. Equal parts cute and repulsive. Like a pug.
This shows how chuffed I was to be there. Excuse the self portrait cheesiness but it pretty accurately expresses my geek outs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grapes and Blue Bums

This week has been a bit of an education. I've learned some things about my host country that would never have occurred to me in a million years.

The Japanese don't eat the skin of grapes.

Or the skin of peaches. They just don't like the texture. Interesting.

Lastly....don't judge me.

My class are swimming a lot of late and I have to help them change because they are tiny and have the spatial awareness of roller skate wearing giraffes.

Think I am kidding?

The kids have to lay their clothes on the ground before picking them up... Anyway. One of my kids had this blue spot on their butt. I immediately starting thinking about checking out the parents but then I realised other kids in the class had them too. Instead of wondering about the child rearing practises of my community I asked a colleague about it. Turns out it is a genetic thing called a 'Mongolian spot'. It's common amongst East Asians, Polynesians and Native Americans.

According to wikipedia -
"The blue colour is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lumbosacral area (lower back), the buttocks, flanks, and shoulders. It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest to the epidermis during embryonic development."

It usually goes away after 3-5 years or before puberty.

It has been the cause of many unfounded accusations of parental abuse. Having seen the colour and the resemblance to bruises I can't say I am surprised.

Now I am educated.

*Mongolian spot affected child photo provided by Wikipedia. Not anyone I know.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pizza just ain't the same

If I had to choose between sweet and savory I would choose the the latter every time. I knew that coming to Japan would drastically change my eating habits and what was available to me but it hasn't been that bad. I miss roasts to a degree that hurts and I am definitely iron deficient from the lack of red meat but there's fantastic miso soup, yummy sushi, delicious eel and a whole host of other weird but taste tingling variations on western food.

But pizza isn't the same.

It isn't even in the same universe.

I didn't eat that much pizza to begin with back home but the foods that I am yearning for are the ones I ate infrequently - roasts, steak, pizza, etc

They have pizza here but it's just not the same. It's good but not the same.

Here for instance is the margarita pizza that I ate at the soccer stadium. It was the best piece of pizza I've had since I got here and it really doesn't look like much at all.

This is the weirdest pizza I've had since coming to Japan - the salad pizza. And believe me when I say it was really, really good.
Bring it on NYC...hit me with your caloric, cheesy best!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You know you're not in Australia when ...

...your teacher (or sensei) calls out Brown Eye for bingo and there's no reaction.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winter / Summer

I arrived in Japan on the morning of January 12th, 2010. It was freaking cold. I could feel the chill seep in through my snow jacket as I waited for the Shinkansen to arrive at the Shinagawa station.

It was tough for the system. I had left Adelaide somewhere in the mid-40s and arrived in a place where the weather had bottomed out the options.

This was the view from the park in January. It was in the middle of winter only five months ago.
Now here I am in the middle of summer. At home the temperatures are the same but the heat is totally different. I've always lived in places that were all about dry heat. Here, it is all about being wet...and the wet season hasn't even begun yet. It should be an adventure. The humidity is already completely taking control (if going haywire is control) of my hair. Even back in a ponytail, I have a certain height of fuzz and curl that isn't so hot.

Today I found a curl so intent on curling and frizzing simultaneously that it was almost dreading itself. I have to admit, it frightened me.

But then I see what my beloved park view looks like and I feel better.

Japan is beyond beautiful. And hot's hot wherever you may go.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Easy to Please

These two things brightened my day.

Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Pieces - OMG deliciousness. Also, my thong tan. I can tan, people! Who would have thought? Japan is magical. I love looking down and seeing my previous white (and slightly axolotl-ish skin) peering back at me from skin showing slightly more pigment.

What can I say? I am easy to please.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hores to Horses Of Courses

It is amazing what a single letter omission can do to a piece of writing. My mother sent this to me today via email as I am a teacher and apparently this made her think of me.

I had a bit of a chuckle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sushi Punch

I had a very interesting weekend in that we had a staff function for the second time since I've been here in Japan. We celebrated one colleague's engagement, another's arrival and a mishmash of other things.

The food was great. We were asked to bring a plate of food to share. My inability to cook resulted in a lovely cheese plate. A cheese plate that my Japanese co-workers seemed to avoid so the Australians/Brits chowed down hard. There was some great sushi....omg, the tuna was sooooo fresh that I just about died.

We drank too and here's where the interesting part starts.

My boss got completely toasted. She asked me on several occasions whether or not I was staying in 2011. (Found out from a trusted source that she thinks I am great but she rarely speaks to me so there was no way I knew this.) I just changed the topic as I really don't know at this point. (It's so tempting but it depends on getting a permanent job back home).

I posed for a picture with her later in the night. She asked me again about staying while we stood there for the photo to be taken. I pretended not to hear. Then out of nowhere her arm came from nowhere and backhanded me on the face. Now 1) she was VERY drunk and 2) she didn't mean to do it. I was so shocked you could have told me that Elmo was a dinosaur and I would have nodded.

I've only been hit once in my life before this. My sister accidentally jabbed me on the jaw as I was avoiding her fist connecting to my shoulder (I'm spatially challenged).

Let me tell you, it hurts. It fricking hurt a lot.

That being said I had a fabulous time eating good food and hanging out with friends from work. It's always great to let your hair down and take in some fun.

Picture: Left is me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dreams versus Goals

I think it is interesting that people use dreams and goals interchangeable. I never have. I don’t think I have anyway.

Dreams are curious beasts.

I haven’t ever really had them. I am one of those people that wakes up never remembering them with an odd exception every few years. But from the time I was three I had a reoccurring nightmare that would strike 1-2 times a year until I was into my late teens.

The nightmare?

I would run and run and run around the Young Talent Time set never getting anywhere until a wave of sand swept through. I would still be running of course. Then the wave would pause as it came over me, its shadow swallowing me up in darkness. The crest would solidify and then whole thing would drop. I would wake up just as it was about to hit me.

I don’t know what is scarier – the sand wave or that it featured a teen variety evening show set that went off the air when I was eight.

Tonight I decided to decipher what this dream meant. There is no way I can look up something as specific as YTT but sand, running and darkness are up for grabs.

According to sand represents “...a shift in perspective or a change in your attitude.” I must have been a slide puzzle of perspective back in the day. In terms of the running – “if you are running away from ... any danger, then it suggests that you are not facing and confronting your fears.” I was three the first time I had this dream, I was scared of the Humphrey B Bear poster on the back of my bedroom door, the dark, and a whole host of other things.

I think this dream/nightmare represents a lack of creativity if anything. Come on, repeating a dream for 15 smacks of a lacking personality.

Goals are a completely different kettle of fish.

My goal have always been pretty simple –
• Be happy.

I’ve been around dissatisfied adults my entire childhood and it’s a soul sucker.

It’s made me the person I am today. A chick who would need to be secure in everything and cynical in everything else. It also was making me fail at my singular goal. I should have learned from them instead of copying them.

Japan changed that a little. Twenty eight years of doing what I thought I should be doing and never really enjoying much. Blogging changed that too. I started for altruistic reasons and it ended up being a lot more selfish and rewarding than I anticipated. I don’t regret it.

My goals have started changing with my role in blogging. They’ve become more specific –

• Be happy
• Start writing already!
• Travel
• Reduce my Diet Coke consumption
• Be nicer
• Listen better

I’ve done the first three. Number four has only occurred because I am drinking Coke Zero in Japan – a technical win. The last two are firm fails. Number one required much bigger life changes that I am already pondering namely a career change. One that I have been offered lots of advice on but I still have no clue. The crux of it is...I need to work where my passion is – books. The question is how and when. But moving across the world and taking a risk is a precursor to a bigger risk I am contemplating.

If I wanted to be really honest I would say that love was there too. Firmly on the list.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

I keep waiting.


The first question I am asked when I see people you have a boyfriend (now altering to husband) and it allows people to make assumptions when I say no. I’ve had a neighbour think I was gay for an entire year based on one girlfriend coming around one night to drink wine and watch 40 Year Old Virgin...I can’t win.

If I am snarky I say that ‘I haven’t met anyone I can tolerate long.” Which is true but also implies I don’t try hard enough, also true. But I have an exceedingly low bullshit tolerance and most guys I met are full of it. Seriously, where are the nerds?

If I am being honest, all the guys I have things in common with are 12 or spend their weekends at home like I do on the internet. I like nerd boys. But like me, they are closeted socialisers.

Being 29 doesn’t bother me. I don’t fell old because it is not old. It’s sad in that I am not accomplishing what I would like (yet) and I haven’t found love (yet) but hitting 30 doesn’t mean I have to retire into the back paddock.

2010 is the first year I have pursued my goal (I don’t say dream as that would mean I would be dead until a huge pile of sand in a 1980s TV set). I am starting fresh. I am writing after years of talking about writing. I am travelling after years of talking about travelling. I have become a do-er instead of a say-er.

My dream can go die.

Goals are meant to be flexible.

29 is not old.

It is time to embrace being me :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Experiencing Oz Again

I bought The Wizard of Oz over the weekend as the students have been watching the same English videos (yes, I mean VHS)over and over again. The Parents Club gifted a DVD player to each classroom at the end of the previous school year but not one DVD has been purchased so they are gathering dust. I decided to buy three - The Wizard of Oz, Enchanted and Hook.

Guess which one has gone down the best?

You guessed it...the eighty year old with more bounce in its step than Betty White.

Watched these kids watch this movie for the first time was amazing. It was like seeing it for the first time. I took many pictures and a little video of their reactions but privacy won't allow me to post them.

My class is a talkative bunch. They make noise doing everything and yet when Glinda floating down to Munchkinland, the room was silent. More interesting? The boys dug it more than the girls.

Their favourite?


Largely because of the dance where he pats his knees, then his chest and then toots his hat. I have been seeing their interpretation of this for days now and it never gets old.

Other observations:
  • Black and white film did not phase them one bit.
  • When the tornado swept up the Gale's house there were audible gasps and one 'wheeeeeeee'.
  • The Wicked Witch of the West needs " go to the thinking chair".
  • They tapped the beat for the Tinman's dance on their knees without realising they were doing it.
  • They were terrified of the Lion until he came into a close shot and then they thought he was hysterical.
  • The Lion's tears were discussion worthy.
  • They love the red smoke.

What did I get out of this little exercise:
  • It's much more preferable getting rained in when you have DVDs you can tolerate.
  • The Tinman was more camp than a row of tents but I adore him.
  • I keep forgetting that Judy Garland was sixteen when she made this movie.
  • The Scarecrow's dance was funnier when I was a kid.
  • Glinda's bubble kinda rocks.
  • Teaching Japanese kids to say 'munchkin' and also introducing them to the Lollypop Guild (my fave part of the movie) is priceless.
  • Flying monkeys rock my world.
  • It's the music of The Wizard of Oz that initially pulls the kids in. I don't meant the songs, though they are fantastic. The compositions for this movie are so memorable and catchy that kids hug them with ferocity.

Monday, May 10, 2010

To the Doctor's Surgery I Go

The entire time I've been in Japan I've been getting cold after cold after cold and then some major hayfever to top it off. Last night I was on skype with my mother and sneezing every thirty seconds - a great Mother's Day conversation. Today I was like the walking dead at school. Completely zombified.

Time to see a doctor. With my trusty Japanese speaking colleague in tow we went to the local doctor where you just show up. Since I've met so many hypochondriac's here I assumed the wait would be long. Not the case. I got seen immediately.

At home, doctor's have offices with a little gurney and things in the corner. The back of this doctor's surgery was very emergency room-like. I was lead to a chair, pretty much a dentist's chair with so many silver implements next to it that I briefly wondering if he might do surgery on me there.

Anyway. I had a silver metal thing shoved up my nostrils which wasn't great by tolerable. Then another thing was shoved back further than my nostrils to check my mucus (lovely I know). This hurt. A lot. In fact I think I left indentations on the arm of the chair...or torturers ensnarement. I am also finding that my sinus' or something are bleeding now...probably why it hurt. Ugh.

Turns out I have sinusitis. This doesn't surprise me. But here are some things that do - I have been prescribed 4 different medications which came to the grand total of sixteen dollars. That also included the consultancy fee. I nearly fell over.

The doctor said that a blood test wasn't necessary but if I felt one should be done I could. He apologised that it was very expensive at $50. I laughed. Which is rude but that's less that the consultancy fee in Australia.

So here's what my money got me - two sets of month long antihistamines and antibiotics and two sets of nasal sprays.
Then they made me do this before I left by sticking these weird rubber things in my nose.
Inhale medicine. It's weird. Very weird. But weirdly works in clearly out your nasal cavities.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Laugh My @ss Off

I walked into my colleague's classroom to spot this.
Needless to say, I sprinted to my bag (with tears of laughter streaming down my face) to catch it on camera.
I didn't stop laughing for five minutes.

Turns out B1 and Doggy wanted him to play!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh Buddha!

This is by far my favourite photo taken so far here in Japan. I was in Kamakura to see the Buddha on Saturday and the sun was beginning to set. At 13.5 metres tall, he's a big one but he's magnificent.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My New Love - Gertie

I'm in love. Her name is Gertie.
I was given a bike when I moved to Japan. It's a hand-me-down that goes from teacher to teacher and was purchased by my real-life friend H when she taught in Shizuoka years ago. As you can see from the picture above, she is terribly cute. It's totally the basket...the equivalent of putting a ribbon on a baby's single tuffet of hair. Unnecessary but helps round out the look.

I couldn't use her at first. Goodness knows I tried. The bike lock wouldn't snap open and I tried muscles I didn't know I had. Many people tried...and failed.

My new colleague speaks Japanese fluently. She was provided with the alternative hand-me-down bike that is bright pink and has a functional lock. Seeing her ride to school when I walk drove me crazy with jealousy. Especially as we live in the same building and she could leave later for work than I did. I also got rained on longer. It's not pleasant. However, this new colleague decided to take the bike to the bike shop and get my lock replaced. For eighteen bucks, I am now able to ride to I did when I was in year 8. It's been THAT long. Half my lifetime ago.

Here's the tweet that graced my first ride on Gertie - I am what I like to consider 'spatially challenged'. I can fall over nothing. I fall over often. I once believed that I may have a vision problem and while I do have glasses now, the diagnosis has no link to my struggle to keep upright. And that fall I speak of in the tweet? It was in front of witnesses, many witnesses. I am officially that 'crazy foreigner' that every town seems to have.

Since having Gertie for the past few days I have fallen back in love with bike riding...despite the constant abrasions I seem to be earning. I was grinning like a loon the first few times, enjoying the wind in my hair and the slippery whirring sound of the tyres running over bitumen. It is such a simple pleasure and I am so glad I have re-discovered it.

However...despite the layering I have on my hide, the seat hurts. You'd think there would be a benefit of being not skinny but no, I apparently still have a bony arse. Sigh. Or perhaps the seat is too high or something? Being the paranoid type, I am also terrified that I will get hit. There are many blind corners in the side streets of Shizuoka and I am worried driving, let alone riding a bike. And they don't wear helmets here. So I don't either. That in itself is a weird sensation as it's the law in Australia.

Regardless, I shall cherish my Gertie while I can. Just don't ask where I got that name from. I have no idea but it suits her, doesn't it?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Three Months...some things to ponder

Today I celebrate my third month here in Japan. That means I am 25% through my stay here and four months away from my two week stay in New York. It also means that I am nine months away from seeing my family and friends in the flesh instead of via skype, facebook or emails. It has gone by so fast that my head could be spinning like a top.

I am not homesick. I don't really get homesick. Perhaps it is due to the largely independant nature of my family. We love each other to bits but we are very comfortable doing our own thing without being in each other's pockets. I am glad or this could be really hard.

That doesn't mean to say that I don't miss them. About two weeks into my stay I found myself writing a very long post about my siblings. It got an amazing response from Persnickety Snark readers. But even now, only a short time later, the information on that post is old. What my sister and brother have done to change the course of their lives in that time is HUGE. And I haven't been there for that. That...really sucks.

I spent my first Easter out of contact with my family. In Australia, Easter falls squarely into the school holidays so no matter how far away I lived, I would see my family for Easter. This year I didn't even know it was Easter, that's how out of it I was. I am used to seeing Easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns in stores for weeks leading up to the Easter weekend but this passed me by. Easter, understandably, isn't a big deal in Japan.

This thinking about Easter (and the realisation that it was April) made me realise something else swiftly approaching. My birthday. Something else that it sure to pass by with a whimper (if I am lucky). I have to admit that most of my birthdays limp past. I haven't ever had a blow out party, usually sticking to small gatherings in restaurants or avoiding it altogether. This isn't because I am ashamed of my age. It is because I hate advertising my birthday to remind people. I feel like I am whoring myself. Weird, but that's how I feel.

Moving on.

List of achievements:
  • I have been to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima.
  • I have made friends with people from Korea, the USA, Ireland, Mexico and the UK.
  • I have traveled solo in a foreign country where I haven't got a clue about the language.
  • I think I understand the subway now.
  • I went naked in an onsen...twice.
  • I saw cherry blossoms bloom
  • I have saved up enough of my paltry salary to purchase a return flight to US.
  • I am considering dropping by the UK before I get home.
  • I picked up an American family and toured Kyoto for the day. I got out just as they were preparing to fix me up with their son.
  • I ate eel.
  • I ate okonomiyaki.
  • I have been inside Zen, Buddhist and Shinto temples.
  • I successfully dyed my hair without being able to read the instructions.
  • My review blog got mentioned on Go Fug Yourself.
  • I spent my entire first phone card on one conversation with my sister. I don't regret it.
This approaching weekend I am doing something else new. I am going to Tokyo to meet people I have never met before. One is the mother of a podcasting friend (of whom I have never left). I might also be meeting up with a fellow blogger and an Australian teacher. It kinda blows the mind.

I am breaking free and becoming brave. I never thought this would happen but it's all due to Japan. I am a lucky gal.

To close out here's what I miss:
  • my family
  • my friends
  • peanut butter
  • Australian Diet Coke
  • clothes shopping
  • Australian accents
I think I am doing okay :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Even More Kyoto

The Philosopher's Walk
The Kyoto Station, while it is pretty it is also pretty darned chilly.
My Shinkansen arriving to whisk me home to Shizuoka.
The most beautiful tree (have you seen one with more character?) at the Imperial Park.
The entrance of Nijo Castle.
The outer wall and moat of Nijo Castle.
Inside Kenninjo Temple.
The outside of Kenninjo Temple which is of the Zen persuasion. It is also my favourite temple of all the ones I saw over the week. I wanted to move into the monk's quarters.