Or, “Even if I Have a Strong Liver, My Other Organs Don’t Appreciate All That Drinking.”

On Friday night, I had a farewell party with the teachers from my old school. In grand Japanese tradition, this involved drinking like fish. Now I’m rather proud of the fact that I’ve never once drunk to the point of throwing up, but while that record still holds, this time I apparently drank so much that I gave myself gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). I felt lousy on Saturday morning, but ate breakfast with no problem. However, I grew increasingly nauseous and wasn’t able to eat lunch. Around 1pm, I threw up some bile (my stomach was empty), and at 4 I wasn’t getting any better, so I walked to the hospital. They gave me a prescription (three actually), for a couple days worth of meds and I’m feeling much better now, but I didn’t get a darn thing done yesterday. At least I learned some new Japanese: gastritis = 胃炎 (“ien”). Anyhow, I’ll have to be more restrained at my new school’s welcome party on next Friday.

Speaking of my new school, I went there on Friday afternoon and met a few teachers. According to the head of English, the school has had 90% of its staff change in the last three years. The current crew should be much tougher, though, which was the point of all the transfers.


I was going to talk about Korea, but then I realized that I have pictures of my old school that I’ve been meaning to share, so I’ll do that first.

This is the teachers’ room. Well, half of it.

Sumiyoshi Teachers’ Room

“Congratulations on Graduating”

Gosotsugyou Omedetou

Alas, I forgot my camera on graduation day, but I brought it for the last couple days of class. That means that I don’t have any pictures of third-years though, since their last day (graduation) is a week before the end of the term.

A first-year English class.

Sumiyoshi 1st Grade English

Posing for a shot with some first-year students . . .

Sumiyoshi 1st-Years

. . . and with some 2nd-years.

Sumiyoshi 2nd-Years

After school, the students have to clean.

Sumiyoshi Cleaning

Then club activities last until 5 or 6.

Here, softball practice is starting, with tennis in the upper right.

Sumiyoshi Softball

Not pictured, but also using the same field: track, baseball, soccer, and volleyball.

Brass band members always warm up outside or in the halls.

Sumiyoshi Band

The school has a small martial arts hall, used by the kendo club and the table tennis club.

Sumiyoshi Budoujo

Sumiyoshi Kendo

Basketball and badminton have the gym and the swim team does dry-land practice during the off season. There’s also a science club, a broadcasting club, and the student council.


Next time: Korea.


5 Responses to ““Gastritis””

  1. Nicole Says:

    tsk tsk. your poor stomach, to be so badly treated!!
    I loved the pictures. How much heat does that little heater actually produce? Then what happens in the summer with heat and humidty? The kids look adorable (well, so do you, of course!). What is with the V sign? Just how much cleaning to they have to do? What would you have picked way back in middle school if there had been mandatory club activities here?

  2. kevinjames Says:

    Those things kick out quite a bit of heat. They burn natural gas, and since there’s no fan, you have to put a pot of water on top (and keep it filled, of course) to keep the frame from overheating. During summer, there might be an air conditioner that gets used very sparingly. No such comforts in the classrooms though. Summer is unpleasant. (And winter is the same situation.)

    I have no idea when the whole “V” thing first started, but it’s become an entrenched part of Japanese culture. Everyone flashes the V when posing for an informal picture.

    The kids are supposed to sweep the whole school and clean the bathrooms. Most of them goof off a lot and don’t do a very good job, though. Before big events, more time is devoted and they have to do a full cleaning of the school – dusting, cleaning the windows, wiping down the walls, etc. – but even then the school never really gets genuinely clean. That’s the problem with having a dirt field.

    Hmm, I suspect I would have gone for band. Ooh, wait, no. Kendo all the way.

  3. Barthe Says:

    With all the celebrating and comraderie there must be a black-eyed pretty thing that would tuck under your arm and hold your head when you drink too much. How come we never hear about her?

  4. kevinjames Says:

    Ah, alas, I am without such comfort and companionship.

  5. The Drunken Vandal Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: