This week we say hello to one of our new Prefectural Advisors, Peter Weeks. While many of us already know Peter as the expert on all things Towada, he has now decided to take on the big city. Check out what else we learned from our former Nanbu resident.
Why did you choose to join JET?
I joined JET to gain teaching experience and because I had developed an interest in Japan through a Japanese history course I took in my final year of college.
Do you participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities/hobbies:
I’m planning to get back into West African drumming now that I have moved to Aomori City. My main hobbies recently are studying Japanese and going to the gym.
What are a few things you like about Japan:
I like when a group of Japanese people all say えええええええ！
I also really appreciate the extra kindness and politeness that we often receive as foreigners. For example, I asked a staff member at the supermarket how to prepare 空豆 (そらまめ) and after explaining, he ran to the back of the store, printed out instructions with color pictures, and searched throughout the store to find me again and hand it to me. He did all that in about 2 minutes.
What are a few things you dislike about Japan:
I dislike the lack of insulation in houses and salt on sidewalks and roads during winter. Also paperwork.
What do you miss the most from your hometown/country?
Mexican food, 100% beef cheeseburgers, and my drum group.
Do you have any interesting or embarrassing stories about adjusting to Japanese culture?
When I just arrived a fellow teacher offered me a plate of mango that his wife had brought all the way from Okinawa. I took a piece and ate it, thinking he would put the plate down and save the rest for other people. He kept holding the plate up as if he wanted me to eat more so I started thinking about how in Japan it’s important to eat all your food (clearly not applicable here in retrospect) and slowly kept taking more, one by one. Eventually I clearly came to understand that I should not eat any more, but the damage was already done. Thinking back on it, he may have been holding up the plate so I could return the toothpick…