Well I've been here almost a week now, (today is Day 7) and so far, I'm really coming to like Shikaoi. It's alot like the small towns described in all those endless pre-departure orientations; small, quiet, and friendly. But I think what I (and probably others) forget is that it's a new experience only for you. The people in my town have seen plenty of other ALT's come and go before me, and they take a lot in stride. I don't even get that many "jozuu nihongo desu" or "Austin wa takai desu."'s. They have their own lives, and unlike other towns I've heard of, expect me to have my own too. After the mad socializing in Tokyo, this comes as bit of a surprise, but it's probably good for my long term sanity. Mostly, I'm just starving for the company of people under the age of 35, local or no and for some good after work activities. The only people who really seem to stare are little children and old women...maybe everyone else is just being polite. (So much for "celebrity status")
But I think that's kind of perfect, and once summer vacation is over and everyone comes back to the town I am really looking forward to being part of the atmosphere here.
On the subject of atmosphere, I was out with the camera Sunday night taking various "atmospheric" shots of the nearby area, so I'll hurry up and post that soon. (And a little walkthrough of my apartment.)