This IAP 2019, I participated in MIT’s Global Teaching Labs program for Kazakhstan. During January, I wrote a series of blog posts that capture various aspects of my experience there, from teaching to travel to education in the country. In this post-trip post, I reflect on my experience and what I learned.
After six years, I’m back in Japan! The last time I visited, I hadn’t even started high school yet. On train rides, I would read my summer reading books (The Joy Luck Club and Why Geography Matters). Today, I read The Book Thief, a book I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while.
I’m staying in Chiba, the city where I lived as a toddler, at a family friend’s house. It’s a short 5-minute walk away from Chishirodai (千城台), a terminal station on the Chiba Urban Monorail. This monorail is the longest suspended monorail system in the world at 15.2 km (according to Wikipedia), and it’s pretty cute. The ride is super smooth.
The monorail system offers a one-day pass, valid from 10:00 to 18:00, for ¥620, so I bought a pass and decided to visit Inagekaigan, the station closest to my childhood home. I knew from my father that there was a post office (郵便局, yuubinkyoku) nearby, and I saw from Google Maps that there was a FamilyMart around the corner. (There are lots of FamilyMarts and 7-Elevens in Japan.)