We had Wednesday off last week, and have Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday off this week. Splendid. The sun is shining (shorts and a vest top at 8am, darlings) and things are looking mighty fine.
Wednesday was whiled away with a friend called Jacob, who I met at the Asakusa hotel. He has already worked two years with The Company, went back to the US for a year to do a grad course (I think that’s a post graduate degree), then realised that the fucked economy meant he’d make more money and have a better lifestyle out here.
We had lunch (burgers and chips) in a Hawaian place – our first Westernm food for ages as we both go fully in for the Japanese way of life at home. We wandered up to the castle via some cool small streets lined with old-fashioned single-story houses, eating an ice-cream. Although we didn’t go in (it’s a modern reconstruction with a museum inside) we did walk through the park that encompasses it, and Jacob pointed out the outdoor public pool which should be open soon. At 300yen it’s a good way to spend a summers afternoon. He also showed me where the International Centre is – lots of tourist information as well as a free advice service for gaijin, from legal advice to what to do when if they cut your gas off – a useful place to know. He accompanied me back down to Dotoku as he’s got a patch of land out the back of his apartment and wanted to buy some tomato plants, which our local shopping centre sells. We hung out with some of the other Dotoku-kru and got dinner, which was a new discovery for me – chanpon. It’s basically a pork-based stock with thick (spaghetti sized) noodles on which has been chucked a random selection of wok-fried stuff – beansprouts, cabbage, pork, oden ingredients etc. Ooooooiiiiiiiiiishi! The word chanpon actually means “a mix” and the term is also used for when you mix drinks.
Today I am going to Arimatsu, a part of Nagoya famous for tie-dying fabrics. It’s quite old so will hopefully have some nice buildings. Watch this space for photos…
After that it’s back into Nagoya for the undoubtably stressful task of getting a mobile phone.
Tomorrow I am going to the Kamezaki Shiohimatsuri festival with my principal and a bunch of other teachers. I am hoping it involves sitting round and drinking sake, rather than a load of walking ;) It’s on the coast in Chita, South of Nagoya, so should be fun to get out of town. Also it will be good to show them normal Fi, instead of smart-clothed sensible Fi. I imagine they feel the same way – the Japanese are generally very different in and out of work.
Monday I think I am going to Ise with Laura and possibly a few other ALT’s.
Tuesday, depending on how much cash I cane on the Monday and on getting a phone, I may head out of town and do some hiking somewhere. Being in the city for too long makes Fi a crazy grrrrrl.
Wednesday, I might be meeting someone to get some furniture – they are selling a coffee table, floor sofa (low sofa on which you sit at floor level) and bookshelf for 2000yen all-in. Since I want to give back the appliances and furniture we pay 8500yen a month for, I need to start getting my own stuff. Just trying to figure out the logistics of getting it back to my place at minimal cost!
OK, time for another coffee. Consumed so far: 2