Thursday, November 03, 2005

Behind again....

I can honestly say I've been busy....busy having fun. Ok, work's been pretty jamb packed too. In fact, I'm at work on my day off today (yes, writing on my blog, but also catching up on marking, planning and prepping....ahem, real work).

So here's a summary of the last couple of weeks:

Two weeks ago Kathleen came to visit me. She just happened to be in the neighborhood so she stopped in Tokyo for a few days. I caught the Shinkansen (bullet train) and we met in Ikebukuro (a district of Tokyo) for a couple of days of girl time.

I took her to some of my favorite places: the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Harajuku and the Oriental Bazzar, the Starbucks across from Shibuya station, 7th floor bookstore in Tower Records, just down the street...we were ONLY in there for 3 hours....that could be a record.

We intended to hop over to Shinjuku to see the lights and catch some night action but instead we sat on the balcony of a bar overlooking a Shibuya street, watching people go by - enjoying wine, sake and the unreality of Kathy being in Tokyo with me. We were both reminded of the time we spent in Havana, doing much the same thing (only it was rum, not sake). We philosophised, as usual, ranted, raved, laughed, flirted and missed our third partner in crime...Dacia.

How much things have changed in a year... Who would have thought it would be me sitting back, watching my friends create homes, families...(stability??), while I spontaneously get in my car and drive 2 hours for a starbucks fix, plan my next trip abroad, or sit in my apartment and read a whole book uninterupted. I'm not envious of them anymore.

I returned to Toyama Saturday night, in time to meet up with some ex-Nova students that I hadn't seen for about 2 years. I was treated to a very nice Japanese style dinner and great conversation. I wish I had more time to spend with everyone I've become friends with here. Sometimes I only have a chance to get together with people once or twice a year!

That Sunday I headed to Kanazawa with Kaz and Ai - more friends I've made through Nova. We went and watched an exhibition Sumo tournament much like the one I went to a few years ago in Uozu. We were seven rows back from the doyho (sumo ring) and got to see the big guys in a much more relaxed atmosphere than is usual for a 'grand' sumo tournament. They had demos with some elementary school boys, put on a couple of performances of what NOT to do in a sumo ring, they explained and demonstrated how the hair is tied, and then went to work throwing each other out of the ring. This was my 4th time to watch Sumo live, and I've learned quite a bit watching it on TV because I get English my friends were more than a little surprised by my knowledge of the sport. I just kept telling them it was because I'm a PE teacher...

This past weekend was the anual JET Halloween party...I almost didn't go, but was pursuaded at the last minute to get my costume on and join the craziness. I didn't think last year's shinanigans could be topped, but, in a nutshell - they were. I spent Saturday in my apartment with a book before heading to the gym in the evening, and Sunday was another day in Kamiichi teaching elementary school kids - of course we had a Halloween theme and they enjoyed making witches hats out of chocolate cookies and Hershey's Kisses.

This weekend I'm heading back to Tokyo for the motor show -just a one day road trip in a '67 Beetle...giddy-up!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On my way home from work there was a brilliant sunset -unfortunately it was behind me. Then, I spotted this shiney tanker and decided to catch up to him and enjoy the veiw in his reflection. I tail-gated him all the way home...