Archive for January, 2015
After being around sick co-workers and students, I am finally catching the cold that is going around. Nothing else interesting to report, so here is a random picture of a restaurant that serves Fugu.
A bridge over the Kano river
I have been living in Numazu for almost 3 months. It seemed like a good time to get out of the house and explore the city on my bicycle. My first stop was city hall to finally update my address with the government. City Hall is not terribly easy to navigate for someone who can’t read Japanese well. I spent a few minutes walking aimlessly checking out my options at different windows and offices, and generally looking confused. Eventually an English speaking civil servant approached me and directed me to the right place.
After a successfully completing my mission at City Hall, I took a long, meandering bike ride around the city. I went by the busy port area and then along Senbonhama beach, named after the thousands of trees along the shore. The beach itself is windy and full of rocks, so it’s not a “beach party” kind of place. It is very popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders.
Temple in Numazu, Japan
Numazu itself covers a huge area that used to be a number of smaller towns. However, the main city part of Numazu is fairly compact, and it’s easy for me to get almost anywhere by bicycle. After a nice long ride, I ended up returning home and getting ready for an evening with The Penpal.
The Penpal and I went out for dinner (now our usual activity), and I showed her a few episodes of South Park. She laughed hard at the anime stylings of “Good Times with Weapons” and the catchy theme song for “Sexual Harassment Panda”. But seriously, who doesn’t think Sexual Harassment Panda is funny?
All my co-workers have colds! This means that it’s only a matter of time before I get one too.
Thanks to the close proximity with other teachers and students, it’s very easy for colds to spread quickly. If I was smart, I would probably eat better, get lots of sleep, and lay off the beer and karaoke for a while.
IF I was smart…
Today was my first really busy day at Mishima NOVA since I transferred in November. It reminded me of a typical day at Kawasaki NOVA.
The teacher’s room at Mishima NOVA is tiny, narrow, and chaotic. There are 6 chairs in a space barely big enough for 5, and we had 8 teachers working today. It is not a good place for claustrophobic people.
After work I met up with Azeroth and Palmer at Ryuu, which has now become our regular izakaya. There is nothing like beer and sushi after a busy day at work!
Today was a day off. Instead of being completely lazy and unproductive (as usual), I decided to give my computer some upgrades with parts that I salvaged from my computer in Canada. By the end of the process, I had a slightly better computer with a big improvement on my graphics card. It’s never going to be a serious gaming machine, but it runs better than it did before.
After work I made yet another visit to the new izakaya “Ryuu” with some co-workers. We got 2 free orders! Ryuu is quickly becoming the popular after work beer spot for teachers, likely because it is really cheap.
There was no karaoke afterwards for a change.
I had a fun night out with The Penpal in Numazu. We ate some great Japanese food.
(2015 Update) I really wish I had kept more details about what we ate or had maybe taken a picture or two. If you are ever living away from home, take pictures of EVERYTHING. You will want to remember it all someday.
Today I had a lazy day off. In the evening, The Penpal’s family took me out for delicious ramen. Yum! After dinner, we went back to their house and had grilled mochi, which is a Japanese New Year’s tradition.
I learned about New Year’s mochi in my Introduction to Japanese class that I took in University. The classic tradition is to take rice and pound it with a giant wooden mallet until it turns into a sticky rice cake. I was hoping to get a chance to try out my mallet swinging skills, but found out that all of the mochi had already been made in The Penpal’s aunt’s mochi machine. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but it was probably for the best. At my best I am pretty clumsy and would have likely smashed someones fingers with the mallet.
We grilled the mochi on a small indoor grill, and then ate it wrapped in seaweed or cheese. The rice cakes were sticky and delicious, and it was a fun experience for all. It was also very good Japanese practice for me. Good times!