Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend was a lovely 3-day weekend thanks to the national holiday yesterday (it was Health and Sports Day). I spent the weekend doing a whole lot of nothing (not like my last 3 day weekend adventure to Kyoto).

On Saturday, the Watanabe’s daughter, Ayumi took me to her friend’s house, who happened to be an ALT in my town about 8-9 years ago. So this guy, actually lived in the same apartment and taught in the same schools, taught about a coincidence. I’m guessing he was 4 ALTs before me. He was very insightful and he asked me all sorts of “how are you adjusting” type questions. I met his wife (Ayumi’s friend) and their 5 year-old daughter. After we left their apartment, it was lunchtime, so Ayumi suggested Mos Burger. I had never been to one, but I knew it was fast food. She told me that Mos Burger is a healthy, organic fast food place, but after eating there, I highly doubt that. I ended up having a teriyaki chicken burger, but it didn’t seem any “healthier” than a burger at McDonalds. Once I got back to Mitake, I had a trek ahead of me. The previous night, I rode my bike to the train station (about 4/10th of a mile from my apartment) but I ended up getting a ride home later that night. Well, I needed my bike to make errands a little easier (trying to save the planet here). So, in a constant downpour, I believe it was another typhoon, I walked to the train station and to my dismay, the bike lock decided it had enough and called it a good life. There I was, in the pouring rain, my shoes are soaked, my rain pants are soaked, and my umbrella is crumbling under the weight of the rain. I ended up leaving my bike at the station and walking home (an subsequently, took my car to the grocery store instead).

Pictures from the Sakae Area of Nagoya

Sunday was the best day of the weekend! I planned my brief trip to Nagoya earlier in the week and it was a success. I went to the Apple Store and completed my genius bar appointment in ALL Japanese…go me! I had lunch at Subway, and let me tell you, that turkey sandwich was amazing! It is very hard, if not impossible to find turkey in grocery stores. Next was the foreign food store! Oh the comfort that food from home brings! I bought tortillas (I can’t wait to make fajitas this week!), oatmeal, muesli, and whole wheat pasta! My last stop was at the bookstore, I bought “The Next 100 Years” and so far, it’s very interesting.

Yummy Rose and Vanilla flavored soft-serve (apparently, we have a World famous rose garden in my town or just outside of it)

Monday was Mitake’s Festival, but I’m still not sure what it celebrated. I had lunch at the Watanabe’s house with 4 of their grandkids. We had: rice and bonito sashimi, rice with tuna, cucumber, carrots, tofu, eggs, and mushrooms (my favorite), chicken nuggets, soup, and salad. Basically, all of the works! I think they are trying to expose me to all the varieties of Japanese cooking, and so far, I’ve enjoyed it all. After lunch, we walked to the downtown area of Mitake and watched the parade of nicely dressed men in suits playing the taiko or flute. I think there were 9 towns represented. I do know that this festival has something to do with the Shinto religion, as the men are carrying portable shrines.

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