Beginning some time last week, summer arrived here in Osaka. With temperatures already soaring over 90 and the humidity somewhere in the 'ridiculous' range it's clear that this summer won't be a particularly comfortable one. I had forgotten since last year that my room is a heat trap and is often 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. I was going to try using just a rotating fan for a while but I've already given up and turned on the AC for the year.
Just as the heat was building I had friends over last Tuesday to play Dungeons and Dragons. The game was fun but with four bodies in my tiny room, even my AC couldn't keep up and we were all drenched in sweat by the end.
Last Wednesday I went to Shitennoji temple (down the street in Tennoji.) I had heard from one of my co-workers that there was a flea-market there every month on the 21st and 22nd. I was expecting one or two stalls with some used clothes but it turns out there were many many shops spread out over the entire temple compound selling everything from watches to used umbrellas to plants and more. I wan't looking for anything particular this time but now that I kind of know what's there I may go back in the future if I need something.
The work week went by pretty quickly this week although many teachers are really feeling the "cool-biz" initiative that my company's participating in. "Cool-biz" more-or-less says that we don't need to wear suit jackets or ties but that all thermostats have to be set above 28c (about 82f.) You may think, "If you're sitting inside, 28's not so bad." But I hasten to remind you that I also have to teach kids (sometimes singing and dancing) in said 28 degree heat. I'm already ready to trade my no-tie wearing for cooler classrooms and it's only the first week of summer.
I met with my girlfriend on Friday night and we had a long talk about where our relationship is and where it's going (good places on both counts!) We met again on Saturday to celebrate my birthday (which is actually tomorrow.) My girlfriend made me "Taco-Rice"; an Okimawan dish that combines the innards of tacos and white rice. She also brought a delicious dark chocolate cake. Earlier in the week I took delivery of my birthday present, a wonderful, big, Philodendron plant for my balcony.
As noted above, tomorrow I turn 30 (yikes!) To celebrate I've invited a bunch of people to my favorite local watering hole. It should be a good time. Additionally this week I'm in cram mode for the JLPT (Japanese proficiency test) which is next Sunday. I'm feeling pretty well prepared but you can never get enough study before a big test.