Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 39

Lots of excitement this past week.

[This week's post forthcoming... really]
[Okay, maybe not really. It seems it'll be rolled into next week's post which isn't all bad as this has been a "take it slow" week.]

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 38

Whoops, this week almost got away from me too. Not that there's even all that much to report but more so that I met with my girlfriend last night (when I prepare early posts) and again today (when I usually write most of my posts.)

Last Tuesday and Wednesday (my "weekend") I laid low to conserve money and energy for this week in-which I have a "5-day weekend". The short Thursday through Sunday work week went fairly fast for me which was nice.

For the start of my mini-vacation, I met my girlfriend last night and we went out to a neighborhood place for some Okanomiyaki after which we sat and talked for a long while. Today we headed out to Kobe together. We first stopped in China Town for some truly terrible buffet style chinese food before going to Meraken Park where we sat and watched the boats come into the harbor and talked for many more hours. After some frozen yogurt in the mall next door we made our way slowly back to the station (window shopping in Center-Gai [a big shopping arcade] on the way.)

On the way home I realized I hadn't prepared a post for this week or written one this morning and had also forgotten to take my weekly picture!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'm going to lay low again and pack for three days in Tokyo (Wednesday through Friday.) I'm mainly going up to see my old university teachers and do some sightseeing... and maybe visiting Akihabara while I'm in the neighborhood. I've made a lunch appointment with one of my teachers Wednesday at noon so I hope the incoming typhoon doesn't screw up the train schedule and make me late.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 37

Alright, it's been a busy few weeks. Two weeks ago on Wednesday I went to an amusement park with some friends. We went to Hirakata Park in the North-East of Osaka. As small parks go it was pretty nice (though didn't hold a torch to the mega-parks in the states.) We all got passes that allowed us unlimited rides on all the rides (otherwise they were pay-per-ride) as well as admittance to the waterpark section. We had almost perfect weather, almost hot with a bit of cloud cover to make it feel nice. In the morning and early afternoon we rode the rides (I skipped the roller coaters as usual.) After a break for lunch (at the in-park McD's) we headed over to the waterpark and had some fun there until early evening. As the waterpark closed earlier than the rest of the park we had some time to re-ride some of the rides from earlier before heading out. The day was capped off by dinner at a sushi-go-round place.

Thursday through Sunday Typhoon #12 made it's way across Southern Honshu and generally made a mess of things. It was predicted that it would hit Osaka directly early Saturday so all ECC classes were canceled for the morning and kids and group classes were canceled all day. Fortunately the typhoon impacted further West and all we were left with was a little drizzle on Saturday (and an easy half day of work.) In fact it rained a lot more on Friday and Sunday than it did on Saturday.

Saturday night's plans were also dampened by the typhoon as my girlfriend slipped in a puddle on Friday night and banged up her already injured knees again. So instead of going out for dinner we ordered in a pizza and watched TV.

By this past Tuesday the weather had cleared up and we had great driving weather as I and seven friends piled into a van and drove to Takamatsu in Shikoku to watch one of our favorite bands perform. We left Osaka around 10 in the morning and drove over Awaji island and half way across Northern Shikoku to get to our destination, arriving in the early afternoon. The first thing we "had to do" was get some "Takamatsu Udon" (udon being a thick type of Japanese noodle.) I'm normally not a huge udon fan (I like the stuff well enough) but the stuff in Takamatsu really was the best I've ever had. After our first lunch we found the venue and parked the car. We killed time before the show by heading to another udon place to have a second lunch (and the udon was just as good round two.) The show started around 7. As usual "The 50 Kaitenz" rocked hard. Really they rocked harder than usual playing for a full two hours and going through the best of their catalogue. After the show we made our way back across the inland sea to Osaka.

For an unknown reason I was up fairly early on Wednesday which let me get some housework done before a friend called in the afternoon looking for som help apartment hunting in my neighborhood. It wasn't really what I had planed for the day but turned out to be fun. We went out for dinner at a mediocre Chinese buffet place afterwords with a few other people.

Nothing too interesting about the work week this week, just back to business as usual.

Last Saturday I headed down to my girlfriend's hometown in the South of Osaka and saw a cool local festival with her family (well, her mom and nephews.) This festival involved carrying huge elaborately decorated wooden "floats" down a street and up a set of stairs to a shrine. Sounds simple until you realize these floats are about 20 feet by 20 feet at the base and over 15 feet tall. They're carried by a crew of over 50 people and require even more support staff to make sure they don't crash into the crowd (which they do anyways.) After watching one full round of float carrying my girlfriend's brother came and picked us up and we all went out for sushi-go-round. (I tried to pay for dinner but I thought my girlfriends mom was going to take my arm off to get the bill so I relented.)

This week's looking pretty quiet by design as the week after I've got a "5 day weekend" with plans to hang out with my girlfriend and head up to Tokyo for a few days of R&R.

I've really gotta stick to the weekly updates. Two weeks id too much (especially when stuff's going on.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 36

This week seems to have gotten away from me. I got distracted on Monday, was out of town on Tuesday, had to help a friend on Wednesday, and yesterday and today I've got work. Looks like I'll have to do a double-length post next Monday.