the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fun Things

So, it's been a long time since I had time to really post. Here are the fun things I did in the last three months (in reverse chronological order:

This Monday (a national holiday called "umi no hi") I finally climbed the mountain I can see from my front door. I went with my friends M-chan, H-chan and M-kun. All three of them told me they wanted to come. And H-chan and I are pretty fit, but I forgot that the other two are casual smokers. But we all had a good time.

It's a four hour hike from the foot of the mountain to the top, but M-chan drove us about half way up the mountain, so it was a little less than two hours to reach the peak.

As you can see, the peak was pretty rocky. We had bought lunches at the convience store before we came, and we ate them on the peak. The view was amazing, we could see all the neighboring towns, the Sea of Japan, and maybe even South Korea. :)

I went to karaoke with the staff from the local bookstore Friday night. That's starting to be a regular thing. This is K-kun, he always sings the Gundam theme song. I have a limited amount of J-Pop songs I know, but I like to sing them. They're fun, and it's good reading practice. But my friends know all my songs by heart. They even offered to put them into the machine for me tonight.

On Friday, we were talking about other foreigners - they know some of my American friends - and they said, "NB, we like you, but other foreigners they're just so-so. We really don't care about them. We like you." Usually, people just like me because I'm a foreigner, it has nothing to do with who I am personally. So it was refreshing to hear that, but at the same time, I'm still not sure how to take this comment.

Last Monday there was a small summer festival in a neighborhood on my way home. I called up Y-chan, and she and her friend K-kun came with me to the festival. Y-chan is always down for whatever, and I love her for that - that's really rare in Japan. I should have got some better pictures. These are some kids playing with fireworks that they bought at the festival. Y-chan said it looked like a movie.

Two weeks ago on Sunday I went to a nearby Aquarium (that I'd never heard about before) with C-chan and S-chan.

We watched the dolphin show and ate lunch out of a vending machine. That was a very Japanese experience.

Three months ago was the Prefectural Athletics meet. Students from all over the prefecture came for the opening ceremony. Each flag has the name of a high school written on it. The flags were all around the running track. Cheerleaders lead the students in cheers for their own schools, and they also cheered for the other schools in a sort of mutual respect way. I was very impressed with that.


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