Since coming to Japan I've noticed a few things that are rather odd about this country. Like how I used my first squat toilet the other day. Why was that ever a thing? Or how you have to separate your garbage (that's not so bad) but then you have to pay for the little bags to get it collected. Or even how they love cleanliness here but refuse to put out garbage bins anywhere so you are just stuck lugging your trash around. These things are definitely note worthy but they don't cause me to wonder as much as these next few questions. I feel I can't go much longer without having them answered...
1-Why do the guys carry around purses? I'm not saying they probably aren't useful for them, but it's definitely throwing me off.
2-Why are the forks and spoons so small here? I don't understand. At all. Just look at this thing! (The one on the left is a normal sized fork and the one on the right is what everyone actually uses.) Luckily, we use chop sticks for just about everything.
3-But what's really got me is why ISN'T CHOCOLATE MILK A THING HERE? I tried to ask one of my students where it was in the grocery store and he looked at me like I had just made that up. This is crazy. Luckily I've been getting by on substitutes. This is some cocoa mix that they sell at the store. It's not quite the same thing, but it gets the job done. Here is the beginning of what I can see turning into quite a large collection.
Anyway, I'm through ranting about chocolate milk-onto all of my adventures!
So I stopped last week's blog on Saturday which was obviously a mistake since that day was just full of stories to tell. My parents took me and two of the daughters to a place called Lagoon which is a combination (mini) water park and onsen. This is what the water park looked like. (I'm pretty convinced it's actually for kids but, hey, who's going to complain about going to a water park when it only costs $6?...Or, just in general, who would complain about going to a water park?)
So, let me try to summarize my week since this is already kind of long. I went to my first Japanese library and got my own library card. Good thing I'm so good at reading in Japanese. (Yes, that is sarcasm for those of you who have trouble recognizing it on the computer.) However, it is still pretty exciting. I love libraries.) I also went and saw the cherry blossoms. This time I went with the bishop, his wife and son, the bishop's brother-in-law (who is also in my English class), and my teaching partner Adrian. I'm glad that we went now because the blossoms were really pretty. Here is the entrance.
Ok, silence is over. Explanation time.
This is a place where you wash your hands and 'drink' the water to cleanse yourself and get blessed before entering the temple. Pretty cool.
Everyone, take a good, long look at this adorable little boy. (This is the bishop's son. He is 1/2 Canadian, 1/2 Japanese.) How adorable is he? Hopefully this is what my future looks like. (Not this exactly, but the whole 1/2 Japanese part at least?)
You would probably think I'm crazy if I told you that I tried squid at dinner one night and it looked like this. Ya....I didn't really like it. It tasted like tentacles.
So you will probably think I'm even weirder if I tell you I tried it again later. I've always wanted to try one of these squids on a stick (since I've seen it on Japanese shows) and now the chance had arrived. I couldn't possibly back out now. But I could possibly convince my coworker to try it with me.
Not bad...a little salty but all in all, definitely worth trying. The man even cut it up for us so it was easy to eat.
This was all happening at Maruyama park where we went with 2 of our students to go see the cherry blossoms again. Sadly, they were already gone by Saturday (good thing we went earlier.) but it was still fun going with everyone. The four of us walked up to the park together and it was a nice day and, again, a pretty view. Then we got there and looked at the Yatai (which are kind of like carnival stands, with games and food.) We bought some Taiyaki which are little fish shaped things with cream or sweet red bean paste inside. So that's the 3 of us with our taiyaki (that was also on my Japan to do list. Plus it was only $1!) This is a picture with all of us that went today.
On the left is Adrian, 24, who is my English teaching partner. (He is from Malaysia, but people often mistake him for Japanese here and try to speak to him in Japanese-poor guy. He isn't fluent or anything, but he's lot better than me. Pretty handy to have around.) Next to him is Taiki, 16, who is one of our English students. He's a pretty funny guy. Next to him is Souhei, 21, who is addicted to Coke (which is why that coke bottle is also in the picture with us.) Finally, there's me. Woo for being the only girl-always. After this we went to a different part of the park and we played ultimate frisbee. Well, we did the best we could anyway. Another of our students showed up so we had this slightly awkward game of 3 v 2. So....I will practice frisbee with them along with their English and my Japanese. It was fun. :)
So...to wrap up here's a few last pictures. Momo (my youngest new sister) took me out onto the roof yesterday and these are some pictures from there. This is her.
And here are some of the cherry blossom tree next to the house. This was last night and today all the blossoms are already gone.
Oh and my family asked to play Spoons for our FHE game tonight. So that was pretty fun that they enjoyed it last week enough to ask to play again.
Finally, Ane made a beautiful cake for her mom since it's mothers day. So we celebrated by eating it! Yum! I even got milk to drink with it. What a feast!
To sum this up in a sentence: I just spend every day hanging out with Asians.
Bucket list- I'm still coming for you.