Japan 2014 post 36

November sixth

Happy birthday dad! Even though when I wrote this it wasn’t actually your birthday yet for you…..
I started the day with a shower at eight. Sadly I hadn’t been able to sleep that long, only 6 1/2 hours. My brain had been wide awake, though tired, from the Japanese immersion, so it took a while to get to sleep, then the sun woke me up early. But I didn’t feel too tired, and the shower refreshed me. After that Reiko prepared me a delicious breakfast consisting of orange, banana, a slice of toast, and a piece of fried chicken. Not a bad start to the day! I ate that, then I had to pack up. It felt strange(and sad) to be leaving after two weeks, but it also felt good to be going back to Catherine’s. Despite being super fun and enjoyable, sometimes living in a Japanese household felt like one step further away from home. But I’m glad I went, I had an awesome time!

Once I had everything packed (holy cow I had a lot of stuff), Reiko and I watched a few last parkour videos together, and then she drove me to Catherine’s and said goodbye. But of course I’ll see her around lots still. Before I had left, there was a huge gust of wind that hit the house, and the third floor (where I was) shook! But nothing more seemed to come of it than that, the weather was just nice when I got to Catherine’s. She and I were able to talk to a bit, then Hoshino San picked me up and we went to tai chi. I needed a sweater, but the weather wasn’t unpleasant. There were sixteen people at tai chi, but the ones that I knew are happy to see me, and I was happy to see them too. I was wearing the orange tai chi shirt that I’d been given, and it was really comfortable. We started the class with 25 minutes of stretching, which felt amazing since I was so stiff and sore. Next we worked on separate movements from a sequence, then the Sensei put on the music and we did the sequence. I still remembered bits and pieces, and it came more naturally than the first week, but missing last week I had forgotten a bit. After working on that piece for a while we stopped for snacks. Hoshino San had brought chocolate covered almonds, and a few other people had brought treats too. Hoshino San had given me a Pocari sweat, so I had that so drink. After the break we kept working on the sequence for a while, then half an hour before the end of class we switched to fans. The Sensei had brought one for me to use again, so everyone could practice. I do like the fan, but the sequence we do with them is so fast! The music is really intense, and it keeps getting fast and faster until the Sensei and one other woman are the only ones able to keep going! It was pretty fun. At the end of class I thanked the Sensei, and she told me that next week was a holiday, but that I was welcome to come back the week after. Another woman invited Hoshino San and I to a Pingpong party later in the afternoon! I want to try everything that comes my way, so Hoshino San said he would come pick me up later.
When I got home I did a nice, long workout since I was already all stretched out, then I did some cool down stretching afterwards. Today was my last day of hard physical activity for a while, I’m going to give my body a rest over the next few days. When I was done, I went into the kitchen and prepare myself a small lunch. Ayana and a friend had gone to Jusco with Catherine, so it was just me. When I finished I went upstairs and unpacked a bit, then decided to get my blogging done. I was just about finished at three when Hoshino San came to pick me up, but I went anyways. I haven’t played Pingpong much, I can only really remember playing it with Dammie while on vacation together. But like I said, I’m willing to try anything! I’m sure glad I did go, because it was a lot of fun. The woman who invited us was the only one from our tai chi group, but there was a woman who must’ve been in a higher level, because she had a sword! There were about 10 of us, and 3 Pingpong tables. So 6 people at a time played, two went around with nets, scooping up stray balls and putting them back into our ball boxes, and two people just watched. Of course it wasn’t the same people sitting out, or with the nets, there was a rotation. But I was able to play the whole time. I spent the first twenty minutes or so with the only man (other than Hoshino San and I) as he showed me how to hold the racket and hit the ball. The way he showed me to hit it felt really awkward when the ball was there, but fine when I was just swiping air. But eventually I got ok at it, though I didn’t always use that hit, I switched it up a bit sometimes. I played several games with him, a few with Hoshino San, and some with two of the other ladies. Even ought it was challenging to play against them for me, I knew they were holding back because when they played against each other I could barely see the ball!
Since it was two hours of Pingpong, we had a couple short breaks. Hoshino San had brought me some delicious cold Liptons apple tea, and treats for everyone to share. He’s such a great person, I just realize that every time I’m with him. I’m glad I got to meet him!
When I got home, two of Ayana’s friends, and their mom, were playing outside under umbrellas (it had started to rain). When I went inside the women were visiting and cooking in the kitchen. I finished up my blog post quickly, then hung out with them for a while. After we finished talking, I went upstairs and finished unpacking and getting my room into order. The guests didn’t stay for supper, but the mother had made us a delicious miso soup. We had that, as well as rice, two types of amazing fish, and pumpkin with honey dripped on top. It was really delicious! When I finished eating I helped out with the dishes, then wrote I bit of my journal for today before going upstairs for a somewhat early bed. What a good day!
Christopher  image image

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