Japan 2014 post 55

November twenty sixth
Last night I stayed up a bit past my self assigned bedtime finishing my book. I’ve been reading this great one called Life of the Trail. It’s actually the first in a series of eight, which tell the stories of trails in the Canadian Rockies. I love all of it! The history, photographs (both from the archives, and the authors own), and the authors own stories, notes, and comments. It was a very good read, and I look forward to reading the rest. Oh, and I forgot to mention the series in penned by my own amazing grandfather, and mum!
When I woke up this morning, it was another cold and rainy day. I think I much prefer cold and snowy over cold and rainy. But regular rain is much better than freezing rain! When I got out of bed I had a nice warm shower, then sat down to breakfast. I got myself a nice bowl of yogurt and honey, and a frozen chocolate croissant. I think I like them like that as much as I do thawed!
Next I wrote my journal from yesterday. I had just been too tired to do it when I got home last night. I took a break to watch Massan with Catherine, then typed the journal up. When I had finished that, I got the stuff I had bought yesterday, and started sorting it out. I made several treat bags as part of it. I actually really like making stuff like that, where’s it like an assembly line. After I finished my job, the rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. I wanted to go outside to do parkour, but it was raining, so instead I did a workout, and practiced Japanese.
For lunch we had okonomiyaki. It was just as amazing as before, and probably the last time I’ll eat it in Japan. Although I didn’t realize it at the time. After the main course, I had an apple, and Catherine and I drank herbal tea while talking to each other. We had a good conversation, although part of it included ghosts and paranormal activity. I was somewhat freaked out for the rest of the day, and ended up having a (rare for me) scary dream. Not a nightmare, but about a creepy ghost coming into the house because the shoes at the doorway went straight and pointed outwards (towards the door). I think that it was actually a tv show I was watching in my dream, then I reached to it in my dream by straightening our shoes. But I don’t remember if there was actually a ghost in our house in the dream. It was confusing.
Afterwards I had a bit of time to watch videos before picking Ayana up. No parkour along the way this time, umbrellas creat significant drag! when Ayana and I got home, she had just a little bit of time before going to Hanamaru. I stayed home with Atsushi to do some writing while Catherine dropped her off. Shortly after Catherine returned Hoshino San came over for his lesson. As usual, the three of us had a good conversation. Tomorrow I have my last tai chi with him, and a lunch. I’m looking forward to it!
While Catherine picked Ayana up from her lesson, I did my architecture. I got a bit of work done, but the I think I’d like to wait to talk to Johnny about some things. And besides, Catherine was back right fairly quickly, along with Ayana and Yatchan. Yatchan seemed in really good spirits, and had even bought cake for us. He was very funny, and I had a good evening. Catherine had been cooking all day, so I got to enjoy one of the dishes that I’d been smelling so much. It was a daikon soup with ginger and meat, and it was splendid. All three of us liked it. Catherine also prepared the pizza that we’d bought at Costco that had been in the freezer. It had so much cheese, and even salami! I loved it. We took a break to do the dishes, and then we had the cake. I ended up finishing both Catherine’s, and Ayana’s cakes. As well as mine. All three were astounding! Thanks Yatchan!
After supper I went to bed, although I did a lot of reading before actually sleeping. But it’s a big day tomorrow!

Christopher image

Japan 2014 post 54

November twenty sixth
Well, sadly it wasn’t a great sleep last night, but it was enough. When my alarm went off, I shut it down then had my shower. Yatchan didn’t have to go to work until a bit later this morning, so he stayed at home while Catherine took Ayana to the tennis courts, allowing me to go back to bed. Of course I didn’t sleep, but it was a good rest.
For breakfast I had two English muffins (which Catherine had prepared, so they were properly toasted) spread with jam. It was super tasty. By the time I finished it was already eight, so Catherine and I watched Massan. It was an interesting episode since a fair bit of it was in English.of course the main character is English, but we’ve only heard her speak a few words in the last. This time she was being a translator in a business meeting between a Japanese guy and a Scottish guy.
After the show I got my blogging finished. It took a little while, but this time I was more careful so I didn’t have to rewrite it! I did a little bit of reading in my Japanese journal, then Catherine, Atsushi, and I went to Jusco. It rained on and off all day, so it was a good day for shopping. I would’ve like to have bought all of my presents earlier, but oh well. It’s done now! Catherine had some work to do as well, and she had Atsushi. We had been planning on shuffling him back and forth between us, but he just sat in his shopping cart car and played on the iPad happily. It took a few hours, and I needed Catherine’s help at some points, but I got everything done. Catherine got a good chunk of her work done too. We took a bit of a break at Starbucks, and I got an iced hot chocolate, and a cup of cinnamon bun bits with the white, sweet cinnamon bun stuff. Yes, it was as good as it sounds.
Catherine and I both had shopping to do at the grocery store, so we went together and Catherine helped me out. I bought a ton of food. We both used the self checkout, and I helped with both bags. We did my bag first, and set in beside the machine. Then after we finished Catherine’s I helped Atsushi put away his basket, and we set off. I completely forgot about my bag. Adding further distraction, someone dropped some of their groceries and Catherine had to chase them down to return them. A bit later in the day I wondered where my bag was, then saw Catherine with hers and thought it was mine. It wasn’t until we were putting stuff into the car that Catherine realized we had forgotten it. She ran back downstairs, and a few minutes later returned. With the bag. We were both so happy, because it had been expensive! She said it was one of those “Only in Japan” moments. The clerks had seen we’d forgotten it, put it out of the way, and returned it to Catherine without even asking for a receipt. Thank goodness they put it away! Catherine said it was Karma; she had given the other woman her dropped groceries, so someone have us ours.
When we got home I had a bowl of persimmon apple sauce, finishing it off, and a chikuwa. Chukuwa are a tube of some sort of fish that’s eaten as a snack. I quite like them. Then I picked Ayana up from the gorilla. Catherine had gotten her a beautiful Christmas decoration for her desk, so she was really happy. After that, I wrote a thank you note to the family who’s house we had went to after our lunch at the fishing restaurant. Catherine had made a really nice card with pictures, so we both wrote on it. After that I did some Japanese practice before Reiko came to pick me up. While there, I got her help translating a thank you note I was writing for Yuta’s school. We had curry and rice with Keito for supper, and the three of us watched parkour videos. After that Reiko gave me an envelope. Inside was a really nice card from all of the people who had come to Sagami. And a gift of money. Reiko said they’d wanted to get me a gift, but then thought to give me money instead. That way I could use it for souvenirs, or my house, or whatever. I didn’t expect that, and I’m so thankful! What great people.
Volleyball was great. Unfortunately the other boy was too shy to come, but even so there were seven other women so we had proper teams. Today it was super fun. I’m not exactly sure why, but there was much more laughing, joyful camaraderie, and funny mistakes that everyone laughed about. For instance, once Reiko got hit (lightly) in the head with a serve from our own team. And a couple times I dove for the ball and ended up sliding across the floor on my chest, arms outstretched. Or once I got knocked to the ground by the ball. It was awesome. Maybe it was because the more serious men weren’t there… At the end of the game everyone gave me one of the volleyballs, that way I can play at home! It was a great day.
Christopher image

Japan 2014 post 53

November twenty fourth
I fell asleep around 12:30 last night, so unfortunately I got less than eight hours of sleep when my alarm woke me up at eight. In fact when it first went off I thought I was just getting a text message, and ignored it for a moment. But thankfully I remembered that I had actually set it, and I got up and had a shower. I thought I had turned the alarm off, but it must’ve just snoozed it, because Yatchan told me it was going off when I got out of the shower.
For pre-breakfast I had a mikkan while I worked on my journal. I’d been way too tired to do it last night, but I wasn’t able to finish it before breakfast this morning. Yatchan made us delicious sausages, and eggs, and we had yogurt too. I also tried this tasty thing called Yakult, which is some sort of milky, bacteria drink. It does the same thing as yogurt.
After breakfast we all got dressed up. I wore my burgundy dress shirt, and a pair of jeans (Catherine had given me a pair since all of mine were ripped. I wore them last night too). Everyone else was fancier, but I was good enough. In Japan the ages 7-5-3 are very important (3 and 7 for girls, 5 for boys). And at those ages there are special pictures that are taken, often wearing traditional kimonos. There are also special prayers at the shrine, giving thanks for brining the child into the world, keeping them alive and healthy, and asking that they have a long life. Well, Ayana (and Atsushi, Catherine, and Yatchan) had already had the pictures taken, but we had to go back to the studio to pick them up. All of them were beautiful, Thw whole family! Not only were we going to pick up the pictures though, the studio was doing her hair, makeup, and kimono again. I did a little bit of writing while we waited, but the tables they had were too low to write comfortably on, and it was also uncomfortable to hold my iPad on my lap. So I didn’t do very much.
Once Ayana was done, we carefully got into the car (not wanting to mess up her kimono), and drove to a shrine. We went to the rabbit shrine, which I’ve never been in before, but is actually really close to the tea house that I went to a while ago. At the gates I had the craziest dejavu. It’s something that often happens to me, but this time it was double or triple dejavu! As in, I felt like it had happened several times. But I knew it couldn’t be, since I’d never been at the rabbit shrine before… But after that, we continued into the shrine and it was fine. It was super beautiful. It’s a fair bit bigger than the shrine by our house, with a lot more to it than the actual shrine. I don’t know what everything was, but it was all gorgeous. When we entered the shrine we had to wash our hands at a fountain. Usually the fountain is shaped like a dragon, but here it was a rabbit! After registering we proceeded right into the shrine part of the shrine. Usually when you pray you’re on the outside, but we went right inside. We had to wait a little while, but then us and one other family went right in. Ayana and the other children kneeled at the front (we were in a fairly small tatami room), and the families kneeled just behind them. In front of us there was a small altar. In fact it looked sort of similar to a Christian altar. There was a table, then behind it another table against a wall. Everything was symmetrical, and it was really nice. I wish I could’ve taken a picture, but Catherine and I assumed that we shouldn’t. The priest looked sort of similar to an Anglican too. He had a really nice green kimono, it sort of looked like a cope that dad has. He was wearing a black hat as well, but it wasn’t very much like a bishops. Anyways, during the ceremony there was a fair bit of bowing, some clapping, and at one point the priest waved a stick over us, and it had lots of strands of white paper tied to it. At the end, the children each got symbolic gifts. A long, thin candy to symbolize healthy growth and longevity, and a cup with a rabbit on it. The ceremony was super interesting, and I wish I could’ve understood it more. And it would’ve been great to talk to a priest! But alas…
While I wasn’t able to take any pictures in the place where the ceremony happened, I took lots of pictures elsewhere. There was this one place where the ground was covered in golden leaves, and there were these two huge gate-like trees. It was awesome. In fact there were tons of trees, and a pond with a rabbit fountain. I would’ve liked to stick around and check things out, but we had to head home.
On our way we saw a gorgeous white dog running around in the middle of a busy intersection. It nearly got hit a couple times, but no one did anything to get it away! There were tons of pedestrians, and even a few people in uniform (they were some sort bike watchers, but still) and no one tried to do anything. They just walked right by and continued in their way while the dog ran around confusedly. Catherine said it was very Japanese for no one to try to do anything.
When we got home we just picked up lunch from McDonalds. I got a Big Mac, but it made me realize something. I’ll admit it, I like the taste (I even think Japanese McDonalds tastes better), but it’s mostly empty calories… The food has a lot of calories in it, but it doesn’t fill me up so much. So after my set from the store, I had some mochi with cheese on top. After I finished I was working on my blogging, and Eriko came over. Earlier in the day Ayana had went around to meet the neighbours in her kimono, so Eriko had a little gift for her. And a gift for me too. A beautiful set of seventy two coloured pencils. Eriko is such a great person, and I’m really thankful!
The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful. I reviewed in my Japanese textbook, did some blogging, and got in fifteen minutes of parkour. After that we were out for an hour and a half. We dropped Catherine off at Kompao for Shigedi and Yasuhiro’s lesson. Then the rest of us dropped off Ayana’s kimono at the studio (which is quite a ways away). On the way we played Japanese car games, like “What words start with shi (し).” Then we had to name as many words starting with that letter as we could. We also played a little game where someone said a word, then the next person had to say one ending with the last letter of the previous word. For example ねこ (cat), then こども (children), and on and on. It’s meant mostly as study time for Atsushi, but it was great study for me too. And his vocabulary is much bigger than mine!
Before picking Catherine up, we stopped for a bit of shopping. I stayed in the car with sleeping Atsushi. We had to get some ingredients for Catherine to make Okonomiyaki. It was amazing! And the smell was almost way too good while Catherine was cooking, I could barely stand it! I realized that Yatchan’s casual wear was almost the same as my fancy. He was wearing jeans, and a green shirt that other than the colour was nearly identical to mine! But Catherine said I looked very nice today too. After supper I helped with the dishes, got ready for bed, and hoped for a good sleep.
Christopher
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Japan 2014 post 52

November twenty third
Taking advantage of it being the weekend, I went to bed late and woke up at nine. Catherine, Yatchan, and the kids had already gone off to Jusco to pick up Ayana’s birthday present, a bicycle! I wasn’t quite sure what to have for breakfast, so I ended up just eating a couple mikkans because I didn’t want to try my luck with the microwave. That tided me over until lunch. In the time between, I was actually fairly productive. I blogged my journal entry, was about to publish it, then lost it due to my own stupidity. So I had to rewrite it! But that’s ok. Afterwards I went upstairs, and did a nice long workout. I sort of wanted to go to the park after that, but I wasn’t sure if I should without anyone home. I have a key to lock up, but if I was ever to get hurt it’s better for someone else to be at home. Because if I yell, they’ll probably look out the kitchen window and be able to see me. So I didn’t go. Instead I took a shower, then worked in my Japanese journal. I was able to read all the entries without a problem.
When everyone got back I got to check out Ayana’s new bike. She had picked it by herself, and everyone thinks it was a good choice. It’s blue, with a nice big seat, bell, light, basket, kickstand, and tire lock. Pretty fancy! Apparently though, the salesperson wasn’t very helpful, and first gave them a bigger, more expensive bike. Even though it wasn’t what they had ordered. They’d even gone through all of the warranties, insurance, and were all paid up before Catherine and Yatchan noticed something was off. So they had to go through the whole process all over again! I’m glad I was at home. But anyways, when they got home I sort of scrounged myself a lunch.they had eaten at Jusco since Atsushi had been hungry. So I microwaved myself an English muffin and put a “Spicy Pepper Medley” on it. I think it’s actually meant for steaks and stuff, but it was pretty good. That obviously wasn’t enough to fill me up though, so I had a bowl of fruit sauce, some chocolates that Catherine’s friend had brought, and eventually mochi with cheese on top. Which was all very good, of course.
The afternoon was pretty slow for me, although a bit stressful. In the evening we were all going to a party at Sagami (the name of the restaurant), and lots of people were coming to say bye. So I wanted to have a bit of a speech prepared. I figured out what I wanted to say, then thought of the Japanese, then cross checked the English and Japanese with google translate. Eventually I got everything sorted, but I got Yatchan to check it out as well. He said everything was right, but we changed two things so that they sounded more natural. I also figured out some questions that I would ask a priest, if I get the chance. But only in English. Since I was a bit nervous about the party (maybe I am getting more introverted), I mostly just hung around, and watched parkour videos. I did do a teeny bit of review in my Japanese textbook, but nothing serious.
The party itself was (or course) very fun. And there were tons of people there! Reiko, Ayako, Sayoko, Machiko, Eriko, Kimie, Nogumi, most of their husbands, and most of their children too. I even got to meet two new kids. One boy who’s the same age as me, and a girl who’s a bit older. In fact the boy who’s my age is going to come to volleyball with Reiko and I on Tuesday night.
One of the women (I believe it was Kimie) has a daughter in junior high who goes to the same school as Yuta, and she said that she found out about me going to the school even before Catherine or I said anything. Even though her daughter didn’t see me, she knew that I was going to be there. I found that pretty funny. Kimie said I was famous! And I was very impressed, because she was able to tell me in English (she’s one of Catherine’s students).
The food was good too. There were several dishes on the tables, including deep fried chicken, and other deep fried meat, a delicious salad, a type of noodle (that I was unfortunately not able to try, as apparently it’s an allergen. But I believe they’re just buckwheat noodles so I would’ve been ok. But better safe than sorry), and another great looking salad that we weren’t sure if it had nuts on it. There were also these amazing cucumbers that both Catherine and I really liked. I think they just have vinegar, but they’re really good. At one point, Ayana came around with a notebook and took everyone’s ice cream order, which she then preceded to pass along to the waitresses. The ice cream turned out to be really good! There was lots to drink too, and I tried lots of types of juice and soft drinks.
I got to talk to pretty much everyone, including a really good (Japanese and English) conversation with Hideo. I’m pretty pleased that we were able to carry on a conversation! But he’s a great guy, and not afraid to try to talk, even with very limited English, and the understanding of my limited Japanese. “Communication.” He often says, meaning that facial expressions, eye contact, etc, are often just as important as the words.
At the beginning of the evening Catherine made a short speech, and at the end it was my turn. Despite preparing I was really nervous, but it went ok. I stumbled a few times, and once I almost forgot a word (Yatchan whispered it to me just as I remembered), but at the end everyone understood, and even cheered. I’m so glad that I got to see those people at least one more time, but it was sort of sad as well.
When we got home I was super tired. But once I watched some videos, and read for a while, I found it really hard to get to sleep! But eventually I did, and I slept well. What a great day, and especially a good party.
Christopher image image image image image image image

Japan 2014 post 51

November twenty second
Well, I only have seven days left in Japan. It feels like I’ve been here forever, and at the same time no time at all. I’m already getting sad about leaving but I can’t wait to see my family, and friends. Or my pets! Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to talk to a priest (one of the things I wanted to do it Japan), because this season is very busy for them. But there’s still some hope, and we’re still looking.
This morning was pretty much spent in bed for me. I woke up around nine thirty, then watched parkour videos for the next hour and a half. When I did get out of bed I had a mikkan, two kiwis, and a bowl of this amazing persimmon apple sauce Catherine had made. It had lots of both of the fruits, cinnamon, sugar, allspice, butter, and a bit of apple juice. And it was just incredible!
Catherine was playing with the kids in the living room, so I did my blogging. When I had finished Ayana and I shared a couple of Pocky sticks. Basically they’re small, thin, cookie tubes with chocolate on the outside an inside. Sounds pretty good right? After eating a couple, I jumped on my bike and headed to Dōman Park. Since it’s the weekend it was a lot busier than usual, but it was still fun, and I training in several spots. I’m a bit discouraged with my sideflip right now, they’re not going quite how I want them too. So I mostly worked on those, and roundoff backtucks. Near the end I worked a bit on J-step moves, then a baseball team started practicing right in front of me. But it was time to go anyways.
It was really hot today, so when I got home I threw all my sweaty clothes into the laundry and jumped in the shower. When I got out I did my devotional, and a couple of light exercises. It was already three, but I hadn’t had lunch yet. In fact all I’d had today was fruit, two chocolate sticks, water, and fruit tea. So I was pretty hungry. I ended up having another bowl of fruit sauce, chips, and salsa. Which was satisfying. When I finished I got out my Japanese journal and read a few entries out loud. Then I grabbed a pen and wrote one. I don’t think it’s quite right (I’m sure not everything is right!), so I guess Ayako will have two to correct the next time I see her! I. Really glad she’s able to do that for me. After that I started talking to a couple friends online. They were both having troubles, so it didn’t end up being very relaxing for me….
Before supper I had a mochi, and worked on my story. During that time I noticed that both of my friends were having bad days, Ayana was really grumpy, and Catherine had a headache and just wasn’t feeling great. I wondered jokingly to myself if it was the full moon or something, then just for fun I checked the calendar, and it was a new moon. When there is no moon, and thus no light from the sun being reflected off of it. What an interesting coincidence…. And if that wasn’t strange enough, today Catherine was supposed to have a friend who had moved to Canada (from Japan) come visit, but he didn’t show up. Yatchans was supposed to be meeting with him later too, and Catherine just didn’t know what was going on. She said, “I wish someone would call me.” And I kid you not, as soon as the words were out of her mouth her phone started ringing. And it was her friend.
He ended up coming for a short visit not long after that, and then when Catherine came back from taking him to the station, we had supper. Despite being a bit of a mishmash, it was delicious. We finished off the stew from a few nights ago, Catherine made a lettuce salad with spicy shrimp, and we each had a bowl of the persimmon apple sauce. It was really good, and actually a really good day. Even if I didn’t really do much!
Christopher  P.S. I had to write this post twice, because the first time I wrote it I was going to cut and paste it into a different editor to add the photos (that’s just how I have to do it), but I accidentally copied something else on top of that, so everything was lost…. But I rewrote it, so here it is.

P.P.S. Photos: views from the top of the hill that borders Dōman Park (towards Tokyo I believe). Stray cats at the park. The awesome train track I made for Atsushi yesterday.  imageimageimageimage

Japan 2014 post 50

November twenty first
I think that today was a pretty good day. After my shower I had a bowl of yogurt and granola, followed by a chocolate croissant. And a kiwi later in the morning. After breakfast Catherine and I took Ayana to the tennis courts. Yatchan had the day off work, so he could stay home with Atsushi. When Cat and I got back all four of us watched Massan. After the show was over I did my devotional, and posted on my blog. I also did a bit of architecture. Catherine had a lesson with Ayako, and Maseko a bit later on the morning, but I was out for a good portion of the lesson time. I was on a mission at Rogers. I jogged there, then had to find apple juice, ginger, and cinnamon. The cinnamon proved to be the hardest of the lot to find, but I did eventually. As I was searching for it, I stumbled upon a tiny coke, which I ended up buying. Mainly just because it was cute. On the way home I realized that I should probably not jog, as it was shaking it up in my backpack. So I just waited a while before drinking it when I got home. While I waited for it to decarbonate a bit, I listened in on the lesson, and did some work on my iPad. Ayako was her by now, and she had something for me from the school teacher. It was a newsletter about my visit, that everyone in the class had gotten, as well as a folder with all the pictures he had taken. Only I was lucky enough to get that though! I’m really glad I’ve got those pictures, and great memories!

When it was ready, I drank my coke on the front steps. After that I decided to go to the shrine park for some training. I practiced mostly the same things as last time I was there, but this time I worked a bit more on vaults, and precision jumps. I have this huge 16 foot gap from tire to tire that I want to cross. I can’t quite make the whole jump yet, only 14′ or so, and not onto the tire. But it was still exhilarating, and it felt like I was flying!

When I got back inside I chilled out for a little while, then had lunch. I ate two mochis, dipped on ponzu with sugar in it. Yatchan told me it was really good, and he hadn’t been joking. I also had a bowl of last night’s stew, and a persimmon that Catherine cut up for me. I don’t have persimmon very often, so I don’t know how to cut them up! But now I do. I had a fair bit to eat, but I still had that slightly unsatisfied, snacky feeling. So I ended up eating several shortbread cookies throughout the day.
Lunch was quite late, so I just had half an hour or so before picking Ayana up from school. During that time I mostly watched parkour videos, then on my way to and from picking her up I did some parkour. Actually, when I was on my way there, I stopped outside the rehabilitation centre on the corner of the street. There were two middle aged Japanese ladies, and two gorgeous black labs. I couldn’t help myself, because they looked almost exactly like shadow, just bigger than the last time I saw her. So given how long I’ve been away, they’re probably a similar size. So of course my heart melted. After a quick hello to the owners, I started petting one of the dog’s head. After a few moments of that it suddenly stood up and gently put it’s front paws on my chest. I said hello to it and kept petting it. Usually a dog doing that to me (more so when I was younger, but even now a bit) wouldn’t have been too well received. But this dog was so much like my own that I was fine with it. After a couple seconds of petting, it went back down, and I continued on my way. It wasn’t much, but for me it was really meaningful.
When we got home I only had a little bit of time before Yatchan took Ayana and Catherine to their various things tonight and I watched Atsushi. So instead of starting anything, I just lay down. When the others left, Atsushi and I played trains together in the tatami room. I have to say that I think I made a pretty sweet track for us.
When Yatchan got home I again only had a bit of time, so I worked out, and then watched videos for a couple minutes. Atsushi was still playing with his trains, but I decided to plug in Ayana’s electric keyboard and make some music. I don’t know how to play piano, so at first it was just me hitting some random melodies, and random bass lines (separately) until I hit a few notes consecutively and realized they were the first three notes of “Do your ear hang low”. After that I was hooked, and spent the rest of the time while the others were gone learning the song. I had no music, only the tune in my head, but I managed to learn it by ear. I guess the lessons from my music teacher, and all the help from dad have been paying off in my ability to learn by ear. Of course I’m not playing it perfectly, but it sounds pretty close.
Just before the troops returned, the doorbell rang. Thinking it might be them, I answered it. But it wasn’t them, it was Catherine’s organic produce boxes. I think I handled it pretty well, even if I wasn’t always sure what the delivery man was saying, and we got all the food sorted out without a hitch.
For super we had a fish (from the delivery) that not only is delicious, but is high in omega-3 and very good for you. I also had a bowl of stew on couscous, and these amazing sandwiches. During her morning lesson, Catherine had been notified of a great way to eat persimmons. On top of bread with cheese melted onto it. Catherine tried it out with English muffins, the persimmon, and cheese, all put into the microwave. And they were just incredible! I wish we could’ve had more! I’m sure glad she tried it, even though it sounds sort of crazy.
Well, even though today was pretty laid back, tomorrow is Saturday and the whole day is empty for me. I’m pretty tired, so I’m hoping to sleep in lots. Then maybe go to Dōman park in the afternoon!
Christopher image image image

Japan 2014 post 49

November twentieth
This morning I quickly ate a hard boiled egg before jumping in the shower once I woke up. I’m really appreciating the hot shower in the mornings, it like sitting in front of the fire at home.
When I got out of the shower I took Ayana to the tennis courts. On my way home, the woman whom I sometimes talk to gave me a bag of persimmons for our house! That was very nice of her, and they look and feel delicious. Catherine and I both prefer them crispy. After giving them over to Catherine, we sat down to watch Massan. I quite like the show, it’s entertaining, and interesting for me as well. When the show was over I Skyped Rowan and Robin for a while, then wrote my blog. When I finished I did my devotionals, and watched parkour videos until 10:50. Just before Hoshino San came over, I realized I hadn’t really had anything to eat, so I had a bagel as we biked to tai chi. Even with a sweater on, it was pretty cold.
The lesson was great though. Like usual we stretched for half an hour before really starting. After the parkour on Tuesday it felt really nice. As we went through the movements during the lesson, I noticed that after four classes or so, I was already starting to remember certain parts, and get stronger and more flexible in certain areas. It was nice. I also noticed an improvement with the fan, especially since someone gave me some pointers.
At break time, someone had brought persimmons. I guess fall is persimmon season, so it’s best to eat them when they’re fresh! and these ones were very good too. I realized that next week is my last lesson, which is sort of sad…
When I got home I had a plate of last nights leftover for lunch. And it was just as good as yesterday, although the sweet potatoes weren’t as crispy. Catherine brought out a bag of shortbread cookies we had bought from Costco, and we snacked on them during the afternoon. I have to say, they’re very good. After eating I went upstairs and watched several parkour videos, did some push-ups, and worked on my story a bit. Around three Hoshino San came by to take me to Pingpong. It was raining, so instead of biking we carpooled with a few other women. At the community centre (we actually use the same room for Pingpong as we do for tai chi), there were about 7 or 8 of us, and I played with everybody. It was really a blast! And I’m pretty sure people weren’t going easy on me this time.
When I got home Catherine was back from her parent teacher interviews at Ayana’s school, which had went great. Unfortunately she had had to walk home in the rain since she gave her umbrella to Ayana earlier. But she was very happy with the results of the interview. It was a little while until supper when I got home, so I practiced Japanese. Catherine was making an amazing smelling stew. It had chicken, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, thyme, a turnip-type vegetable, and leafy greens. It was incredible, hearty, and filling, as well as delicious!
After supper Catherine and I tackled the dishes, then I began my bedtime routine. It was a bit delayed since I was planning on staying downstairs for a while for when the post office rang the doorbell. But they ended up coming sooner than expected, so Catherine was still up when they came. Afterwards I went upstairs and to bed. I was really tired after today, but it was still nice to read before sleeping. I’m really enjoying my book!
What a good day.
Christopher image