25 March 2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve been here fifty days now. Seven weeks and one day. I find that hard to believe.
I still haven’t really gone out of my way to say very much yet, but every week I try to see something, even if it’s just something down the road. Last week, a couple friends and I went to a flea market at Shitennoji temple that happens once a month. That was really cool. It’s a very pretty temple, and it was a rainy day, adding to the atmosphere and keeping it from getting too busy. A couple days later, I went out for a bike ride to find Sumiyoshi Taishi shrine. Apparently it’s a fairly well known shrine. That was also lovely. It has this really cool bridge (pictures on Facebook… I’ll try to post some on here eventually too). So far, the temples and shrines are my favorite things to see. I’m excited also to check out a couple of nearby mountains and trails and parks.
The same day as Shitennoji temple ended up being a very Lost in Translation day. Wandered around the temple, then went to check the prices at a movie theater, which were astronomical (I thought prices in Canada were high!). Found a super cool photo booth, so we took pictures in there (some of you might know that I love photo booths. this was awesome!). Wandered down a floor and found Sega World. Wandered around there watching people play games and eventually played some ourselves (that taiko drum game from Lost in Translation? I played that. I was awful. But I’ll be better next time!). Went down another floor and found a book store where they had some English books. Picked up a book to help me start learning some kanji (it’s already made a difference!). So, of course, when I got home I watched some of Lost in Translation. It’s a different experience watching it now.
Tomorrow I’m going out downtown in the evening to see an improv group, “Pirates of the Dotonbori”, perform. I heard about them months ago from a friend in Toronto who owns an improv company. I’m excited. When I’m unable to find the time to go do the touristy things, I like to find other things being offered within the city, whether an art exhibit, an exhibit at the museum of history, or an improv show.
I have a one week holiday coming up at the end of April that I’m trying to plan for. I’m thinking a trip to a hot spring (“onsen”) somewhere within a few hours by train for a couple days, and maybe a trip to Hiroshima. I also hear that there’s a really nice waterfall several hours south of here that I was thinking of checking out.
20 February 2011 § 1 Comment
As I’m sure many before me have done, last night, I sang karaoke in Japan and because of Lost in Translation, I sang “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. We only booked the room for two hours, but we should’ve stayed for three times as long. All nine of us from my training group went. On Friday, our trainer commented on how well we all get along. Somehow, the nine of us from Ontario, San Diego, New Castle, Wellington, New York, Massachusetts, Montreal, and Queensland were able to come into this new experience, forced into training together, and get along . I guess it is sort of surprising. On one hand, it might make it difficult at first to branch out and meet some new people, but at the same time, we all seem to recognize the need/desire to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and really take advantage of being here.
We ended up being up until the sun rose this morning. Talk about being out of my comfort zone (once upon an English degree, this wasn’t too unusual though). Transit seems to stop running before midnight here. I’m not too sure why. Maybe something to do with trying to provide taxis with business during certain hours? Things start running again at 5AM. We caught the train and then the subway at 5:30 this morning. The night was spent getting to know each other a little better.
Back to training tomorrow. Last day on Friday. And by Saturday, I’ll be teaching English in Japan.