Flight was good, butt did not agree, nonetheless, I arrived safe and sound and with nary a whisper of JET lag (hah, it’s a pun!). Made good friends in Spokane that lasted through the conference, and most were placed in Kyushu (the southern-most island, which Iki is “part” of), so I plan to visit them. For future reference, though I’m sure most of you will forget, their names are: Rebecca, Talia, Drew, and Lander.
Overall the conference was mildly amusing. Chairs were tough to endure for three-hour periods, but I made it through. My tailbone, however, doth protest. Tokyo was a bit intimidating-though my time in Beijing made me used to big cities, I’ve never been in such a big city with such a high tower without asthma-inducing pollution. The buildings stretched on for dozens of miles, seemingly neverending, and the food was enjoyable. My Japanese is so… useless it’s ridiculous, but I at least made it around without getting lost.
Best part of the conference was seeing Tomo-chan, hands down. She looks fantastic, as cute as ever, and was leaving the next day for a Tennis tournament in Nagano (…the middle of Honshu). We ate some daikon (GIGANTIC RADISHES) and soba, and I discovered that though I do enjoy cooked daikon, I cannot abide it raw. Tomo-chan had “nato” on her soba. Here’s the definition of nato, in case you didn’t know:
Nato. na-to (n.)
Fermented soybeans with the consistency of snot and smell of three-day old trash. Considered very healthy, but looks like grey gloop. Renowned throughout Japan as delicious, but known elsewhere as “Scary, gag-reflex inducing… stuff. Do not attempt if gaijin.”
Nonetheless, a very nice night. Tomo-chan said she’d try to visit me in Iki, and I hope to go back to Tokyo/Yokohama area next summer to climb Fuji-san (a rite of passage for any “Gaijin”-lit. outsider, but usually used as ‘foreigner’-similar to climbing the Great Wall in China). Given that Iki is uber-cheap to live on, I should be okay as long as I watch my expenses.
The last night I was there, I wandered around a restaurant area nearby taking pictures with my splendiferous new lensbaby. The next day, I got on a plane to Nagasaki-ken for the last leg of my preparatory journey as an ALT in Japan.