A bit of an update

Well, I’m back from my adventures (boy, yeah, that’s a good word for it) in Hiroshima and Miyajima, but before I start explaining what happened there, I thought I’d do a bit of photo catch-up since I’ve been so lazy.  (Yes, I bought an SD card reader.  Well, technically a multi-card reader, so now I can just leave it plugged in and never have to worry.)

 

My Naka kids look into the future.

My Naka kids look into the future.

At an “ensoku” (school picnic) with Naka.  This was that extra-blustery day in which I nearly lost my lunch (literally) because of the wind.  The picture is at the top of the “Mt.” Ondake observatory, from which you can see part of Ashibe and Katsumoto.  It was a very clear day, so we also saw the Southern (?) edge of Tsushima, an island to the North that is technically closer to Korea than it is to Japan.

 

Yoroshiku Onegaitashimasu!

Yoroshiku Onegaitashimasu!

I went to Hatsuyama’s graduation ceremony this year.  Despite the fact that it’s my smallest school (graduating class of 13), the ceremony still took a solid two hours, if not more.  How, you may ask?  Oh, excessive speeches.  Japanese people take their ceremonies very seriously.  First the Kyoto-sensei speaks.  Then the Kocho-sensei.  Then they hand out the diplomas.  Then the Kocho-sensei speaks again.  Then THREE members of the PTA.  Then a speaker from the leaving class.  And a speaker from the remaining two classes.

And so on…

Really, it was an adorable ceremony, I just found the officiousness of it all a bit amusing.

Anyway, the following are all from Girls’ Weekend, a great time I had in Fukuoka with some of my gal pals from around Nagasaki.  There was supposed to be a great deal of drinking/dancing/shopping and what-not, but really, only the latter occurred.  And it was a great time, anyway.  Just goes to show that all that matters is the company.  Though I shouldn’t be allowed to shop with Jacqui anymore.  We’re both enablers, which means that when we shop together, we spend lots and lots and LOTS of money.

 

Jacqui loves her some grass pandas.

Jacqui loves her some grass pandas.

Youzakura: Viewing cherry blossoms at night.

Youzakura: Viewing cherry blossoms at night.

This was taken at the famous “ramen alley.”  Fukuoka is pretty well known in Japan for its ramen, though I’d never eaten it (Why?).  Anyway, it was super delicious.

Starting at about five o’clock, shopkeepers come and set up their stalls along the edge of one of the rivers in Fukuoka.  The ramen, for me, is a little expensive–about 600-700 yen per bowl rather than the 500 I’m used to on Iki.  But the atmosphere is fantastic, even if it is difficult to find a seat!

 

I'm a superstar!

I'm a superstar! Can't resist trying on ridiculous sunglasses, at least.

 

Really, I'm fascinated by these girls.

Really, I'm fascinated by these girls.

There’s a strange fashion trend known as the “lolita” or “goth lolita,” depending on the type of dress.  The above girls very kindly let me take their picture, showing this strange idea.  Essentially, they take standard ideals of Anime Adorableness and apply it to everyday clothes.  Oversized bows, lots of frills, mary janes, even tiny hats attached with bobby pins to the sides of heads can be found sometimes.

Really, it’s both interesting and hilarious. 

Anyway, beyond the pictures…

Still have a couple of days off before I have to return to work.  Have had my birthday (excellent!), so am now a staggering 22 years of age.  I know, super old, eh?  Came back to wonderful weather, discovered a new beach on Iki, and returned to Fan Dancing classes.  Graceful-sensei’s new technique?  Manhandling me into gracefulness.  

Apparently, now that I have the feet and hands mostly down, she’s getting picky so that I become pretty.  Whilst practicing, she presses my body this way and that into the correct stance, muttering “可笑しい” (ridiculous…) the whole time.  Keep in mind that I’m at least a full head taller than her, so at the same time she’s pressing me into an even worse squatting position so I don’t look so awkward next to the others.

Still lots of fun, but continues to be excessively difficult.

Not particularly looking forward to Flamenco on Tuesday.  Since I haven’t gone in two weeks, I’m going to be way behind.

How was your end of March?

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