I’m not having a good morning. I woke up an hour earlier than my alarm with a splitting headache. I tossed and turned for a while, but I was never able to get back to sleep since my head was pounding. I got up to use the bathroom and immediately felt nauseated. I didn’t want to eat breakfast, but I choked a little down and remained in bed until the last possible moment. Yesterday, I was warned about the flu that’s going around, and I’m hoping it’s not that. Now that I’m up and going, I feel better but still not up to par.
Anyway, on to catching up. Saturday morning, we woke up and skyped friends and family at home. It’s always very comforting to do so and still be a part of people’s lives back home even if we’re thousands of miles away. Ian made brownies to take to Mary’s house on Saturday night, but our microwave/oven isn’t the best. It slightly burned the top, but the middle was still gooey. I didn’t mind the middle as much because it was like a warm delicious lava cake, but the principle is that our microwave/oven sucks. It was really warm on Saturday. We had on short sleeve shirts and even opened a few windows in our house to let in a breeze. The weather was so nice that when we left, we forgot to grab jackets, and we had the windows down the whole way into town.
We met up with Melissa B. and Justine in Hitoyoshi to buy our bus tickets for when we go to Okinawa. We’re taking the bus from Hitoyoshi to Hakata, and the airport is only a few subway stops from there. Amanda, with her infinite Japanese language skills, made the reservations, so all we had to do was pick them up. After that, Melissa had to go home, but Ian, Justine, and I headed to Mary’s house for dinner and a night of watching season 2 of Walking Dead. We started off the night with gooey brownies and one episode. Then we took a break to make food. Mary made pasta with alfredo sauce, salad, and garlic bread. It tasted like America. We all ate until we were stuffed silly! While Mary and Ian were in the kitchen, Justine and I were in the living room, and Mary’s skype started ringing. I hollered out to tell her that Angela M. was calling, but she said she couldn’t talk now. Ian said, “Get it! Freak her out!” We answered it, and at first she was like, “Ummmmmm….who are you?”, but we actually had a really fun conversation with her. She is teaching in South Korea, and so we talked about the similarities and differences between our programs. The rest of the night was dedicated to finishing season 2. When we wrapped up the last episode at 11PM, we screamed at the TV for just one more episode to find out what happened, but alas……we’ll have to wait until February.
Instead of driving almost an hour home and then another hour back to Hitoyoshi in the morning, we spent the night at Justine’s. It was a little chilly in Justine’s house. Since we forgot our coats, I let Ian wear my Twilight hoodie while I borrowed a jacket from Justine. Justine is a petite person, and I could fit into a borrow jacket much better than Ian. Ha, ha. Just seeing Ian in my Twilight hoodie made my day. He refused to let me get a picture of him, and I’m sure a small piece of him died because he had to wear it. On Sunday morning, we woke up and went to Mass. It’s always an adventure to go to Mass in Japan! We didn’t have a lot of time to hang out and talk to parishioners after Mass because we had plans to go to Kumamoto. Usually, we get invited to stay and talk for a while or have the Japanese version of after church coffee and doughnuts—green tea (yuck). However, we made a bee line for the door. We stopped to fill up and at a 7/11 for breakfast and then began our road trip to Kumamoto.
There are two ways to get to Kumamoto: the IC (interstate) or the 219 and 3 (back roads). Ian and I like to take the back roads for a couple of reasons:
1) While it is quicker, the IC is a toll road. It costs about $25 round trip to drive up and back.
2) We’re afraid of how our car would handle the IC. The speed limit is 80, but everyone goes 100-120, and we’re afraid our little crappy car just couldn’t handle it.
3) Following the 219 is BEAUTIFUL. It’s a winding mountain road following the Kuma River to Yatsushiro.
We were supposed to meet Justine’s friend, Michelle, at the train station at 11:30, but we ran into a lot of construction on the 219 and traffic in Yatsushiro, so we were almost an hour late. Oops. We really didn’t have plans. Michelle had to give Justine GRE study books, and that was the whole point of going. Well…..that and burgers. We felt funny saying that we drove that far just for burgers, but they are great!!! The last time we were in the city, we ate at a small diner(ish) burger place called Reef Burger. They have good burgers even by American standards. We’ve been talking it up since then, and Justine told us that we HAVE to go there so that she could try it. The four of us crowded into a tiny booth and ate our big ole burgers and fries. The burgers were so big that you couldn’t set it down to nibble on a fry. If you do that, it might turn into a dripping, saggy mess of catsup, mayo, and other half eaten condiments.
After that, we tooled around Kumamoto for a while. We went to shopping areas, to the international food store, and I found a Bath and Body Works type store called House of Rose, which is my mother’s name. I’ll have to take her there when she visits in August! We dropped Michelle off at the train station around 5:30 and left the city. All of us were still full from lunch, so we only stopped at a 7/11 on the way home for snacks and a potty break. After dropping Justine off on our way home, we finally got back around 8:30, and like so many other Sunday evenings, I spent the rest of the night getting ready for work and dreading Monday morning.