Sometimes you just feel like a nut. Yesterday was one of those days. Despite the fact that February is over halfway over, I JUST realized yesterday that I misspelled the month. Blarg! Instead of having it the right way, F-e-b-r-u-a-r-y, I wrote it as F-e-b-r-u-r-a-y. Februray. I’m so incredibly awesome at life….NOT! I thought that maybe, just maybe, one of my jerk head students had played a trick on me and moved the letters, but when I went back to pictures that I had taken right after I put it up, sure enough it said Februray. I feel like an idiot! At least next month is short and easy to spell. If I screw up March, there’s more wrong with me than previously thought.
Anyway, on to catching up about last weekend. We had an incredibly busy Saturday since we drove up to Beppu and back. As soon as I got home from work on Friday afternoon, it was a rush to get out the door. We had to pack and run a few errands before leaving for Mary’s house. We had planned on meeting Justine, Melissa, David, and Ikumi at 8AM to leave Hitoyoshi, which would have meant that we needed to leave Yunomae at 7ish, so Mary made dinner for us and let us spend Friday and Saturday nights at her house. Despite the fact that we were only gone for two nights, we packed a ton of crap. Our entire back seat was full. Granted, half of that was our bedding, two twin size futons and blankets, and it’s not like we have a huge car. Let’s just say that some might call it a clown car……
Mary made cream stew, which was delicious and hearty on a cold winter night. We watched a movie and went to bed to try to get a good night of sleep before our long day of travel on Saturday. Mary’s house is RIGHT off the 219, which is one of the most heavily used roads in our gun, (pronounced “goon”….it’s like a county) and I’m a pretty light sleeper, so I usually hear everything. Plus, I’ve been pretty congested, so I had to blow my nose several times throughout the night. I woke up with mucus coming out of seriously every hole on my face—it was leaking out of my nose, my eyes had crusties, and my lips were chapped from breathing through my mouth. We woke up around 7AM in order to have more than enough time to get ready. Mary made us breakfast, (how sweet of her!) and we met up with everyone. Ian and I rode with Justine and Melissa. It was Justine’s first time to take her car on the IC (basically an interstate). Most of us here have what’s known as a K-car. They’re cheaper to maintain, but they have a significantly lower powered engine. At full speed on the IC, that poor little car sounded like it was giving it all it had!
We stopped in Kumamoto to pick up Mary’s boyfriend, Hiro. Also, in Kumamoto we got off the IC and took two lane roads the rest of the way. We got separated from Mary a time or two, so we had to pull over, but we eventually got our caravan back together. The trip to Beppu was absolutely a hoot. Melissa, Justine, Ian, and I acted like idiots the entire time, which really made the trip. I told you a few blogs back how Ian and I like to shake our car when we’re at a stop light. We tried it in Justine’s car, and she had only slightly better shocks. We were able to rock that car pretty darn well. An old man in the cross walk looked at us and just laughed. Hopefully, seeing a car full of foreigners acting like idiots made his day. When he looked back at us, we waved, and he chuckled and waved back. There was also a bus full of kids that saw us and waved. At first it was just one kid who noticed us. We could tell that his reaction was something like, “Sweet! A car full of foreigners! Hey everyone, look at this!” because as soon as he saw us, he turned around to other kids on the bus, and soon all eyes were on us. We also thought that we witnessed a murder. We had slowed down to a crawl and at first thought that it was the semi in front of us that was being so slow. Whenever we rounded a corner, we realized that it wasn’t. There was an old person riding his or her motorized wheelchair on the road (Honestly, there are sidewalks! Why would he or she do this?!) The roads we took were sooooooooooo not safe. They were little two lane mountain roads with twists and turns, but this semi truck driver decided to pass the motorized wheelchair. All of us had the same reaction of “no, no , NO, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” as the truck passed by the old person. He seriously had to have been about three inches away from hitting this old person.
It was a really pretty drive to Beppu. Like I said, the roads went straight through the mountains, and it snowed a lot, which added to the scenery. Luckily, none of it stuck to the roads, but some of the roads were still pretty questionable. We used our Iphones to guide us, so we knew that we were never lost, but a few times, it took us on these 1.5 lane roads, and we were pretty sure that we were going to end up stranded in the woods and become characters in a horror movie…..which prompted our next conversation. We were trying to decide that if we ended up being chased by a ax-wielding murderer, what would the kill order be? We all decided that David and Hiro would probably go first since David’s half Mexican, and Hiro is Japanese. Minorities never last too long in these types of movies….. Justine wouldn’t last very long either since she’s blonde. Blondes, regardless of actual brain function or not, never make it to the end. Ikumi would probably last a while and be one of the last. Despite the fact that she’s Japanese, she’s smart. We felt like she would know what it takes to remain alive. The rest of us were just kind of hodge-podged around in the middle. Since we were going up and down, up and down, up and down these mountain roads, I’m not sure if it was that Ian and I were extra congested or what, but my ears were popping like crazy! A couple of times, one side needed to be popped but just WOULDN’T, so I lowered my jaw and wiggle it to try to pop them. Melissa looked over at me one time and had to do a double take because she thought I was having a stroke! haha. Every time I had to pop my ears, she said, “Please don’t do stroke face!”
I think I’m going to end it here. I’ve barely begun our adventure, so stay tuned for the rest!