Ha, ha. I know the title sounds weird, but rest assure everything will be explained! Last Friday night, we went out to eat with Justine, Shara, and Mary. Justine suggested this restaurant that had a big water wheel in front of it. There was even a place where guests could wash their hands and feet (for purification) before entering just like they do at the temples. At first we were sat at this HUGE table that could seat probably twenty people, but we felt ridiculously spread out, so we asked to change tables. The second table was much more our size, and (bonus!!) the floor beneath the table was heated for our foot warming pleasure. I ordered the nabe, which was delicious. Nabe is a traditional Japanese soup that is warm, delicious, and PERFECT for a cold February night! We sat and talked about anything and everything for a while. Mary had to drive to Kumamoto that night to meet up with her boyfriend, so she left, but the rest of us decided that our next mission was driving into Hitoyoshi for ice cream. Baskin Robbins is very overpriced but very delicious. I had a February special, french toast ice cream. It was really good, and what was even better is that I accidentally dropped some on my scarf, so I smelled like french toast for the rest of the night. mmmmmmm…..
Speaking of being at Baskin Robbins, I forgot to tell a really funny story that happened there a few weeks ago. Our car has really, really, really bad shocks, so we can seriously make it shake back and forth just by leaning left and right, left and right. We sometimes find it funny to pull up to a red light and wiggle our car around just to see the reaction from the Japanese people beside us. We’re idiots, we know. Anyway, one night several weeks ago after eating our ice cream and leaving, we decided to show Melissa B. just how bad our shocks were by shaking our car. There was a pre-school age kid coming out of Baskin Robbins, and when he saw us wiggling our car, he had the most horrified look on his face. He froze and watched us for just a second before creeping backward into the safety of the store. BWAHAHAHAHA! We all laughed so hard and said that we had probably traumatized that kid.
On Saturday, we had our pancake party. Basically, I sent an email out on Friday saying that Ian and I were going to make pancakes for dinner on Saturday night, and if anyone wanted to join us, they were most welcomed. We had four takers: Justine, Melissa B, Ana, and Michael. I made a double batch of pancakes, half normal, and half chocolate chip. Melissa B. brought strawberries and syrup, Ana and Michael brought pancake glaze (like condensed milk), Justine brought Coke, and Ian made fried bananas. We stacked our plates high, slathered them with all of those toppings, and ate until the pancakes were gone. Perfect! We tried to watch a couple of different TV shows and video clips, but all of us were a bit distracted by just talking to one another, so we ended up watching nothing. ha, ha. Ana and Michael left around 10, but Justine and Melissa decided to stay the night. We finally had enough attention span to watch a couple of WWII era Looney Tunes episodes. Ian warned us that we’d probably be shocked by them. OMG, those were scary at how racist they were! Let’s just say that the things Bugs Bunny was doing would NOT work in today’s day and age! We finally wound down from our sugar high and went to bed around 1:30. It was like a big slumber party trying to cram all four of us with the futons into our one heated room.
On Sunday, I woke up pretty congested. Truth be told, I felt pretty icky all day. I was running a little fever, and Ian even used me as an electric blanket. As we were watching TV he said, “Let’s cuddle! …….just don’t breath on me, okay?” Oh, Ian! He really knows how to make me feel loved! After Justine and Melissa left that morning, we skyped a few people at home and basically spent the rest of the day in bed watching TV. I feel like whenever we move back to the States and have greater responsibilities, those are the days that I’m going to miss the most. We never had days like that at home because we never had the same days off together (and if we did, we felt obligated to do more important things) and our jobs demanded so much more from us. Here, it’s whatever. I rarely have to take any work home, and if I do, it’s something like cutting out pictures to post to my English board. Really difficult. Sorry, I’m getting a little sidetracked…..
Anyway, the flu is among us here! ! ! ! Since I didn’t feel very well on Sunday, I went to bed early. Luckily, I did not have the flu (and hopefully won’t get it!). I woke up Monday morning feeling groggy and congested but nothing like the flu. It has really crippled the JHS. Last week, it went around the second grade class, and this week it’s getting the first graders. A lot of people around school are wearing surgical masks (pretty common in Japan) to prevent illness and the spread of germs. I don’t understand a lot of what’s being said in the teacher’s room, but I do know the word “flu,” which is the same in Japanese, and it is being said A LOT. The teachers had a special meeting yesterday to discuss it and which students were absent. I was blown away when I went to class and saw that half the first and second graders were missing. It was really weird for a large class of 40ish to be whittled away to 20-something.
Even though it’s Valentine’s Day today, I’ll write about that next time. I’d hate to make this blog too long winded, and I feel like it’s approaching that mark!