Monday, November 3, 2008

The "me" weekend

This weekend was a long weekend, and oh how fast it flew! I decided that I need to take a weekend for myself because I have been traveling so much lately and even if I am around home I have been a busybody. The "me" weekend was a success, and I am (almost) geared up for work again this week. Really, the "me" weekend just got me geared up to do more traveling soon :)

Friday night I went to a farewell party, which was interesting, but just reminded me how much Japanese I don't know despite the fact that I have been studying quite a bit lately. I have graduated romaji into studying in basically all Kanji and hiragana/katakana (except grammar explanations that are in English). My teachers did comment at the party however that they think I study a lot. And that I have gotten better since I arrived (which isn't too hard to do since I understood literally nothing when I arrived!). It was encouraging and will hopefully inspire me to study in December when I don't have much work to do.

Saturday I slept in for the first time in WEEKS! Apparently I am a part of the adult world haha. I slept until 10 when my brother woke me up, so it was a nice wake-up call from home! I got to talk to him for a bit before heading to the onsen. We relaxed in a variety of baths, laid in the sauna for awhile, sat in the massage chairs for a long while :), watched tv/took a nap in the tv/sleep room despite the loud snoring man next to us, and soaked a little more in one of the baths. Then it was a night of watching "Sex in the City" and some homemade fettuccine alfredo and white wine. It was an amazingly relaxing night to close out a really relaxing day.

I was renewed Sunday morning after sleeping in (yes, again, but who knows when it will happen again!). After all that relaxing and sleeping, I did some hardcore cleaning and organizing and laundry. I washed sheets and basically everything I own here, put blankets outside to air out (some are a little musty from the summer humidty), washed dishes, organized the pile of papers that has gotten bigger every day since I got here, and baked brownie drop cookies. Such a domestic day!

Jenny was here today, and we started discussing our trip to Thailand! I am very excited; we are planning on trying to buy our plane tickets by next weekend. We also did a little bit of 100 yen store (= dollar store) shopping. The 100 yen stores here are huge, and Jenny doesn't have one off in no man's land where she lives, so she always stocks up. Literally walks out of the store with the biggest bag they have full. I had a big bag too, I think the store clerks must laugh at the gaijin blondies with bags too heavy to carry and no cars. I also bought a few more things to prepare for winter, like some heavier tights for under my skirts and a fleece jacket and a winter hat. Uniqlo is my new best friend - a store much like Old Navy with mostly plain clothes, but they come in bigger sizes (aka the XL barely fit me) than most other Japanese stores.

I also fired up my kotatsu table tonight. I was moving some stuff around in my apartment and since I moved my kotatsu into the bedroom, I decided I had to test it out since I have never used one. It's glorious. Even though it's only about 50 degrees at night, it feels much colder to me. Maybe it's cuz I spent last winter in Texas, but I think I never have been made for the cold! If you don't know what a kotatsu table is (which I am doubting anyone at home does), check it out on wikipedia: Ah yes. Next step. Figure out how to use that kerosene heater. I should be okay without using that for awhile though hopefully.

Days til car: 7

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