That Cold Wave

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Welp, I knew that one of these days a cold front would come running through here and I was actually expecting it sooner than this. But this afternoon it finally came. Sometime around 3 in the afternoon it just started getting windy and cold and the temperature never stopped falling. It is now the equivalent to mid January in Florida. Mmmmm, those are some good times my friend.

Actually, I’m looking for the silver lining on things. First, I get to try out a whole new line of fashion. I get to wear stylish coats, scarves and boots. I also get to eat new foods that are only available during winter time, or rather, are just more enjoyable during winter time.

Ahhhh the food. Some of the foods that are best eaten when it’s cold are things such as taiyaki, sukiyaki, curry, potato soup, and warm sake. All of these things I can have at any time really but the difference is that it tastes so much better when you’re cold. Just like ice cream is best when it’s hot outside.

Let’s see…is there anything else good about being cold? Not really. I think, being a Florida native, I’d rather be comfortably warm any day.

Anyway, so I’m back from Nagoya. The trip was pretty uneventful actually but that’s ok because all I wanted to do was relax and have nice conversation with Aozora. I’m sorry I didn’t bring my camera around with me more but I only broke it out for our trip to a local shrine which was really neat!

Actually, Aozora is not living in Nagoya. She’s about an hour (and $10) outside the city. She lives in an area that is my dream place. It isn’t a big city but it still has a large quantity of stores and random things that I just don’t have here in Tosayamada and because I don’t have a car, I don’t have a lot of access to said stores in the city. They’re just harder to get to.

On the way back, I ended up sleeping through the part of the train ride that goes over the water that separates the main land of Japan from my Island of Shikoku. I wasn’t sure if we had passed it yet but just looking out the window gave me my answer. There were more mountains and trees and broken down homes and generally less of everything that is known as civilization.

At the same time, it was nice to come back to my apartment where I know how things work. I don’t understand why, but in Japan, every place is completely different from the other. They have a different way of speaking, different styles of food that they eat, different styles, and pretty much different ways of living. So, here I am in Kochi learning the Kochi way of things but if I go somewhere else, I’m just that much more lost. Even native Japanese people will feel lost sometimes. They usually don’t understand some of the dialect from other places and they might not like the food or clothes. But, at the same time, that’s usually why people travel a lot in Japan, to see the sights!

After I got back, I went home to unpack and the repack and in less than an hour I was on my way to Kae’s house were we all celebrated Wakako’s 10th birthday. It was a fantastic evening and I love having a family! Even though it’s significantly colder in Odochi, I think I’m going to spend my entire Christmas vacation there. I get to speak Japanese constantly (a double edged sword), Kae takes care of me, and I get to learn how the Japanese deal with this weather so that way I can come back to my apartment and do the same thing.

And speaking of which, it has really helped me to see how Kae conducts her house! From stupid little things to how she does the dishes and puts things away to how she keeps the place warm or cool. The houses just aren’t built the same way here. And besides, I’m not used to taking care of an apartment all by myself even if I weren’t in Japan. When was the last time I cleaned a toilet?! At UCF, they had a cleaning crew come in once a week to do that.

So yeah, Christmas at Kae’s, should be good times :)

As of right now, I’m planning to make a thanksgiving dinner there complete with chicken breasts as substitutes for turkey! Not only do they not have turkeys here, but they don’t even have whole chickens. It’s 4 chicken breasts to feed the family! ;)

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Anonymous said...

Ninamarie, what are all the red cloths on the statues in your pictures?

Also, re the different areas... it's probably like NYC or Florida (especially in the country). Very different. Fast, slow, accents, different phrases, different clothes - you get the picture. Try ordering grits in NY. Won't happen.

jessica said...

Hope you're not freezing your butt off...but seeing as how you have that aforementioned coupon you can have a piece of mine if that does happen! ;) It's totally a regional dialect thing, btw, didn't you ever travel around America...ask for mustard in the north on a sandwich, they'll look at you crazy...and everytime I go to visit relatives, I feel like I'm in a time warp because of the clothes they wear and the music they listen to....It's probably the same thing in Japan...who ever heard of traveling and feeling completely comfortable with your surroundings??

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