Three Nina Style Issues and Visitors from home

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And starting from the beginning:

The first weekend of October was the Muroto English camp. (See previous post #4) The day after, I found a good sized bug bite on my inner thigh. I thought nothing of it but two days later it had more than doubled in size. Not only had it starting growing however, it also started finding veins and was traveling in two strips up my thigh in the direction of a very important place to every woman.

I made an absent minded comment about this on facebook and immediately I got a reply from an old acquaintance telling me about how she once got a very nasty bug bite which started doing the same thing as mine. She had gone to the doctor only to be told that it was just an allergic reaction. 5 days later she was in the hospital having the wound drained of poison. Apparently it was a super poisonous spider that had bit her and if it had been on her foot rather than her ass they would have had to amputate it.

With that email, I was off to the doctor. He told me it was just an allergic reaction and sent me on my way with some nice super strength, could kill a horse, Japanese meds.

It's been a little over two weeks since that time and the spot has turned into a faint bruise and nothing more. Let's hope it stays that way.
(Issue #1: solved)

The day after I went to the doctor, Christina and Chrissy, my two good friends from Uni came out to visit me! We had a blast! And it was so cool to watch their eyes bug out as they tried to take in all the things that I've come to take for granted. Mountains for example ;)

The first thing we did was have a party at Nicks and then we were off to Kagawa for the weekend. We made Udon, saw some great sites and came home in time for me to go to school for a little bit and then take them site seeing some more around Kochi. Friday we were off again to Hiroshima where we visited the very intense A-Bomb Dome and Museum. After that we took the typical trip to Tokyo which no visit to Japan is complete without. I flew back into Kochi last night and they were off back to Florida this afternoon.

All in all it was a nice and somewhat relaxing vacation. The girls were not all about rushing to the next tourist site. Instead they enjoyed taking their time and if we didn't happen to get to do everything that was on our list that was ok. As long as they were enjoying themselves there was no reason to worry. :)

Unfortunately 4 days into their vacation I got into a car accident.

I was driving down a back road that I don't normally take (sounds just like Nick's story...creepy). I was turning right at a blind intersection. Instead of coming to a full and complete stop like I should have, I rolled through while looking at the two mirrors that they have placed across the intersection so that you can see oncoming traffic. Only after the accident did I come to realize that the mirror showing the right side of the street was tilted so I couldn't actually see much of anything in it.

So I looked in the mirrors and saw that there were no cars. As I pulled into the intersection I looked to my left and saw no cars. By the time I was in the middle of the intersection I looked to my right and saw that there was a car RIGHT THERE!!! So I sped up so as not to be hit by the car, I underestimated the width of the street, over shot the turn and drove up onto the curve and over a pedestrian crossing sign.

It could have been worse. I could have hit a pedestrian.

The cops came out almost immediately, everyone was very kind even the passers by who asked me if everything was alright while I waited at the scene and cried to myself.

In fact, while I was talking to the very kind police, my old host mother, Mari drove by.

Now this is not my current Japanese mum, Kae. This is the woman that I stayed with the last time I came here with the Largo crew. She is the woman who introduced me to Kae in the first place who was actually hosting a different Largo student at that time.

Mari was shocked to see me and instantly stopped her car to make sure everything was alright. Before I could blink my eyes she already had her family mechanic on the line and within an hour of the accident my car was picked up and replaced by a free rental. (oxymoron?)

The repairs are costing me about $1000 and honestly I sat and really thought about how much this car was worth to me. I realized that I had gotten a very good deal when I payed only $2000 for it in the first place and it's a good car that I have bonded with even if only over the past 5 or 6 months. Besides, I won't find a better car for less or equal that price.

I do actually have insurance and it'll pay for the pole but it won't pay for the damage to the car. If the damage were over $2000 then they would pay for it but then my rate would go up $2000 so it really doesn't matter in the end. Needless to say, I never thought I'd hit a pole. I mean honestly.

Thankfully it didn't ruin Christina or Chrissy's vacation.
(Issue #2: solved)

We were still able to drive around to the places we wanted to go but we weren't able to drive as comfortably to Hiroshima as we had planned. My car is huge when in comparison to other Kei (small style) cars in Japan. We were planning to drive it north about 5 hours to Hiroshima and Nick would drive it home. Instead, we took Nick's car which is much smaller and much more manual so it was a little bit of a pain in the ass since Nick is the only person able and authorized to drive said car. Poor Nick.

This past Sunday night we said our goodbyes to Nick and took a night bus to Tokyo where I thoughtfully left my cell phone (on the bus not the entirety of Tokyo)

I swore up and down that I left it on the bus but it took them 2 days to actually locate it (turns out they couldn't locate the bus I was on. The bus driver actually found it immediately but didn't think to contact anyone about it)

Now I'm waiting for my cellphone to be shipped back to me and then maybe I'll finally be able to get into touch with people. For example, the mechanic working on my car. He said he'd have it done by today but there's really no way for anyone to get into contact with me so...

Well, things could be worse.
(Issue #3: being solved)

And this is the story of my life.

Post and a half!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Lot's has happened in the past monthish. Mostly, all you need to know is that I've updated my gallery (link to the right) and if I get some time to put captions with the pics then you might actually understand all the things that are going on!!!

1. Kagawa and Naoshima

On one of the two three day weekends in September, Nick and I took a road trip (I drove of course) up to the very northern prefecture in Shikoku, aka Kagawa. From there we took a ferry to the beautiful island of Naoshima where we spent the day looking at various art museums. It was breathtaking and I highly recommend it. I wish I could have taken pictures of most of the things we saw but well, you know museums ;)

After going to Naoshima, we popped a tent on a beautifully deserted beach where we spent probably the worst night of my life here in Japan. The beach is meant for camping so it's not like we were trespassing or anything. But the weather forecast failed to mention typhoon style winds coming from the sea and the brochure failed to mention the wild dogs that liked to sneak up right next to your tent and then decide to get into a fight with each other. Jerks!!! I would have roasted those dogs if I weren't afraid of contracting some despicable Japanese dog disease!!!

After waking with the sun, we took down what was still standing of our tent thanks to the high winds and went off to do some sea kayaking. River kayaking is pretty relaxing. Sea kayaking combined with high winds makes for a tough trip. We rightfully thought that it would be pretty easy but well, the high waves combined with very little sleep left me feeling less than up to par by the time we were finished. With that, we decided to drive the two hours home and cut our trip short. But it was an excellent adventure and I recommend everything!!! (except the camping, a good nights sleep totally beats FREE)

2. The following week was Taikusai at Yamada high school! (sports day) Lot's of games and injuries were had!!!! Check out the pics for the highlights!

Personally, it was quite interesting at times but honestly, I don't like sports and I doubt I ever will. I didn't actually enjoy watching ALL DAY for TWO WHOLE DAYS. I would have rather studied Japanese at my desk.

3. Dodge ball!!!

Some friends decided that we all weren't quite busy enough with our normal lives so we all got together in a borrowed elementary school gym and we played a few rounds of dodge ball. It was fun and I spared myself the carnage by dubbing myself camera woman! I'm sure you'll love my excellent camera skillz ;)

4. Muroto English Camp!

Probably the best English camp yet! It was exactly what I wanted! There were actually more ALTs than campers which was awesome. And the focus was more on internationalization rather than English. We played lot's of games that all used English but were not focused on it. Lot's of leadership things. We played lot's of games that got my competitive spirit up and I loved every tiring hour of it! Plus, I got three vacation days out of it. Gawd I love playing and getting payed for it!

Check out the pics!!!

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