Hello my friends, it's me again. I'm back in Japan and have been for almost 2 months now. Much has happened and yet not much has happened. Seasons are changing from a luke warm Winter to a tempermental Spring. The cherry blossoms have bloomed and tiny green leaves are poking out, sending the pale petals to the ground in a belated "snow" shower. I'll be inserting some pictures here once I manage to have a long luxurious moment... trouble is, I don't enjoy spending those rare moments on the computer. I apologize. I also only have a handful of photos taken since the unfortunate event of having my camera stolen from the site of our hanami party (Cherry blossom viewing party). Before you become too shocked "you mean there's CRIME in JAPAN!!" please understand that it was my unfortunate bad habit of tending to forget where I put things that led the future theif to my camera in the first place. In the past I've lost favorite sweat pants, sweaters, water bottles, capos, hats, toothbrushes.. you name it. This, however, is the first time I've lost something expensive... damn damn damn! I guess when I'm in Japan I become even more lax because there is very little crime here. I probably should have learned from that bicycle seat switcheroo that occurred last year. There are sticky fingers all over the world. Anyway, the optimist in me still feels that it will turn up and some good samaritan will finally turn it in to the police station. For now, I rely on my new keitai with the wood-grain facing (how ironic! a wooden cell phone!) for any and all photographs.
I have once again joined the ranks of the eigo sensei (English teacher). This time I'm working for a very different company... more teachers, different students each time, fuller days, and TWO DAYS OFF! So far I have been spending my days off with old friends and new friends. Yasuko chan and I have started a little knitting/crafting group we call "The Lazy Owls." It's not quite a group yet but the two of us get together, I knit the legwarmer (note the single noun here) that I've been working on since January and Yasuko makes adorable felt pins and things. Her wonderful mom makes us traditional Japanese food and always wraps up leftovers to take home "for Makoto". Speaking of the boy... he works some crazy over night hours and we mostly have time to drink some coffee together for an hour before I go to work. He's usually so tired! Poor guy. We do get a day off together every now and again but he's in a band and sometimes has practices... we're hoping to make plans to go to Hakone in a week or so. This year I plan on seeing alot of the touristy things I missed out on last year. I also want to go to Hokkaido and Okinawa while I'm here. The best experiences though are interacting with Japanese people. I've made many friends just by chance and, despite my terrible Japanese ability, I've learned so much from our meetings.
A few weeks ago I was wandering around lost in Ogikubo looking for my friend Jen's apartment (no street signs or grid patter to aid me) and was helped by a lovely young Japanese couple who happened to have a map of the area. They led me right to Jen's doorstep. Kimiko, the female half of the couple, gave me her card and said she'd like to photograph me as she is a photographer. I assumed it would be an amateur shoot but a few weeks later I met with her and her stylists. It was strange to be scrutinized and asked questions about my measurements and favorite colors. All the while, the 3 of them had such big smiles on their faces and would shoot back comments to eachother in Japanese and saying "kawaii!" (cute!) emphatically. I just had a big goofy grin on my face the whole time. I didn't know where to look or what to do. I felt like a bug under a looking glass. We'll be shooting in a week or two. I'm nervous! I'm not the model type.
Ok, the lazy owl in me is getting restless and I must get off of this computer. I'll fill you in on the adventures of Chichibu, Zuiho the neighborhood Taiwanese meeting place, dirty jokes from an old ojiisan, and the drunken student later on. Oyasumi! (good night!)