Monday, February 07, 2005

Night shots

Along with these night shots, I might just tell you about the highlights of the weekend. On saturday, I did some work for a group called ECC in Hirosaki. ECC stands for English Conversation Club (I think) and they were running evaluations for their students in the form of an interview conducted by native speakers (Me and Dinah, another ALT from round here). That was good fun, though I was pissed off with the apparent lack of education these kids are getting. There are various teachers working for ECC in this area, and when you get to test all of them together in one go you notice just how good, or bad, the teachers themselves are. We had some groups of students coming in and getting full marks, and then other groups who'd come in and stare straight at you with no idea what was going on. It seemed to me like an obvious lack of achievement on behalf of certain teachers.

Now, if you're sat there thinking this is not a night shot, you're quite right, it isn't. Just thought I'd show you how much snow I have on top of my shed right now. Around 150cm, if the photo doesn't give you enough perspective. Actually, in Niigata right now there are places where the snow is 370cm deep in the towns. These towns might be at elevated altitudes, who knows, but that's still an incredible amount of snow. Buildings are collapsing under the weight. Ironic really, the North East US got six feet and it was on every news website on the internet. Northern Japan gets twelve feet and you have to hear about it from me.

This is what I meant when I said night shots. I was just walking home when I thought I'd whip it out and see what kind of impression I could make. Oh, my camera, that is.

So yesterday I went up Hakkoda where there was a nice 50cm of fresh waiting to be had. I used my board, and I managed to get in eight runs before the lift stopped running for the day. It was a very pleasing day all in all, but I know my car is starting to feel the winter. On the way up the mountain yesterday I pulled a 180 from sliding into a bend. It was actually on a downward patch of road, and I couldn't see the damn bend for all the snow and mist. Luckily, I didn't hit the snow-walls either side, or any on-coming cars, and to be perfectly honest the first thing I said was "that was fucking great man!!" to Hugh, who was sat next to me with a roller-coaster grin on his face. It was a wicked stunt, but I certainly don't want to do it again. I felt lucky there was no damage done to the car.

And if you want to see me doing a horizontal attempt at a 180 on my snowboard, then just check out Hugh's website