Monday, March 28, 2005

A weekend of blue umbrellas and pink waterpumps.

Not really, but that's all I managed to photograph this weekend. Besides umbrellas and waterpumps, though, there is little worth mentioning about this last weekend. But, naturally, I will mention a few things.

First, I went to a farewell enkai (party) for the teachers who are leaving this year. My enkais are seldom of any interest to me, so I see no reason at all in subjecting any reader of this weblog to the details. I actually didn't drink at the party because I knew I'd be going out to a local sports bar later that night to watch the Japan-Iran game with some of the lads I play football with, and I didn't want to get too hammered, which is exactly what would have happened if I'd started drinking Kirin lager at six. Japan lost their World Cup qualifying game against Iran, which I was genuinely gutted about. Not because I wanted them to win, but because the guys at the bar had high hopes, and I hate to see people end high-spirited nights on a downer. Japan did score once though, and when that happened I managed to get both of my arms drenched in Kirin lager. It was just like being back home.

I had a nice surprise on saturday though. It had snowed quite heavily the night before, leaving a good layer of surprisingly dry powder on the mountain. I went up with Erica and met other folks up there as well; stayed the whole day at Ajigasawa. Can you believe it? Dry snow at this time of year.

I spent saturday night speaking Japanese with this guy Erica knows. Erica needed someone to be her English speaking company at a dinner she'd been invited to, and since her first choice had fallen ill, I ended up filling in. It was a good feed though. This guy's missus layed on Piaella, cheesecake, apple pie, fine wine, strawberries, you name it. The guy was a local mountain expert and I think he was impressed by my climbing Iwaki so many times last year. Either that or he picked up on my being a loner who gets on better with trees than human beings.

So, where did all the photos of pumps and umbrellas come from? They actually came the next day after my little afternoon snowshoe hike through Kudoji hills. I nearly got lost again, but overall I had a great time hawking the tracks of mountain deer and moseying around in the forests of beech trees. It's surprisingly quiet at Kudoji, and I'm sure I'll become a regular there this year.

これから、少し日本語を書いてみます。さっきの英文は私にとって訳しにくいのでちゃんと翻訳できません。今週末は大体いつも通りでした。今、職員室で みな 新しい学期のために準備して 机を引っ越しているんだから集中できない。だから、仕事の代わりに外で写真を撮りに出かけます。じゃあね。