Thursday, August 30, 2007

The End Is A Beginning

The question has been asked what will I do with the blog now that we're no longer in 土気 (Toke), so after giving it months of thought, I've decided to do two things: 1) I will no longer post on present happenings in this* blog; however, 2) I fully intend to post retroactively in order to flesh things out a little more. To accomplish the second aim, the content for posts will come from various sources--journal entries, moleskin scribbles, photo libraries, receipts, and video. The idea is to develop a well rounded adventure that will provide interested parties with information/education/entertainment for some time to come. It will also serve as a good testing-ground for various blog add-ons. I want to make it more beautiful, more user friendly, more interactive, more resourceful.

A big virtual hug to you for spending some of your time with this blog. And a hug to Google/Blogger for making it possible to stay in touch with so many people while we were abroad. Japan wasn't nearly so far away as it was in 2001.



*I do plan on beginning another blog somewhere, sometime in the future, and when I figure out the details probably this blog will link to it.

Friday, August 03, 2007


After nearly three years of tortuous abuse, being over-worked, and having to endure tasks well beyond the scope of normal expectations, our Nikon ES5200 has decided to call it quits. If only it had stuck it out for one more week, I might have been able to back up the chronicles of our last week in Japan with photographic evidence. As it is, words shall have to suffice.

Moving out of the apartment was a hassle, but the hassle was par for the course. I must say I didn't like dropping a thousand dollars on various moving-out expenses when the money could have been better spent helping the Japanese economy through the purchase of consumer goods and services. Oh well. With the luggage restrictions being tighter than when we came three years ago, I cannot possibly fit any more stuff in our suitcases anyway.

It was hard to say goodbye to the teachers and office staff at Toke High School. They have all been such a big part of our experience here, and thanks to them, the experience was mostly very positive. They went far out of their way to accommodate us, and if ever they decided teaching in the public schools was not their thing anymore, I could heartily recommend they open up a B&B or Hotel and cater to foreign students and tourists. We were showered with gifts at my going-away party, and then to top it all off, Aonishi Sensei and Wakamatsu Sensei went the extra mile (actually, the extra 20 miles) and drove us and our luggage to the hostel here in Narita, where we'll be staying until we leave. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Drinks From Outer-Space

Not long ago, I posted about Ice Cucumber Pepsi. As it turns out, the stuff didn't last more than a week. So either it was wildy unpopular, or it was just a one time, flash-in-the-pan marketing ploy. I read somewhere they only made a few hundred thousand bottles, so probably it was the latter.

At any rate, we never tire of trying out new drinks here in Japan! Enter one Cheerio 700: Blue Cider. I didn't have the change to buy one but I got a picture (just in case it's another short-lived brand) to share with the blogosphere.

Need To Brush Up On My German

For a second there, I got it confused with Freud (as in the Psychoanalyst) so I took the pictures, but then I found out freude means "joy" (according to Google Translation it does) but I decided to post them anyway because it would have been funny.

Almost New Testament Shoes

Shield of Faith?
- Check.
Sword of Truth?
- Check.
Helmet of Salvation?
- Check.
Breastplate of Righteousness?
- Check.
Shoes of Violence?
- Um...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Flavors

I tried Mare Tapioca Gelato. It tasted like saltwater taffy.

I would have liked it, except I was dehydrated and horrifically thirsty, so it made my already leathery tongue feel like sandpaper.

I hadn't considered that Mare means "ocean" in Italian. Instead, I was concentrating on the association of tapioca pearls with -- what else? -- tapioca pudding.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun Flavored Junk Food

One more thing to love about living in Japan: Weird food-flavor combinations. For instance, why not try mixing up Kit Kats with fruit flavors? The pineapple one was a bit too piney for me and the orange one made me think of Orange Pekoe tea (even though there's no orange in Orange Pekoe tea) but hey-at least I got to try them!

I also tried the new Ice Cucumber Pepsi yesterday and am hailing it as the best thing since 7-Up Gold. It had that sort of refreshingness that cucumbers have, and still somehow tasted like cola, but without the sticky syrupy feeling of cola. I'm not a soda drinker, but this is one flavor I am going to try again.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What A Cool Pet

We were in Yokohama with Brian last week and came across a man in the street who was out walking his pet tortoise. We just turned the corner after leaving a convenience store and nearly fell over a group of children who were petting, hugging and trying to ride the poor animal. The kids were all under five (I hope) so they probably didn't know any better, and in their defense, I wanted to hug it too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007