Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hey family (and others?)

So, you guys asked for a blog...Not really sure how to go about doing this, but I'll give it a shot. Hopefully I'll give you more than the few meager posts from two years ago.

So I'm supposed to make a guide for Elizabeth for when people come to visit. I took lots of pictures at the airport whenever there weren't signs telling me not to for national security reasons (hah!) I'll put those together sometime. But here is a picture of your big friendly Japanese arrival area!

Wow, that's a big room. So two layovers and three countries (including narrowly missing the LA quake, I saw it on the news in Canada and thought, hey I was there a couple of hours ago!) I arrived in Japan, at 3 pm, which is 1 am your time. We accidentally got on the local bullet train instead of the express, which only added a half an hour to our trip so it was ok, and arrived in Morioka at 10 at night. Dan's old host family met us at the station, and I was way too tired to comprehend it. Here is the little baby child pulling my luggage like a gentleman.

Dan and Rylan went out to the bar and I went to sleep in the super swanky hotel room. It even had a Temperpedic mattress and pillow. Yeah!

Here is the little baby child wearing a traditional American hat during our Japanese dinner.

The last few days we have done a lot of orientations and stuff like that, and our boss has taken us all around the city and to each one of our schools to get acquainted with them. I went to my old school I was at two years ago because one of the girls I'm with now is there and I said hello to my old English teacher and Vice Principal. But ohmigawd Japan is so humid, everyone carries around these little washcloths with them to wipe off their sweaty faces every two seconds, and Japanese people are famous for not sweating, so us Americans are in pain. Today I went and sat down in front of my fan for half an hour before going to ask my neighbor a question so my clothes would dry out, and it was a casual day, not stuffy clothes day. Ugh.

Anyways, the past few days there has been this festival called Sansa Odori. Odori is the name of the big road that runs through town. I don't really know what the festival is for, the internet says something about a fable about banishing a demon. But right my my house there's a monument called "Devil's Hand Prints" and its two giant stones side by side. Here's a link I found about the festival. It knows a lot more than I do.

I took a whole whole lot of pictures, but the first night I was there I didn't have a good place because I didn't get there early enough. The second day I had a much better place.

A lot of these are video, btw. Sorry there's so many, but I only filmed the ones that seemed to have a lot of personality, even if it doesn't come across on video. It was quite energetic in real life. The sound is too quiet here. Also, the parade lasted a few hours each night, so it must have taken a lot out of all these people, and there must have been soooo many people!

There were different groups that would be in the parade. There were a whole lot of preschools, and every major company in the city had a group.

Here was a school:

This little child was confused:

Morioka College:

I don't know:

They also had some from train lines, the mall, etc. Each group had special clothes that had the organization's logo all over it. Quite a mix of traditional and commercial.


I've been collecting stuff for my apartment, but it's a very slow process. I'll see something that looks like it could be a bar of soap, but not know how to read the word for soap, so I won't get it. (Soap and candles are packaged in the same size box, for example.) Today I spent almost ten minutes trying to buy rice because they used a word I was unfamiliar with on the packaging, instead of the normal word for rice. While shopping for laundry detergent today the featured one was something called "Bald." I did not get it. I do not want my clothes to go bald, thank you very much Japan. I still need to get trash cans, one for combustibles and one for non combustibles. I already have a recycling bin for bottles, cans, and random plastic, but not one for paper. Japan is very specific about their waste.

It is almost 11 and this is the latest I have stayed up so far. (!) I should be going to bed, because I have to look fancy tomorrow, and I don't know quite how I'm getting to the city wide education seminar.



Jennifer said...

Why hello there, Kimbo's blog!! :) That was a very entertaining post! I can't wait to live vicariously through you!! Love you, Jen

Elizabeth said...

Ok you're going to think I'm weird but your post made me cry... watching the videos of ladies dancing, because I just it is so great that you get to be where you are - not many people get to experience really being submersed in a different culture, and one filled with so much history and culture at that. Jennifer and I need to have a convo about saving our money for a big trip to visit next year!! eee

applesandbananas said...

ps. please keep posting!! Also GD gave me a microphone for skype today...