Wow, it's been a long time. Sorry! I've been really busy, and also there's been a distinct lack of motivation flowing around lately. I really can't wait for this break. Tomorrow is the last day of school before winter vacation, then all the teachers (and me!) are going to stay the night at an onsen, and then Richard comes in (yay!) and then I'll be free. Everyone is supposed to bring a small gift to the Christmas party, and I'm going to bring some cowgirl coasters I have.
So, a lot of stuff has been going on. I'll go in chronological order. First a couple of weeks ago my friend Elizabeth and I went to a nabe and sukiyaki restaurant. We had no idea what kind of restaurant it was when we actually went in, but we liked that it had the words 'all you can eat' on the sign. The guy that helped us out was hilarious. First we went in and he tried to mime stuff to us, to which I tried to tell him I speak a little bit of Japanese, but he wouldn't stop miming and making grunting noises. His miming consisted of: you go get stuff, and then you put it in your mouth, but here you have to pay first, and do you want beer? So it was very funny. Then we got a table, and because us silly little foreigners had no idea what we were doing he turned on the hot pot and brought all the ingredients from the bar and made it for us! He was really funny, and because it wasn't busy he stood or crouched by our table half the time talking to us. I took a video of him talking, I'll have to post it later.
So we were eating for a while, and decided to make another batch. This time he brought out new meat, and said "Horumon! Do you like horumon?" And of course we had no idea what this was. So he pointed to his mouth and then his bottom, and we gathered that it was pork intestine.
So by the time we figured it out it was already in the pot. I figured oh well, I'll just eat around all the meat, because I sure don't want to accidentally get a piece of that! So we let it cook for a while, and then Elizabeth said she got a whiff of something. I hadn't. So it cooked some more, and all of a sudden.....STINKY!! Our food smelled like poo!! It was gross!! I tried to eat some noodles, but since they were in the pot with the other stuff, just eating one I had to choke it down. Oh it was gross. So Elizabeth ate some of the other stuff in the pot so it wouldn't be too rude, and I thanked her for it and thought she was amazing. When we left my coat smelled like funk. Not like nasty, but a mix of all the stuff from the restaurant and it was really strong.
We went back the next week, without putting 'horumon' in our pot, and this time I brought febreeze in my purse. Our new friend also started to do a humpy dance when we walked in the dance, and hugged all of us. This time was much more delicious.
The next day after our stinky adventure, I went to the beach with my old host family. They came and picked me up at 10 am, and because I didn't have that much food in my house I just had an egg for breakfast with some orange juice. We went back to their house to hang out for a while, and I had a lot of senbei, and a lot more orange juice. It was a two hour drive to Miyako, where we went to see this, which really was the only thing to see there but it was still really pretty. I'll put up my own pictures when I actually have motivation.
But the way there, hrm, well. I hardly ever ride in cars anymore, unless you count the buses, so my body really isn't used to the motion of it. Plus the twisty windy mountain roads. So I wasn't feeling too good. I don't usually get carsick unless I'm in a minivan, but this did it. Plus the egg, orange juice, senbei, and orange juice. So I asked them to pull over so we stopped a rest stop. I meant to run to the bathroom as soon as we stopped, but they started to walk towards the restaurant. Oh no.
So I vomited all over the parking lot snow in front of my host parents, for what seemed like a full five minutes. It was awful. We were right in front of the restaurant that had really big windows, and later when we went in I saw a worker shoveling snow of where I had been. Oh how embarassing. But my host mom just rubbed my back the whole time and handed me tissues, so I was so glad she wasn't really grossed out. Because I was. Ew. Then we went in and they got me pancakes.
Then it was Miyako, pretty rocks, fish market, sushi restaurant, and home again.
Last Monday when I was on my way to school I had another adventure. I of course was running late, and had to take the 8:00 bus instead of the 7:36 or 7:46 like I normally like to take, and on the third stop from the bus center a girl got on, and the buzzer buzzed meaning the door was closing, only it didn't. There were a couple of inches left. The driver got up and inspected it a few times, and then we lurched ahead a little bit but there must be a speed cap if the door isn't closed. And the buzzer wouldn't shut up. The the driver had to pull over again and call someone on his cell phone, who told him to pull a lever under one of the seats which made a suctioning sound. So we were stopped for ten minutes or so (annoying all the other drivers on the road I'm sure) but I called my teacher (you're not supposed to talk on the cell phone on a bus or train but if the driver is doing it then hey!) so it was all good. I always expect things in Japan to work though.
Also last weekend my hot water broke again. My friend Rylan was over at the time, and he tried it too. We could hear it, and we could see steam rising from a hole in the floor, but no water. So we went out for pasta with me not having washed my face, and tried again. He thought that maybe the hot water had to heat up a little bit because it had been off all night, so I let it run for a little bit. We played with the twisty things a while, the handles in the floor, but nothing. So I had to call my landlord, which means I had to clean my apartment super fast. She came over, and as soon as she turned the handled in the floor it ran! And it was a lot of what did you do, I did this, but I did that too, until Rylan came in and we all figured out that apparently the handle for the washing machine is not in fact for the washing machine but for the drain for the entire apartment, and she taught me how to use it, which is good because if she hadn't the pipes under my floor would have burst when it got cold later. But I was still embarassed at not having known that before, but why didn't they tell us anyways? Now I'm just worried about my bill because I left the water on for a pretty long time waiting vainly for it to heat up.
So, that is a very condensed version of everthing. There's more but my hands are cold because its super super cold in my apartment don't they know of insulation ugh.