Japan continues to astound and amaze! Just now, a man in uniform walked into the office, shoved a long pole with a suction mechanism and an aerosol can up to the ceiling and proceeded to clean (?) disinfect (?) reset (?) all the (what I think) are smoke alarms. Of course, this was not interesting in the slightest for the rest of the office staff, but I looked on with an almost child-like wonderment.
In terms of actual news, I've gone from being incredibly bored in the weekday evenings, to incredibly busy, and all it took was rampant alcoholism and a steady determination to meet people. Last night was my second enkai (welcome party,) this time hosted by many of the English teachers of Shikaoi. I drank lots of beer, ate sashimi, fried chicken, onigiri (rice balls...mine had cod eggs,) french fries, and green tea hagen dazs. It seems to be the prevailing wisdom here that it is better to just take your favourite foods and eat them all at once, rather than messing around with a menu, or genre of food. It's certainly enjoyable when your drinking too! Eventually (when the restaurant kicked us out) we made our way to one of the two karaoke places in town, stumbling home around 2:30. I fell asleep with my contacts in, which made waking up at 8:00 AM to drag my carcass to work particularly painful.
Tonight, the festivities continue, as I am driving to Obihiro-shi, the largest city around, to meet up with a number of other foreign English teachers. We are going to tabehodai, (all you can eat) which I've heard is particularly popular due to its cotton candy machine. I'll be staying the night, and tomorrow I'll be doing some hiking around a local Shinto shrine.
I still have nothing to do at the office, which on a day like today is a godsend, so I've finally been able to finish the first episode of Tokachi Terebi! I filmed it last sunday after the typhoon from Kyushu passed us by, and we were finally able to see the sun. It's a little retrospective and slow, but so are evening walks. I'm also still experimenting with how best to put my videos online, so while there will always be a copy on Youtube, I'm hoping to be able to do HD flash videos soon. It's very very new technology, so no promises. When I get the chance I'll post the HD version of this one up.
Episode 1: An Evening Walk