wow! nine weeks already!
I've had the laziest of lazy days today, just reading and eating and sleeping........ and deliberating doing other things, but not quite getting around to them. Bliss!
I don't have a TV here and have no intention of getting one. I didn't realise how liberated not having a television makes you feel, and it certainly makes me think of all the hours I used to waste watching crap television. Yup, I used to be addicted to Eastenders, Holby City, Hollyoaks, Casualty, Bad Girls.... and anything voyeuristic like Wife Swap, Big Brother, etc.
I mean, I have a brain, I think and I do have more interests than just staring passively at moving pictures and not learning anything from them. I suppose this just drums home how exhausted mentally I used to be when I got home from my old job, and how talking to people or 'doing' anything was generally beyond me, I was THAT drained every day. And not in a good way.
Of course, I am probably spending too much time on the net, but nobody is perfect. And, more positively, I've been reading like a mad thing since getting here. One of the books, Margaret Atwood's 'The Blind Assassin', is one of the best books I've read in absolutely ages. I couldn't put it down and had to reread huge chunks again afterwards. About 3/4 of the way through, I started getting that despondant feeling that I always get with gripping books: the knowledge it'll soon be finished and how long will it be until you get a book that equals it.
I also quite liked the first story in Banana Yoshimoto's 'Kitchen' book, but only because I was reading things and knowing I did them, or I'd seen them. It was quite sweet though, if not a tad disappointing. I didn't think much of the second one.
Another one that gripped me, and that I've just finished, is Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'. Generally, with exceptions of things like Harry Potter, I try to avoid books surrounded by too much hype, but my neighbour had this book. Have you read it? What did you think? I was totally gripped, and it's always nice for a book to be set somewhere you're familiar with. I wonder just how many mass 'secret' societies there are that hold power. Actually, another book I really enjoyed ages ago, on conspiracy theorists was Jon Ronson's 'Them', where he 'befriends' groups in order to get to know more about them.
And finally got around to trying out Isabel Allende, and read, 'City of the Beasts'. Another book I really enjoyed. Good adventure stuff. Actually, I didn't have a clue what the book was when I bought it. It was the day I was in a rush and dashing around the bookshop. I've been meaning to read some of Allende's work for ages, and wasn't disappointed.
But enough about literature for now. Let's talk about apples.
I'm obsessed with fruit, if you hadn't guessed and, as mentioned before, see it a treat to have one 200 yen apple a week. Can you imagine my absolute delight when student who brought me in bag of persimmons the other week, gave me a bag with four massive apples? By massive I mean, it's a two hand job to eat them, and I don't have tiny hands by any shot of the imagination. Think of the biggest cooking apple you've ever seen - these are bigger. They are so juicy you have to slurp as you eat, and taste as sweet as honey and are as crunchy as a bag of crisps (potato chips). Heaven! I love my students!! I was asking a couple of them about Japanese vegetables, and she's going to invite me and another student to her house to cook for us both in the new year. YAY!
I swear I'll never be a skinny cow. I love food too much. Oh well!!! The way I see it, food is there to be enjoyed. It's not just for survival.
I'm still in love with the service you get in Japan. Every assistant greets you in the shops, and even if you touch everything and buy nothing, they still thank you. I know it means nothing, but I love it!
And even if you buy fast food, they take so much care with folding your bag over and nipping in the corner....... It's nice! It makes a difference, and is certainly better than being served by some stroppy little spotty cow who'd rather be doing anything but serving you.
I bought a can of pop the other day, and I have no idea what they made the can from, but none of us could squeeze or dent it!
Sunday was nice. I went out to lunch with one of my colleagues, a school manager and some others, and we had a lovely relaxing lunch, before hiring boats on the lake. The boat I was in was a huge swan. The bloody thing wouldn't go under the bridges on the lake though. We were all very silly and in all, with the weather being lovely as well, it was a fun day.
I have a new neighbour. Another teacher working for the same company. He came around and introduced himself in the morning. Nice lad. Later I was in the kitchen and heard English voices outside, so went to investigate, and another of my neigbours, who I hadn't met (there are seven of us in the block of about 16 flats) was talking to new neighbour outside. We're all planning to go drinking next weekend.
Dried fish is massive here. As beer food. Think pork crackling I guess. Anyway, I've so far resisted buying a bag of dried squid to munch on. Or dried octopus. Or dried sprats. Or any of the many other delights on offer. And even the mixed nuts and dried fish bags (seriously) have so far not tempted me. I feel sure I will give in one day. But there's no rush!
Actually, I had my first ever oyster on Sunday. Are you meant to swallow them whole, or chew? Anyhow, I didn't think that much of it. It seemed an expensive way to have cold, slimy lemon.
Did I somehow miss something?