Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Saturday was also the day we finally got to meet Kristin from Cincinnatti. She was supposed to arrive on Thursday and have three days of crossover with Jo, but she slipped a disk in her back and couldn't even walk on Wednesday so her arrival was delayed to give her some time to rest. She is doing much better now and Megan (trainer from Honbu who used to teach in Inuyama) will come to Inuyama next week to help Kristin out with her first week of classes.
The new foreign teachers at Inuyama, Kristin and myself
Takamasa, Takayuki, Wataru and Kana-sensei
Maiko, me, Minoru, Yama and Takayuki
Shirokiya karaoke room
After the party at Al Centro a couple of the students went to karaoke with Jo and me at Shirokiya down the street. We all squeezed into a rather small room (which is normal for Karaoke rooms), ordered some more drinks and more food and started singing. Unfortunately they did not have a book of sung arranged by the English alphabet, like most karaoke rooms do, so Jo and I had a hard time to find some songs to sing. But with the help of our Japanese friends we managed just fine.
A very popular and very crazy English teacher
Everybody singing Yesterday by the Beatles
Wataru and Jo beautifully performing Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On ;)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
For dessert (lovely sweet fruits) and a bowl of rice with salmon, seaweed and green tea (in the bowl with the rice) and coffee they escorted us to a room in the back which also had a karaoke machine! Of course we all had to sing a song! Here you can see Yasu's parents singing a Japanese song together, they were very cute.
And here you can see Hiromasa in action, who didn't really want to sing but we all managed to persuade him to sing a song! Yasu and I sang Have A Nice Day by Bon Jovi (who else) but I thought I would spare you guys that awful picture :):)! Yasu is leaving for the States soon for some seminar in Califronia, so I'm not going to see him for 6 weeks, I'm going to miss him so much! But in the meantime I'm going home for a few days so that'll be so awesome!
Monday, July 09, 2007
All men have little boys inside of them, and so does Yasu. He really enjoyed playing with these puzzle-like building blocks and afterwards he proudly showed me the face he made. Aren't little boys cute?!
We also found these cute little guys somewhere in the robotshop, who all peacefully moved their heads from one side to the other. At first the whole sight came across as a little creepy, but after looking at them for a while we decided they were very relaxing to look at... Of course my favorite was the pink one, which apparently brings you luck in love, well I'm pretty lucky in that area already :).
And I have been cooking on a regular basis too! After Yasu introduced me to his version of yakiniku (Korean BBQ) during our weekend in Rurikei, I have been copying it all week. Japanese sesame dressing makes every salad taste awesome and the yakiniku tare (sauce) adds a great taste to any meat or vegetable cooked in my new grilling pan!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Here you can see my boyfriend waving at me from the deck surrounding the front of the house.
This is the view we got to wake up to two wonderful mornings last weekend, it's so peaceful and beautiful. It's certainly very different from the small highway I get to stare at from my apartment in Inuyama. The only noise you can hear in Rurikei is the water streaming through the mountains and some birds in the morning. Imagine that!
This is what relaxed looks like!
The happy couple enjoying a relaxing weekend without any kind of stress or obligations, mmm wonderful! It was such a nice break from my busy life of lesson planning in my tiny apartment or even tinier classroom. On Sunday morning Yasu made us a wondeful breakfast consisting of numerous fresh fruits and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice squeezed by Mr. Kotera himself. What more does a girl want? He totally spoiled me! We spent the rest of the day driving around (it was raining so we couldn't walk around), watching a movie and relaxing even more at the local spa, where we enjoyed a jacuzzi, back massagers in the form of a waterfall, a herbal bath, a sauna, a steambath, a foot massager, and of course the famous onsens! Lucky for me, these were onsens where you could wear a swimsuit (I am not quite used to the whole naked thing yet) and it was not seperated by gender, so Yasu and I could enjoy it together. It was great sitting in an almost boiling onsen while it was pouring cold rain on our heads, it kind of felt like an old romantic Japanese movie (not that I have seen any, but that is what I imagine such a movie would be like).
Monday morning we went back to Amagaski because Yasu and his father had a business meeting that afternoon. Here they are enjoying a pre-meeting ramen lunch in a tiny restaurant. The ramen was really good and restored my appetite for ramen, after I lost it in Nagoya due to particularly tasteless bowl of ramen, during my training week. While Yasu and his dad were having a very succesful business meeting downtown Osaka, I spent my time searching the streets of Osaka for a stationary store called The Loft. I had been there in 2004, but we didn't have enought time back then to really do some decent shopping. I finally found it after 45 minutes of walking up and down the same streets again and again, and being unable the understand the Japanese directions of friendly strangers who tried to help a lost foreigner. But I ended up buying basically nothing, as I seem to have lost the art of shopping for stationary ;). After having to sell all my stuff (mostly unused because I considered it too fancy to be used) before my big move to Japan, I just can't seem to convince myself anymore that I need all kinds of beautiful paper and pens in all colors available. Ow well... another small fortune of yen saved!
After his meeting, my boyfriend the businessman picked me up at The Loft, because I wasn't sure whether I would find my way back. We enjoyed a nice Caramel Machiato and Caramel Frappucino at Starbucks before we did some windowshopping in Osaka, after which we headed back to Amagasaki.
Yasu's mother cooked us a lovely Sukiyaki nabe dinner right at the table, which was simply delicious, and it was really nice being able to speak (or rather somehow communicate) with Yasu's parents, after all the last time I saw them was about 2.5 years ago. After dinner Yasu brought me back to Amagasaki station and we said goodbye for only five days, because on Saturday he will be back in Nagoya!
P.S. My own parents are currently enjoying their 2-week-honeymoon in Rome, Italy! How romantic! I hope they are having the time of their lives!