(01/01/05 - 31/01/05)


See January's photos



Arrived back in Japan...
...and headed into Osaka...
02/01/05 - 03/01/05     
Explored Nara
Fed deer, saw temples...
...unfortunately my camera ran out of memory in Thailand, and I haven't got around to getting the disposable camera developed yet, so you're gonna have to wait for the pics!
Highlight:  Standing in a HUGE QUEUE of Nihon-jin at one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Nara, to throw money with the masses, and pray as part of the tradition of visiting a shrine/temple in the first week of the New Year.  Ok, ok, so I'm not religious, but it was a great experience!
Mum left Japan
...and I headed home (this time opting for the more expensive but easier method!)
The apartment's cold, the wind is blowing straight through, and to top it all, it's snowing.  A lot.  :(
I can't wait until spring.
See the pictures
Start of term
Had the opening ceremony this morning.  I thought the apartment was cold - the gym is actually colder (despite the vast turbo-engine-type heater blasting the third graders...).  At least the teacher's room is warm  :)
One of those days...(I mean one of the good ones ;) )
Ok, so it started of not so great with a Japanese lesson in the morning (our weekly session of insults...), but we went out for a bagel lunch ,  then went shopping , then went to Eiheiji (again) to see it in all it's snowy glory , then went to watch the sunset at Mikuni .  To round the day off, we went out for dinner with a crowd of mates for Flick and Neil's birthdays .
See the pictures  
Now this is definitely note-worthy!  There is a very good little Thai restaurant in Fukui City (in fact, there may very well be more than one...).  This one's called "Phuket" ("pu-ke-to" in Katakana), and is south of Sakura dori on Awarakaido dori, on the left hand side as you go away from Sakura.  If you need better directions, email me: cavegirl@cavemantom.co.uk 

It wasn't cheap, but I wouldn't say it was overpriced (about 6,000 yen for both Tom and I.  We had 2 bottles beer, and three dishes + rice, and were DEFINITELY full by the end of it!).  The food was absolutely amazing.  Spicy.  Spicy in Japan!  Proper spicy.  With chilies and everything.  And non-Japanese rice!!!  

Don't expect a nice cozy atmosphere - it's a typical Japanese counter-style place - but it is well worth going!  We highly, highly recommend this place!

Bear's Bar and Creme
After our wonderful Thai meal, Tom and I headed to Bear's bar, sat there (drinking) for a while plotting Stage 2 of our travel plans, then went to Creme to meet up with the crowd...  no photos, though...sorry!  
Japanese Lesson...our failure to go to a festival...Ocean's 12...Haagen Dazs

Well, that about sums up the day, really.  We had yet another Japanese lesson, where sensei told us yet again how FAT and LARGE and BIG and HUGE we are.  Thanks dear.  Feign *shock* and *horror* that we can buy clothes in the land of the vertically- and (more-importantly) horizontally-challenged.  At least she didn't make any crass remarks about the reason for Tom's flat bike tyre.  Again.  

And to think, we pay good Yen for these insults.  (Ok, ok, so it works out to a fiver for an hour and a half, for the both of us, but even so....you think she could come up with some more original incivilities...)

Feeling larger-than-life we set off for the festival/market in Katsuyama, only to find it was this morning.  Ah.  

Headed to Copa, and attempted to hide our massive gaijin bodies in the dark recesses of the cinema...

Culture shock?  Not a bit of it.  You kinda get used to being three times larger than everyone you meet.  And I never thought I'd be tall...Hmmm...I feel another JETFuel article coming on...



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