Wednesday, June 29, 2011

友達 from Texas

A big shout out to my 友達 (friend) from Texas, Martin! A couple weeks back he made the grueling trip from good ole' San Antonio all the way to Oshima to spend some time with Michelle and I. I know it takes a lot of time and money to make the trip, and Michelle and I really appreciate that he made it out.

I'm sure like most people who are staying in rural Japan for the first time, Japan turned out to be not entirely what he was expecting. Rural Japan is a far cry from the images of Tokyo and Osaka that most people associate with all of the country. It was great to show Martin how we live our life out on our island. It was also funny to see how accustomed Michelle and I have become to things here (and also how bad our English has become, ha!). We hardly even notice anymore when people stare at us for being foreigners. With Martin here and pointing it out we realized again how much we get gawked at everyday. Martin's visit was also a huge boost for us emotionally. For the soon to be ex-JET, June is really a month of limbo. You are about to leave and everyone knows it so no one can really start anything new with you, but you are still two months out from going so it still feels like you have a long time left and you really can't say "goodbye" yet. Martin came over at the perfect time for us, and now Michelle and I both feel rejuvenated and committed to making our last month in Japan a great one. 

In the week that Martin was here we covered quite a bit of ground. He flew into Fukuoka, so we spent some time there, stayed on our island Oshima for a few days, visited Iwakuni (where a famous temple and the five arch bridge is), and stayed a weekend in Hiroshima. In Hiroshima we got to experience all the fun crazy that constitutes life in a big Japanese city too - a baseball game (with the beloved but horrible Hiroshima Carps), purikura and karaoke. Fun times indeed.

Exploring the old Samurai quarters in Iwakuni

Kintaikyo Bridge

A live Japanese baseball game is infinitely more entertaining than an American one...

Throwing the chicken skewers down at Sanzoku in Kuga

What can sum it up better than this purikura pic?

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