August 21, 2006

Tokyo Trip part 1 - Painful Prelude

Well, I got to see the inside of a Japanese ambulance on Thursday. It's pretty much just like Canadian ones, except for the guys ask you all the questions in Japanese. Imagine that! Answering questions in another language is bloody difficult when you're in a lot of pain and I really don't recommend it.

Sitting on the floor of my apartment watching TV before breakfast then suddenly going from a stiff back to wracked with pain and unable to move would be scary at home. Add in the fact that I don't know where the nearest hospital is and that it took me four calls to get a friend on the phone who could help me and I fully admit to being terrified.

A trip to the hospital and a short stay later I found out that Japanese hospital charges are lower than ours and I should be fine. BUT! I wouldn't wish kidney stones on anyone I didn't have a serious hate-on for. Seriously not recommended.

For those of you who don't already think I'm crazy, I didn't cancel my trip to Tokyo. The bus left at 10pm Thursday night and I was on it. I did feel like someone had been using my torso as a punching bag for several days though. Made it to Tokyo without any trouble and had a great time. Stay tuned for details on that later this week!

August 06, 2006

Sometimes the bruises are worth it.

Now don't go thinking anything sordid you perverted readers!

Over the weekend here Fukui held it's annual "Phoenix festival". The symbol of Fukui prefecture is a phoenix, because the city has been destroyed several times due to war, fire, and earthquakes. The festival is great fun. For three days they set up tons of kiosks with food, drink and some games. There is a huge yosakoi dance festival on Saturday night and it's just a great time. Oh yeah, it's not illegal here to walk on the street with a drink either, so you can imagine there were a lot of folks out who'd had a fair share to drink.

Some of the students and teachers from school spent a few hours having dinner then headed down to check out the festival. It was tons of fun and there should be some good pictures coming. I was with friends who actually had digital ones, so hopefully I'll be able to post some soon.

I didn't stay out at late as a lot of my friends because I had to be up fairly early to go rafting in the morning. There were a few hungover rafters among our group though! hehehe>:) Rafting was a ton of fun, just like last year. We did have a few scares though. Lotus got tossed out of her raft at the first rapids, but handled herself well and was rescued without too much trouble.

Valerie had never gone rafting before and was dumped badly twice. The second time we both went under, her first then me basically right on top of her. I don't remember being afraid, just thinking that I needed to get her head above water. I was able to roll over, lift her out and push her towards the rocks on the side where someone helped her to shore. I got stuck in the rapids but just let my lifejacket do its work and grabbed the first rock I could hang onto.

Scrapes and bruises aside I had a good time and would go again. You might have a little more trouble convincing some of the others though!

The pictures are coming, really!

August 02, 2006


Well I bought my ticket home on Monday, paid for it Tuesday. Started telling friends and co-workers about the when/where on Wednesday. It's a little strange. I don't really feel like I'm going anywhere yet, even though I've been trying to pack and all that kinda stuff for quite a while now. I still have a fair bit to sort through and try to stuff into boxes that are going to cost a fortune to mail home.

As much as I may complain about my apartment and the annoyances of my job I'm going to be really sad to leave. I like Japan a lot, and the people here (ok, most of them) are great. If I had a job in my chosen field and a house / living space bigger than a postage stamp I would consider making this home. However, that's not really an option right now, and I am certainly looking forward to coming home mid-September.

Now if only I had a new job waiting...