I don`t feel like I`ve stopped moving or having plans since I`ve been here. I like it, but I`m also looking forward to a night with nothing going on so that I can go to the store. Maybe tonight.
Monday night, I think I mentioned, was a casual English conversation class for some adults in the community. We all just got together at someone`s house and ate snacks while we talked. Last night I went to help with English lessons for a couple groups of kids, and after that, we were served an awesome dinner at the sushi shop owned by the parents of the person doing the lessons. We had tempura (shrimp, Japanese eggplant - smaller, tastier than regular eggplant, onion, octopus, and a few other things) over rice, and it was heaven. They even gave us some food to take home.
We had to rush to get to the above place because we were running late from actually getting our cell phones. It had taken 3 trips to the cell phone place, with different people there each time and different explanations each time, all in Japanese and none of the plans, especially for data, making sense even in English or even to any of the Japanese people I asked who weren`t on the other side of the counter at the store. I think people just give up and sign up with something. That`s what we finally did. I can`t really explain it because I`m still not sure I get it, but I just hope my bill isn`t a gazillion yen or something. Incoming calls are free, at least, unless I misunderstood. In any case, what I thought would be a 30 minute or less stop at the store turned into 2 hours.
In the end, I got this phone, the Sony Premier3. It does a whole bunch of stuff, but since my laptop is from the States, I can`t use the software to transfer music. I would be able to watch TV on it, but I`m surrounded by beautiful green mountains (of which I still owe you pictures, maybe next post, but I was up fiddling with my phone instead of posting). Being able to beam contact information between cell phones is cool, as is the whole taking a picture of special barcodes to get info into your phone thing. The phone menus are in English, but that`s not always so helpful, and the huge ass manual is all Japanese, all the time.
Tonight, no plans except to check out one of the handful of stores in town that I haven`t already visited and to try to get my apartment in better order before my friend comes on Friday. She is a teacher I taught with in Shizuoka Prefecture when I did this a decade ago, and she`ll come down to Okayama Prefecture Friday, then we`ll go to Kobe together and stay overnight. I cannot wait to see Kobe! I`ve only been there once, and that was for a meeting with little chance to explore. I need to get caught up on pictures on here soon because I have a feeling we`ll be taking lots more. Other plans are in the works, including another trip to Okayama Castle and its gardens, plus a cottage on a small island on the inland sea in a couple of weekends, but I`ll save all that for another time since I need to try to figure out how I`d use my phone if I ever wanted to, you know, actually call someone on it.