Thursday, August 06, 2009

Random Vegetables and Show and Tell

Last night I finally got all of the pictures that have been living in my camera out of it, narrowed down and ready to post. Well, mostly. Then I decided that I should be outside enjoying the beauty around me instead, so I went for an easy bike ride around town, stopped at a couple of the not many stores in town, smiled about how thrilled I am just getting to live here in Japan again and picked up a few things and came home. Then I worked on the pictures again until one of the other JETs in my town came over for a couple of very cold beers and chitchat.

When I got to school this morning, one of the teachers had brought me goya, known in English by folks other than me (I`d never heard of it) as "bitter melon" or "balsam pear." This all started because yesterday I was given cucumbers, and somehow the question of goya came up and whether I`d tried it. I hadn`t. This morning, I was given three of them (they look like extra bumpy thin cucumbers). Plus a little lunchbox looking container complete with a couple of samples of foods made with goya, like a little salad and a little something else and then a little jello cup or juice - not sure, just put it in the fridge for lunch.

People are so very nice here. Seriously. I`m so grateful I got this placement and not where I`d originally requested. I`d made my peace with it and knew it would be awesome, but I didn`t realize it would be this awesome.

Before pictures I just want you to know that I have figured out how to post pictures to Twitter from my crazy new cell phone. I have no idea what it costs me to do so because nothing was clear. So I won`t be doing a lot of that. I may or may not know how to make or receive a call. Haven`t tried. I just walk to see the people I want to talk to. Or email them. Since I have internet at home sooner than feared. Which rocks.

OK, now, finally, the first batch of pictures (there are 48, but only 16 here; I`ll share the others in the next few posts):

Mid-Flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport
to Okayama Airport
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
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More Mid-Flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport
to Okayama Airport
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
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Breakfast of Champions
(this sustained me for 3 years last time)
Canned coffee and CalorieMate
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Mabo-Don
(pronounced mah-bo doh-n)
(basically mabodofu/tofu over rice, since don means over rice)
There are about 3 restaurants in town.
One is Chinese. They are gods.
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My predecessor couldn`t take the flowers with her, so
they brightened my desk those first dark internetless days.
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Flowers Around Town
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Green. Ricefields. Love.
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Reading Material
(food magazines are great just for the pictures of yumminess)
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Old Faves, Japan-Style
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Surprisingly Good
There is an odd thing going on here with the KitKat folks.
They keep making all these really strange flavors.
Like Apple Vinegar. And it`s actually awesome!
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Coffee. Mt Ranier Reference. Happy.
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See What I Mean When I Say Beautiful?
Just a view around town. But wow.
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Fog and Tracks and Hills
Saturday, August 1, 2009
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Train Station
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Beauty Reflected All Around
(plus half of me)
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Too Pretty to Title
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Don`t Go In There
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Yah, and that`s only the first one-third of the pictures I have ready to share. The next installment will continue to be chronological with what happened next and where the train took me. It involves Okayama Castle. And a festival. Plus I keep taking more. And Kobe is this weekend. Tonight, more just hanging out around town. Maybe trying to cook goya. Tomorrow, the picture train rolls on.

9 comments:

  1. Wow, the rice fields are so pretty (and so green!). And ha, I guess it's the power of global branding that I can recognize what half the products are, even though they are in Japanese :)

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  2. So glad you got your Internet up at home. The scenery looks fabulous. I love the proximity to the mountains, it really puts the small town feel to things. Are there any hiking trails you can get to easily? I would love the town just for the mountains if nothing else. Really pretty, and everything is so green.

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  3. I'm so glad your home internet is finally working! YOur pictures are beautiful. when I scrolled past the one of the cereal boxes it made me giggle. When LW was 3, a friend went to Mexico and brought back a GIANT box of Frosted Flakes for him, only in Mexico they are called Zucaritas. He had never had frosted flakes before and to this day whenever he asks for them he calls them Zucaritas. :D

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  4. It looks and sounds amazing! And it's only the second week!

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  5. wow, what a beautiful colourful place. and so GREEN....

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  6. Oh, Maggie. It's been more than 40 years since I was in Japan. It is now as it was then - beautiful. I am SO glad that your assignment is turning out to be 'awesome'. That's just great.

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  7. Oh what gorgeous pictures! Thank you so much for sharing with us, and letting us see that part of the world too. Those green ricefields are absolutely beautiful!!!!

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  8. It looks beautiful! Keep the pics coming!

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  9. yay! i'm off the internet for a couple of days and look at all the stuff i miss! so thankful you have so much more internet than you thought!!!

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