Guess this means I should consider getting back into blogging somewhat more regularly again. I might, though it will still likely be somewhat sporadic. No promises and all of that. I enjoy the freedom.
While we are here, I'll give a quick update.
So, yah, it's winter in Japan again. There is still no heat at my school. Daytime temps have been around 45F/7C (sometimes colder) which is fine when you have heat and surprisingly chilly when you don't. I wear layers. I've rekindled my love of knit tights that I hadn't worn since I was about four years old. Some days I wear more than one pair (this year they have some of the footless ones available, too, which is nice as the second layer). I feel fortunate that one room of my apartment has a really decent wall unit heater/AC. The good news is that I spend most of my time in this room. The bad news is that it is not in the same room as my shower. I do have a kerosene heater in my kitchen, though, so that when I exit my shower into my kitchen, my bits and parts don't freeze off.
Christmas is coming. Most of my lessons recently have been dedicated to educating the youth of Tiny Town that
Winter vacation is almost here. Japan basically shuts down for a few days for New Year's. I mean like shuts. down. There is the possibility of no access even to the ATM for a few days. Last year around this time I did a big travel thing to Nagasaki, Beppu and Matsuyama. It cost just a little less than a plane ticket home would have. This year I'm all about saving money with this continued excellent exchange rate, so this year I am sticking a little more local. I'm just doing an overnight in Osaka at a capsule hotel so that I can check it off my list and also probably a big shrine visit on New Year's Eve since it's the Japanese thing to do and something I've never really done (other than a very tiny local shrine once years ago). I'm also signed up for a morning of pounding the living hell out of special rice in order to turn it into mochi at a mochi making event (mochitsuki), another huge tradition in Japan that I've yet to experience. So I have a few things going on, but I'll mostly be taking a relaxing breather and hanging out at home or venturing just to super local places (like nearby cities that have Starbucks and other coffee shops). Cheap and heavenly. I might treat myself to a massage. We'll see.
And, so, that's what's going on here.