I suppose we should update our blog, since it's been... 8 months! Geh!
We wouldn't want to bore all the people who actually look at our blog sometimes. Let's see, there's Mikki... and... OK, Mikki is the ONLY one who ever visits our blog. Thanx Mikki!
And to all the other people who don't bother - thanx for nothing! I've been publishing websites since the invention of HTML, and for what? Blah!
(Rant complete: continue blog.)
Anywho, our lives haven't been all that exciting since our last post. We went to the States and Canada, and brought Chihiro back with us. Pet immigration is such an adventure here! We had to take her to the vet like 60 times, and we got to fill out a couple of reams of paperwork. Then when we got here no-one even really looked at the paperwork! But she's here now, and back to her little hellion self.
Cameron and his friends Jay and Marty came to see us a few days after we got back, which was a lot of fun. We did a bunch of short trips around Kobe and Osaka, then they went to Tokyo before going home.
We went to Tokyo ourselves the weekend of Doug's birthday. L'Shawn attended a conference, and Doug hung out with Eri-Chan in Harajuku. (Harajuku is so cool!) We also went to Shakey's and karaoke with Tomo-Chan, and she got Doug a birthday cake. We were lucky to have a chance to meet Kaya for lunch, too. Doug also checked out "Aki-Ba" (Akihabara). (Aki-Ba is ground zero for manga/anime stuff in the world.)
There were some cool figure shops, and a Rei Ayunami ita-shya. "Ita-shya" means "painful car", (because it causes pain when you drive it because it's embarrassing), which can also be used to mean "guilty pleasure". This one was an actual "painful car", though. It was a van covered with images of Rei Ayunami from Neon Genesis Evangelion - one of the most popular manga and anime series ever. It even had a manikin made up to look like Rei-Chan in the driver's seat. (See picture.)
Later we went to a sushi restaurant with Jon and Jordan to celebrate Doug's birthday. Jon and Doug both had fugu! (Blowfish - very poisonous if it's not prepared right.)
We did a day trip to Kyoto with Eri-Chan, Ryoko, Jon, and Jordan to check out the fall foliage at NiJoJo castle, and a temple we never heard of. It was really beautiful, but we had freezing rain all day. After that, we went to a "Mexican" restaurant in Osaka. It was expensive and mediocre, but we had a great time anyway.
Christmas was pretty low-key. We had a tiny tree, ordered Domino's Pizza, and got a nice Christmas cake. (Traditional in Japan.) Doug's class had a Christmas party, as did L'Shawn's school. At Kobe Kaisei (L'Shawn's school) there was much singing and eating of fancy food! L'Shawn got some amazingly beautiful jewelry, and Doug got an airbrush.
New Year's was even more low-key. In Japan New Year's is a quiet family holiday, so not much partying and such going on. The most exciting bit was when the ships in the harbour all blew their horns at midnight.
We went to an aviary in Kobe recently. (Also with Eri-Chan, Ryoko, Jon, and Jordan.) We saw a lot of birds, and some of them posed for pix with us. After that, we went to Ikea on Harbor Island. If you haven't been to an Ikea, it's a lot of fun. (If you like home furnishings, of course!) We went again a couple of weeks ago, and ate there. (The Swedish meatballs weren't too bad.)
We also discovered a great kaiten sushi restaurant called Sushi Ro! Kaiten sushi restaurants have conveyor belts with different stuff, and you just grab plates when you see something you like. The plates are color-coded for price, and when you're finished they just count your plates.
Doug's students introduced us to the Kobe Kokusai KaiKan. It's an organization that helps foreigners living in the Kobe area. We went to apply for Japanese classes, and met a couple of really cool girls from Russia and China! After our interviews, we all went to a great Italian place for lunch.
We both got Japanese teachers, so we're trying not to be so illiterate. Learning Japanese takes a long time! We're pretty fluent in everyday Japanese, which fools a lot of people into thinking we can speak better than we can. So of course we have a lot of weird experiences as a result.
I think that's about it! We're on break now, and we *may* do something fun. In any case, we'll post more often if it seems to be worth the trouble. Please leave comments so we know someone cares!