Japan Time

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quite the eventful day off.

Embarrassing Moment of the Day:
I went grocery shopping today to finally get some food in my apartment. I rode my bike that I bought from Jen (the teacher I am replacing) - photos to come of the bike later. In Japan, bike riding isn't just for kids; it's for everyone, from businessmen to old ladies. Since I've just moved in and my cupboards are bare, I had to stock up on a lot of stuff. More stuff than I should have since I was riding a bike with only a small basket on the front and some bungee cord on the back to strap stuff down with. Somehow, I loaded everything on the bike. With the front basket piled high, my purse on one arm, and a bag hanging off one of the handles, I pedaled my way back to my apartment. I did really well - just a little wobbly here and there - until I tried to stop. Sure enough, the weight of my groceries overpowered my bike and my balance, and everything went toppling over in the middle of the street. In front of the playground with about five kids, whose laughter I distinctly heard as I scrambled to right myself and my bike. Luckily, my groceries weren't hit by any cars, and the only casualty was my eggs.

"Really, Did That Just Happen?" Moment of the Day:
So, after I dropped AND dropped off my groceries, I took my camera out around Fujieda. I stopped at shrine-looking place that had caught my eye when I first moved in. I'm not sure what it is - the first time I passed it, some men were sitting in one of the buildings, kind of looking like they might be having tea. I figure it's a shrine of some sort, with an area to cleanse with cups of water and another area to write down prayers. So, I was getting ready to walk into into the shrine to take some photos, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man - a NAKED man - running from the middle building to a small building on the right (I didn't actually take a photo of him, but I've made this helpful diagram so you can visualize what I'm talking about). I just kind of stood there, dumbfounded, and then quickly turned my head, realizing that I was holding a camera and starting to look much like a creeper at this point. By the time I looked back, the naked guy was righting himself and pretty much fully clothed. I have no idea what that was about - maybe there's some kind of public shower and tub for cleansing in one of the buildings. Even weirder was the fact that I saw him still kind of lurking around the area - still clothed - and when I turned to look at him, he hid behind a big statue. He must have been super embarrassed...or maybe he was a lurker who wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. But I mean, really...did that just happen?

And just the normal stuff...
I went to the used bookstore here in Fujieda that Jen told me about. It has an English section! Normally English books in Japan are super expensive. BUT this store has them cheap! I bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Cat Who Said Cheese, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Great Gatsby for 1100 yen (about $11.00). I am really excited about this store.

My apartment!

my bike, which I've decided to name "Popeye the Sailor Man"

It's coming along. I bought a really pretty wall hanging today for about $10.00, and I am planning on putting up a lot more photos from home.

Be sure to check out some more photos from my adventures today in Fujieda!


Anonymous said...

Wow!!! A lot had happened since we talked :) Enjoy your first day at work!

Wendy said...

Wonderful! Bri, I love reading your posts (but did you really buy books for $1,100?) :) I'm hoping to get a bike like yours to ride around here!

I love Sherlock Holmes too, happy reading!

Kris Locker said...

the pictures are amazing :)
Tell Japan i said hello and that i miss it a lot.
praying for you.

Brianna said...

Yes, I just realized thst I wrote that books cost $1,100...yeah, not so much. By $1,100 I actually meant $11.00. Thanks, Wendy!

e.r.vigile said...

The place is definitely shaping up, brianna-san. I can just see you riding your little bike around Japan! It's so stinkin cute!

The Other Wook said...

Awesome Bri! Glad you're settling in. Love the bike name.

patrick and mandi said...

The Cat Who books are great! I used to love them when I was younger!

Also, I quite think you should make a book out of your time there. You always happen to have hilarious stories, with awesome pictures to match...

Michelle said...

That is so hilarious about the naked guy. lol. Too funny. Your apartment looks really nice! I'm glad you're getting settled in alright. So will you be riding your bike everywhere? Good exercise :) How big is the town you're in?

Brianna said...

Yes, I am riding my bike and walking everywhere...it's more exercise than I've done in a long time!
Fujieda seems to be about the size of Saginaw...I haven't quite familiarized myself with it yet. It's pretty rural, with a lot of rice fields.