Awww yeah! Got me a dictionary! I just bought a second-hand 1971 edition of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary: compact meaning it comes in two multi-thousand page volumes, complete with it's own magnifying glass so you can read the tiny print! There are THAT many words in it. The full version is something like 15 volumes, so I think I'll wait before I buy that. James Murray, I salute you! And it was a snip at Y3000 (15 GBP).
Isn't it funny how just getting outside your own head for a while can totally turn your mood around? I spent Sunday and Monday in the city, getting my haircut, meeting friends that I haven't seen for ages, and getting to know some of the new JETs. I had a really nice time, and am feeling altogether better about the coming year.
On Saturday night, there was a "well done" party for Minoda-ren, my Awa Odori group. The Awa Odori festival has now well and truly finished for the year (what a shame!), so it was time for our crew to finally relax properly and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Of course, it was total fun from beginning to end, but it was also hard work, so our celebration was well deserved. Not that the dancing is finished for Minoda-ren this year: far from it, thank goodness! We dance at our local spot in Miyoshi twice a month until well into November, and there'll probably be things in the way of weddings and other assorted performances that we're asked to dance at. Saturday night was a good time: I didn't go too hard, but I had a lot of fun chatting to people and eating some of the best Japanese food in town at Fujimoto's restaurant.
Sunday saw me hang out with Jenna for the first time in about six weeks. We had a lovely time catching up, and we were joined for an okonomiyaki dinner by Dave, Joe and new Higashiiya ALT Nate.
On Monday, I had the chance to get to know Nate much better, as I joined him zooming around the city in his little Suzuki to run errands. He's a top bloke, has great taste in music, is a climber and frisbee player (joy!), and is totally laid back. We're planning on doing some climbing, some frisbee playing and some hiking in the very near future.
Jo just came back from making his assault on Mount Fuji (I still can't say the name without shaking with anger at how that mountain treated me!). It's a great story, it'll make ya laugh, as Jo is a really great writer. Read it here.
I made some kick-ass yaki-soba last night (stir fry noodles and veggies). So good, I'm going to make it again tonight to use up the vegetables. Healthy, cheap and quick. That's what we like!