Monday, August 11, 2008

One week and Counting

So I don't need a lot of grief about not posting. I apologize but I just don't have easy access and I am currently skipping a lovely home cooked meal so lets work on being nice to each other. Now where did I leave off. Right we had a big day in Kagoshima shopping, well not really shopping but buying our tickets to Nagasaki for our side trip. This is the kids having lunch right before that.

Gotta love getting drivethrough in the basement of a mall. We ended up doing some reminiscing down town and this is the kids in one of the main shopping arcades after having played in a fountain in the main park. Fountain was all about video. You will have to see that later.

This was a lovely Yaki-niku dinner we have. Basically you organize all the ingrediants and then cook them on the big teppan (portable griddle/grill) in the middle of the table. After being cooked you dip the items in one of a couple of sauces. Goes very well with beer. As do most things when its 35 with 80 percent humidity. Currently I go through two outfits every day.

This next shot is of a lunch we had with the wife's cousin and her kids. Everytime we get together with other kids it is great. I was being a little pissy today as we had to break plans with one of my friends to get together with relatives who called at the last minute. In the end out went out that evening with my friend and the kids as I mentioned had a good time so I really shouldn't have got my knickers in a twist. This cousin is also the owner of the car (7 passenger van) that we have had unlimited use of the whole time we have been and will be here. They claim they don't use it but I mean come on. So yeah it was important we got together and we want to get together again some time in the next week.
Here are the semi that we caught in the park. Dad did his magic with bug net in the park behind the house and everyone had a semi to play with. If you ever get a chance to see the video I have taken the constant buzzing noise you will hear is these critters at work. They are only above ground for two weeks of their lives and they sure make the most of it. Also for those of you who were there can you believe the kid beside the daughter is the same baby that was at our wedding 7 years ago. Wow. So I don't know if this means he will be a serial killer but our son is definitely torturing this cat. He loves the cat so much he grabs and cradles it in his arms all the time. Sometimes he grabs it by the tail, sometimes by a leg, sometimes by a big fold of skin, I had to tell him off sharply the other day when he picked it up by the head. The funny thing is the cat hasn't turned on him yet. It will actually sit there and enjoy the petting it gets sometimes. Truely the most mild mannered cat I have ever met.
So this is us the afternoon we arrived in Nagasaki, which it turns out is even more hot and humid than Kagoshima. Something about being in a valley. Here we are up by glovers garden. I am still undecided whether the stroller was more of a help or a hinderance. Too many stairs in Nagasaki. It reminded us a bit of San Franciso. This is a famous catholic church which has been here since 1600. I think it must have been damaged in WWII but it is pretty far from the bomb epicenter so it may have survived. Under this is a picture of gyoza. The daughter is truly crazy for Gyoza. I think she could live on Gyoza. We had a double order and she was hungry for more. However we had also ordered this lovely saraudon (crispy noodles with stir fry ladled on top) and the Japan famous Nagasaki Champon (picture not shown but it was taken). These were also lovely and the place we ate them at was so cute, seating for 12 -14 people. One guy running the whole show. Super reasonable prices. We almost ate here twice. The next day we went to the Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb museum. This was August 6th, 3 days before the annual memorial service commemorating the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki on the 9th of August. It was a pretty heavy day and the daughter was pretty shaken up after the visit to the museum. Some of the pictures were pretty brutal and she had the usual questions. No pictures allowed in the museum but I recommend going. Something we should never forget.

That afternoon we went back to the hotel and enjoyed napping the airconditioned climate controlled environment. The wife went out for a long walk and found a nice place for dinner. It is an Izakaya, basically a pub, but there are not age restrictions and the food is cheap and good. They also had a 2 hour nomihodai (all you can drink) for about 12 bucks. I was prohibited from taking part as the wife mentioned that I had begged off having beers with the inlaws the night before we left claiming I had been drinking too much. So I couldn't really get into it, but I sure wanted to. The shish kabobs are called yaki-tori and were awesome. They also made amazing tempura. I had the best tempura shitake mushroom I have ever eaten. I may never have them again so as not to soil the memory of that one. The last day in the morning we walked around and visited some temples, had lunch at the station and got back on a train bound for Kagoshima. We sat beside a mom and 10 year old son from San Fran. She is originally from Miyazaki so we had some great english/japanese conversations and Kiyomi got to play some card games so the trip went faster.

Okay we are up to yesterday. We went and visited one of the wife's friends who has a brand new (1 month) baby and a 5 year old daughter. This friend and her husband are both teachers and just had a brand new house built. It was very lovely. Some day, some day. I didn't realise this but if you get stuck at the wrong high school you basically don't get a summer vacation. Now they only teach about half time compared to what I teach, way more prep time during the day, but the vacations are way worse and they have tonnes of meetings to go to. Tough comparison but I still like my current situation.Then last night we have te-maki sushi done up so well. I also managed to put back about 5 500 ml beers. Well what do you expect. The olympics are on live, in prime time and Japanese feature in everything. There is Judo on everday, which reminds me, when I am done this I have to do some research on Judo so I can better understand what is going on. Kitajima just won the gold medal in the 100m breast stroke and watching that live with the fam was great. The koshien high school all Japan baseball tournament continues and the team from Kagoshima has made it through to the third round. On top of all that I am getting some pretty good runs in. Life is treating me, us, very well and we are having a great time. I am getting close to wanting to be back in the Forks, and I really want to see how my poor garden is fareing in my absence. But hey, that is what vacations are all about.

Will I get another post off before heading back east, to the west coast. Only time will tell. Lots of fun to be had and I am loving everyone elses blogs. Wish I had a chance to sit back and give them all a leisurely read and comment. But time is money. I am outtie. Love to all.

1 comment:

von grudegin said...

thanks mang. that was the love i was looking for.