No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

28 September, 2008

My Class

Here's my class this year. I have 16 girls from mostly Asia and Europe. All girls is a unique dynamic that I'm still getting used to.  You would expect them to be little angels....but these girls can talk!  In this picture we had just finished making o-nigiri, a sort of Japanese sandwich that is rice and some sort of filling (tuna, umeboshi, salmon, roe) wrapped up in nori.  We eat them often because they are yummy and cheap.

Got a door that just won't stay open?

Afro Boy can get the job done!

Shopping in Tokyo

art work in Roppongi Hills shopping & entertainment area
Tokyo Tower!
I made Kat pose so I could take an incognito pic of the dogs---I thought dogs had legs.
Shopping in Ginza, home of Prada, Gucci, and now, H&M!  The line to get into H&M (which opened 2 weeks ago) was stretched down the street for a few hundred meters.  


kitchen--thats the oven on top of the little fridge and my stove is the little black rectangle on the left hand side
living room and dining room and kitchen--a pretty standard layout for apartments around here
living room looking into tatami room
bedroom with tatami matting--that window goes through to the balcony
The best part of the whole place!  It faces south so we can watch the fireworks over the Tamagawa River
entry room with a small shoe closet
sink and laundry room
shower and tub--in Japanese culture, you shower before you get in the bath so you are clean when you get into the water that the rest of the family will use for bathing.  
You could stay here!  I'll get you a bed and bedding and maybe even take the bike out!

When we searched for our apartments we had a hard time explaining that we wanted to be far, far away from work.  We would point to one place on the map and the school helper and the agent would point to another one, usually closer to school.  But, a little perseverance paid off and we found 2 places within a 10 minute bike ride of each other.  

Naturally I took the most expensive of all the apartments we looked at.  It's a 10 minute bike ride from school and borders Kinuta Koen, a large city park filled with trees, springs, and the occasional Taiko drummers.  It's a great way to start my day with a bike ride through the park on my way to work.

21 September, 2008

Island Living

the train station at Enoshima

check out all the surfers.  they look like little seals from a distance.

lots of windsurfers in the bay

Last weekend we remembered we live on an island.  Tough to remember when you are hemmed in by buildings, cars, cement and concrete.  Easy to remember when you can take an express train from James's station and arrive at the Pacific Ocean in less than an hour.  The smell of salt and ocean was so sweet after weeks of putting our head down and going about city life.  And, this is no Pacific Ocean water of our Oregon years...this was warm and swimming worthy water.  The black sand beach makes the water look murky, but we had no qualms about jumping in on a hot, muggy day.