Saturday, June 30, 2007

yeah, I crossed that bridge

I went hiking today at a place called Oku-Nikkawa. I filled up my memory card but a lot of the photos didn't turn out because it was a bad day for lighting. Oku-Nikkawa is barely a town, just a train platform and a couple buildings, but it has a camping area and a few trails, and from the train platform you can hear the rushing of water from the valley below. It was fantastic to get out of the city and get away from people. (It was less than fantastic getting back on the train soaked in humidity and sweat and rain, and go back to Sendai Station where all the businesspeople were commuting home in their suits.) I discovered that the "river walk" actually goes THROUGH the river and it was just too cold and the bottom of the creek too rocky to keep wading, so I headed up to the mountain trail instead.
The train passes over the trail at a couple of points, but I forgot that when I went down a little side trail back down to the creek. I was crouching at the edge of the water taking my usual super-fascinating close-up photos of moss and lichen when I heard thunder, and thought, "that's weird, I thought Japan didn't get thunderstorms--hey, sounds like it's getting closer--oh my god ROCKSLIDE OH MY GOD oh right it's just the train." Turns out there was a bridge almost directly over my head that was concealed by the thick vegetation. At least I was alone so there was no one to see me jump up and overreact like a moron. Except for how I just, you know, told the whole internet.

Oh, and today I taught someone the difference between "she's wearing a bikini" and "she wears a bikini." Not a big deal? Think about the difference between "she's drinking" and "she drinks."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Matsushima, ah!

Maybe it's all the Cocktail Partners, but I just have nothing to add.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

now try it with one hand tied behind your back!

Think it's a pain in the ass calling tech support in your own country? Try doing it in a foreign country! That's right, fans and friends, I have just spent two hours testing my patience. It's amazing--I don't consider myself a patient person, generally, and especially not in traffic, but the knowledge that I am the outsider in the situation, the person for whom special consideration is being offered, makes me capable of putting up with an awful lot. Or maybe the fact that my support person (supporter?) spoke little English and I (still) speak next to no Japanese made it easier--everything was said very slowly, clearly, and deliberately, with no extraneous chit-chat or nonsense, and although it took ages, I did resolve a few things. I'm still not quite up to full speed, possibly because of a virus (yay!), but I'm working on it. I must say I am really enjoying spending my whole day off on it, too, when I could be at the beach or in the mountains. Whatever, HP, that's cool.

More pictures, less bitching, when all my problems (well, at least my computer problems) are resolved.

p.s. I finally got my gaijin card the other day--I'm officially a resident alien now.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Originally uploaded by safety dance.
I took a rainy-day walk up to this temple that overlooks the city. Since it was a rainy Thursday, I was the only person there, alone with the screaming birds and the ashes of people who've been buried there. It was lovely.