Figure that I am almost overdue for an update, and it's due time that I turn something out to satisfy your patiently awaiting curiosities. The past few weeks have been rather slow, documented by only a few significant events and a lot of mediocre
bullshit business that has left me preoccupied.
- Last weekend marked the annual Hadaka Matsuri (naked festival) at Saidaiji in Okayama. You can read about the antics here. It was lots of frozen "butz on butz" in the frigid 30 degree temperatures. There were probably several hundred cheeks that night, either chattered or clenched. All gathered around the temple for the strike of midnight, where a game of push-and-shove ensued, "ancient" scrolls were tossed, and continuous intercom interruptions demanded that the "naked men" stop fighting. After their round of drunken bare-butt embarrassment, and our round of ulcer-inflicting carny food, we grabbed the special 1:10am train back to the land of the sane-and-tightly-bundled for a farewell adieu.
- This past week we had the unfortunate instance to say our final goodbyes to a fellow Kake ESL student-teacher from Wright State. I met Alyssa T. (T-Rock) (and the other WSU ESL student, Alyssa D.) when I first arrived here in September. We've only had a few occasions to hang out, but it was great getting to know her, and I wish her the best. The other Alyssa leaves in a couple weeks and I hope to have another farewell get together, before she heads back to WSU, as well.
- I've been tutoring my guts out these past couple weeks, with no end in sight. It's been a (mostly) nice change of pace having something to occupy my time. It's going to be quite a fiasco when I finally have to tell my six students that I'm no longer scheduling any more lessons. It's been a good experience--teaching adults. I think I might like to do some kind of teaching again some day. I keep thinking ecology, teenagers, rolling mountains, canyons. That or marine life on some warm coast somewhere. Maybe it's just all in due time...