Catching Up

We’re back on the crazy schedule that comes with actually having to work — waking up at obscene hours, yet still getting to work just in time to get our minds and materials in order to teach. I thought having a daycare at our school would somehow make our mornings less hectic, but so far that isn’t happening. Evenings are crazy regardless of where we ditch Ray during the day, and we are still getting back into our groove in terms of processing life when we get home. Lots of dinners at 8 p.m., bathing and otherwise tending to the boy, and hopefully by 10 things have calmed down. Needless to say, after having a month and half off of work, two day weekends are not nearly adequate for accomplishing all the things we want or need to do.

So here is a brief representation of the past week, starting last Sunday when I rode my bike out to the beach.

If you have ever been to Japan, you no doubt marveled at how clean the cities are here. The great irony is that all the man-made spaces are immaculate, while the natural ones are often polluted beyond belief. Here, the beaches are disgusting during the winter, littered with all manner of garbage and fishing equipment. The cliche is that Japanese blame their neighbors to the west for all of this unsightliness, but if you pay any attention you will see that the majority of the crap is from Japan. Come late spring they clean all the beaches and for a while they are as clean as the cities, at least for a little while.

I am always a bit morbidly curious to see what kind of interesting things have washed ashore during the winter storms. The beach is such a mangled tangle of driftwood, fishing equipment, plastic bottles, lots of shoes for some reason, and an assortment of other debris. In the summer, I find a lot of random produce washed up — far more preferable to what comes in during the winter.

During my short walk along the beach last weekend I saw the usual culprits.





But the biggest surprise was Russian bug spray.


I always wonder where this stuff came from. Did it fall a boat somewhere? Or did someone toss it in the water from a beach in another country? Interesting to think about, but still pretty depressing considering how much junk must be floating around in the ocean.

On a happier not, we had a beautiful sky one evening this week, not sure which day it was at the moment.


And of course, it’s cherry blossom season in Japan. If you read any Japan-related blogs in the next week, the vast majority of them will have pictures of cherry blossoms and hanami parties. I am no different.



We haven’t had any time to enjoy them so far, and naturally it is supposed to rain tomorrow since it’s the weekend. Hopefully sunday will be  better and I can properly document the occasion. For now, Ray and I have had to settle for the row of trees that line the elementary school next to our neighborhood.


I suppose that’ll do it for tonight. Way past my bedtime and I’d like to get up early tomorrow, seeing as we have a mere 48 hours to devote our lives solely to ourselves. Hoping to get another post up over the weekend if I can get out and take some good pictures. Until then, good night.


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