Published: October 23rd 2004October 23rd 2004
is what our travel guide taught us on my trip in Kyushu. It's the only thing she said in um...english the entire time. And she talked the ENTIRE TIME on her beloved microphone, which was about 8 hours...even if everyone was asleep. I have no idea what she was saying for most of it, but I can only guess that she was pointing out various, exciting attractions like Circle Ks and another store I saw called "Hello Green Every."
So, yes. I went to Kyushu, which is a different island (south) from where I live. It was a trip with the mayor's office and board of education office and we went to Kuramoto, Nagasaki, Saga, and Fukuoka prefectures. Mostly, they look like the other parts of Japan that I've seen, but with palm trees. But I had a great time.
I'm sure I've made it clear in my webjournals that Japanese people (men especially) like to drink. Well, I really had no idea. We got on the bus at 5:30 AM and out comes the Suntory whiskey. Throughout the day, beer after beer and sake after sake were consumed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between...amazing. The funniest thing was to see all the old, serious-by-day/fraternity-boy-by-night, men dancing around and singing karaoke in their "yukatas" (like bathrobes.) There were also some costumes at the karaoke place, which several of the men decided to try out and prance around in (all dresses). And when I was finally pursuaded to sing, the lady comes out with this huge, hideous wedding-like dress and hands it to me while I'm singing. I just looked at her like, are you crazy? and then she proceeded to pick up my leg and force me to put it on. What was I to do? So...when I finally had it on, my song was over so I curtsied (sp?) and took it back off.
Well, I finally broke down and ate raw horse. ...and its actually pretty good! I also ate some famous and deadly blowfish, which is posionous and can kill you if it is prepared and cut incorrectly. The chefs have to go to a special school to learn how to do it. It wasnt that great, but at least I can say I ate it...I think thats what its all about anyway.
One of the days, I decided to get up early and go jogging around the city of Kumomoto. It was before sunrise and I was trying to find this really nice track I had seen from my hotel window, but instead I wound up getting really lost. After an hour, I started to get really worried because I was supposed to shower and meet everyone for breakfast soon. It would have been easy if I had remembered the name of the hotel. But instead, I had to ask a taxi driver where the hotel with the green sign was. He just laughed at me and told me to get in...we drove around until we found it. He, of course, wouldnt take any money...people in Japan are nice. And of course, the hotel had a really easy name like "Grand Hotel Kumamoto." Duh.
Spencer also had a good weekend and I know this because he called me 4 times to tell me all about it. HaHa. I'm sure you'll hear all about the "fire festival" soon.
And lastly...Spence and I are both ok. I don't know if anyone has heard about typhoon #5 billion 63, but it was the biggest yet and killed about 60 people. A train in Nagano was derailed and rolled down the side of a mountain. And also, just a few hours ago, there was a really big earthquake in Niigata. I dont know many details about it, but I hear it was pretty bad.
Well, enough from me. Hope all is well.
Love and miss,