Yesterday was a really really long and tiring day, so I didn't end up updating last night. The day started out with Saki-chan's music day at her school. The whole school was involved in the day, with every class presenting one sung and one instrumental piece. It was fantastic! Unfortunately, because flash photography wasn't permitted, I couldn't get photos - my camera automatically sets to flash when it's too dark, and I haven't worked out how to turn it off. But it was really good anyway. That lasted til just after midday. We walked home, had just enough time to drop gear off and then we piled into the little rental car my family is using while theirs is in getting a service, and went off to a friend's Takoyaki party. The friend lives in Nishinomiya, the next town to the west of Amagasaki. Takoyaki are little battered balls with octopus inside them. They're REALLY good. I also met Kimchi, a popular dish originally from Korea, which is pickled veges in a really really hot sauce. I had noticed other people putting a bit of kimchi on their takoyaki and eating it whole so I thought I'd try it... BIG mistake! It was HOT HOT HOT! Ah well, at least I can say I've tried it.
After the Takoyaki party, we went off to a meeting of their language group, Hippo. It was quite fascinating. 2 hours of about 20 people, all of whom speak a language other than Japanese, discussing a passage written in their chosen language, in Japanese. It was totally amazing. From the point of view of an English-speaker, hearing German or Russian spoken with a Japanese accent is... well, not to be impolite, but it's just weird! Very cool, but weird!
Okay, so after the Hippo meeting, we went down to the first floor of that building to a little Soba (noodles) restaurant with a couple of friends for dinner. They have the traditional tatami-mat flooring, which necessitated removing shoes, and we sat at a long table above a sunken floor, so we could stretch our legs. Considering I'd been sitting on the floor pretty much continuously since about 9am, I greeted this with a considerable deal of relief!!
So, now we're just waiting for Sogo to get home with hotcakes for breakfast. Miki's out in the kitchen, so I'd better go see if I can help out. Today we're going to watch Saki's dodgeball game and then go to an onsen (hot spring) so I'll have another exciting update for you tonight, hopefully - tomorrow, if I'm too tired tonight!!
Mising you all!!