Saturday, August 28, 2004

Weekends filling up faster than you can say "Another vending machine?"

Hello peeps! Hope you all are doing well and staying out of trouble!

Well today was pretty full on - again! It seems that my weekends are always a buzz of activity, in stark contrast to my first 2 weeks here where I was doing my washing, ironing and grocery shopping. Well I'm still doing all that but my diary for the next few weekends now include squeezing in soccer, BBQ's, shopping in Kobe central (Sannomiya), yet another HAJET beer garden - a 'Back to School' beer garden to be exact but really I'm thinking it's just any excuse for a beer garden! Meeting up with 2 Japanese friends that I met during my high school student exchange to Japan in 1997, then flying back home for 2 consecutive weddings! sheeessh!

So today after doing my washing I headed into Akashi (5 minute train ride?) to meet the other JETs who were going to play soccer and get some practise for the Inter Hyogo AJET Soccer League. Now there were 2 groups of people of the 30+ people that showed up. 1. The hard core soccer players with the proper shoes, socks, sweatbands, shin guards etc and 2. The people who just went down to have a kick around and meet people and didn't really know how to play properly (geee bet you can't guess which group I was in!) The field that we were supposed to be playing in was preoccupied by rows of stalls, picnic-ers, a huge ass stage and speakers. It just happened that there was a big matsuri (festival) going on, with taiko drums and everything! It was pretty cool but we ended up finding some dirt pit to play a few scratch matches on. It was fun and great to meet up with people but boy did my body ache the next day! And my legs! And the hill!!!! Enough said!

Claire (2nd year JET who also happens to be from Perth and lives real close to me!!) had also organised a BBQ at her place that evening , so after soccer a few of us headed there. I got a ride with Jeff in his super kei-car aka suzuki swift(?) with Chris, Bron and Katie (all Perth JETs). Funny enough Jeff is from Canada and he actually worked/holidayed in Perth for 5 months!!! Small world!! We all had showers at my place, walked to the local convenience store to buy some food and then headed to Claire's. So much to eat, and drink (for some but I was good) and we had a great time just chilling out, speaking in English, catching up with mates and playing Jeff's weird but hilarious british drinking game - I promise to teach it to you guys when I get back!

Now Claire's apartment is well wicked! When she got there a year ago, it wasn't furnished or anything but now its so homey and kick-ass! She made her own bed, has a fish tank with cute little fish, has a spare room for guests, has a little BBQ on her balcony and has an amazing vegetable garden!!! I was so inspired that I'm now trying to grow my own mint, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers etc.

Anyway in Japan there is a 0 alcohol limit for driving a car, scooter or riding a bike!! So again we divy-ed up the people and let them crash with us. I had Chris and Jeff at my place for the night and they were such great guests, especially because they showed me this link to the most random and funny old skool GI-Joe cartoons that have been dubbed!! Check it out!! You won't be disappointed!! Its classic! Simply GOLD!! Definately two thumbs up!!

And they made pancakes for breakfast too!! Chris - Mr. Organised (he had made the pancake mixture and put it in a container and even packed in an egg- all in his bag! So impressed!!), Mr. Swiss army knife (he's like a mr. handyman-DIY-Betty frickin' Crocker all rolled into one), Mr. GPS man (apparently he can lead/direct you anywhere, has an amazing sense of direction and is navigator man for Jeff in the car, armed with only a Japanese road map!!! and streets here don't seem to have signs on them!) After breakfast we met up with the others at Porto Bazar and went shopping!! My ironing still needs to be done but now I have a nice new black top! yay!


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