Monday, June 20, 2005

Plans, gotta have plans....

Well it's been another great weekend in Utsunomiya. Went to see Sahara yesterday with Shige and Sayaka, then had dinner at a nice place called Robert's. I only spotted 3 major differences between Ottawa and Utsunomiya movie Theaters.
1. They're a good chunk more expensive (1800 yen or 18$ CAD for a movie as opposed to 1000 yen or 10$ CAD back home)
2. For the relative height of Japanese people and thus the length of their legs... there's a heck of a lot more leg room in the theater we went to. I could fully extend my legs and not touch the seat in front of me... in Canada, I have to get up to let people by because there is so little room.
3. The movies are subtitled, in Japanese.... kind of distracting for the first little bit of the movie... I was trying to figure out why 2-3 word senteces were being translated using 3 lines of Japanese characters....
4. And it's pre-selected seating! You choose your seats when you buy your ticket, so no scrambling at the last minute to find seats for your entire group!

So that was great. Then today, just to prove to myself I have as good a sense of direction in a city than I have in the woods, I found my way back to Trial, the super center department store thing which is about a 15-20 minute bicycle ride from my apartment. Keeping in mind that I had only been there once, in the dark, as a passenger in a car and that we came at it from a different direction... I'm quite pleased with myself for finding my way back there....

It was proven to me again just how small a town this is, though it really isn't.... as I was exiting Trial, who should be coming in than Yoshi... we made plans to meet somewhere for lunch, he did his shopping and I went home to put the food away... Then as I was waiting for him at our pre-established meeting location, who should bike on by but Stacy... said hello and she went on her way. Then after lunch I decided to stop by Cairns, and arcade place with Internet access and who should I find there but Scott! So what are the odds of all that happening? I realize we all live relativley (maybe a 5 KM radius?) close from each other but come on!

So that's pretty much that, I still await a knight in shining armour (said armour tohave 4 wheels and some storage space) to go pickup my furniture with. I had a half idea of taking it home on my bike today but the boxes are a little too big.... oh well.

Now, for the plans I mentioned in the title of this entry... Twice today it was asked of me what I was doing for the August holiday... and both times I answered that I had no plans.... no more. Depending on costs, Visa requirements and travel planning, I'm thinking of visiting Beijing China for maybe 4-5 days during the 7 day stretch we have off. It's only a 4-5 hour flight... and I'm sure I can find some kind of package tour thing for not too much cashola.... so there you go... my research will begin shortly. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square.... should be a nice trip... even if I will be doing nothing but the touristy things everyone else does.

Oh yeah and it seems there was some shaking going on in the region last night around 1:20AM, no damage or anything but it was a Magnitude 5.6 quake followed by a 4.1 in Chiba prefecture, maybe 100km away from here. I was sound asleep and didn't feel a thing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd recommend holding off on China and sticking around Japan for Obon. There's plenty you haven't seen and you'll still have money if you hang around Japan (plane tickets are uber-expensive during ho.iday weeks). Last year I used the August holiday as my excuse to get to know Tokyo. Or, you probably couldn't go wrong taking a Tohoku trip. Scott can give you some pointers in that direction.


9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to post this here... I have an AEON interview this week. I saw the little excerise you used for your interview. I was wondering if you could explain that to me a little more if you have a sec. Thanks!


3:57 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Yeah I know plane tickets are stupid-expensive during holidays but that the only time I get to travel!!! I've got plenty of time to see Japan and once I have made more friends here I'll have my own set of tour guides... for now, I think a trip to Beijing is just the ticket.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous PamelaSk8s said...

Welcome to Japan. I just joined sushicam, and noticed your location as Utsunomiya so checking your website. For 2 1/2 yrs. my husb. worked at the Honda R&D and had a たんしんふにんアパトthere, so I visited many times. Interesting town. Been to the Samari Bar yet?
About Beijing. I agree that there's a whole lot to do in Japan, and though you think you'll have time for all of it, you won't. We've been here 4 1/2 years, and there's just so much. But traveling in Japan during any of the three major weeklong holidays is expensive and super crowded.
So, Beijing... We went for three days last year. 3 days is enough to hit all the high points, Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc. I got my tickets and hotel via internet, and then, via email, hooked up with a guy who took us to all the interesting stuff. He was indispensible, really nice and flexible, very good English... and cheap! (I can give you his contact info. pm me through sushicam forum.
If you don't go to Beijing. Come to Tokyo. It's relatively quiet then, but Roppongi is always going on.

10:49 PM  

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