Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ah tsuyu, how I missed thee... (not)

Yes, tsuyu (rainy season) has once again settled in on this little patch of sushi and gyoza we like to call Utsunomiya. We haven't seen more than an hour or so of sunshine here in a couple of weeks and now the rain has started to come down pretty regularly. It's not that bad I guess, I've only come home wet 3 or 4 times so far, which isn't bad considering I've biked every day but one. Japan does count on this season to fill up the reservoirs for the summer though, so I say: "Let it rain."

Speaking of bikes, I had an interesting encounter this week with my real-estate agency via fax. My manager came up to me with a computer drawn diagram and explained to me that the rental agency was asking that I move my bicycle from where I was parking it (under the stairs in a little dusty alcove nobody uses next to the mailboxes) to the garage. The request was made complete with a diagram of the layout of the building, a drawing of my bike in it's present location and a drawing of my bike in it's ideal location. Now, I don't know if someone from the building complained or something, but I found this whole exchange rather amusing. So I now park in the garage, with the cars... no problemo.

Matto "the natto" and I hit up Modern tonight. For those who don't know, Modern is an Okinawan Ozakaya which is now pretty much the halfway mark between work and my new apartment which serves up amazing food and has a great atmosphere. It's on Union Street near the Tobu end if anyone is interested in checking it out. We had grilled squid, yuba and salmon roe and of course their trademark salmon pizza. That and a couple of cokes (plus a salad that was on the house since they didn't have enough to make a full order) came out to 1900 Yen. (less than 20$) Not bad, eh?

The trip to Cambodia is forever morphing... I had originally considered getting a private tour package which would include just about every arrangement I would need to take care of once on the ground in Cambodia. After reading the Lonely Planet guide cover to cover, I have just about trashed that idea. I think a tour with a set itinerary would be a little too restrictive for what I want to do and see there, and after my experience with the 2 short arranged trips I experienced in China, I think I'll go it on my own. This way, I'll get to experience more of the true culture\food\locations rather than just hitting sites A, B and C followed by lunch at tour group restaurant #203 and moving on to temples #12 and 904. From what I understand, it's very cheap (5-10$) to hire a moto and driver for the day, and if you choose carefully, they can serve as a bit of a tour guide and show you some local places to eat and such around the temples. Tomorrow I'll hand in my request for time off and see where that gets me. With any luck, I'll be granted the 2 days off I'm asking for which will give me a total of 13 days of vacation. Sweeeeeet. My original plan to hit Thailand first is just about out the window, which will likely make my folks feel much better since I just read about a series of bombings in southern Thailand today. Of course, the unstable area is far from Bangkok, but I'd rather not have them worry any more than they will when they hear about the landmines which still litter Cambodia from decades of war. (did I just write that? ooops. No worries, so long as you don't stray from the beaten path... say to go for a leak in the forest... there's no danger.)

In other, sadder news, we just learned today that Saychon-san, our Thai Buddhist monk friend turned student will be moving next month to Tsukuba in Ibaraki. I believe he'll be setting up a new temple down there and will hand off his Tochigi temple to another monk. He will be missed! You'll remember that Alex and I had a lunch\meditation session with him a while back. Hey Tsukuba Steve! I'll have to get you guys in touch!

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Anonymous Smee said...

The omission has been remedied. I will await payment, as per our agreement. :-)


10:34 AM  

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