Skirts and volcanoes

I actually wore a skirt in public yesterday–besides wearing skirts to class, I mean. I felt kind of feminine, which I usually don’t since I’m vaguely tomboy-ish and always wear jeans/capris. It was kind of cool and I actually liked wearing it (the things Japan does to a person, huh?)…and it suited the surprisingly cool and refreshing evening as well. It was truly wonderful weather.

When walking to Sunshine to do some shopping after work, I passed this lady, who saw me, blinked, and asked me in halting English where I was from. We chatted briefly and I fell into step with her–her daughter had been to New York for two weeks. As we approached the grocery store, she suddenly and abruptly said, “Bye.” I asked her if she was going to Sunshine and she said she was, and I told her I was as well, and she nodded, smiled, and said, “Bye,” again. I shrugged and made sure to put space between us since she obviously wanted to do her own shopping–and when I bumped into her in the store, she just stared at me without smiling. Strange…

On my way home after said shopping, after passing through the line of the girl with that crazy-awesome accent (instead of “arigatou,” she says, “arigite”), I was cutting through the parking lot of the big pachinko parlor to take my uphill shortcut home, and there was this elderly man just standing there in the lot, staring at me. I moved to the left to pass him, and he moved to his right, as if to block my way! I kind of paused for a second, but moved back to my right and murmured a “Sumimasen” as I passed him. He didn’t make any move to stop me again.

Maybe it was the skirt. You never know, right?

Well, anyway–it’s the weekend and I’m relaxing like crazy. There’s a huge beach party just across the border in northeastern Kochi, but it’s far and a big hassle and I’m not there–I wasn’t there last year either. I’m hoping to get some stuff done around town (like actually booking my shink tickets and rail pass for Kyushu) and maybe hike back up to Rengenji, the “minor Shikoku 88” temple in our town, just to do some walking and take in the beautiful weather. I’m also considering walking all the way out to the Hashikura area to get some gelato–that’ll take several hours roundtrip, though. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

I’m also actually making real physical plans for my Kyushu trip! (It’s about time, considering I’ll be there in two weeks.) When I was in the city last Monday to get my driver’s license, I went by Warp (Waap?) Travel in Tokushima Station and discovered a rail pass that, while increasing the cost of my train travel considerably, makes my itinerary a lot more relaxed and less redundant/overlapping–and no 1 AM departure time! Tatami Timeshare’s also covering my night in Kumamoto and at least one of my nights in Kagoshima, so far. I need to find places to stay for my other night in Kagoshima, and my nights in Nagasaki and Fukuoka, too.

Oh, and I guess I should plan my lessons for next week, too–five of my six elementary schools start up again.

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy the rest of this day–have a good weekend!

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