Yes, there are indeed many. Ashley downstairs–her father’s a geologist (which I didn’t learn until after he’d left–aww, man) and said that the rocks that some area mountains are composed of lead him to believe that there are many extinct volcanoes around. Shikoku has no active or dormant volcanoes currently.
I just got back from a trip to the grocery store. I knew I’d be carrying a lot, and it was a cold night, so I drove for 5 minutes instead of walking for 15. (It would’ve been shorter than 5, but I went to one grocery store, realized they were closing in 5 minutes, and then drove to the other one.) Well, in those 5 minutes, when I was stopped at a red light, these two guys in their 30s started to walk past my car, realized I was a foreigner, started grinning and elbowing each other and saying stuff to each other, and proceeded to stare at me and keep up a running commentary. They even bent over at the waist so they could keep staring at me through my rear windows. It was like I was this spectacle, and they were acting so that I could totally tell they were making a big deal out of my gaijin status, and they wanted to make sure I knew it.
I normally never do this, but this pissed me off enough that I gave them a really rude look and kind of threw up my hands in a, “What the hell is your problem?” way. They finally looked away (still grinning all the while) as they got further from my car, and the light changed and I drove off. I mean, not that glaring is a big deal–it’s not like I actually said anything rude, but normally I’d never even think about being impolite/rude to anyone for staring at me. (I may sigh or roll my eyes once they’ve passed, but that’s it, and it’s purely a personal reaction for myself.) The people who usually stare rudely are older and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt (stuck in their ways, small community with very little foreign influence, etc.), while these guys were young enough that they totally should have known better.
As always, 5 minutes later, when wandering around the grocery store, I came up with the perfect thing I should have said/done if I’d decided to roll down my window. I hate when that happens.
On a more positive note (pun intended), the 5th-6th graders at today’s elementary school put on a 5-minute mini-concert of their multi-instrumental renditions of Canon in D. There was piano, keyboard, xylophone, recorder, and more. It was really cute, and I really like that they actually learn how to play real instruments in elementary school, and not just facts and history. I remember nothing from my elementary school music classes besides the word “bass” (instrument) not sounding like the fish of the same name, and besides playing the recorder; I think my old recorder is in a drawer collecting dust somewhere.
And so…this brings November, and NaBloPoMo, to a close. It’s been fun. So here’s to December, a very eventful month indeed. I hope it’s a good one for everyone.