Saturday in Kagawa-ken

I played the worst game of bowling IN MY ENTIRE LIFE today. No exaggeration; most of the way through my first match, where I was doing all right (not great, but I hit most of the pins almost every time), suddenly something went wrong with my form or something, and I started throwing the balls into the left gutter. The next match continued to suck–if I tried to throw more to the right, I either threw to the right gutter or still somehow ended up in the left gutter, occasionally hitting the left-hand end pin. After 6 rounds, I hadn’t even scored 10 points. I finally gave up and pretended my hand hurt so someone would finish my round off for me.

Afterwards, several people suggested that maybe bowling is difficult and that it’s still a new game to me, even though I’ve bowled on and off since elementary school. It was…yeah, it was really humiliating. I haven’t felt so thoroughly and publicly embarrassed in a very long time.

With the exception of that atrocious hour, the rest of the day was all right, though. This was the day I spent on a field trip of sorts with my beginners eikaiwa class, and we went to Kotohira in Kagawa Prefecture. The drive was quite beautiful, through the mountains and overlooking a valley, and I saw my Extinct Volcanic Friend (this one peak that kept catching my eye from the train any time I went north, and I couldn’t figure out why until I drove to Takamatsu a few weeks ago and realized it was an extinct volcano–I’ve thusly named it such and silently greet it in the same way that Palpatine refers to Yoda as “my little green friend,” without the sinister overtones).

Today we ate a lot of udon (I also had kaki-age vegetable tenpura, which was really delicious, and I realized how good dumping sesame seeds on my soy-sauce udon tastes), visited a historic and gorgeous kabuki house called Kanamaru-za, and went bowling (ugh…). I’m not sure if we were going to climb Konpira-san, the local temple that’s Kotohira’s claim to fame, or make any other stops, but we just went out for a few hours.

Now, I’m killing time until Julie arrives, and she, Ashley, and I are heading up to Takamatsu, the capitol of Kagawa-ken and the closest big city to us (even closer than Tokushima City) for a night out. We may spend the night, we may not…we don’t know yet. I’m honestly looking forward to it…as long as we avoid the clubs (very much not my thing at all), but it’ll be nice to be around young people and in a big city, especially one as cool as Takamatsu.

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