So, it’s Tuesday night here on Shikoku and, since I’m spending it at home, I thought it would be a good time to blog! This is the first quiet evening I’ve had since Friday, so it was about time. I mean, it’s been the good kind of busy for the most part, but it’s still a little ridiculous to be running around doing stuff all the time.
Anyway, to the left of your screen is a photo taken at Iyo-Kaminada (usually just called Kaminada), which is a tiny inaka [countryside] town about 45 minutes from Matsuyama by train. We went there on Sunday to go to the beach. It was a departing JET’s send-off party and a good chance for us Group A newbies to meet The Family. No, for real, that’s what the English teachers in Ehime calls themselves. And now I’m part of it because every new foreigner is sort of automatically incorporated into the group. I’m not exactly green in terms of Japan and this is the tightest ex-pat community I’ve ever come across here, which is pretty fab. Everyone is really nice and welcoming and apparently there are various group-like activities a few times a week for whoever wants to come.
It was a really great day just in general, to be honest. I didn’t swim, but the beaches here on Shikoku are gorgeous and the water is warm enough that people do swim in it. Matsuyama Port is the primary port for the island, so I actually live really close to the sea. I don’t know if the particular body of water off Ehime has a name, because the Inland Sea is farther east, but it’s lovely. The Hoyo Islands are between us and south-west Honshu and it’s such a beautiful part of Japan to live in. I’m already really in love with this prefecture, you have no idea. Infinitely superior to Tokyo.
In the picture I took of the beach, you can just see the nearest of the Hoyo Islands. It’s Japanese summer, so it’s never really totally clear, but it is definitely hot. It’s been getting up to 34 during the day, with about 80% humidity all the time, and right now, according to Google, it’s still 29. If you’re not up on your metric, 29C is about 84F. When it’s humid, that is painfully hot. I’ve been taking cool showers every night after I get home just to rinse off the sweat. I’m looking forward to September, let me tell you, because it’s only going to get worse this month.
In other news, my apartment is pretty much set. I got a rack/shelving unit for my kitchen today from a recycle shop for only ¥3000, and the board of education gave me a rice cooker, a pole for the veranda (so I can hang my laundry to dry), and a dresser. The dresser is black and not really my style, but it’s big and I’m keeping it in the bedroom, which otherwise has no furniture during the day, so it’s okay. And it was free. I like things that are free. I’m going to buy a bike later in the month, when it gets to be time for me to start going to my schools. One of which is so far away it’s not even on the map the BOE gave us today. I’ll be taking the bus to that one. And I found out that a bike with gears will cost me between ¥10,000 and ¥12,000 second-hand, and one without gears will be somewhat cheaper. I’m just waiting until it gets closer to my first paycheck, so I don’t have to worry about daily expenses.
All my other necessities have come from the ¥100 store. I love the ¥100 store. We’re good friends.
In closing, I give you a video tour of my apartment. I did it on Saturday, after my fridge was delivered, so there’s less stuff in than there is now, but it gives you an idea of the size and layout, along with my dorky commentary. Enjoy!