Tonight is the final night of my first extended break with the preschool, and my oh my, has it been wonderful!
This past week was Golden Week in Japan. Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays spread out over the span of seven days, including conveniently placed weekends. It makes for one of the busy travel times in Japan during the year, the others being New Year’s and Obon, (so if you’re planning on coming to visit during those times, travellers be warned). I elected to stay put and have a mini staycation instead of venturing too far.
My Golden Week consisted mostly of me fighting my WiFi router and losing. (Update: an internet guy has been here working on it for the past two hours and just now finally got it work! We’re back in business folks!) Although thanks to my co-workers who live in the same apartment complex as I do, I wasn’t completely in the dark, WiFi-less, stone age. (But there were some scary incidents where I feared I might be without this modern miracle for more than 24 hours.) Aside from all that, I did enjoy myself. No WiFi doesn’t mean I couldn’t go out and explore Toyohashi still, cook for myself, or *gasp* dare I say read a book!?
Turns out I did all those things plus some. I helped a coworker clean out her apartment so she could move back to the U.S. and in the process acquired a real bed, assorted kitchen gadgets and cutlery, cooking oils and spices, and a few half containers of soaps and detergents. All those donations means I can put off purchasing them for a little while longer! Major win!
I enjoyed a few good long bike rides around the city of Toyohashi. Oh, forgot to mention I am now in possession of a bicycle, on loan from my school. It functions as a normal bike, (looks like a bike, rides like a bike) but the dimensions are slightly off and it’s an interesting adjustment. I sit much more upright and the handle bars are closer together than I’m used to. The first time I gave it a ride, I almost went face first into a curb (don’t worry Dad, I didn’t fall, but I did smash my shins against the pedals good enough to leave nice bruises the next morning). Having wheels has made it easier to get out and explore further than just on what my little legs can do by themselves, which, I’ve been know to do walks of 10-15 miles round-trip – but the bike lets me do that in half the time! And it has a front basket I almost trust!
Sunday some friends and I took a day trip to Nagoya, the fourth largest city in Japan, to visit a vegan food festival. One member of our little army is vegan and we all went to support her. The festival was about two dozen tents sent up in a big park all selling vegan desserts, products, meals, and other assorted items. It was a lot of fun, the sun was shining, and the food was good!
Nagoya is about an hour train ride from Toyohashi and it was a nice escape from the small town vibe that I’m constantly surrounded by. It felt like a big city as soon as you got off the train and found your way to the main thoroughfare of the hustle and bustle of the masses. Right away I spotted a few westerners, looking every bit as disoriented and confused as tourists do. (Pretty sure I had the same expression though to be honest).
I’ve done a lot of exploring around Toyohashi on the weekends, usually by myself, and it was a nice change to explore with some friends. When I’m with others, they stop and look at different things that I ordinarily would, so it made walking around a fun adventure. Nagoya, being an actual place people (might) have heard of, had more English resources and translations available than Toyohashi and it was nice feeling like a tourist taking it all in. I’d go back to check out some of the other parts we didn’t get to see!
Even though I didn’t go anywhere outrageously spectacular this past Golden Week, it was still a good break. I think I caught up on some sleep, I ran a ton of errands, and took care of chores around the apartment that I had been putting off (ie, cleaning). Now I just have to last the next five straight weeks until our June break! Fingers crossed I can make it!