Today is hot and humid, though overcast, which makes the thought of going outside later a little more bearble.
The days have been hot this last week though, mercifully, not as hot as last week, which saw me walking around Yokohama in 38 degree heat and what must have been 80% humidity. Needless to say the experience was...wet.
I took myself to Yokohama for reconnaissance purposes. I've been considering the idea of transferring there* at the beginning of next year so thought I'd go and see what kind of place it is. It is a little less frantic than Tokyo, only 30 minutes away, which is the first thing in its favour. It's quite easy to walk about. I started off in Kannai and walked up and around China Town, then up to Yamashita Koen to check out the sea-view. I then carried on up to Harbour View Park, which affords a panoramic view of Yokohama Bay. I stopped off at what I thought was the Kanagawa Museum of Literature, but which actually turned out to be something a little different. It had tonnes of books to ogle, though, along with a collection of cat figures.
So I wandered around a bit more, taking in the Foreigner's Cemetery, Italian Gardens and the Motomachi Shopping district, before heading back through China Town (where I found a cute cat shop), and then to Yokohama. I met up with Janan, who is over here for a few weeks, and we went to a yaki-niku place for dinner with some of her friends. I stumbled off about 8pm (it was all you could eat and drink for 90mins) and had to find my way to Gyotoku in Chiba, where I was staying with Saori. I got there 2 hours later.
So do I want to move to Yokohama? At the moment I'm having a period of great indecision. I've started to feel quite settled in Ina lately, so the thought of moving away and having to start all over again is putting me off. It may just be that I'm going through a good period here at the moment. I'm sure the winter will bring with it that depressing bleakness which has broken so many teachers here before me. Yokohama certainly has many more things to do than Ina, more people to meet etc. But, it's a big place and I rather enjoy the leisurely pace of life here. Some may call that pace of life non-existent...
On the happenings front, I spent Saturday night in my favourite bar. A local musician was playing guitar for the evening in the corner, taking requests. I accompanied on the bongos for a few while, surprising myself at an unknown ability to keep time. By 1am the whole bar was singing "Stand By Me", sending the Mama into raptures of delight. I went back last night to pick up a present I'd forgotten to take home on Saturday, and she and I watched Duran Duran videos, including the uncensored "Girls on Film", which I don't recall having seen before (I'm sure I'd recall pony boys being soaped down, and mud wrestling).
So, here's a picture of me and Joe (Yasuko in the background):
Until I have something else to say...* Fukuoka in Kyushu has also been suggested to me for its nice beaches, but could I handle the heat and typhoons?