Current weather: stormy. Hopefully it will clear up by running time this evening. That's right, seeing as I have been pretty busy, we haven't run once this week. It was beautiful this morning and I really looked forward to slipping into my running shoes tonight. Guess it's just a matter of waiting to see how the weather turns out a bit later.
Ok, so let's back up a bit. In my last blog entry, I talked about my change of relationship status. That's about the most personal I have been around these parts, and it is unlikely to be quite so again. That said, things between me and Mika are going very well. Glory to God. ^^
Last week, I didn't have any shougakkou. Wednesday was actually a holiday, but Mika had to work, and so Michael and I went out to Katsurahama beach, near Kochi-shi. We shopped at Aeon mall and stopped in at Starbucks for some dark berry mocha frappuccinos.
That night, Mika helped me with my final beginner's course Japanese test, from the sixth book. Inevitably, I stayed as late as usual, too. ;)
So the rest of the week was uneventful. I had lunch with Mika last Thursday because she didn't have work, seeing as she had had to work the day before: the public holiday. I cooked chicken carbonara for us for dinner that night and made an apple crumble. We watched a movie together. Hey, this is starting to sound like my diary.
*Ahem* Let's get back on track and look at... wait, my life consists of a bit more these days. I have a girlfriend and that part of my life can't help but flow into my blog entries. And so it is.
Friday: day in the office. Survived. Went for a run. Mika, Eddi and I had dinner with Michael -- yakiniku. We talked about our Matsuyama trip, which was to commence the next day.
And so, Golden Week arrived. Early Saturday morning, the first day of this much-deserved time off, Michael, Eddi, Mika and I left for Uwajima, out West in Ehime prefecture. We visited the castle and had a brief look around the town. It was proving to be a very nice day, too.
Isn't she cute?
We travelled up the highway to Matsuyama, the biggest city in Ehime. After a ramen lunch, we went to Matsuyama castle (I still have to get my photos from Michael's memory card), up on a hill overlooking the city. We took the gondola up. Michael and I rode the individual seats back down instead of taking the gondola.
After checking into the hotel, we all rested up for a bit before heading out for an okonomiyaki dinner at a nice place just next to the hotel. Mika and I started watching a movie together in my room (I always take my laptop with me when I travel), but she was pretty tired and took Eddi back to their room to sleep. I finished the movie alone. :(
On Sunday morning, we all went to Ninomaru historical garden. It was very nice, and had some interesting pools that were in place of where the buildings of a house had stood many years earlier. We could see the castle from where we were, too, as the original property had been part of the wider castle town.
At the gardens, we watched a performance by about a dozen ladies playing taisho koto. The koto is a Japanese stringed instrument. It was interesting to listen to.
Taisho Koto Performance
The bulk of our day was spent shopping around the local shopping arcade. I bought a couple of expensive shirts, which will be nice to wear out during the Summer. We all rested yet again at the hotel. Walking around all day sure tires one out!
I took Mika and Eddi out for Italian and then we rode a huge ferris wheel that sits on the ninth floor of a large department store -- actually on the same level as the restaurant we had eaten dinner at.
Watched a movie with Mika -- all the way through, this time -- as Eddi slept. We both enjoyed it.
Monday saw us pack everything up after breakfast and check out of the Check-in Hotel. We went to a nice park up on a hill across from the castle, where there was a western-style castle structure. It was very cool, and afforded an amazing view of the city and the harbour.
The City (Matsuyama)
That afternoon, we visited the Tobe Zoo. We had lunch at its restaurant and enjoyed the afternoon, walking around looking at animals.
Just like a puppy... with a horn
We travelled all the way back down to Kochi-ken and stopped in Susaki for dinner. It is a small city about 30 mins from K-town.
Two more days of golden week remained!
Tuesday saw the three of us go into Kochi-shi. I drove. We enjoyed a late lunch at the Indian restaurant that Michael and I have been to many times: Masala. It was Mika's first time to eat there and she was impressed. We headed over to Aeon mall and met up with her brother and niece to do some shopping -- and eat donuts; cuz you gotta have donuts.
I went on a bit of a shopping spree. It seems that spending money comes easily when you are out and about; even when you are determined to save up for a decent car.
We arrived home late, and I dropped all of my purchased goods off at my apartment. Mika and I hadn't seen enough of each other, so I stayed at her place until late; though not nearly as late as other nights in the last fortnight. >.>
Spent quite a bit of time cleaning yesterday. I even went so far as to clean out my drains and wash the floor. And with the mosquito deterrent and cockoach poison, I should have an easier job of handling insects this Summer!
Had a very late lunch with Mika and Eddi and then played chess with Mika. A chess set is one of the things that I had bought the previous day. We went to K-town late afternoon and I ordered a couch / bed from the furniture store there. I can't wait! Having a couch will be nice; having one that doubles as a bed will be a blessing!
We did a bit more shopping around Kubokawa and then came back home. Ramen for dinner, and then I made some chocolate dumplings. It's a dessert that I had never made before, and they turned out pretty nice. At least, they tasted nice. Not sure it was my best baking effort, but it worked.
Did a little Japanese study last night; but I must say that I much prefer French. :p
Thus ended Golden Week. It was actually five days, but I'm sure that if it had started on a Monday, rather than a Saturday, it sure would have made for an epic week. Ah well, the weekend is now very close!
And then today arrived. I've been in the office all day; except when I went home for lunch and sorted something out at the post office bank. So now I just need to wait for 4.30pm to arrive, whence I can go home and pray that the clouds will drain themselves and move on, to allow for a rainless run.
It might pay, also, to plan for tomorrow's afternoon lessons at Shouwa shougakkou, huh. But then, that would be work. :p