The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Monday, September 13, 2010

And soon I'll be back to work

It has been really hot (it was 38 - or 62 with the humidity - the other day) so I've been hiding out and not doing much, but this weekend I took a quick trip down to Nagoya and Gifu to see and stay with a couple friends of mine. One of my friends is a teacher I worked with before, and the other guy is a martial artist I met through iaido. I went down Thursday, stayed in Nagoya Thursday night, and then on Friday went to Gifu and stayed over until Saturday. I didn't get up to anything too crazy; just visiting and went out to eat a couple times. Saturday afternoon I came back to Tokyo. From Tokyo to Nagoya is about 2 hours on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) so it's pretty convenient.
Sunday was my birthday, and a lot of people sent messages or called, so thanks. It was nice to hear from people. Yoshie took me out to a Hawaiian-Asian-Japanese restaurant on Sunday night. It was excellent, and not outrageously expensive, so we both enjoyed it a lot.
I haven't bought a camera to replace the one I stupidly lost (on almost my last day in Canada - grrr!) so no pictures, but when I get something, I will post what I can.
I go back to work on Wednesday. After being off for almost 2 months, it's pretty hard to imagine going back to work. I really don't like these long, long holidays; you get bored and at the same time, accustomed to doing nothing, and very lazy. I think everyone I work with would prefer to only work 5 days a week in return to correspondingly shorter holidays, but that is the lot we've been given, I suppose. Last semester was tough because we had a 7-week (?) stint with no extra holidays (just Sundays off). This fall semester is much better because we have a few public holidays to break things up. We actually have a few "weekends" in there, I believe, i.e., a Sunday-Monday combination. Then, we have a week or so off around New Year's, which will be very welcome.
Tomorrow is my last day of freedom for a while, so I'm going to enjoy it by doing as little as I can. Maybe - just maybe - I will go for a swim tomorrow, but that's as far as I'm likely to go.
Talk to you again soon!

Friday, September 03, 2010

September already

I'm back home in Tokyo now. I got in last night, after a trip that was probably the smoothest I've ever had. I stayed at my friend Tony's place in Fergus, got up at a totally reasonable time, had a relaxed breakfast, went nice and early to the airport without any difficulty (thanks Tony!), checked in (almost nobody in line), went and had a coffee, and sat and read my book until it was time to board the plane. I was quite comfortable in the extra-spacious seat I had booked. There wasn't even anybody in the seat beside me, and I was actually able to sleep a couple hours. I watched a few surprisingly good movies (no problems with the video system this time!), and there was nobody was kicking my seat. Upon arrival in Tokyo, I got through customs in about 5 minutes, and picked up my suitcase 15 minutes later. I took the express train home and was eating dinner about an hour after I left the airport. Simply amazing how smoothly everything went - but it is precisely these event-free trips which make us frustrated when things DON'T go smoothly, so I will try and be thankful that I didn't have any problems rather than the other way around.

Canada was great, although it was too bad I couldn't really see people more. Maybe next summer I will have more of a chance to spend time with everyone. But, until then, please remember to send me a short e-mail, or to try and hook up with me using Skype.