Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friends in the house

Now that I'm a professional layabout, our lives have gotten a lot more social. This weekend was no exception, and we had a great time.

Well, it started before the weekend, actually. One day last week we took the train toward base and met Eric, the band's new tuba player. Josh is his sponsor, so we've endeavored to help with Japan survival skills, including the train. We all rode together to Mabori-kaigan and stopped at our neighborhood ramen shop for dinner. Mmm...ramen...That place does not disappoint. Eric and I had miso ramen, aka the best kind, while Josh had soy sauce flavor. We all doctored it up with crushed garlic, chili oil, and vinegar. YUM.
The fellas did a pretty good job of including me in the conversation, kind of. Okay not really, but whatever. Eric's wife arrives with their two dogs in August, so we'll have them over together and retreat to our gendered corners. Anyway, the sky that night was gorgeous.
Then yesterday the three of us met up again to go look for the house Eric is considering, out in Hayama. He knew which roads to take, which is huge for someone so new to Japan! But the details in the neighborhood got a bit sketchy, so mission failure. Still, we had ice cream cones and a nice breezy walk, so it was fine.

Sidebar: everyone should live in Mabori, where the streets are marked and wide enough and near-ish to base. I'm just saying.

Today, Sunday was rainy and dreary, so naturally Josh and I played Wii Fit all morning. We discovered that I'm better at hula hoops, Josh is better at all the strength exercises (duh) and also he is required to put down a tarp or something before attempting any of the aerobics - the swiffer that can handle his workouts has not yet been invented. Kelsey and Mack, we cleaned the board. Cleaned it well.

And it's lucky for our friend Dirk and his family! Dirk, his wife Taeko (apologies if I spelled that wrong), and their kids Sonya and Caillou came over for coffee and a visit this afternoon, and no one could resist the call of the Wii. I wish I'd thought to take pictures of us chatting, eating fruit bars, making fools of ourselves with the hula hoop game, and laughing together. But I didn't, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Know what I did remember to photograph? PRESENTS!They brought us a beautifully wrapped package of traditional Japanese treats.
And my personal favorite: homemade yogurt! Dirk has this down to a science, and it even made an appearance in our salad dressing at dinner tonight. Oh, and can you guess what their last name is?
Hint: it's not "plain" or "full cream."

Now it's eight p.m., and the rain keeps falling, so we've traded in the Nintendo for a documentary. Only four days left until I head for Cal-i-for-ni-a! WOOT. How lucky are we to have such good friends on two continents?

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