I really don't know how they do it. I have been doing elementary lessons for a week and I'm exhausted. All I want to do when I get home is sleep. And after I wake up in the morning, I want to sleep. After lunch, I want to nap (although that might be due to the super homo 3.5% milk we have to drink). Mad props to those elementary folks. Holler.
Now that my wigga moment is over, let's get on with other things. I've been getting mail (e- and otherwise) from people over the last few days, and I say thank you! I got a belated X'mas card from Grandma in the mail today. It made my day. When I was doing my Christmas Lesson at Junior High, I talked about how Canada is so PC that we don't even say Merry Christmas anymore. Haha. How right you are, Grandma! The postmark is all blurred so I can't see when she sent it. I'm still waiting for JC's package that he sent a couple weeks before X'mas. It's probably sitting half destroyed at the port in Kawasaki.
Yesterday was Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day), when people who have turned 20 celebrate becoming an adult. Girls get all decked out in kimono and go to the shrine (guys just wear a suit) and then they have a big party at night, since they are now legal. I didn't see that many girls walking around in kimono as I thought I would. There were a few, but for some reason I thought it would be something like Arts County Fair or everyone's 19th birthday where you're just stupid and drunk all day and celebrating. It was rather subdued. I went to the shrine in Kashiwa, which is a lot bigger than I thought it was. It wasn't busy at all. I bet most people went downtown to Meiji Shrine in Harajuku.
For lack of anything better to do, I met up with Dan and Masato (friends through Andrew) and we went to Hibiya Park. It was kind of a dumb thing to do, since it was dark by the time we met up and it was freezing cold. It finally feels like winter. The last couple days have been bitingly cold. It's really starting to grate on my nerves how everyone says "ああ、カナダ人！寒くないでしょう? Aa, Kanada-jin! Samukunai deshou?" Ah, Canadian! You're not cold right? FUCK YOU! Canada and Japan aren't that different latitude-wise. Vancouver and Tokyo have the same climate. The reason people complain its so cold here is that they don't know how to dress properly for winter. I was waiting for the train to Ueno and these two school girls walked past me. One of them complained that it was cho samui, sooo cold but she was wearing a skirt, converse sneakers and a hoodie. OF course you're going to be cold, moron! (end of gaijin rant)
After our jaunt through Hibiya Park (which I have to make a note of returning to in the daylight) we wandered through Minato-ku, detouring through Starbucks for a warm-up, to Tokyo Tower. I had scoffed off going as some kind of over-priced tourist trap, which it is, but we didn't have anything better to do. Being in the middle of the business district there wasn't a whole lot else to do. We scored discounted tickets at 7-11 and went up, and actually it was worth it. Since we went at night, we could actually SEE stuff. The Tokyo skyline looks much nicer at night, if you ask me.
The best part of going up to the observation deck was the computers they had facing each cardinal direction. It was this huge touch screen that had some of the major buildings highlighted, night view, time lapse view, clear weather view, in addition to an "address finder" which would point to directions on the horizon of other places in Japan. This view is from the South West.
Afterwards we went to Tamachi, the site of Keio University, for dinner. It was rather late so we just ended up going to an izakaya. Being a school night, there weren't that many students to see either. A little disappointing. We walked past Shiba Park that has a huge temple complex in it - yet another thing I'd like to go back and see in the day light.
Next month is going to be an exciting one. It's my birthday, Arashi's new single comes out the day after my birthday, I'm supposed to go skiiing with teachers from work (we'll see) and Ohno from Arashi's art exhibition is at the end of the month. I wish I could just take a day off work, go downtown and just spend the day being all cultured, exploring some of the temples and walking around Roppongi and Omotesando before going to show. Too bad. I think I'm looking forward to that the most. It's been so long since I went to an artshow. And it's kind of inspiring; he's only five years older than me and is putting on his own show. Not to mention, he's extremely talented. I'll go down one day after work and avoid the weekend crowds.
I'm supposed to head down to Shin-Matsudo tonight for dinner with Nikki and Amanda. I'm tempted to have a nap while I wait for their email...