Pertaining to Birthdays and Such…

harbor

Where to begin…first of all, sorry I didn’t post last week, I was trying to stay caught up and reply to all of the lovely wonderful people who sent me birthday wishes. Thank you so so much! It meant the world to me. Now I have the pleasure of trying to cram two weeks into one glorious blog post. Wish me luck. (P.s. If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, subscribe! It will come to your email and be easier to read).

First! This week and last week were full of lots of firsts! I walked by a river full of jellyfish and saw a turtle, all in the middle of Yokohama in the city area.
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First! I went to Japanese McDonalds because I just had to. I heard about the menu and how different it was from Japanese class at Stanford and had to find out for myself. I ordered the ebi furai, which is basically tons of shrimp stuck together and breaded in a bun. A little out there even for pescatarianism but I just went for it.
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First! I dropped two of my bike keys down a drain into a sewer. Luckily I was inspired/not completely stupid and had taken the other two keys off, so wish me luck not losing those two as well for the next year and a half.
First! And second! I got to teach eikaiwa, which is free English classes. We usually have about twenty or so students and I teach the intermediate class, which is lots of fun. We finished early so I taught them all environmental and sustainable energy vocabulary. Stanford Earth Systems majors represent!!
Yamate sunset
First! I got to go visit and spend part of the day in 中華街、(chuukagai) or Chinatown in downtown Yokohama. Way more authentic than San Francisco, and much bigger. It was really fun and I ate way too many snacks because everything was so inexpensive and I wanted to try it all.

Ducks in a row
Trust me, I didn’t eat the ducks. Just photographed them to preserve their memories…

Yokohama
Sorry random lady I creepily photographed…..
First! Gazdik shimai (my Douryou) and I were on a run at 6:30 am on my birthday and we happened upon a neighborhood radio taisou event in the park! I didn’t think they had it In Yamate so I got really excited when we found it. We joined in and came every day until today. If you haven’t see it’s hard to describe but it’s basically everyone listening to an announcer on the radio with music leading a series of aerobic stretches and jumping and everyone, the three year olds to the 80 year olds, knows the correct steps and moves. It’s awesome.
We were welcomed with open arms into the neighborhood by the organizer and he even gave us snacks at the end of the 4 days of radio taisou (us and all the children. They also had us jump rope with the kids. Because we’re gaijin (foreigners) and really genki (energetic, healthy) so we were up for everything).
Snacks
One day, it was so hot and humid that although it was in the 90’s it felt like the 110’s in Fahrenheit. We were sweating like no other and dying whilst biking up these enormous hills. Everyone felt so bad for us that all day people just gave us free drinks and ice cream. We’d stop to talk to people and by the end of the conversation, for example, one lady gave us ice cream cream puffs, and another fizzy water. And so on. I can’t even explain how much that saved us from suffering death by water loss and heat exposure. Somehow we made it alive.
KIra & comp in wind
It was so windy in China town we were afraid we’d keep flashing everyone. Several Marilyn Monroe moments were had.
And of course, this week I got to celebrate my first birthday in Japan! All of the notes and emails made my day! Thank you to my wonderful family for the presents they sent all the way across the ocean! You are all actually the best people ever!
Kira 20th bday morning     image2
I woke up and found that Gazdik shimai had decorated the apartment for me, and even made me pancakes! She is the best trainer ever–I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Surface cleaner
One lady just gave us cleaning supplies and chocolate when we stopped to talk to her. Yeah I don’t understand either. But it was much appreciated.
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