Mandarin Pirates and Uchiko Moon Viewing

I had such a great weekend! On Friday, after that great day at the elementary school, and I was driven home, I caught the train into town to see a baseball game with friends. The game was really fun. Those of us who didn’t already have hats or t-shirts bought some, and we quickly became new fans of the Mandarin Pirates! After the game (we won! Woo!) the team lined up outside the stadium and we had them sign our hats and shirts! It was good fun. It was kind of hilarious though, because as much as the kids who were around were whispering and pointing at these famous baseball players, the baseball players were whispering and pointing at us foreigners. The reaction we get around here is so funny. Katie and I especially stick out because of our blonde hair and light eyes and people are always commenting on it. After the game when we were waiting for the train the famous “masked man” came and gave us baseballs from the game! He is basically just this guy who wears the team uniform but is always wearing a mask, I guess he is supposed to be mysterious and everyone loves him, but to us the idea of a masked man seemed kind of creepy.

Mask Man at the Mandarin Pirates Game!

The next day everyone came to visit meeee! I didn’t have to go in the city, for once, so it was nice. I had everyone over for dinner (we made spaghetti) and drinks and we “watched” movies, although really we talked through them all. It was fun and Catherine and Tim ended up staying over because they didn’t feel like going back home (I was glad to repay the favour, as I have previously stayed at Catherine’s when I don’t feel like coming home from the city – or when I miss the last train!).

On Sunday, Katie, Tim, Catherine and I went to Uchiko for the Harvest Moon Festival. It was a lot of fun. We went to a wax museum (Uchiko is famous for its wax production – I had no idea that wax was made from plants – I hadn’t really thought about it I guess, but the process is actually really cool …). Tim, unfortunately, had to leave early to catch the ferry back to his island, so Catherine, Katie and I went to a restaurant for a few beers and some food to kill time before it got dark and we could enjoy the celebrations. We entered a local bar and were the only ones there. We were served some complimentary squid (ickk, but I ate it all, as is customary in Japan) and then our beers. This bar was clearly host to a specific group of locals, and as each one entered the bar throughout our time there, each shocked expression at our appearance in their bar was hilarious. They would open the door, see us sitting there, say “Ohhhh!” and then proceed to stare at us in wonder. Enter drunken 64 year old lady. We know she is 64 because her reaction upon seeing us, coupled with surprise, is to immediately join us for our food and drinks, and she tells us it was her birthday, and she was out celebrating. This lady was a hoot and a half. She bought us beers, took pictures with us, and was just generally a good time. We had intended to leave the bar earlier, as it was now dark out, and optimal moon viewing time, but we stayed to finish our drinks with this hilarious lady. After were done there we strolled the lantern lighten streets and over the candle lighted streams, under the light of the full moon. It was really quite beautiful, and there was live serene music playing. Tea was being served and the streets were full with locals. It was quite beautiful and worth the trip down.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend! Back to the working world Monday morning! I have to work Monday through until Sunday this week – including the weekends, as this weekend is “Sports Day”, an important school event that occurs at each school in Japan. Everyone comes in Saturday to set up and Sunday is the event itself. Will be a long week but I am looking forward to it! Forgot to mention some other good news recieved while at the baseball game: my request to install internet has been accepted, and they are coming on Monday the 19th at 10 am! I will no longer be internet-less! That was a long time coming, but I am very grateful the day is nearing! I really need to catch up on my TV shows! Fortunately, due to holidays and days off earned by working the weekend, I only have to work on Thursday next week! So internet is arriving just in time! Thats all for now, folks!

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