Saturday, June 25, 2011

A fun Japan Birthday!

My birthday was last week. Last year my birthday wasn’t so fun. A few people remembered, we had mini-fish salad for lunch and then everyone was busy in the evening. It was a hard day because it was the first birthday I had ever spent away from my family and on top of that, I didn’t get to do anything with friends.

This year was a different story, entirely.

The day started with a skype call with grandma for a few minutes before I left for work. She and I caught up – it’s been a few weeks since we’ve both been on skype as she’s been traveling and I’ve been sleeping in a bit.

Then I headed for work. The day was beautiful.
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My students and one of the teachers remembered that it was my birthday. My second grader (there are only 9 kids at that school) gave me a beautiful, pressed flower bookmark.

We spent the first recess playing badminton. Which is kind of crazy with first through sixth graders. Some of my kids are really good with their racket and others can barely get the birdie in the air.

During English the vice-principal and I taught English. We were supposed to teach my fifth and sixth grader numbers 1-20, but they already knew those numbers, so we extended it to 100 and played snakes and ladders (or shoots and ladders). They had a blast.

At lunch time, we said “itadakimas” to start the meal and I was immediately told to open my milk. I thought, “this is strange, there is never a milk opening rule.” I discovered seconds later that it was so that they could “kampai” (say cheers) for my birthday. It was so sweet!

After lunch, the students have recess again, and they decided they wanted to play "floor curling,” which is the same a curling, except the “stones” have wheels on the bottom, so you can slide them across the room.

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As with golf and several other sports, I had a terrible time making the stone move a certain distance. I was either way too far or way too short. I did manage to tie with two of my students for first, once. But other than that, I was in the bottom half of the group every time.

After school, I got to enjoy more of the beautiful weather as I drove home to change and head out to Furano.
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In Furano, I met J at M’s Café while we waited for K to get off of work. This Café has the best Chai in all of Japan (or at least what I’ve tasted) because she uses a good combination of spices and it doesn’t taste like Milk Tea with a tiny bit of spices, but real chai. I got an iced chai.
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J got a fun coffee.
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When K finished work, we headed out to dinner. The dinner was so good! J and I couldn’t decide so we shared Swordfish and pork. Yum! Though the best part was the company. J and K are just fun to hang out with.
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We ended the night with yummy dessert at another shop. 2011-06-16 Birthday 26

At the end of the night I headed home with a grin on my face after a fun birthday in Japan.

I had to stop for the train on the way home (the arms come down before the train even gets to the platform, so drivers get to wait for all the people to get on before we can go again). While waiting, I decided to see if I could get a cool train shot when the train came by.
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After I got home, I was able to talk to my mom, dad, a good friend at home and my sister. A wonderful ending to a very fun birthday.