Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Have Returned

...and my name ain't even Patton.

I woke up this morning and made my way over to the onsen on the south side of the station. First rule of day-after recovery: hit the onsen and sweat it out.

Which is what I did.

Since I'd had to make a quick change of plans and go back to Izumo, on top of the fact that I hadn't contacted that many people about my going back to Shimane, I was without anyone to hang out with. And I had an entire day to kill off. My flight back didn't leave until 4:30.

So I stuffed my bags in a locker and rented a bike.

I pedaled around town a bit, swinging by some old hangouts, and then made my way out to the Jinzai area of Izumo on the west side of town. An old student of mine lives out there, and I decided to bike out and visit her and her family.

I hung out there for a while, joining them for lunch. It was cold somen, a traditional summer meal, if you can call it that. When the weather is as hot and as humid as it gets in Japan, people tend to lose their appetites. Somen is a simple food that goes down easily and cools you off, which makes it popular in the summer. I forgot about somen, living in Hokkaido.

It was nice. I was hoping to eat some Izumo soba, but the somen made for a nice simple meal.

My student's mom told me that they would give me a ride, which I interpreted as a ride back to the station. Turned out, she meant the airport. We didn't figure out that there had been confusion until we got back to the station with the bike in the back of their car.

I thought I had to get back earlier, yet they (the mom and dad) were telling me that there was plenty of time still.

So they took me all the way out to the airport. Very cool.

I did a little bit of souvenir shopping at the airport, which included buying this.


Gorilla Boogers. It's actually dried sweet black beans, but I love the name. Gorilla Boogers. Apparently, the guy that made these translated the product name and is selling them in zoos around the world.

Shimane. Your gateway to the world.

Then I caught my plane to Tokyo, and another back to Hokkaido. It was cold here when I got back.

Naturally.

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