Dan in JapanJump to Table of ContentsReturn to Main Page
 [1.08.2] Scenery, Welcome Party, Snow Last updated 
08 Jan 1999 

Scenery 08 Jan 1999
Looking across lake Biwa from our classroom, one can see these mountains if the air is clear. Looking down from the same window, one can see this garden behind the academic building.

Welcome Party 08 Jan 1999
JCMU threw a welcome party for the new students today. The food was provided, but the party was BYOB. Asahi beer in Japan is relatively cheap -- 300 yen for a liter can. The food provided consisted of all the traditional Japanese foods: Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, salad, spaghetti, Coke and Sprite. The quality of the pizza didn't approach Pizza Hut, but there were some interestingly-topped pizzas in addition to the standard pepperoni/ham/olive/mushroom/sausage/pepper fare. One pizza had shrimp, bean sprouts, mushrooms, chicken, and tomato slices, while another had corn, mayo, onions, and other ingredients I didn't identify. They were actually not that bad.

The highlight of the evening for some was the homestay story told by Ben LeFebrve (clockwise from left: Ben LeFebrve, Sara Petty, Allen Pollock, Brian Pitaniello, Bob Trombley, Tom Acker, Jill McKay; in background: JCMU sensei). His homestay experience was far from ordinary. Not only did he get a strange family, but he apparently had all kinds of drunken adventures with his homestay father. The story was at least 15 minutes long, and his storytelling style and detail were what made it so entertaining (which is hard to convey with a picture on a Web page).

Everyone was at the party: teachers and family, faculty, students, and friends. Nothing like any school-related social gathering in the US I've ever attended. The teachers and their families mostly talked, while the students got together and played a traditional Michigan game -- Euchre. Lindsay Proctor, Chris Houbeck; Allen Pollock, Cherokee Cain; Brian Pitaniello, Bob Trombley, Allison Morris; Tom Acker, Sara Petty. Me? I'm not much of a Euchre player. Dunno why!

Snow 09 Jan 1999
Who says it doesn't snow in Japan? (Well, I heard that it didn't snow much). It did today (and a little yesterday, too)! There was at least 5 inches of snow on the ground. It was the wet, windy, mushy stuff, too. Yuck! I'll take U.P. snow over this stuff any day. Or better yet, no snow! Snow is no fun when you have to ride a bike into town to buy groceries. Taking a cab one way to the grocery store is 1500 yen. But the cabs are spotless, and have big floor mats and fancy seat covers (and if you get two other people to split the cost with you, it's not as bad).

Here's the snow in the morning as seen out my window. Here's a closer picture of Coco's (the restaurant connected to the academic building), when the snow was coming down heavily.

back | forward | contents | home Shigaraki Tanuki Statue