Sunday, August 19, 2007

Watching Sumo and Biking

My second weekend in Towada was very relaxed. Saturday all of us Towada ALTs went to see the Junior High Sumo competition. AB managed to lower my bike seat, so we all biked there.

On the way home, AB showed me how to get to Tsutaya, a large dvd, cd, manga/book store.
It was a bit more of an eventful trip than it should’ve been, however, as I managed to fall off my bike twice. (Up to that point I hadn’t ridden a bike since 3rd or 4th grade, so…) The first fall was pretty impressive, as I managed to fall over the little curb thing onto the road, with my left foot trapped awkwardly between the pedal and the bike. Luckily there wasn’t any oncoming traffic at the time. It didn’t really hurt, but it was pretty darn embarrassing, and I ended up with some spectacular bruises—bad enough that I didn’t wear shorts until the bruises were gone. The second fall wasn’t too bad, I just got a bit freaked out as I was going through a narrow section of the sidewalk and I lost my balance a bit.
Anyway, the trip to Tsutaya was worth the bruises because I was able to buy the last few volumes of Fruits Basket (in Japanese, of course). (Below is an out of focus picture of my bruise. It actually got more "spectacular" looking later on. And I also discovered a couple of days later that I'd also bruised my right foot, just under my ankle!)

The rest of the day/night I spent cleaning and reading manga.

Oh, and I also made onigiri with moulds I had purchased at the ¥100 store (Japanese dollar store, basically). Whoever made the onigiri mould is a genius!! It cut down my onigiri making time by probably 50-75%! Plus the moulds were really cute! Along with the standard triangle-shaped moulds, I got a set that was heart-shaped, star-shaped and bear-shaped! Kawaii

Sunday I got on my bike and went shopping. Riding my bike again (after having fallen twice the day before) was actually something of an accomplishment for me. It sounds silly, but I spent quite a bit of time debating with myself over whether or not I should ride my bike to the stores or if I should just walk. I actually started walking before I changed my mind, turned around and picked up the bike.

To me, the decision to take the bike, even though I wasn’t confident about my ability to ride it and I was worried I’d fall again, was significant. I’ve always avoided doing things which would require skills I wasn’t confident in, or would push me out of my comfort zone. But a big part of my decision to come to Japan was the desire to change my failure-avoiding tendencies, so riding the bike was my first step towards change.
And it was a practical step, too. It probably would’ve taken me 20-25min. to walk to the electronics store, but on the bike, it was only 10-15min.

After shopping (at the electronics store and a different bookstore), I went grocery shopping. I bought a package of sauce mix for an eggplant/peppers/carrot/minced pork dish that I used for dinner on Sunday…and Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday!!
That night I also made the dumb move of downloading mIRC so I could download manga scanlations. I stayed up pretty late
downloading and reading a heckload of manga!