Winter is coming and my courses are finally ending. It’s quite a time to be alive. The fun part of my day happened at night, so I’ll just jump right into the thoughts on piece.
- A lot of guys have great piercings. Rock on dudes.
- Ice cream is still in full swing at the street stands and I love it, even though December has just started. This is what I live for.
- I’m assuming it was just this year, but the huge kouyou (fall foliage) build-up everyone talked about before I came over? Not a thing. Sure, some of the trees changed and were beautiful, and I saw many lovely pictures posted around from friends and others in the area, but most of the trees turned yellow one day, red the next and then fell off. Very much missing the great show we always have in New England.
- Babysitters aren’t a thing here. The idea of having a stranger enter your private home, be left alone there with a precious child and give them your money on top of that? Are you crazy? Everyone here carries their babies in these cloth chest pouches. In addition to spending that much more time with your kids, maybe it teaches them to behave more in public because only rarely have I seen a screaming brat here.
- There are these convenient things called sets at restaurants, which tacks on a drink (from a selective menu) for about half/less the price of the drink on its own. Very cost-effective. I wish we did this in America.
- People think the government gives the people no voice, so most don’t bother voting. While I think that attitude in other places in crappy, here I have to say I agree. They don’t get to honestly vote for anything from my observations.
- Almost all of the ATMs here charge ~$10 (USD) to withdraw, so take care when you’re going around to either use a card when applicable or beware of no-charge ATMs.
- The weather is just now starting to get chilly, and by that I mean hitting the 40s and 50s (F approximation, derived from 6 – 12 degrees C) plus the wind chill. It took long enough but I am very much enjoying it.
- None of the manhole covers here have pretty street art on them. I note that because in other parts of the country, for sure Osaka and Tokyo, these are a very prominent and lovely thing you see as you walk around.
- When wearing stylish long coats, people tie the long belt in the back into a pretty bow.
Alright this is a complete side piece but it was too worth it to not include. Okaa-san and I got to talking about the zodiac signs, what she is vs otou-san, etcetera. Firstly, this was sparked when she was halfway through telling him something and he just slowly closed the door and walked away. Boom, bang, done with this thang-style. I cracked up because they do this all the time and it’s hilarious, and she explained her theory that it’s because he’s a rabbit, which is white and quiet and that was her grand explanation for him pulling this crap. Since she’s a horse, she’s rather genki and talkative and goes trekking and so on. I digress.
So this led to her saying how Chiro-chan is a truly doggy-dog, having been born in the year of the dog, and that Miao-chan is a dragon year cat. I commented that oh, that’s why she has such a loud whining voice, because it’s loud like a dragon – logical stuff, right? Nope, apparently not. Okaa-san asked what sound dragons make, and I did the screechy thing with my mouth before going to good ol’ youtube for help. When I played the video she asked ‘is that really the sound dragons make’? Which led into a weird non-debate of whether or not dragons are real. I asked her what she thought and she said ‘no, of course not’ but then continued to fight me on what they sound like. ‘Really, they do the screechy thing?’ Woman, we just established that they aren’t real and you’re going to question if that’s really the noise they make? How am I supposed to know? Why are you fighting me on this?!
That was it, the big excitement of the night, but I just don’t understand why we had to debate that for 5 minutes.
Check out my other Thoughts On Kyoto posts below, and take a look at all the posts in my Thoughts On . . . series here.