Chasing Cherry Blossoms
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Fame.

The only real gripe I've ever had about living in Johen is how impossibly inconvenient the local transportation is. Don't get me wrong, the buses that we have are great - relatively cheap and never late... it's just that WE STILL DON'T HAVE A TRAIN STATION. And if I want to get to Matsuyama to see my ALT friends, it takes a solid three-and-a-half hours of travelling to do so. I've certainly become a much more patient traveller because of it - at home, the 35-minute train ride into Central London always seemed like FOREVER and I never really considered myself as living that close to London, but it's all been put in perspective now!

Bitching aside, the impossibility of the local transportation has been a blessing in disguise in the sense that it's forced me to look a little closer to home for entertainment. And, after almost eight months here, I can safely say that, in fact, I've discovered that I don't even need to leave my tiny little Nowhere Town to have an awesome weekend. For the past two weekends, I've taken in everything Ainan has to offer with my local friends... and had a blast doing it! Enough words. Time for some pictures.

Saturday of this weekend was a particularly hilarious-surreal experience. Leaving my kids' amazing music concert at the local Town Hall (which included a rogue, and AWESOME, Disney's "Enchanted" medley), I was casually walking back to my friend's car when I found myself SWARMED by kids yelling my name. Clearly my kids forgot that I existed outside of school hours. Cars were driving past, winding down their windows and unseen-voices from within were yelling "JIM!"...A bunch of High School girls from Matsuyama were congregated outside. Walking past them, one, with a helping elbow from a girlfriend, dared to thank me for coming. When I returned the favour in Japanese, it's no exaggeration to say the whole gaggle of them SQUEALED in hysterics. It's the single most "OH MY GOD I'M A CELEBRITY" moment I've had since coming here. I half-expected someone to whip out an autograph-pad. Luckily for my ego, they didn't. Not quite sure my head would've fitted back through my front door if they had.

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