Where has the time gone? In less than four months we will be done with our first year in Japan. January and February flew by. We’ve had lots of little events over the last 8 weeks, so we thought we’d wrap them into a summary post. I have to admit, after New Zealand, most events almost don’t seem worthy of a post; however, we have had some interesting experiences that we don’t want to forget, and want to share with you.
Chuck Wagon Bar
1) The Country Western Bar Downtown: It was a night out for the whole school….an “All You Can Eat & Drink” – choice of various types of bar food, whiskey, beer and box wine (ha!) courtesy of the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He apparently is a big Country Western fan and frequents this place a lot (but he’s obviously not a wine drinker). This place even had a live band singing various honky tonk songs! I was actually really surprised such a place existed here…but it does and they do a pretty good job creating the right atmosphere. It’s not a very big place, but somehow we all managed to fit in….and a few people even “danced”. I was actually hoping there would be a nice big thick steak and baked potato there, but no such luck. They had pizza, pasta, salad, sausage, some rice dishes, and various other finger foods instead. And as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get use to the Japanese band dressed in cowboy hats and tight blue jeans. It was almost as entertaining as seeing the Japanese waiters dressed in Mexican attire at El Barracho. They just shouldn’t do it. I wish I would have remembered to bring my camera to this event, however, the images in my mind still won’t go away.
Van Gogh Exhibit
2) The Van Gogh Exhibit at the National Museum in Dazaifu: This was truly a delight to see. It was so good, we almost went back to see it again. I’ve been to other exhibits and been disappointed by the number of actual paintings on loan of the featured artist(s) you get to see – and how far away you have to be from them, so I didn’t have high expectations going to this one. Well….to my (and everyone else’s) surprise, there must have been a hundred of Van Gogh works there AND you could literally get within inches of them. It was amazing to see all the detail, the depth, and the brush strokes! The way the paintings were arranged, the progression of his work from his first sketches to his most famous paintings was very apparent. Occasionally, there would be works from other famous painters that were either from the same era or which influenced his style. I would have loved to have taken pictures in there, but (even if I was allowed) pictures just can’t capture stuff like that yet. I also need to mention the number of people that were there…we were nearly packed in there like sardines! At times it was almost frustrating, but fortunately, they were able to keep the lines moving so that you could eventually see everything. You were also allowed to go back if you wanted to see something again. It was like walking through a maze, but it took you by every piece of work. I suppose the narrow halls would have bothered those individuals who like to study paintings from a distance, but I find his work more enjoyable close up. The only painting that wasn’t there that we would have really liked to see was Starry Night. Everyone seemed to have a different favorite. I’m not sure I could choose just one. Oddly enough, Van Gogh happens to resemble the person that works in the library with me…the students had a good chuckle with that. Lucky for him, he knows who to ‘dress up’ as for Halloween next year.
3) The Prom Lunch Fundraisers: As some of you might know, Robert is in charge of the Junior class who is in charge of funding and planning the Prom. After some initial frustration (and a temper tantrum) he decided to take it on by doing something he enjoys doing: cooking! So he planned 4 lunches at the school in order to raise money. One time we made Chicken Soup (which went over well with the healthy eaters) and the other three times we made Chili (which was enjoyed by all, including the junk food addicts). We had to go a little low on the spiciness meter for the children, but that was easily remedied for us adults with some Tabasco sauce. Anyway, all these lunches meant we’ve been going to Costco every other weekend and loading up on beef, beans, onions, tomatoes, corn, and various spices (I also loaded up on wine & cheese 🙂 ). We chopped and prepped on Sunday afternoons. Robert got up early on Mondays to get the stuff cooking…the whole school smelled wonderful! The last batch was perfection. There was absolutely nothing left over….no bowls, no spoons, no cheese, no sour cream. It was awesome. Makes me want to do it again….alas, they have made enough ¥ now, so chili will not be on any future lunch menus. 🙁