Days 27 and 28: Family restaurant, finals and the farewell party

First to finish up yesterday's events.  For dinner, the family wanted to take me out to a restaurant as a sort of farewell gift.  I didn't have any particular preferences, and I don't know much about the restaurants around here anyway, so I let them suggest some, and we decided on a family restaurant.  I don't know the name, though.

When we got there, I looked through the menu and felt right at home.  A lot of the stuff would have been pretty normal to see on an American menu.  I ended up ordering a mixed plate with kind of a meatloaf, fried chicken similar to what I had at the izakaya, mixed vegetables, hashbrowns, corn soup, and french bread (sort of).  And I got the juice bar, which is just unlimited drinks of whatever was there.  The food was really good, and I ended up drinking three cups of Calpis water when I saw it was on the drink list.  That stuff is really good.  I've heard it's some sort of yogurt thing, but I don't think that's quite right.  According to their website, it's a "lactic-acid" drink, so it's milk based in some way, but I don't know.  Yukie thought it was really funny that I liked it so much.

Now on to today.

Despite the weather report saying 100% chance of rain through about 4pm today, it had already stopped before I woke up and it didn't rain at all today.  That was a nice, unexpected boon.

I was a little late to school again, but it didn't really matter.  They tell us to get there at 9, but class doesn't start until 9:20 or 9:30, and they usually don't give announcements until 5 or 10 minutes before that, so I didn't miss much.  Anyway, we all had to fill out surveys about our host families, the school experience, the trip in general, and so on.  We also returned the cell phones and ID cards the school gave us in the beginning, so I am now trapped in Japan without a cell phone.  To be precise, I have one, but it only works in America.

In class, we each did a practice run-through of our survey result presentations and got a little feedback from the teacher, then did the real things in front of both classes, both teachers plus the program head, Kanzaki-sensei, and a couple of our Japanese buddies.  I don't think there were any particular issues with the presentation.  It seemed to run pretty smoothly.

After that, we paid our phone bills (mine was 300-some yen, by far the lowest.  They charged 100 yen per minute), then went to lunch, which was the usual cheap kitsune udon for me.  Kitsune means fox, but it's actually just tofu stuff.  After lunch, I had my final kanji test.  I'm not too confident in this one.  I might have gotten 10/10, but I'm only really confident in 7 of them.  This was one of the harder tests, and I didn't study much at all for it with everything else that's been going on.  Oh well.  Even if it's just 7/10, it's not as bad as I did on some of the early tests.

I came home and played piano for what will probably be the last time in Japan, then started packing my suitcases.  At this point, everything's basically packed, minus what I'll be using tonight and tomorrow.  I did manage to fit those figures in, but there's not really any room for more, so the rest will have to be shipped home.  Well, maybe a couple small ones, but I don't know...

As I was packing, Yukie came in and told me that she had bought Taiyaki, which I vaguely remember telling her was one of the foods I wanted to try while I was in Japan.  Taiyaki are fish-shaped pastries, usually filled with an, a red bean paste, but really they come with all sorts of sweet things inside.  I of course had one, but I chose the custard-filled one instead of an, since I've had an before and didn't care much for it.  It tasted really good.

Yukie also bought two bottles of concentrated Calpis formula for me to take home.  Each bottle is supposed to be enough for 15 cups of the drink, so I'll be able to share it with everyone when I get back.  She got two different flavors, though, one original and one grape, I think, which I've never tried.  We'll have to see what it's like.

Around 6:00, I went to the farewell party at the school.  I was biking over by myself, because Ranmaru had tennis at 6, so they'd be late.  On the way over, I was going a little (a lot) too fast down the big hill right before the school, and came very close to being hit by a car when I went across a street on the hill.  Like, within a few inches.  Granted, he was already stopping anyway, so the car would have barely tapped me, but even still.  I'd say it was about 80% my fault, although he was also pulling a little too far forward before stopping.  Not like I'm likely to ever have the opportunity to again, but I don't plan to ride quite that fast when there are streets like that in the future.  I roughly stopped my bike about 5 feet past the car, turned back and signaled that I was alright, saying "daijoubu" (which I'm sure he didn't hear), and continued on.  I did get a slight scrape on the side of my knee from hitting the bike as I was trying to stop it, but it's nothing to worry about.

Ok, so anyway, the farewell ceremony closely resembled the opening ceremony, taking place in the chapel with much the same service.  The difference was that this time, they presented us with certificates saying that we participated in the course and so on and so forth.  I can only read about half of it.

Then we moved on to the party portion, and everyone toasted everyone (which I could actually participate in this time, since they had juice and not just tea) before moving on to dinner, which was all sorts of small foods.  I stuck to dishes where people didn't have to use their own chopsticks to serve themselves, at least after the first trip, since I don't trust people to not use the end they eat off of.  It was good, and enough to fill me up.  They had a slideshow running most of the time on a giant projector screen, showing a lot of pictures that they had taken throughout the trip.  It was fun to look at all those again.  They also gave all the students a farewell package which included a CD, presumably with those pictures on it; a towel with the school's name and logo; and a bottle of... glue.  I'm still scratching my head over that one, but whatever.

They also gave out prizes for the best presentations in the classes, one for the beginner class and one for the advanced class.  My team won the prize for the beginner class.  We each received an envelope containing... a cow keychain.  But not just any cow keychain, oh no.  This one has a button on its head, and when you press it, it moos and shoots blue lasers out of its nostrils.  Seriously.  Okay, maybe not lasers, but a really bright light.  I really don't understand these gifts.

Most of the other students went to an izakaya after the farewell party, but I decided to come straight home instead.  After all, I wasn't going to drink, and I was already pretty full from everything else, so I really didn't see the point in going to a buffet.  I said my goodbyes and headed out.  I rode my bike nice and slow on the way home.

So that's it for this house.  I think I'll quickly take a few pictures of the rest of the house, since I never did actually do all that like I said I would, and then I'll get ready for bed and go to sleep.  I have to get up pretty early tomorrow, so I should get as much sleep as I can.  Goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. Bon Voyage!

    I hope you'll have an awesome time in Tokyo and wherever else you go for the next week. We've really enjoyed your travel guide. You may not have access to Internet some days, but we'll look forward to anytime you can be on.