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Autumn arrives!

November 20, 2006

Finally! We had a record long summer. It stayed hot for waaaay longer than it ever should have. Then last week, bang! All the heat disappeared, all the leaves turned colour, and suddenly we were in Autumn. Or maybe we've skipped right over to Winter. I'm not sure. But finally, the beautiful leaves have appeared all throughout the valley where I live. This is what I was waiting for 🙂

Unfortunately, the ever-present mist makes it kind of tricky to see the colours in all their splendour, and even more difficult to take a radiant photo. But I went on a bit of a hike up into the hills, above my school and up past the sports ground, and tried to snap a few off today. Wasn't until afterwards that I realised I was lucky I didn't get eaten by a bear. Or a snake. Or some kind of giant spider or something. The spiders here scare the hell out of me.

Anyway, along with the leaves has come the drastic drop in temperature. I made a weekend trip out last weekend to grab a blanket, so now I no longer have to sleep under the mattress for warmth. Warm clothes are going to have to go on the list for my next free weekend.

Preparations are underway. These massive archaic heaters have been put in all the classes. They look like they run off coal. There's one smack in the middle of the staff room as well. Right next to my desk there, connected to the ceiling with a huge copper pipe. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds them a bit odd.

We haven't turned them on yet. The beauracracy says we have to wait till December. I went out and stocked up on noodles after work today. There's a few old packs here from my predecessor, and her predecessor before her, but I figure now I have an income, it's time to stop living like a student, and anything with an expiry date over a year old is getting chucked out. I also plugged in my toilet.

"…Wait, did he say he plugged in his toilet? Like an appliance?"

Funny you should ask. Yes, I did. Japan is a land of extremes. At one end of the お手洗い spectrum, you have those godawful festering cesspools of anal disease, the infamous Hole in the Floor. But at the other end, we have these amazing things from the future. The seat is constantly warm, and there's a bunch of options you can choose to do, like give yourself a bit of a gentle bidet after your business, or something a bit closer to a waterblaster. You can also choose to blowdry your ass afterwards if you don't want to have to deal with blotting it dry. Some of the ones in the city also have options to make the sound of a waterfall to help you out a little, and to avoid any embarrassing noises escaping to the next cubicle over. I've had it unplugged up until now, because in the heat of summer, sitting down on a warm toilet seat was just an unpleasant experience for me. It's a weird feeling, but not at all nice. Now, however, it's a different story. Stoked.

Check out that flight deck.

Word of the Day – きびしい – kibishii – strict

PS: Sorry to anyone who is using this as their exclusive means to study Japanese. The "last night" translation I had for my previous post was (obviously, from looking at the kanji) wrong. I was tired. ごめんね .

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