Thousands of Miles from Home


The Slack is Back

It is such a terrible title I couldn't resist!

Today was finally warm and dry enough to set up a slackline in the park near my house. For the inquisitive, a slackline is a length of webbing strung between two trees on which you wan walk (think: circus). Usually it draws a crowd of onlookers back home, so you can imagine some weird foreign guy slacklining in the park would be a pretty big event in the sleepy neighborhood of Tai. I invited Amanda, the exchange student from Canada who recently moved to a nearby house as well as some of my neighbors. Everyone gave it a try and luckily no one fell right on their face! (Takuro came close, however)

But before this afternoon's slacking, my family took me to a famous Ramen and Soba restaurant in Okayama called Ichigen. It was not our original destination, which was another famous Ramen shop about halfway between Tamano and Okayama. But when we arrived, we found the Ramen shop reduced to rubble. No kidding, you could actually see the bricks and iron rebar from the demolished building. After recovering from the laughter we decided on the alternate restaurant.

After lunch I taught English at a juku to some junior high students who are taking the high school entrance exam next week. The high school entrace exam is big business because getting into a good high school usually means getting into a good college. Just one more way to add pressure on kids. Regardless, we had fun and teaching was awesome.

Yesterday was Tomoya's "Farewell Concert" at Uno Junior High School. He played the contrabass in a piece entitled "Romanian Folk Song" and the electric bass for a "Disney Super Mix." Surprisingly, school bands sound the same all over the world. I don't know what I was expecting. There was an accordion selection of "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things" which rocked (as hard as an accordion can rock).

Tomorrow I am going to city hall for an interview. They specifically told me to "come alone." I hope this isn't another one of the Mayor's crazy traps!

Silly Tamano Mayor, Trix are for Kids!


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