Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Time stands still on a summer afternoon when the grilling sunshine makes a sharp contrast with the shade under the trees, and all you hear are the chorus of cicadas and the sound of an old electric fan.

Then from somewhere, you hear a little kid -- your best friend -- calling your name.
"Let's go swimming!" the voice says.

And you see yourself -- a little boy or a girl -- hurrying to the beach with the friend.

The bathing suit feels funny as you walk on the beach, and the old sandals do not completely protect your feet from heated rocks and sands. But you don't care because you know everything will be just fine the minute you walk into the sea...

Have you ever had a drowsy afternoon that merges the present with the past like this?
I happily hallucinated all afternoon today, vividly remembering the sounds, smells and tastes that filled my childhood world in summer.

When I finally went outside to take in the line-dried laundry, the clouds in the sky and the gentle breeze already had a hint of autumn.
posted by obachan, 8/25/2009 01:11:00 PM | link | 5 comments |

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The weather has been summer-like the whole past week. Yesterday I joined a group of people who cleaned the beach. As I wrote in a previous post, this part of the prefecture is applying for UNESCO Geopark status, and some people from related organization are coming to visit this town at the end of August. Of course, we want to show them our hospitality and give a good impression. That's why local folks of middle-age and above spent a few hours on the beach on a sunny summer day, being soaked in sweat. No, no, this is not a complaint. I thought it was a good thing to do and felt good about being part of it. I enjoyed talking and working with people who are not my parents. Honestly.

In addition to community involvement like this, I've been doing some translation at home. It's not a paid job -- just a volunteer work. But it makes me feel good about myself because I'm being useful to others.

Yeah, I'm feeling much better now than I was in July and early August.
Definitely better.
posted by obachan, 8/23/2009 07:39:00 PM | link | 3 comments |

Sunday, August 09, 2009


My younger sis and her two kids are coming tomorrow to stay for about a week.
I've got to have normal conversation with someone younger than my parents.
I N-E-E-D F-U-N!!!

... But the weather is going to be lousy. Amazingly, a tropical depression just turned into typhoon close to Japan and coming this way. Gee. Water temperature of the Pacific Ocean must be pretty high. Another evidence of global warming?

We might have to give up swimming and fishing this week... I hope we have a chance to BBQ on the beach, at least once.
posted by obachan, 8/09/2009 09:37:00 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, August 01, 2009


So I went to the three-day lecture on local geology, and I enjoyed it very, VERY much! The teacher who gave the lecture was hilarious, energetic and knowledgeable. He is the center of the project to apply for UNESCO Geopark status for this area, I heard. I think they chose the right guy.

The lecture totally changed the way I look at the coastline and rocks that I'm awfully familiar with and have taken for granted all my life. He said that this is a rare place where the evidence of the plate tectonics theory (See? Now I can use some technical terms. ;) is so easily observable. Later at home I found, on the Internet, several research papers on the geological structure of this area, not only by Japanese geologists but also by those in abroad. So this place IS academically important. Gee.

All the sudden, the familiar sceneries with coastal rocks and mountains started looking so interesting to me. Hoping to be a (bilingual??? if possible??) volunteer tour guide here, I started studying the basics of geology, both in Japanese and English. It is so much fun. Learning something new is fun and exciting, isn't it? That's a long-forgotten feeling. Really!

Meanwhile, I've been on another project; I'm making a refuge -- a place where I can be totally alone and cook whatever I like. It's going to be at my aunt's house. My aunt lives there alone but she is almost always absent, being busy traveling around. And her house is in the area covered by a fast Internet service, and -- what's more -- is near the sandy beach good for surf casting! So I've been making arrangements for the past couple of weeks. Hey, I promise. In a couple of weeks, you'll read, probably on my foodblog, about my overnight stay at my aunt's place, enjoying Flets ADSL (a relatively fast Internet service here in Japan), surf-casting and Western dinner with alcoholic drink!

BTW, once things started moving, it looks like that things happen one after another. Yesterday I heard from the "native speaker of English" guy I mentioned in my previous post. Good!
Things are looking up, maybe?
posted by obachan, 8/01/2009 01:36:00 PM | link | 4 comments |