I has a bucket (list)... Noooo they be stealin' my bike

Last week I felt like this sea lion...

Last time I came to Japan, Boy said I had to do things I had done in Canada, again in Japan. I guess you could call it a sort of bucket list (except I don't make a list of things to do, but rather of things I've done)...
Anyhow, last week I added another thing to my list: having my bike stolen! It was actually an interesting experience, in hindsight...
First I should explain about Japanese "mama chari" bikes. They all have built-in locks on the back wheel... Too flimsy by western standards, but they do the trick in Japan! To ride the bike, you put the key in the lock and leave it in there. To lock it, you take the key out.

Sooo last Thursday I went to Wakayama city by train to teach my lesson at GLS and I left my bike at the station--unlocked (aho ka!)
Now I have done this before and yes, it was okay. But this time of course I got back in the evening and it was not there! I was afraid I would never see it again, but luckily I had it registered with the police when I bought it.
So the next day I went to the police station to report it stolen (actually something I've never done in Canada)!
Then Machiko's sister-in-law told me that the bike thieves are often high school students with too much time on their hands, who take bikes from the station and ride to a konbini/karaoke/bookstore.. Etc.
Anyhow to make a long story less long, this morning I was riding around on Keiko (Machiko's niece)'s bike and found my bike near a juku, an after-hours exam prep school.
That's my bike, right there. "Axis" is the cram school.
The key was still in the lock! So I took the key and went to retrieve the bike later... I also went to the police station and got my fingerprints done (they will compare the prints on the bike to try and find the culprit).
So, what are the things on my bucket list now?
  • eating at a McDonald's (completed in 2008)
  • going skiing
  • going to a movie
  • feeling an earthquake
  • having my bike stolen
Things I've done in Japan that I haven't in Canada:
  • found my bike that was stolen
And what did I learn from all this? That whereas in Canada, bike thieves are electric-saw-and-wire-cutter-wielding junkies who will stop at nothing (even a kryptonite U-lock) to sell your bike for a bag of, uh.. sandwiches; bike thieves in Japan are 16 year olds going to their cram school or playing hooky.. and they leave the key in the lock. They are a kind and innocent brand of thieves (at least in Aridagawa).
Oh yeah, and always lock my bike.. Yeah. That.


asian spring

It is now spring in japan.
the cherry blossoms came and went too quickly.
insect repellants and sunscreen have been popping up all over the supermarkets.
there are also fireworks :D

I can't wait to get my hands on some of these!

I just need someone to burn them with...

on april 13th, I went to Kimiidera (a temple in south Wakayama city) with Motoaki and Machiko sensei. we went there to view the cherry blossoms... too late! they were almost all gone to the wind. it was still very pretty; Kimiidera has a nice view from the top. oh well, maybe next year I can see the blossoms at Wakayama castle. I hear they are nice there, too.

on april 15th, I came across a lantern festival in Yuasa town. there were lots of lovely and creative lanterns :) the old part of Yuasa is really cute. 

 May 5th was children's day. Happy Children's Day to all the boys!

on the 6th I went to another Survival game (airsoft/bb rifles)
that's me! (I'm just posing)

on the 8th I went to Koto no Ura garden in Wakayama city with my friend/coworker Misa. it was very tranquil and beautiful. it reminded me of Nitobe garden at UBC.

in the classroom, I am always finding funny things... I recently came across this on the cover of the book we use for teaching lower case letters. This is going to be my favourite story for a while. also, where can I get a pair of these "cool dino shoes". they sound fantastic.

 Yesterday, I performed the shamisen (3 songs!) at a Tenrikyo service at Yuasa church. I love the shamisen now :D I want to look up some more sheet music to study in my free time so I can improve, not just Tenrikyo songs. I am also getting a friend to teach me the Koto. I can play the song "sakura" but not very well.