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Google knows we're in Japan. Yikes! Fortunately, there's a way to stop getting redirected automatically to google.co.jp. Took me a minute or two to see it, though.

Friday morning, had a fun time trying to explain to hotel staff that we were going to be in the room until noon and didn't need anything but towels. After a hallway conversation with the housekeeping woman, then a phone call to the desk, then a hallway conversation (involving lots of bowing and me looking apologetic and saying "kekko desu") with the desk worker who was sent upstairs to deal with us, we managed to get trash and towel service -- with, of course, two additional cotton robes. And toothbrushes. And a bath mat. And some green tea.

I learned the word for "animal doctor", wrote it on a paper chopstick wrapper so I wouldn't forget, and then left the wrapper behind. Idiot.

The people here love my Cocoa Roast almonds. I brought a Ziploc with two full canisters' worth, offered them up at the pot-luck-ish events, and am now nearly out of them.

The women's bathroom at the community center has a little box on the wall whose sole purpose is to produce a continuous flushing noise until you push the stop button. (Why yes, I'm glad I happened to know the character for "stop". I bumped into the start button by mistake, you see.) My bet is that it covers up embarrassing noises. It even fades out appropriately when you tell it to stop! Rob reports that the men's bathroom does not have this feature.

I got a handmade gift! It's a tiny kimono, meant to be hung on a wall, made from fabric from an old full-size kimono.

We have now signed about four shirts - three while people were wearing them - and one purse. One woman wanted her shirt signed, obviously on the spur of the moment (as most of these seem to be), and was quite disappointed to realize she was wearing a black shirt and offering me a black Sharpie. So she brought her beautiful golden handbag to be signed in black Sharpie. We are told that this is perfectly fine, defacing clothing like this, and that these people will be proud to wear these to future events. We're some kind of minor celebrity in the tiny world of square dancing.

I wore some of the earrings we were given when we were here in 2005. Very glad: we saw the woman who gave them to us. She was immensely happy.

Tonight, Mikie's strawberry parfait contained soft ice cream, strawberries, sweet red azuki beans, small pink cylinders of rice dough, and cornflakes. I was almost sad I didn't get it, with all that stuff in it!
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cjsmith

May 2009

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