Our lives have been so busy it seems like I am sleeping better than ever because there never is a dull moment. On Friday I went to my tutor’s house for the first time. She is lives in a traditional Japanese home. As you walk into the house there is a long tiled area so that you can take off your shoes before entering the house. Then there are 3 steps up into the house. To the left is a rice paper screen for the tatami mat room. Traditionally this is a sleeping area but they have it covered so that the children may use it as a study room. To the right is their living room area. It has beautiful hard wood floors and the most amazing ceiling. There was a recessed area in the ceiling that was framed in the same dark wood as the floor. In the frame was a beautiful pattern that appeared almost like embroidery in rich cream and gold tones. During our lesson we used her children’s flashcards to work on my grocery vocabulary. I am improving but I get frustrated at times because I revert to Spanish quite often when I’m searching for a word. G and my tutor both keep telling me I’m doing great. I’ll just need to keep practicing.
After my lesson I met back up with G and went to lunch with him, his coworkers and their wives. We had a delicious Thai lunch then did some running around. It’s nice to have a group that is willing to do things as couples, especially since they want to explore the island just as much as we do. Later that evening G and I had date night. We ate at our favorite Italian place where the appetizer special for the night was prosciutto wrapped mango slices. AMAZING!!! For dinner I had anchovy pasta, which is kind of like an alfredo sauce. It is not fishy at all, it’s subtle and delicious. When came back to the house and sat on the back porch, watching the sun set and listened to music. It was the perfect ending to the day.
On Saturday we picked up my car from the shop then went exploring. We wanted to go snorkeling again but there was a caution sea condition warning for the East China Sea side of the island so we drove to the Pacific side. I had done some research on the best areas on the east side of the island but it’s hard to follow directions here sometimes because many of the streets do not have names. We drove over a long bridge and into the mountains. We found a beach called Ton hama. The beach was clean and staffed with very kind people. It is a smaller beach so only about 8 cars can park there at one time. We geared up and headed in. Since there were not any coral reefs the fish were few and far between, the only exception was there about 6 fish decided I was a good person to swim with and they swam at my side the entire time. J About an hour into swimming I almost swam into a jellyfish! I freaked out! I swam backwards as quickly as I could, which is not easy, and got G’s attention. All he had to say was “cool”. I wasn’t near as calm as he was. We swam around the jellyfish and to the other side of the beach. We saw another jellyfish on that side so I called it quits. From then on we stayed near the beach searching for sea glass and cool shells.
When I was too cold to be in the water any longer I we went back to the staff and told them about the jellyfish. 6 of the workers jumped into the water with pool nets and caught the suckers. When they pulled them out of the net they confirmed that they were box jellyfish, which are extremely dangerous and painful. One worker even got stung by it. He said it only itched; he poured vinegar on it and said he was good to go but I think he was trying to be macho. So we loaded up, and headed back to shower quickly and go to dinner with G’s coworkers.
We went to a Kobe beef restaurant, it is so delicious! Then we walked around American Village and indulged in melon and pomegranate raspberry frozen yogurt.
Sunday we worked on our cars for most of the day then ran to the hardware store for a few things. Before I even got out of the car G spotted a LARGE spider on my window. Thank goodness it was on the outside because his legs were about 4 inches in length. I have seen a few of these around here and I am told that they are not poisonous but they do give you one heck of a scare when you see one! Since we were so tired and starving we went to a local sushi restaurant for dinner. I have never had salmon so fresh in my entire life. It quite literally melted in my mouth. For our shared main course we had a sashimi salad. It was varied salad greens, Japanese cucumbers, tomatoes, salmon, tuna, squid, bream and some other fish that I have no clue what it is, topped with a house Italian dressing. With all of the great foods we are eating, I’m glad that we’re staying so active.
We are both very happy and healthy here. I am so grateful to have this amazing opportunity where we are truly living in paradise. I do miss our family and friends back home but I am so ready to have visitors so that we can share this beautiful place with you.