Had my kids class again today with the kid I mentioned last week (Pork Bowl). After he got a telling off by the Japanese staff before class started, and after I gave him the “oh hell no” attitude before class, he actually was fairly well behaved today. Thank goodness, because I think I would have had to kick him out of the window otherwise. If he can keep this up, my Wednesdays will be great.

Last weekend was awesome, primarily because I had absolutely nothing to do. After a month where I had every weekend booked with friends in town, party obligations, Sunday Opens at work, etc, it was great to have absolutely nothing to do. On Saturday I just went to Chiba to hang out, after the usual grueling Saturday shift. It didn’t help that I stayed up until around 3AM the night before downloading 90’s songs (long story), then was up for almost 40 minutes in the early morning in a duel with a killer mosquito that broke into my apartment… via an open window. Sunday I slept until the mid-afternoon and couldn’t have been more satisfied. I went to Makuhari in the afternoon and finally bought a bike from Carrefour. It was pretty cheap; the label price was about 8000 yen. However, when I paid it ended up being only 6900 yen which was a nice surprise. With the registration cost, delivery charge, and new lock I bought, it cost me around $100 USD for a new bike that will increase the convenience of Goi a lot.

Now, please note that this is no mountain bike. It’s a pretty typical traveling bike in Japan, called the “mama-chari,” (ママちゃり) which translates to “Mom bike.” Yes, this is the kind of bike that old ladies ride around to go shopping. I don’t care. Of course I could never ride a bike like this in the US, but here in Japan I am one of millions doing so, thus it doesn’t seem so bad and I won’t be ridiculed for riding it in public. My bike has a basket, a light, and a bell. Watch out Hells Angels. I realized that renting a bike every weekend from the shop here in Goi would add up, and since I was able to get a bike this cheap, I figured might as well just buy one. I’ll never get used to laying down a ton of money and walking away empty handed in Japan. Since a lot of people don’t have cars when they go shopping for big stuff, most stores are very good about shipping stuff to you for cheap. It only cost me 1500 yen to ship my bike, but I also had to wait a few days. It should be here tomorrow morning (Thursday).

After taking care of the bike stuff on Sunday, I went to Outback for dinner. Never would I have thought that an Outback burger would be so tasty. I don’t usually think about how much I miss American food like that, but it felt great to eat a real restaurant burger. Monday was raining and stuff, so I spent pretty much the whole day again just loafing in my apartment. I actually went shopping at Ito Yokado for a bit in the evening, but that was about it. I missed being super lazy on the weekends.

A week and a half until Golden Week. I won’t be going anywhere really on vacation, but it looks like Nick is coming up to Chiba to hang out. Brian will have his mom in town, but he’ll be able to hang out in the evenings most likely. Should be nice to have everyone off and near enough to actually hang out. It will also be nice to just have a week off with nothing to do. I’m hoping to do some really touristy stuff around Tokyo as well.

Japan Cycling: Mama Chari