January 25, 2008

Another Week Down

Here we are, heading into another weekend. Before we start, here are a couple of pictures that show how the kids have been decorating their rooms. Go 100 Yen Store!

Today, we decided to write briefly about "konbini" (the Japanese convenience store), because...well...they are everywhere. With names such as Heart-In, Lawson's, and FamilyMart, these stores are part of the fabric of everyday life.

Konbini are like 7-11's, but different. During rush hour, scores of commuters are in there poring over magazines and manga. The other day, Mike missed lunch at the cafeteria and grabbed a container of sushi at the konbini downstairs. And it was soooo good and fresh, you would not believe it. Also, in Japan they sell hot drinks in plastic bottles. Mike had a yellow vitamin C one; and it was quite good. And as previously noted, you can even pay your utility bills there! Here is a cool website devoted to exploring the various types of food items you can buy at these stores.

Anyway, on the topic of food, today was a stellar food day for Mike. At lunch, he went out for yakiniku (yaki = BBQ, niku = meat). Wow, was it stellar. And we went out for dinner on Friday night near the train station to a Tonkatsu place. We got our own little tatami room and shorty table, and sat on pillows on the floor. Excellent. After dinner the kids enjoyed riding up this escalator near our apartment, which has a flat middle section that converts into stairs. Hard to describe, but trust us, its really cool!

Meanwhile, we are continuing to study Hiragana (slowly). Mike gets lots of practice trying to sound out the names of the various train stations he passes each morning! But its going to take some time.

Tomorrow we are heading to Mt. Rokko (despite having no real ski stuff) for an orientation snow-ball fight and lunch with Lauren's class. Should be fun!

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