March 16

Jill was feeling a bit under the weather, so she and Miwa did schooling in the morning while Ru and I went for a short trip to the playground. I made her stop and look at my favourite motorcycles along the way. I don’t think she likes them as much.

I really haven’t had a chance to have Ramen, my favourite Japanese dish, since we got here. Only one bowl at a Taiwanese restaurant on our second night in Kashima. I tried to get the troops interested in going out for Ramen for lunch today, but had no takers. In desperation, I went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients, then stopped at the 100¥ shop, bought 3 bowls and spoons (the entire stock) and went back to make my own ramen lunch. It was absolutely delicious, and when all was said and done, it cost less than a quarter of a lunch out, including the dishes. I foresee ramen for lunch for the remainder of our stay here.

Despite our best intentions of lazing about, we put in a respectable amount of walking and saw a lot of fun stuff. Mostly (giant, one was at least 1 meter long) koi as we walked along the drainage ditch, though we also saw a turtle and one rat that blew us away with how fast it swam.

The purpose of the walk was purposeless walking, though we threw in a visit to the J-mart to pick up a few sundries and a stop at 7-11 where Jill bought a 7-11 branded bottle of Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. It was just as good as you might expect, but honestly, good wine in Japan does not seem to exist. The beer is a much safer bet. Pretty much the inverse of California.

Mitzi was due to arrive tonight, so we let the girls stay up late and went to meet her at the train station. She arrived just after 9 and we took her back to the apartment, giving her a tour of the neighbourhood along the way.