Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pottery, Bowling, and Karaoke

I did quite a bit on Friday. Around 9:30, Nick came over and we drove over the place for the pottery lesson. On the way, we cut through a huge cemetery which a lot of people were visiting because it was a holiday that involved visiting graves. The grave stones were not as small as I thought they'd be, but they were mostly all the same with different names on them, except for grander, more expensive looking ones behind them. The cemetery was also big enough that each section was labeled. From there we went down a somewhat steep curvy road and were quickly in a more rural area. The pottery place was by a farm and it was very pretty. Mackenzie and Daisuke and his coworker also met us there.

Actually making the pottery was a bit rough because I had no experience and the teacher only spoke Japanese. We had enough clay to each make two things and for making a cup there was almost too much clay. The process went basically like this: knead the clay to get out air, center it on the turntable thing, make it into the basic shape of what you want, and let the teacher beautify/fix it with her magic tools and skills. It was pretty amazing to see our crap turn into something cool very quickly once the teacher got a hold of it. After that step, we slid a thin string underneath to get it off of the turn table and let it dry for a while. Later after we ate bento boxes for lunch (prepackaged lunches from the store, though people also make their own), we brought out creations back in to shave off the uneven bits and make the bottoms nice. I was also pretty bad at this and got some help. It took up a good chunk of the day and it was a fun, good experience.

When we got home, I soon got a call from Yosuke saying that he and a couple people, Dai and Holland, were going to go out bowling and for karaoke if I wanted to come. The place they were meeting was in Odori, a bit far away but Daisuke gave me a ride in his car. I felt kind of bad for taking him away from the family when we hadn't been home for very long. After meeting we stopped at McDonald's to get a teriyaki burger since Yosuke kept saying they were delicious. And it wasn't bad actually; I don't usually like McDonald's but the teriyaki burger was pretty good. From there we went to a several story building that had an arcade, bowling, karaoke, and I'm not sure what else. We just went to bowling and played a couple games (I won the first with 130 points!). From there we walked around trying to find a different, cheaper place for karaoke but ended up wandering around for a while before we found one. Still we did it for an hour when we found one and I tried to sing some Japanese songs though they were a bit harder this time since I was running out of easy songs to sing. It was a holiday so my last bus came at 10 to the station near the college which was 30 minutes by subway from Odori. We made it back with plenty of time to spare.

At home, my host mom talked to me about stuff because she knew I had been stressing a lot lately and she was very nice about everything. Soon after that, she got a call from Yusuke and found out that he had gotten engaged so we had a glass of wine to celebrate (well, actually I think she has a glass of wine every night anyway, but for me it was celebrating).

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