Monday, January 24, 2011

The last day or so..

The last day or so had a fair amount of diversity, I just want to share a few photos and tidbits. The first is the latest on the edge of my roof yesterday morning:

Then I took myself skiing, first of which was to take the subway to the southern end of the line, at which point I took this photo of an ad on the car. It made me think of Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation" -- this is an ad for Suntory beer, rather than Suntory whiskey:

Then I took the 102 bus to the end of the line, I didn't get any photos out the window, but views included 1) a giant quarry, 2) a giant, golden, reclining Buddha [the size of a building], 3) the outdoor sculpture, art park, and 4) the cemetery on the hill that has scale replicas of Easter island heads, a whole line of them; Stonehenge; and a giant Buddha head.

I got off at Takino ski area, mostly families doing low-relief downhill skiing and sledding:

I had an adventure renting cross-country equipment [mostly lost in translation; and/but especially they wanted a cell phone number...], then I headed out, thinking I might try skiing 16 km [10 miles]:

It was a relatively warm day, hovering around freezing, started sunny, but clouded over, the light was rather flat. The course started quite hilly, so I wasn't sure I was going to make 16 km, but around 5 km, it became gentler for longer distances.

I caught the 102 bus back to the subway, and the subway line back to my neighborhood, it was pretty straightforward. I bought a card worth 5000 yen to use multiple times on subways and buses. Tanioka taught me how, now I'm pretty independent, except that... well, I found there is a fair trade store in my neighborhood, and I wanted to find out if the coffee they sold was dark roast. I had a dictionary, but we never managed to figure it out, I bought some anyway. They had quite a few things like the Ten Thousand Villages Store in Seattle, where I volunteer:

Also on my way to and from the subway is the big store, where I do most of my shopping and where I picked up a few kitchen items. Already the day before I had purchased some Suntory whiskey, of which, after a bath and some supper, I had a glass. I went to bed early so I could get up and watch the Packers beat the Bears. I don't have any pictures of that, except in my head.

After I paid my rent, I came in to the office, and the rest of the day has been pretty regular. Except in this case, regular does not include snow.


  1. can you go back and get a picture of Stonehenge?

  2. Oh, it's definitively in my plans for things to do before end of March! Sunday I tried to scope out where the bus stop was, I'm not sure, but there was a big open gate along the road, so I figure I can walk from a bus stop on either side. You should see the Easter Island heads! There's a huge long line of them!

  3. I've been in Taiwan For a long time and for years have been telling students here that before the Indonesian Tsunami Taiwan was known as the largest (deadliest?) tsunami in Asia. But I seldom come across anyone here who has heard of it. Could you direct me to source material telling of this event?

  4. No--Indonesia and Japan have many more large and deadly tsunamis in their historical records, I can find none for Taiwan. Deadly earthquakes, but mainland China has some earthquakes with total deaths in the hundreds of thousands. I never heard of a (large) tsunami on Taiwan, but let me know if you find something.