It’s been forever since I last wrote an entry here and it’ll probably take a few days to get caught up on the things that have happened in the last few weeks.

Despite the constant threat of rain, we finally made it to Bio Park. It was just me and my okaasan for the day. The place is esentially a big zoo without any proper cages. When we first arrived there were a couple parrots and a llama standing by the front gate. As far as I could tell there wasn’t anything stopping those parrots from just flying away, although their wings were probably clipped or something. It was pretty much the same story inside. There always seemed to be a llama around (I gather they’re the park’s mascot) and various exotic birds had free reign over the place. Something that looked a bit like a peacock visited us at our table when we were having a snack towards the end of the day to get some food for himself. The only animals that did suffer from a little confinement were the big ones (the rhinos, hippos, and giraffes), but probably just because they’d be a little harder to shoo away from your table when eating lunch than a little bird. Mind you, the little squirrel monkeys were rather aggresive. They tried to take one lady’s drink right out of her hand. They looked like tiny little people, with their tiny little hands and tiny little faces. I liked the flamingos the best because they swarmed all over us to get food, and made my okaasan scream every time they took food from her hand. They even had beavers! Who would have thought that such a common animal could earn a place in a zoo? But I suppose they just don’t have them around here. They almost had a cage, though it was really just a little wall around their pond that they probably couldn’t climb unless they took a really good run at it. My okaasan also delighted in putting leaves onto the heads of the lazier animals for no other reason than they were just lazy.

The next day Anita and Emi came into town, so we hung out for a while around Hamanomachi and Youmesaito. I couldn’t stay with them long, though, because my homeroom teacher, Nishiyama-sensei, invited me to another of his daughter’s concerts. It wasn’t too bad, although a lot of it was boring opera singing type stuff. Afterwards my okaasan, Hayasaka-san, and I walked from Kyokaido-Mae (where the concert was) across all those old bridges and into Hamanomachi where we had a really late supper and even more ice cream (Anita and I had splurged earlier and gotten two of those 30cm parfaits at another little shop in Hamanomachi).

A few times recently I’ve tried exploring that area more on my own. A lady at Japanese class told me she knows her way everywhere because of all the walking she did. One day I walked all the way from Youmesaito back to school – about a two hour adventure. The Youmesaito to Hamanomachi leg of the journey wasn’t too bad. I only got a little side tracked when I went down the wrong street, but it still led in the right direction. The bad part came when I tried the wrong way at the central intersection of Hamanomachi. The street I ended up on kept getting narrower and steeper until it turned into stairs. That’s when I knew I was in trouble, because I was supposed to be on the main street of China Town. Luckily, I could occasionally catch a glimpse of Kaisei’s bright blue roof further up the mountain, so I knew I was at least going in the right direction. Eventually I was able to follow some other Kaisei students back to the school. Needless to say, I’ve since made an effort to memorize which direction from Hamanomachi actually does take me to the main street of China Town.

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