Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Miller Time in Japan: Part 4: My Maebashi

Kristin's only requests for this trip were 1)seeing me (check!) 2) seeing big buildings in Tokyo (check!) 3) seeing my 'hometown' and schools (wait for it) 4) and seeing a volcano (wait for it!).
Since I'm extremely proud of where I live in Maebashi and all the people in it I wasn't bashful about taking Kristin anywhere and everywhere for show and tell.
One afternoon we took a nice bike ride along the Tone river, and I FINALLY got to play in this park that I've wanted to, but hadn't because I didn't want to be that creepy adult stranger talking to small sweaty children.

For dinner, going along with the "Kristin's firsts" theme, we went to Mahatma's Indian restaurant, my favorite in Maebashi. Where the nan comes hot and as big as your head!

The next day I took her to two of the schools I teach at for show and tell. The kids LOVED her and she was super entertaining. At least one student in each class asked, "How tall are you?" Sorry I don't have more pictures... I was too busy teaching. This is the teacher's room in my base school below.

That night we went to the student's home I tutor (sorry, no pictures) and then karate class. It was really cool to be doing a sport again with my 'ol tennis doubles partner and basketball mentor. A lot of karate is stretching and muscle memorization, which came really natural to her. I was amazed that she picked up on techniques that took me months to learn so quickly.

Kristin's first: okonomiyaki experience. I think I've written about okonomiyaki a million and one times on here, but in case this is the first time you're reading: okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese savory potato pancake. Sounds bizarre. Looks bizarre. Tastes delicious. I could tell she was scared... real scared. But, that didn't stop her from trying and liking? a Japanese comfort food so close to my heart.

We could order it alright, but we left the mixing and pouring up the professionals! Oh man, I love the owners here. They opened up on their day off, jussst for us.
Also, it was a mini surprise birthday for Kristin, since her b-day was in less than a week. Happy Birthday with a German chocolate and strawberry cake!
Everyone came out to celebrate!
Even my bestest friends, Tomomi and Shyooma:)

This is Mrs. Ohtani, my best 80 year old friend, ever! And like everyone that meets her, these two really hit it off.
Post Japanese okonomiyaki dinner we had to add another first with Japanese karaoke!

The boys starting it off right with some Queen. Classic.

I don't know about Kristin, but this had to be a highlight of the trip for me. So many of my best memories with her are from us going out and singing and dancing (neither of which I do well, but which she dominates). This brought it all back but in the Japanese realm. So much fun!

Oh, it shan't be long until the singing, drinking, and dancing is had again by many (with the help of the Eddie Butts Band!!!) at the Seidemann wedding of '09. I'm already counting down the days!

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