Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's truely a Happy New Year!

DSC00001Happy new year everybody! The last few months of 2007 have been fairly mild as I transitioned between living in sunny San Diego, to four seasons in Japan. This month, I finally got myself back on track as far as money matters go. I finally forced myself to start itemizing all my expenses and set myself on a strict monthly budget. In theory, I should be able to save at least 400 dollars a month if no emergencies come up. So far I’ve been able to meet that goal and then some. But enough about money, let’s move on to more interesting things…

DSC00008Today is the first day of 2008, or still December 31st in the USA. Either way the New Year has come and gone and it was a pretty decent start. Although I didn’t get treated with a white new year like I had three years ago in Maebashi, it was more interesting overall. Unlike most new year days I am usually single and nursing a cold one in the comfort of friends or by myself. This year I have been blessed with my own apartment and girlfriend which really makes me feel like I’ve finally broken my winter curse of broken relationships.

Osaka and Wakayama 016 Before I continue with this post's original theme, I should recap what's happened since the last time since I posted. I spent about five days with Enoch and his wife Sanae in Osaka and their hometown in Wakayama. We saw a lot of stuff in Osaka this time around and even though I was just about broke when I got there, I was able to get a little temporary cash advance from my good friends. I felt bad having to ask for money but November was a particularly rough month as far as bills went. We ate a lot of famous local cuisines and did a little shopping on the side. I ended up buying a cool yellow T-shirt with Ronald McDonald on it saying "If you're Japananese you should eat rice." I plan to wear that in the spring when it gets warm enough!

Osaka and Wakayama 023 The last half of the trip with Enoch and Sanae was half hangover half party. Enoch's father in-law sure knows how to show friends a good time. I spent just about a whole day/night killing my liver with Enoch's father in-law.The trip was enjoyable although I regret not putting enough time into planning where and what I wanted to do. The next day I felt OK but a little moody and groggy, which I regret because I am sure I wasn't really the best of guests during that time and I really regret it. All in all, I think I could have spent one more day in Osaka by myself, but it was an overall good time. Enoch’s in-laws are a pretty friendly bunch and I am happy that I am welcome there in their home.

Osaka and Wakayama 045 Against Yuko’s wishes, I spent New Year’s Eve by myself because I was tired from traveling back from Wakayama. After a nice long and restful ten hours of sleep, I spent New Year’s Day with Yuko and we visited a local temple in the mountains for our first temple visit of the year. Although I am not Buddhist, I did enjoy observing the Japanese tradition of “Hatsumode” and took a few pictures to ring in the New Year. I really enjoy experiencing Japanese holidays, and I plan to do as many as I can this year, which means tons of pictures of traditional Japanese stuff (beats up-close shots of my ugly mug in front of random spots in Japan).

Osaka and Wakayama 079 The weather has been steadily getting colder but it’s still not unbearable, in fact, it’s pretty comfortable. Thanks to the Lord’s blessings I’ve been able to buy a whole new fashionable winter wardrobe which keeps me warm and healthy. But I don’t think it’s my clothes that are making me comfortable in this cold weather, I wonder if I am just fat and my blubber is keeping me warm… Who knows, but Yuko doesn’t think I’m fat so that’s cool. As far as Yuko goes, she’s been a pretty good girlfriend. Even though we are just about complete opposites, we somehow end up enjoying our time together and get along really well. I guess it would be a problem if we didn’t get along well, so that last sentence was probably unnecessary as well as this one!

So that’s about it for my first post of the New Year. Here’s hoping for some snow in the next few weeks! It’s been three years since I’ve seen it fall from the sky…

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