Yes, folks, it's that time of year, when I'm almost through with classes for the summer. And right on time, today (Monday) is umi no hi, or Sea Day. Nobody knows what it's for, but we all like a nice holiday. This weekend has been rather busy, full of physical exertions. Saturday Julian and I tooled down to Enoshima on our bicycles. The beaches around there have beach bars set up with music and the beaches are packed. They call themselves the "Miami beach of the East," but that's being too generous. The black sand and trash everywhere don't bring Miami to mind. But it's better than Hiratsuka, where the undertow will suck you out to sea like what happened to an acquaintance of mine.
My old roommate Gavin got a new guy in his apartment, one who liked surfing. Mike took his surfboard down to the beach and went out. I guess it's popular with surfers, so he must've done something wrong, but in any case he ended up getting pulled out into the bay by the current, despite his best efforts to paddle in. He eventually got to a buoy of some sort and clung there for a while, til the tide came in and he was able to paddle back to shore, albeit the next down over. Guess he had a long walk home with his surfboard.
Anyways, Julian and I rode down to Enoshima and checked out the scene. Saturday night was "Pirates of the Caribbean II." I was the only one who brought a pirate hat, so that was discouraging. Everyone else tried it on, and I think Miwa ran off with it. Incidentally, there's a pirate bar in Hiratsuka, the outside is done up with wood planks and fake cannon portholes. The logo is a skull wearing a chef's hat and a knife and fork crossed beneath, in the style of the skull & crossbones.
Yesterday, Sunday, was soccer with some of the foreigners and a few Japanese from around the area. I tried to make up for my lack of skills by constantly running back and forth, exhausting myself. Which meant that riding over to Chigasaki, the city just east of Hiratsuka, for a beach BBQ wasn't the best idea. It was nice to go down there and cook up some steaks, have a few drinks and chat to people, but riding back home tired me out.
Today, Monday, is a holiday, and I'll meet a few people and head to Enoshima again (this time by train) to see a small ceremony with floating lanterns on the water and a small fireworks show, weather permitting. The forecast has been for rain this whole weekend, and aside from a few stray drops yesterday, the weather's held. Hopefully this evening will be nice and clear, the fireworks would be a nice way to finish the weekend.
I've only got 3 more days of real work. I'll finish on the 20th. I have a few things to do the following week, I'll go in for a couple of days to help a student prepare for a speech contest, and I've got a private lesson, but that's it. I'll be off from August 2nd to Thailand for three whole weeks. I still don't quite know what I'll do, hopefully I can get my open-water SCUBA certification, assuming I can find some cheap contacts with my prescription.