Well, now that it's the night before I leave for Thailand, everything seems to be happening at once. I've had several days to myself, during which I've done almost nothing. My roommate Tracey's gone back to Scotland and won't return until after I leave, Julian's out travelling with his dad, who's visiting, and everyone else I know is busy working. So all this free time has left me wondering what to do with it. Well, it turns out I sit around and watch movies a lot. That's not so bad, but I always have that feeling I should be doing more, such as studying Japanese or getting out and seeing the countryside somewhere.
I did get to meet a few friends for dinner recently, and I went out with Julian and his father. Phil's got a wine shop in England, so he knows his stuff. He came well-prepared to visit breweries and pubs around our area. I went with them to Kamakura and, after doing a nice hike through the hills, we stopped off at Kamakura Brewery, a really tiny factory whose employees seemed shocked to have three gaijin turn up on their doorstep asking for a tour. The brewmaster, a young lady about my age who had enough English to supplement our bad Japanese, gave us a short tour with a few tastings. We got to try 4 of their 5 or 6 varieties. They taste quite good, certainly better than the mass-produced crap from Asahi or Kirin. As a present for their hospitality, Phil gave them a bottle of English-made beer called "Kamikaze," complete with a politically-incorrect Japanese guy flying a plane over the WWII Rising Sun flag. Yikes. Well, the people thought it was funny, so I guess no harm, no foul.
Anyways, tonight I just finished a drinking party with teachers from one of my schools. They're really nice people, I always enjoy talking to them, even though I don't get to do that much chatting while I'm at school. Not that I'm busy, they're always scrambling around. I've got some things to pack up still, then I'll take off tomorrow morning.
Btw, I've uploaded some photos to my flickr site, so you can click on the link at the side of this page and check them out. I haven't put descriptions up yet, but you can pretty much guess what they are. I'm saving that for when I'm really bored by myself in Thailand.