Friday, March 28, 2008

"Cold outside, no kind of atmosphere."

It was so cold and windy today that I almost abandoned my intended expedition to the library, but I thought sitting inside another day would drive me crazy. One of the Japanese inventions that I find most brilliant is the heated vending machine. They're handy if you're carrying a small 100 yen coin, and they're also good at eating up all the 10 yen coins I seem to accumulate. At first I stuck to safe, recognizable drinks like "royal milk tea" (which is delicious!) but today I risked something with a picture of the peach. I was expecting fruit tea, but it turned out to be more like heated juice, which sounds disgusting but is actually quite the opposite. Unfortunately it's considered improper to drink or eat while walking, so I used it to warm my hands in my pockets for a while and then sat on a bench to enjoy it.

I crossed the river to get to the library. There are a surprising amount of small streams running through town, all neatly bordered and constrained in concrete canals. The main river - well, it's not huge, not much bigger than the stream at home - although it has slanted walls or arena-steps leading down to it, is also banked with grass and has a stony bottom. There was a white heron or something standing in it near the bridge where I crossed.

The library is a plain white building but it's warm inside, and I found a tiny English section. I sat and read "Totto-chan" for a couple of hours. It's a very sweet memoir that reads like a collection of short stories, about a little girl who is kicked out of one school for hyperactivity, and finds another where imagination and curiousity are encouraged. It was written by a TV host, Kuroyanagi Tetsuko , based on her own childhood.

There is something being filmed in the supermarket's parking lot. I almost walked through the middle of it taking a shortcut. I'll have to keep my eyes on television shows to see if I recognize that scene.

1 comment:

Grouchy said...

I'm a little envious about the cherry blossom festival. I saw pictures where a park full of trees had EVERY inch of ground staked out with blankets ahead of time, so when the blossoms opened there were lounging and picnicking families as far as you could see. Also wondering if you've gotten any drinks out of the machine that have random chewy things in them. Sort of like the tapioca balls in bubble tea, but weirder.