One of the teachers at the elementary school I teach at is really nice and super good at English so she is really enthusiastic about spending time with me. I found out that she was actually just a substitute teacher for another staff member who was sick and so she had her last day working in his place two weeks ago. We exchanged numbers and then met up over the weekend with another teacher and went to both the Odawara Flower Garden and some kind of dairy ranch.
The flower garden had a lot of roses which I guess were the seasonal feature or something. I look a lot of photos of all the different kinds. All of these are SOOC (straight out of camera) so unedited.
Entry is free so there were a lot of people there, especially families. There was also an outdoor seating area and some vendors selling food and drinks.
Then they told me we were going to a dairy ranch. This place was really cute because you had to drive all the way up this mountain for maybe 30 minutes to get there. The view was really nice.
There was a little vending machine selling little bottles of milk so one of the teachers was nice enough to buy one for me.
I really don't know very much about the food industry in America but in Japan, or at least at this specific cattle ranch, they don't feed their animals any kind of hormones. They also gave them quite a bit of space and it seemed like they were a lot kinder to the cows than other places may be.
I had mentioned to them that I knew where we live is near a beach but I hadn't ever been. After we ate nice sushi for lunch, they drove to one of the nearby beaches. The weather wasn't very nice at this point so I didn't take any photos but there were still quite a few families there, some of them fishing and barbecuing. Then they drove to a bakery that's near where I live and bought me a piece of chocolate cake!
It was really good and I have somehow exhibited amazing restraint and haven't returned to that bakery yet even though it's so close to me. I'll give in one of these days...after a bigger paycheck I hope. I don't really have many friends in the city where I live besides Chris and some teachers I have met through work. I'm lucky the staff at my schools are really nice and include me in some of their activities like this one. The other night I also went to Korean food dinner and karaoke with teachers from another school after the undokai (sports festival). Chris and I also have met some European English teachers who are around our age so I anticipate spending some time with them too. For some reason it's easier for me to make friends in Tokyo but it's frustrating because those people are kind of far from me to see them on a weekday. It's really okay though because I can focus on my job and personal life with fewer distractions during the week.
That's kind of what I have been up to lately. Thanks for reading~