The home stretch, part three.

Today was the usual half-day for SILAC, and with Christian gone and the on-again-off-again Taiwanese guy taking the week off, I found myself alone in SE. In short, I’ll basically have private lessons for my last week here, meaning I can spend more time on understanding. Also, since Thursday was supposed to be a debate (yet there’s no one to debate), I can instead choose what I want to learn for the day. After class, I had my next-to-last private lesson, which covered the last few things I’d asked to learn, meaning I need to decide on one more lesson’s worth for next Tuesday. Fanny and Origa wanted to go to Okazaki Castle, but Fanny’s private lesson meant we couldn’t go until 3:30 at the earliest. I spoke to her for a bit, then came back to the dorm to cool off. I spotted Javad in the hall and invited him along as well.

By the time we got to Yamasa, there were five of us who were waiting on Fanny. Sean happened by and got added to the group before anybody realized he hadn’t officially been invited (only because we just don’t see him that much). He called his host family to tell them he wouldn’t be there for dinner, Fanny finished her lesson, and we were off. The train was a local one, with only two stops, and a ten-minute walk to the castle grounds. Only one problem: The castle proper closes at 4:30, and we’d gotten there shortly afterward, so we couldn’t go in. Still, we walked around the area, taking pictures of statues and such. At 5:30, a small clock tower near us started making traditional-Japanese music noises, opening up to reveal a clockwork-style figure with kimono and fan who performed a dance to the fast-drum-and-YEOOUUW style of Japanese folk music. It lasted a good four minutes, and if I ever go back, I fully intend to take a good-quality video of it.

The very end of the trip was marred slightly by an overzealous guy (who said he was from Hawaii) who wouldn’t stop hitting on the girls until the rest of us showed up, but we were basically done by then, so leaving solved that problem. A quick train back from the station put us back in Okazaki, and we made a detour to Seiyu for some Japan-only McDonald’s before going back to our dorms.

Tomorrow, I take my last trip to Nagoya to pick up my order at Wonder Goo, and I’ve got a small crowd coming along for the ride. I’m glad to have made some more friends, but I’ll be sad to leave before getting to know all of them better.

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