Buddy down the River… and Beer

It’s 12:30pm, I just got back from lunch. Soon, the bell will sound, the lights will turn back on, and the “Sanyo song” will play…. *sigh*

Last weekend was really cool. Ben and I took our newly purchased inflatable dingy down the Nagara gawa from Gifu city… well… half way, anyways. The plan was to take the train to Gifu, carrying our raft, walk to the river, inflate our boat, get in the river, and ride it all the way back to Anpachi in time to catch the Beer Matsuri (a festival for the Sanyo Dormitory residents)! Well, after a couple hours in the river, we realized that there was no way we were going to make it back in time for the festival. Unacceptable! So, we got out *maybe* half way, after 3 hours, and looked for the nearest train station – we were very far away from any train station! =( The ride itself was very fun, though.

When we first got in was the most exciting, there were actual rapids, and we were genuinely frightened! Well, okay, Ben was – I had to hold his hand. There was fast and slow parts… some parts were just SO slow, though.. about the speed of walking. When approaching rapids, you only noticed if you looked at the ground passing beneath you: very fast! And then you panic as you realize you have to paddle accross the river to avoid a dangerous part that is approaching fast! Oh man, all the rapids were so fun! Adding to the fear-factor was when we realized there was a hole in the boat! 😮 It was under the water, and the boat is translucent, so you can actually watch the bubbles slipping across the underside of the boat. After we noticed this, the person in the front (Ben, from then on), was on hole duty. The poor little boat (which we later called, “Buddy” – due to the Budweiser logos plastered everywhere) could barely hold us. When we were setting off, we put our bags in, and our bags alone pretty much filled up the boat. It was definitely a cozy ride. We saw at least 20 jet skiis on our way – apparently a popular pass-time among Japanese! I guess the size is convenient. I’d love to get a chance to try one!

We ended up being escorted by 2 girls, (who Ben had invited to the Beer Matsuri) from one of the train stations back to the dormitory. They even gave us a bag of Doritos! For foreign food like that, you have to go to Nagoya. Actually, the car ride back to the dormitory had a few peaks of excitement that rivaled those from the rapids, earlier that day. At one point, we stopped in the middle of a crazy intersection, because it was unknown if we were allowed to go.. o.O Anyways, we got back safe enough to drink free beer, have a good time, play bingo (MANY prizes), eat (a little – there was hardly anything left), and even win “door prizes”! Because we were late, John (the good kid that he is) filled out our names for the resident lottery. There was maybe 15 prizes to be won, and the crazy thing is: every name John filled out WON! What are the friggin odds?! Ben got a blender, I got a rice cooker, and John got a foot massager! If I make any bets or anything like that, I’m getting John to have a lucky hand in it! Lance, another intern here, said he saw similar rice cookers for over 10000yen! That’s like, a $120 rice cooker! It’s really nice… I just need some rice (and maybe some other stuff) to test it out.

After the festival was over, Ben, Alex, and I went to the konbini to get some food – we hardly ate anything. We got some instant noodles, a couple fireworks, and some ice cream. We went back to my room, ate the instant noddles and then went to the roof to light off a few fireworks. Good times.

That was last Saturday. On Sunday, I ended up spending a lot of money without even leaving the dormitory – now that’s talent! John helped me make a couple large online purchases: the Canon IXY 400 digital camera, an extra battery, and an SD->CF adapter that allows me to use SD memory in the CF memory camera. All together, with shipping and such, that was 55000yen. I still haven’t received it yet. It is being shipped to Shirley’s apartment, and I gave her money to pay for it upon arrival. I also got Lance to pick up a 256MB SD flash memory card (10000yen), that I can use in both my phone and my new camera (via the adapter); and I even have an SD drive on my laptop! Standards are great, when they’re adhered to… *cough* Sony *cough* Microsoft *cough* And, finally, a PS2 controller (2700yen) that Alex may eventually buy off me. Now we can play 2player Soul-Calibur 2! And it’s pretty fun, I assure you. =) I’m still so tempted to get a Gamecube and SmashBros… Jesse, you still got that extra copy laying around? ^_^ If only I could read Japanese….

Well, back to work, I suppose.

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