Thursday, 12 July 2012

Heading east and bits of other news ...

This morning the nest will be less crowded as Tom heads off for a summer teaching English and travelling in Japan. He has been assigned to a camp at Gujo, Gifu Prefecture.  I write like I know where this is, but to me this is just another place on the map. No doubt Tom will feed me a few titbits of info to keep me happy, so you'll know when I know! We’ve looked it up on the internet and he’s rather pleased with his lot. You'll notice that the Boulder weather has been replaced on my blog bar by Gujo. I tried hard (without any success) to import a pic of Mt Fuji into the weather widget. I'll try again when a spare day or so comes my way!

Last night we met up with Rhiannon for a 'last supper' at a local pub. The food was typical pub grub although Rhi and I shared an enormous (but delicious) strawberry shortcake sundae. The photographic evidence is on Tim's camera and he's away until Sunday.

Tom will be working (sadly unpaid, except for flights, accommodation and food at a hotel) for six weeks and then travelling with his girlfriend Meg who is Japanese.




We’ve spent a few days getting organised and choosing gifts for some of the families he will stay with during his visit. We were a little bit limited as Tom doesn't really do shopping and it all needed to fit into his rucksack! The spoons are Portmeirion, so a link with the Potteries area near to where we live. Just the thing for a race used to using chopsticks for just about everything - even I'm told to hold a washing up sponge. We removed the 'made in China' sticker but I guess this is just another sign of the times!




The malt was made in Scotland! If it arrives unbroken it will be a miracle.


Meg's brother was bought an English rugby shirt. It was impossible to get his first choice of a Welsh rugby shirt in Stafford.

 One of the Japanese traditions that I wasn't really aware of surrounds the rituals for the wearing of shoes. He needs to take indoor and outdoor shoes and trainers and in order not to offend needs to follow certain guidelines.

When Meg and some of her friends came to visit us in Salt a few weeks ago, they were delighted when I gave them each a pair of knitted slipper socks I'd found in M&S (of all places)! 



They’ll be hard pushed to find any slippers in Japan big enough to fit Tom …

14 comments:

  1. Looking at the weather report it seems you are dry at the moment while it is pouring in Gujo, Japan!! Diane

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    1. It is the rainy season there, although as I type the weather looks fine but humid.

      In Salt it's raining!

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  2. I wouldn't want Gujo there... wet and 26 Centigrade!
    Yuk, I'll stick with the Balvenie, ta!
    Tim.

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    1. It's pouring down again here.

      Oops, I forgot that I've given up commenting on the weather!

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  3. Tom certainly leads an interesting life doesn't he. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I love the choice of gifts to take, and recognise the Portmerion spoons as an "English/Welsh gift I have sent overseas.....not observing the Made in China sticker though. Hope he has a great time. J.

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    1. Well he's arrived safely.

      At least the sticker didn't say 'made in Japan'!

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  4. I'm sure his girlfriend will give him good guidance, but he needs to be careful and aware of the shoe thing. Even where people are used to westerners, they will be deeply shocked if he wears outdoor shoes indoors. It can be a real trap - some public spaces you need to take your outdoor shoes off (in this case socks is fine, or they will have slippers there). I've inadvertently walked up some stairs and across a space that was to Korean minds 'indoors' in my outdoor trainers and was greeted with gasps of 'Take your shoes off!!'

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    1. Thanks for the advice, Susan.

      Tom's done a lot of reading but it's the unintentional offence, as you describe, that he will be trying to avoid.

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  5. It sounds like it should be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for Tom. Great choice of gifts. How sad that almost everything we pick up these days has the inevitable, 'Made in China' sticker on it.

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    1. I agree. Better than 'made in Japan'!

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  6. I am sure your son will have an amazing trip, our daughter has been to Japan a few times now and likes the country very much.

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  7. What a handsome couple they make!! I hope they have a great time in Japan. Bet you can't wait for them to be back home! Martine

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    1. Thanks, Martine.
      Tom will be back in mid September but as Meg is Japanese and living and studying in Tokyo there aren't any plans as yet for her to visit the UK.
      I guess they'll have to see how such a long distance relationship stands the test of time with them both committed to university in their own countries.
      Watch this space ...

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  8. Hope he is fine I know you will miss him. He is lucky what a wonder thing to happen to him.

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