Christmas this year was quite a bit different this year than what i'm used to. Not in a bad way, no. I did have quite a nice Christmas Eve, for sure.
So yesterday i was woken up shortly after 9am by my boss calling me. I ignored it and initially rolled over to try to get some more sleep, but after a couple minutes i figured it'd be best if i just got up. So i did, and sat around in bed for a couple hours studying, until my boss called again to tell me he was downstairs and that his wife was coming up. Haha, what?? I jumped up to grab a comb to tame my wild locks before she came knocking at the door.. didn't have time to throw on some jeans so i answered, apologizing for still being in my Hello Kitty pajama pants. She had a good laugh though then handed me a huge bag of gifts. Sweet lady, she is.
Finally got around to getting showered and dressed, did a little cleaning and some laundry. A little before 5pm i hopped on my bike and pedaled off to the next station in search of a Terry's chocolate orange. I had heard tell that there was a store there that sold them, and the thought of Christmas without a Terry's chocolate orange was just a little bit sad to me, lol. Parked my bike across from the station, but then was drawn away from my task by a beautiful chorus of voices. Had stumbled upon a Christmas concert performed by a local high school chorus group, which i posted a video of yesterday. Luckily had caught the last 5 or 6 songs. After their last song i walked across the street to the shopping center, and in to the imports store that would supposedly have my delicious chocolate oranges. And indeed they did have them! For a whopping 567yen.. about $6 or so. So much for buying a few to take to work, haha.
After that, i walked across to the plaza on the other side of the station where there was a nice little Christmas light display. But wow, couples everywhere! I'd always heard Christmas Eve here is like Valentine's Day, and it's true. A huge date-night for couples. And families too, apparently. Lots of little behbehs and toddlers running around. (Just the toddlers running, of course). About a month ago i was talking with one of my students and she had mentioned that she and her friends had planned to go to a spa together on Christmas Eve. I laughed and asked, "Why Christmas Eve?" To which she replied, "Because we are all single!"
Yes, so in addition to not getting to spend it with family, i also didn't get to spend it with a significant other, either!
|Some Christmas lights around the station/shopping center|
I did get to spend it in the company of some friends though. After looking at the lights and catching the last song of another caroling performance, i hopped on the train to head to my old sharehouse. Got off a station early to head to the recycle shop in search of some extra blankets, for guests, since i only have my one. Found a nice electric blanket instead (which i'm making good use of now, it's so nice!), in addition to some clothes. Haha. It was terrible. I've found i'm really addicted to recycle shops. They are so cheap, and this one especially had a lot of really nice clothes! Not at all like Goodwill or Pick-and-Save (..their Halloween collection? Not a lot to be desired). I only walked down two aisles but had to stop myself from going further because i knew i'd buy more that what i should. And actually just buying what i did was more than i should've. I don't feel too bad though because 1) until coming to Japan i really haven't bought many new clothes... seriously at least 90% of my small wardrobe now is at least 3 years old, and 2) they're recycled clothes! I always feel guilty buying new. It feels like such a waste, to spend so much money on something that was made in a sweatshop by some poor soul who's given up their life to earn a couple dollars a day. But that's a topic for a different time..
|I'm a sucker for hoodies... only 800yen!|
|Little skateboarding American bear, lol. Only 500yen! Less than the chocolate orange..|
Anywho, walked from there to the old sharehouse, and enjoyed talking to Mr. Boss Man (former "boss"), my old housemates and some of my previous students. We drank, snacked, and listened to Christmas music until almost 10pm, when people started heading home. Good times!
|Just not photogenic.. can't take a picture without pulling some sort of weird face or pose!|
Was walking to the station to catch a train home, talking excitedly along the way with another of the previous teachers/tenants at the sharehouse (we both now have legit jobs elsewhere but usually go back monthly for the parties) about our mutual love of K-pop, when we passed by a group of 3 guys. They kind of stopped, one of them was gawking, another smiled and waved at me- i smiled and waved back-, and one turned to the others and was like, "かわいいじゃん".
I kind of laughed to myself, but then just as we passed one of them said, "ベリーキュート! (Bery kyoo-to! That's the best i can write it in the accent, haha. "Very cute"). I looked back and thanked them, and they got excited and started waving and shouting, "Bye bye!" at me. It was a fun encounter, kinda made up for the fact that i had to go single on the Japanese equivalent of Valentine's Day, lol. And i'd like to thank my new little plaid dress, which against my better judgement i decided to wear again today. It had red in it and seemed kind of Christmas-y, so.. I did have to double up on my leggings though, and wear an undershirt under the dress, and two jackets over it to keep me sufficiently warm!
Another highlight of the night was getting a surprise phone call from my awesome little Kansai buddy T-chan! I had sent out a mass Merry Christmas message to all my friends on my phone, and got a reply back from a number i didn't recognize, then got a call from it while i was at the party. Tried calling the number once but there was no answer. They called back again, when i was back at my station, and i answered it and lo and behold it was T-chan! I had his email saved to my phone, but not his phone number, so i had no idea who it was. Definitely a surprise, so i ended up walking through the station talking on the phone with the biggest doofy grin on my face. Whatever, it's always nice to hear from awesome friends. :D
So that was my Christmas Eve. Am glad i did get to partake in the Christmas spirit and enjoy the company of some good friends. Had quite a few cards and packages to open this mornign so that was fun. Will post pictures of my loot later. Hope all of your Christmases- or Chanukahs or Kwanzaas or Solstices or End of the Years- are similarly joyful. :)