I have a confession to make. I became the thing that I so adamantly tease. I was a Japanese tourist. Before you judge, hear me out. My new found infatuation with snow has put me in a position to accept any invitation to play in it. A group of teachers from around Yamaguchi were going on an organized package tour to go snowboarding in Shimane-ken. How could I resist? Yea, so we had the big tour bus…and the overly helpful tour guides…and the cameras around our necks…ok, it wasn’t THAT bad. But I admit, I did feel like a sell –out. Anyway, I’m glad we did it because it gave me a chance to hang out with my favorite JTE (Japanese English Teacher), Atsushi, and of course the always lovely Beck Iverson (another ALT). Plus, I met tons of other people who are equally as fun to be around.
Since it was my first time snowboarding, I had to take lessons. Before I know it, I was already gliding down the slopes (see: falling). Atsushi made sure that I didn’t forget it by demonically laughing at my failure. To Atsushi: you’ll get yours buddy! j/k Honestly though, he was a huge lifesaver all weekend—translating for me, giving me tips, and just making me laugh like always.
Being on the slopes all day was better then I expected and it was another good opportunity to see Japanese life. There a few times when I’d stop and notice how lovable Japanese families are. I still think that Japanese kids are the cutest kids in the world, especially if they’re decked out in little snow boots and Hello Kitty hats. Something else dawned on me: I have yet to see a Japanese kid throw a tantrum in public. I’m sure it happens, but I think it’s definitely safe to say that they’re far better-behaved in public than American kids. At home, though, I’m sure it’s a different story.
All day snowboarding was the perfect introduction to the dinner/party we had later that night.