It is getting warmer.
It is no longer dark at 5pm.
It has not rained in two full days.
But, as I say to my elementary school kids when I want them to be quiet, "shhhhhhh. Secret."
I am afraid that if I say this too loud that horrible cold slush will reappear. Just to prove me wrong.
Tonight I even went running after dark.
When I first arrived in Japan, especially preinternet time, when it was too hot to function in the daylight, I would spend my evenings with my ipod and Saucony shoes (with the pink laces), thinking that the Yoshinogawa was a beautiful river.
I would lose my breath with the highway on my right and the river on the left.
Ikeda town has repaved the sidewalk next to the river, I just got my new 80gb ipod in the mail, and I have come to my senses- the Yoshinogawa is not that beautiful.
Tonight was a full moon. Mirah knows what I need to hear as she sings A Million Miles Away. Animal Collective has pulled me from hibernating under the kotatsu as I listen to Winters Love. And Jay-z is always a no fail when I am going up hill.
When I took those runs 6 months ago I could almost get a little lost in my neighborhood. I have gradually become familiar with my surroundings. I have finally found the crazy side of this little town.
My new neighbors and I have been having some really intellectual conversations. We like to talk about how is it snowing. They like to show me their toys that light up. And when we part ways our "BYE-BYES" are always a big deal.
The other day I even went so far as to tell the one on the right he was wearing a cute hat.
But today I heard one of them have a total temper tantrum and I was like- wow dude, not that cool.
Right down the road is the Hakuchi community center. This is where the majority of my crazy night time action takes place.
On Monday night I practiced Awa Odori.
Awa Odori is a dance festival that takes place all over Tokushima in August. But, it somehow becomes a part of your life year round if you live in the area.
My British friends Janet and Louise came too. I had to make sure that this is indeed real life and that these wild nights are not a hallucination.
They assured me that it was true. And when the three of us had to do the dance while everyone else watched they also assured me that we were in fact dancing monkeys.
Spring is creeping in but all I can think about is fall. Only a few more weeks until Brad and I get to watch the leaves change colors in New Zealand.
I will pick myself up from my tatami floor and turn off weird Japanese television for two weeks of road tripping and outdoor adventure.