Saturday, 6:30am - Bright and early (too early) morning....
I met up with Satomi & Mai in the hallway, and once we woke up Myu (who slept in), we left the dormitory. I am a planning person. When I go on a trip, I have maps and itineraries and directions... but this trip was a complete unknown to me. I didn't know where we were going, who we were meeting, when or where we were meeting them, what we would eat - nothing! Not knowing any of this, I didn't have to worry about being late or getting lost or getting hungry or forgetting something; I just followed Satomi & Mai.
We met up with four other people at Osaka Station - and Myu came a bit later. From Osaka Station, we started driving (in 2 vehicles). I didn't realize until we started going that I haven't been in a vehicle for 4 months! We drove for quite a while, amidst random kind-of-awkward conversations. They were very friendly towards me and eager to ask questions, and spoke pretty good English if they realized I didn't understand what they were saying in Japanese (although, I have to say - my comprehension is improving!).
We drove through Kobe and Himeji, and then crossed Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge - the world's longest suspension bridge at 1991 meters. Looking out the window, all I could see for miles and miles was the ocean - it was beautiful! I love the city, but being outdoors and near the water, especially the infinite ocean was incredible!
We stopped for lunch once we got on Awajishima - it was delicious, but disconcerting. We had the season special - a certain kind of fish. It all looked great and delicious...but when I picked up my chopsticks to try some of the fish, I realized it was still a whole fish - face, lips, gills, eyeballs and all! That threw me off a bit... but the fish was delicious. Until the part where I was searching for some more fish meat off the bones and found the eyeball...in trying to move it to the side, I punctured it and it squirted fish-eyeball-juice all over the rest of the fish! I am not a squeamish food person. And I will generally try anything once. But just recalling the juice squirting from the eyeball, and into my food makes my stomach turn over! After I made a face and tried to remove the eyeball, Daigon picked it up, asked if I wanted it (um...no), and ATE IT! Ew. Ew, ew, ew! That is the first food thing here that has actually made my stomach feel wierd.
After lunch, we headed to our campsite - Mongolian hut style! We hauled everything in, and after a brief trip to the onsen (hot spring) for a shower, we cooked up a wonderful barbeque.
It was delicious! Canadian barbeques generally consist of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, and potato salad. Japanese barbeques consist of raw chicken, beef, and other random animal parts, along with potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, cabbage...all bbq'd over the flame. And then yakisoba to finish it all off! So yummy!
Marshmellows for dessert and then...another adventure! Octopus. Stretched over a wooden frame and dried...warm it up over the fire, and have a leg! Strange...but yummy.
We hung out in our hut for a while, laughing and talking and playing random drinking games (like Ping-Pong-Pang); we were all exhausted, though and eventually went to bed.
Quiet weekend to myself? Who needs it!