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After Uni on Friday, all the Ryugakusei (exchange students) got together at the Apartments for a curry cookoff and a bit of a drink. Whilst I didn’t make a curry I did donate a lettuce, tomato and some asparagus that my host mother insisted I took with me. The curry was awesome although there was a little bit of a rice shortage, seeing as most only thought to cook curry. All up a pretty crankin’ night.

I awoke the next day at 8:00 with a slight hangover and not enough sleep, to get ready for a sea kayaking adventure with my ‘host brother in law’, Kei. Simon also managed to wake up and get to my house before 9:00 to join us. After some painkillers, Aquarius and a half an hour trip to a cove west of Himeji we donned the stylish kayaking gear and had some quick lessons. We were joined by 2 of Kei’s sea kayak buddies. One of them, Ken, (who’s a great guy), introduced himself to us with the unusual line “Hi, this is Ken”, which he followed up with, “So guys hows about we go for little bit of a kayak to over there, do some exercises then come back to over here to get the lunch”. Quite amusing. After our lessons, we decided to head for an island about 5km away, which took us about 50 minutes to get to. We had lunch there, after I fell into the shallows whilst trying to get out with numb legs, then we went island hopping, did some stone skipping and also some exploring.

In return for taking us kayaking we had to go and do some english tutoring, for two hours in a catholic church (we weren’t converted – they just run a class), near Himeji castle. We just talked about Australia and ourselves, then went with them for free dinner and beer at a small okonomiyaki restaurant. After that we went to Murisaki’s birthday party, then walked home (because my bike tire went flat).

I got about 5 hours sleep before Kyoko woke me up to get ready for a daytrip to Ako, which is famous for the (pricey) antique market that is held outside a famous shrine, where 47 Samurais committed Harikiri at the same time for what seems to be a rather complex reason. Jo and I just wandered around, looking at the crazy stuff for sale, like explicit statues, katanas, antique sumo magazines, retro cameras and an unopened ‘Alien’ the movie figurine. We had lunch then returned home.

A great weekend.