Saturday, January 20, 2007

Man drama. Who needs it?

I’ve decided to give up on the art teacher and move on. This is easier said than done, of course. So I’m inventing all kinds of distractions to keep my thoughts from wandering back to him.

Today, for example, I decided to walk around and take some pictures. Nothing special. Just a few images that captured what Saturday, January 20th, 2007 was like in small-town Japan.

Unfortunately, I didn’t come up with the idea until 3 p.m. so I only had an hour to take some pictures before it started to get dark. But I kind of like the end result. These images are like little windows you can poke your head through and look around.

So this is my town.

Saturdays are generally pretty quiet around here. Most people run errands or hang out their laundry to dry.

It’s a pretty small town so I almost always run into my students whenever I leave my apartment. Today I saw one of my favourite students riding her bike. She came to a stop when she saw me and asked me in perfect English, “Where are you going?” I told her I was just walking around taking pictures. She asked me if I could take one of her.

The small brick building across the street is the karaoke bar. This is where the art teacher and I went on our date. This is where he told me he had a girlfriend. I hate this bar.

You can’t walk 10 feet in this town without hitting a vending machine. They’re very convenient. You can buy beer from the vending machines. These ones sell hot coffee and cigarettes.

I love the road mirrors.

I also love the narrow roads.

My town is about 400 years old. It has some beautiful temples and shrines tucked away in the hills.

These red tori gates lead to one of the Shinto temples.

I live in the fourth poorest prefecture in Japan. A lot of people here struggle with alcoholism, divorce, domestic violence and poverty.

It’s a little rough around the edges. But I like it. I have friends here. I have a job. Little kids say hello to me when I pass them on the street. It’s starting to feel like home.

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