Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Digs

Ok, this is Kagoshima city.  There are something like 700,000 people here and it feels a lot like a mix between Oakland, SF, and San Diego, but really clean and pretty quiet for a city. On one side of the city is the bay and the volcano and on the other side are jungle mountains. This  is the view of Kagoshima city from a sweet lookout point.  That landmass in the bay is the foot of the volcano.  Even though it looks foggy and cold in these pictures, don't be fooled!  Its crazy hot and humid!

This is the river near my house where you can watch the fish jump and turtles scoot around. 
The park two block from my house.  Usually it is filled with really cute children and old people walking circles around the track and high school kids playing soccer.  I have started going on wimpy jogs as an excuse to be in proximity to other people's dogs...and pet them...
At the bottom of the mall there are lots of booths and restaurants where you can get cheaper food than is available at the upstairs fancier restaurants.  These are tacoyaki being made - fried balls with octopus inside.  Delish!  I never thought I would say this, but I love living so close to a humongous mall...there is always something happening and I can just hope over and grab some tasty anything whenever I want!
In the giganto mall there are lots of friendly information girls who will give you maps and diagrams of the mall and highlight the place where you want to go.  As the perpetually lost foreigner, I hang out with them a lot.  
You could also get your cell phone bedazzled, but I opted for a few glitter flowers on my camera...I couldn't quite go all the way, but boy do I regret it now.  I could have had one of these phones! What was I thinking!
I'm getting the "flirty-cute" hairstyle (thats what the picture said)!
Ok, so I spend a pretty solid amount of time at the mall near my house (the one with the ferris wheel on top) because even if I don't go inside, I still have to catch the bus there and then it usually lures me in for a snack or something.  In front of the mall they usually have some funny event like "Dance for 24 hours!" or this one that I got sucked into where lots of cute girls in yukata (summer kimono) and wild hairdos styled your hair for free.
An open air-ish near my house, run by old ladies and only open early in the mornings.  I have befriended a woman and her husband who run a rustic lunch table inside this market - every time I eat a super cheap bowl of noodles with them they give me packs of cookies!  Every morning old ladies spread out their blankets on the side walk and sell vegetables and flowers from their gardens.
I live two minutes away from a giant mall, ferris wheel included.  Ha, it's only been recently that I can find the glory in giant indoor malls.  An olympic swimming pool on the 5th floor? Sweet.  This mall is also the site of Kagoshima city's version of Grand Central Station, where I catch the bus to my schools and to anywhere else in the prefecture I want to go by land.
The view from my bathroom.  In the morning there are usually a million little sparrows sitting on the tiles of this roof and when they see me they all take off.
The view from my tiny balcony - hard to see, but someone across the street has a traditional Japanese garden.

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