Friday, May 15, 2009

Westward from Kobe

In Tarumi with the Kawamuras

This past week we had guests from Thailand. Krit and Knot, the couple whose wedding we attended back in March, flew to Tokyo to meet up with their friend, Dr Earth (whose real name is much longer and more difficult to read), who had already been in Japan a month studying surgical procedures at the National Cancer Center. After a few days in Tokyo and Kyoto, they met up with us in Kobe, where we spent the night at Mutsumi's family's home, sleeping on full bellies after a lavish spread of sushi and tempura that squashed even the Dr's appetite.

At Himeji Castle

The Dr as we often saw him


We spent half a day touring Himeji castle, before returning to Fukuoka and moving on the next morning to the onsen resort town of Yufuin, where we strolled through town and sat in hot springs. While the others were shopping, I rented a bicycle and enjoyed the several kilometers of dedicated bicycle lanes and quiet roads winding through and around this mostly agricultural valley. Once back in Fukuoka the push was on to finish up last minute shopping (souvenirs courtesy of the 100yen shop) and yesterday morning the gang left for the airport, leaving the house feeling a bit empty. =sniff=

Momoka, the innkeeper's daughter:
"Everyone likes me but I don't know why."

Mt Yufu

A few hours later I had my first of three interviews scheduled this week with universities on the Arabian peninsula. It was the first formal interview I remember since the mid-90's when I interviewed with Kuwait University, but even so I think I did alright. A reply is expected from this institution by next week. In the meantime, I have another tonight, still another Sunday evening, and one more – Insha'Allah – coming soon.



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