Doesn't this photo make her look like a giant next to her little classmates? Like us, she's still speaking Jenglish but her teachers tell me she understands what they're saying. I wish the same was true for me.
The night of graduation, the preschool moms got together for a drinking party. Nova's senseis are in the front row, second from the left and last two on the right.
Preschool moms gone wild (in a fairly reserved kind of way). We had a fun time at Rad Brothers, a famous gaijin bar. I met a couple Aussies and a girl from Sweden but steered clear of the seedy looking Russian guys in the corner. It was fun to talk to English speakers who love living in Hokkaido. It gave me hope and made me want to visit Sapporo more often. At 1a.m. this town is just getting started. I'm standing next to Kaori who is maybe the tiniest adult I have ever met. She is also one of the happiest, which makes her appropriately Japanese-Cute. She is going to Hawaii next month so we had fun trading Japanese/English lessons in the car. Sapporo is about a 4 hour drive south of Nishiokoppe. Using the highway is expensive.... the toll is about $34 one way.After the bars we sobered up with a ride in a giant Ferris wheel on the roof of one of the city's taller buildings. Kind of scary but a great view of the city lights from up there. For our comfort the seats were heated. Each floor of that building had a different entertainment arcade. This floor was bowling. Kind of slow at 1a.m. but it promised to pick up later. They say Tokyo is the city that never sleeps but I think Sapporo isn't far behind on weekends.
The highlight of the trip was visiting Sapporo's brand spankin' new COSTCO. It was much bigger than the one in Juneau and I was happy to see that everything was the same. It even had the same COSTCO-ey smell.... ahhh, natsukashi (which Penny tells me means, reminiscent).Same membership area. Kaori was SO excited. She is very interested in American food brands and took pictures of all my purchases. Same snack area. I never thought I'd be so happy to see a COSTCO hotdog.
We were all feeling a little sad to leave Sapporo so Chizuko stopped at Pumpkin Kingdom on the way home.Nothing like a pumpkin flavored soft cream to cheer ya up. The owner came out for a peace shot.Can you tell which one is not real? I'll dedicate more blog space later to Japan's love affair with plastic food. I was handed the real one and as a joke the owner threw the other one at Chizuko. This was a great, silly, fun trip. Just what I needed!