The paucity of posts recently is due in some part to the arrival of my most talkative former roomate: Douglas Potter. Doug arrived with style, panache and about 150 pounds of baggage on Thursday night. It was great. I really loved bending my spine under the weight of his backpack which was filled with books ( half of them in swedish, half english, many of them math books), home-made banana chips, reusable extra heavy duty Danish coke bottles, a battery charger, several torn sweatshirts, 2 bags of Mate tea, 2 kg lentils, and of course the crown jewels, over 400 prophylactics to be split between Doug and Alf. Within about 15 minutes of touchdown the guy was sprawled out on approximately 1/3 of our total floor space with his luggage and food stuffs.
I don't know quite what it is about that guy, but he always has an interesting perspective on life and is particularly verbose about it.
We did the standard stuff, he visited Zenkoji temple, looked at some shrines, ate conveyor belt sushi and some ramen at a restaurant. Friday Doug came to watch one of my classes and apparently my boss wasn't the most pleased by this because while i was teaching the following private lesson Doug managed to get kicked out of the employees area. This is not really how i had hoped it would go. Personally, if i were a student i would be interested in learning from a different person, particularly if it gave me a little more personal time to practice. As it was, the class he visited had a 1 to 1 teacher student ratio, and what could be better than that. I suppose i did make a tactical error in not asking my boss the day before. I had hoped that he would be in the office before class so that he could give the ok, but I assumed that since Alf visited classes, it would have been ok for Doug to do so as well.
Doug came also to Nozawa Onsen. He was unfortunately unable to participate in the Skiing part of the day, he just stuck around the town and managed to get himself into one of the many onsens that spot the town. He was quite amuzed to get into a tub with a bunch of leathery old japanese guys and tell them about his life story, the politics of modern and historical Sweden and what japanese food he likes. The place eventually cleared out and one of the old guys suddenly whipped out his gimongous camera and took a picture of the spa's nameplate from 1 meter away. The old man proceeded to amaze doug with his cinematographic skill as he produced a digital video recorder and went to work filming the steaming interior of the onsen. Doug was impressed both by the cameras and the weirdness. I was shocked to hear niether. I live in a country of strange people. They do strange things. They think nothing of it. End of story.