23 Aug

I’m keeping a running list of random things that catch my eye, differences I take note of every day. I thought I’d share this morning’s items with you all:

  • The sunsets in Chikugo are stunning every night; deep pinks in the cloud-spotted sky, or last night, before the thunderstorm, an eerie orange color that filled the air
  • The morning after a rainstorm, our neighborhood is filled with incredible smells rising from the trees, rice fields, and backyard gardens
  • Our manhole covers are all decorated with a cartoon picture of the flying dog, Chikugo’s mascot
  • Most of the cars have square-ish, flat fronts, rather than the extended hood like in American cars, so the look of traffic is quite different; more mopeds, too
  • We take a shortcut to school on a road that passes through rice fields, and in the mornings these gorgeous blue, black and white birds that are everywhere waddle across the path, taking off in frightened flight before we get too close
  • There are some very awesome houses on the way to work. Aside from the regular Japanese houses with the cool tiled roofs, there are some architecturally unique houses
  • On the way to our bus stop alone there are two lumber yards; they are everywhere in Chikugo, sadly. Japan is probably the biggest consumer of paper products in the world (chopsticks, wrapping paper, etc are all very important here)
  • Most of the houses around our neighborhood have decent sized gardens, where they grow vegetables like cabbage, flowers, rice and much more I can’t recognize
  • The roads in Chikugo are really, really narrow. The big public buses make ridiculously close turns, barely squeezing by cars in the opposite lane. They pause for kids on bicycles because the corners are so close.

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