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Amparo Bertram

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07:22 pm: Non-Thanksgiving Weekend Trip Report
I left for Tokyo immediately after work last Friday and met up with mangaroo and wednesday_10_00 for a late supper. It was way past my bedtime when wednesday_10_00 and I finally got back to Chiba for the night.

Saturday

We met mangaroo at Chiba station in the morning and went out with her for brunch. When we finished eating, we made a trip to Animate for some shopping.

The next item on the agenda was to ride the monorail around randomly for a while. Somehow, this turned into the suggestion to visit the Chiba Zoo, so off we went. We had a lot of fun slashing watching the animals. (The long-distance cross-species romance between the penguin and the donkey in the petting zoo section was particularly touching.) The stars of the Chiba Zoo are the red (aka lesser) pandas. The little critters were blurs of motion, so it was hard to get pictures of them. I took a brief video clip and uploaded it to my umich space; I'll leave it there for a while in case anyone wants to grab it.

When the zoo closed, we ventured out to the Chiba Port Tower, which puts on a light show for Christmas. We were a few minutes too late to catch one show, so we went up to the observatory and hung out in the gift shop for a while until the next one.

Once that was over, we went back to wednesday_10_00's apartment to look at manga and have a potato feast. It was nearly midnight before we saw mangaroo off at the station.

Sunday

The next morning, we met up and went to Tokyo Disneyland. wednesday_10_00 was our expert guide and showed us all around the park, demonstrating how to get fast passes for the popular rides. The place was quite crowded because they were putting on special holiday shows. Despite the crowds, we managed to ride pretty much everything that captured our interest as well as watch a parade and slash shop for cute food and merchandise. (Hey, if they don't want people to slash the gingerbread men, they shouldn't sell them in pairs.)

The jungle section of the park turned out to be inspiring in a number of ways. wednesday_10_00 discovered the wonders of curry popcorn. We also came up with an idea for another GD doujinshi plot...oy. (The projects, they never end.)

We didn't leave the park until closing time, making it our third late night in a row.

Monday

On Monday, wednesday_10_00 had to take care of a bit of work-related business. Once that was out of the way, we met mangaroo in Nakano for more shopping at Mandarake.

We had tickets for the Ghibli Museum at 4pm, so we made our way there. We squeezed on the tiny bus that takes visitors between the station and the museum...the bus is cute and all, but it's far too small for the number of people who need to take it. We spent a couple hours exploring the museum (and gift shop)...and nearly couldn't find the way out. That building is crazy--in a cool way. We followed this up with another round of shopping in Nakano before yet again taking late trains home.

Tuesday

wednesday_10_00 had to work, so I met up with mangaroo in Ikebukuro for shopping at Animate. This was a lengthy process that resulted in a number of packages--one of which I nearly left behind by mistake. (Luckily, someone found it and they kept it at the counter for me.) After a brief rest in mangaroo's hotel room, we took a trip to the Kinokuniya in Shinjuku for more shopping.

We had a late lunch, which used up the last of the money I had brought with me, and then we went to Tokyo Station so that I could catch a shinkansen back home. Sadly, there was no soft cream being sold anywhere near the shinkansen area.

And that was my weekend.

At work today I was greeted with two stacks of midterms to grade, so I plowed through those. Then the teachers all had meetings, so I sat alone at my desk and read for a few hours. After the meetings, the head of the English department came by my desk and showed me a sheet of paper with initial plans for next year's curriculum. We'll only be teaching the second and third year students, not the incoming freshman. (Ritsumeikan is bringing in their own faculty for that.) I'm listed as being responsible for 15 hours of classes next year, which is 5 hours less than I'm doing this year.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:November 30th, 2005 08:29 am (UTC)
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Sounds like a fabulous weekend!!! And I'm glad mangaroo finally made it there after all :-)

So the whole Ritsumeikan thing has worked out? Did you ever have to do an interview or anything with them after all? and is the slight cut in hours a good thing?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 30th, 2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
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So the whole Ritsumeikan thing has worked out? Did you ever have to do an interview or anything with them after all?

No, apparently they decided, sight unseen, that they didn't have any use for me. Instead, the city of Moriyama offered to recontract me to finish teaching the current students until they graduate in 2008.

and is the slight cut in hours a good thing?

Well, it means that I will have more free time at my desk...unless they find something else for me to do.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:November 30th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Well, it means that I will have more free time at my desk...unless they find something else for me to do.

To write the manga JLPT!

*looks around* OK, I didn't say that.
[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:December 8th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
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Hehe I just got your reply to my comment (due to the LJ comment backlog) so I didn't realize you weren't going to be at Ritsumeikan after all! That's very cool that the city recontracted you themselves though! So now you are all set to 2008?? that's fabulous!! :-D

Free time....hmm, isn't that a pickle ;-)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 8th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
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I didn't realize you weren't going to be at Ritsumeikan after all!

Technically, I'm going to be AT Ritsumeikan (since they will own my school), I just won't be working FOR Ritsumeikan (they're not paying me, the city is).
[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:December 8th, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC)
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That's what I meant to say (and would have, had I any grammar brain cells left ;-) ) You'll be there, but not theirs! (and for a while too!)
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