Day 18-20: Matsuyama
09.04.2012 - 11.04.2012 20 °C
Quick change of author for a couple of days (Melissa's taking a writers break for a little bit, she'll be back for the next entry).
Due to the dire conditions that our pilgrimage left our shoes in, we went shoe-hunting at the local Ross-like (cheap) mall called Jow-Plaza. The prices were matched by their looks (cheap). Our shoe-hunt shall continue.
Matsu picked us up and showed us around Matsuyama University (today was the first day of the new school year, which starts in the spring in Japan).
Deciding to skip her class, we met up with another old classmate Saki, who's 5 months pregnant! (OMG OMG OMG). Later we were also joined by Nat-chan (who just finished her interview that day for an insurance company) and snacked/talked at the Matsu-U's cafeteria while waiting for our dinner reservation.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called La-sera (their lasagna was featured in the local magazine) with our high school homeroom teacher Ide-sensei. The lasagna that came was 1 layer thick and was served on a hot plate... The unsatisfying lasagna was fortunately accompanied by satisfying conversation, which mostly revolved around what everyone in our class are up to now. It's a weird feeling hearing about all the different life trajectories of our class took (policemen, chef, bank clerk, father, mother).
After parting with Ide-sensei, we continued our night with yo-zakura hanami (night cherry blossom viewing). We searched for a lit-up park (in Japan they light up lanterns in some parks just for sakura blossom viewing) with no success. Utilizing the hobo-skills we acquired during our henro trip, Melissa and I suggested viewing the sakura in a parking lot and lighting the sakura tree up with our $5 flashlights. The result was surprisingly nice, and we chatted with our mouths stuffed with junk food; a satisfying end of the day.
Went to the new mall Emifull. The morning walk to the dentist with okaasan in the pouring weather left my shoes quite saturated, which resulted in me borrowing okaasan's old shoes (this might seem like petty detail, but I promise it'll be important later). We spent 5 hours walking around the mall (killing time before oneesan picks us up). What's funny is that the last 2 of those 5 hours were spent sitting at the McDonald's because the shoes I borrowed from okaasan were literally (LITERALLY) falling apart as I walked (every step I took left behind crumbled bits of the sole, which was made more obvious by the stark whiteness of the floor tiles). I didn't notice until I back tracked some stores and realized that I was leaving a trail of black crumbs (this is my carbon foot print!). I didn't know shopping and mall-walking was such an intense sport until now... We went home happy with Melissa buying a takoyaki maker and me buying a kotatsu (Japanese low table with an attached heater).