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Friday, November 12, 2010

43rd Stop - Hirakatashi, Japan

Before leaving Osaka, I had to run a Wordfast Classic training. I want to thank Haruko Masuda from JCI Osaka for helping me find a venue I could use to run the training; it was perfect! Haruko is a traditional Japanese tie-dyed professional artist. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see her work, though I did get some photos from Jacob who did!

Haruko preparing the fabric
Ironing the fabric

Washer and dryer instructions (I think, but am probably wrong)

Another friend of mine from high school and fellow soccer teammate, Mark Swanson, was also living in Japan, just outside of Osaka. I couldn’t pass up the chance to go see him now could I?

The last time I had seen Mark, he had recently returned from teaching English in Japan for a few years and was going to do a master’s degree in education. Once he completed that, he made his way back to Osaka and landed a sweet job at the Kansai Geidai University.

Lots of energy in Mark's class

Kansai Geidai Uni rocks!

It was nice catching up with Mark over the next few evening and hearing all about his experiences in Japan. During the day, I got to play mystery guest in Mark’s classes and give his students an opportunity to ask questions about who I was and what I was doing in Japan.

One more day of training in Osaka on Thursday. A word to the wise, even if you have a really good sense of orientation (like me ;-), you’re going to get lost in Japan. No road signs and everything in kanji makes things a little confusing. I must have gone into 4 buildings, showed people the address I was looking for and no one had any idea where the place was. If you drew lines connecting all of these buildings, the place I was looking for was right at the intersection of these lines. I guess I’m not the only one who has a hard time navigating in the land of the rising sun.

Mark and me
Thanks again Mark for hosting me few nights. It was great seeing you and catching up and I wish you the best of luck for your job and life in Japan! Thanks again to Haruko and hope to see you again soon!

Next stop: Sydney, Australia!

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