I love Thursdays!
You know that you start to feel at home when you finally get into a routine. You form habits. There are things you anticipate happening and miss when they don’t occur.
I’ve gotten myself into a lovely little tradition every Thursday night.
I’m usually out of school really early on Thursdays– around 2:30. My Thursday school is only a 5 minute drive from my apartment so I’m home within minutes.
I come home, change my clothes, do the obligatory facebook and e-mail check, then head out to the next town over. It’s about a twenty five minute drive (without being stuck behind really, really SLOW oji-sans). I turn up my American music, roll down the windows, and sing my guts out to the cows I pass all along the way.
I always go to the hyakuen shop (the infinitely superior, Japanese version of a dollar store) and poke around for a good while to see what’s new. I often find myself picking up a new shape of lip gloss or a new scent of candle. Today I bought a bunch of Toy Story 3 stickers for my kids. Though I’m pretty tempted to keep them for myself!
After my wanderings there, I head over to the local cake shop and pick out a fabulous dessert. Yes, even in the middle of nowhere Hokkaido, there are tons and tons of gourmet cake shops. I wonder if this is because ovens are really rare here. Since I can’t bake at home (so depressing!), I always treat myself to a fancy cake once a week. This week I bought creme brulee! I think the owner of that shop is finally getting accustomed to seeing a gaijin (foreigner) walk in every Thursday. The first time I went in, he stopped mid-word. He went to say konnichiwa and ended up muttering konnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn–. Poor old guy.
Finally, I go to the grocery store and pick up my favorite cereal, some bread, and whatever veggies I decide to cook for that week. Today I bought cabbage and spinach. Yay for green food (Land Before Time, anyone?)!!! I love this grocery store because it always has a great selection of freshly made food that you can pick and wrap for yourself to take home! It’s really cheap. I always end up getting two types of koroke (Japanese croquettes) and some fish. I never cook for myself on Thursdays. I enjoy my free night. 🙂 The two koroke and the fried fish usually come out to around 300yen (about 3 bucks in the States). Super fresh and super cheap! You can’t beat that.
The grocery store is really great because it also has a homewares section, a clothing store, and a book and stationary store. So I browse around for awhile, particularly stopping to look at the magazines. One of the best things about Japan is that you can literally stand in the bookstore and read a magazine from cover to cover without anyone bothering you or expecting you to buy it. 😀 I always raid the fashion mags.
Finally I head home with my purchases and get ready for my favorite night of TV: ARASHI NIGHT!
Arashi is a JPOP group that I simply adore. They are on all sorts of hilarious variety tv shows. And I assure you, Japanese TV is madness. I always eat my amazing dinner while watching their game show at 7:00pm. Then I clean up, get in a little lesson planning, and am in bed by 10pm to watch the other Arashi show that’s on then.
Thursday nights are one of my happiest nights of the week. I love my little tradition.