September 10, 2014:
My boss told Sam and me, after had been here for a few days, that change happens slowly in Japan. This was in response to our continued questions about when we will be getting an internet hook up. Last week, my manager told me that she had received a call that it would be the 12th of September. However, she told me last night that she had gotten the wrong day and it was going to be the 15th instead, and the supplies would be sent on the 14th. I’m absolutely sure some screw up is going to happen, because the 14th is the second day of the biggest festival of the year, and we’re not going to be home…
At this point, I have no idea what this festival is to commemorate. All I know is that there are ropes that were hung all over the city streets, some with lanterns, and at night you can hear taiko drumming. (Edit 9/15: it’s a thanksgiving/harvest festival and also seems to mark the end of the season)
When Sam and I return from our hours of shopping (it takes a really long time to decipher labels when everything is in kanji), we scoot our little wheel-y bag past this one street which someone is practicing their drumming every night. We’ve seen people being pulled towards that street, and usually there are already a few milling around in front of the drumming building. The beat is rhythmic and loud; you can hear it for a kilometer (that’s right! We’re going metric!). It’s a good reminder that we’re witnessing something bigger than before and that we’re new members of a community.
This Sunday, the second day of the festival, we’ll be attending in a group! We’ve got Sam, Mai (my manager), Teren (who works in Tateyama on Tuesdays. He is very silly), and me! Maybe James as well? Who knows?
Whenever Mai and I invite Teren he says, “Maaaaa!” which means, “Maybeeee…” To me, this is ridiculous. Teren lives in Kisarazu, which is 1.5 hours away by train. It’s a hefty travel time, I will admit. I have a feeling that he’ll be there as long as something doesn’t get in the way. Also, I’ll start taking pictures more for posts. So far we haven’t really taken any pictures, since we’re going to be here for a while.