Sunday, November 04, 2012

cycling back the heater

I haven't realised how tiny my bicycle looked until I parked it next to the scooter. I know it's small enough to be folded, and anyone bigger than me might have a bit of problem cycling it, but I couldn't help laughing when I saw this after my Japanese class.

I have just started lessons at the Kobe YMCA, and last weekend when I had caught a cold, pushed myself to cycle up the slope to the Kitano area. Needless to say, I almost collapsed when I reached the language centre. I had to psyche myself to keep going, and good thing about Japanese vending machines they are everywhere. A bottle of isotonic drink helped me reach the class.

It's now officially autumn and the weather is brilliant. Sunny but crisp, it's the kind of weather that you'd want to spend daytime outdoors. I wish we didn't have to spend most of that time in the office working! But oh well, we need to pay the bills.

However, it was quite a drop in weather from mostly 30 degrees until September, and just 1 month later we're averaging 15 degrees. Even though I had caught a cold, I didn't want to waste such a good weather being indoors (quite silly sometimes!). After all, it will only get colder after this.

So I decided to bring my tiny bicycle for a stroll in the hilly Kitano area. This is where most of the foreigners lived and made their home when Kobe opened its port to the world, along with other ports in Japan. There are many remnants of Western style buildings here, and this is also a major tourist spot.

I've been here a few times every summer while I was studying but never enjoyed the humidity. It's nice to be able to explore the other side of the city and not have to rush through. Was quite surprised to find a mosque here, and also a mini grocery opposite it selling Asian food stuff. Another option for more choices.

I remember taking this kind of shot when I first arrived in Japan. I'm rather fascinated by the colours of flowers in foreign lands. Then I realised, maybe I should try to do a bit of gardening and put some colour in my balcony.

This was taken outside someone's residence. Was almost tempted to sit at the steps to take a breather and enjoy the tree above, but didn't want to raise suspicion!

As I went further away from Kitano, it became a little more residential. Well,  I had made an appointment to drop by this couple's place to survey their Sayonara Sale. I remember when the economic recession hit Japan back in 2008, there were many foreigners leaving the country and selling/giving away their furniture and things.

This time, it was not that easy to find Sayonara Sale ad, but I was really happy to find it on the Kansai Classifieds section. Since I came with a bike, there was not much that I could carry with me. So I bought what I went there for - this ceramic heater.

Well then, bike or no bike, it doesn't make a difference. I still had to carry it by hand. So they helped to make some makeshift handle for me. So I had to walk back to my apartment, one hand carrying this heater, the other hand trying to steer the bike.

It took me one hour with many stops along the way because the tape is not the best handle! But still, I'm really happy now I have my own heater. Also, it was really nice weather so it was quite a good workout.

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