Friday, September 28, 2007

9/28/07 Random Stuff

I had an observation that I thought was worth sharing. My understanding is that Ashikaga is larger than Springfield, definitely in population if not in size as well. Springfield seems so much more tame, though, in terms of wildlife. It was rare to see a rancoon or an owl during a night drive in my neighborhood. Here, though, it seems like the creatures are a bit less under control. I`ve probably seen more spiders in two months here than in a year back in Illinois. And they are very large. During a class I was teaching one day I had a dragonfly the size of a small bird fly in and cling to the ceiling. I couldn't help but keep an eye on it... I felt like I should catch it and keep it as a giant pet. I've seen several lizard-looking things crawling around outside as well. The most surprising animal of them all are the bats. When the sun goes down they are maybe as common as birds are during the day. They stay on their side of the sky and don't generally bother me, but still... they're everywhere. It feels like Jurassic Park around here sometimes.

I put a picture of a rice field in the middle of town up sometime last month (here)... my theory is that they are to blame. If you dot a city with water filled rice swamps I imagine it allows more crawlies to survive where they don't belong. Ashikaga is pretty densely developed, but the nearby mountains aren't so useful for building so they often stay wild as well. Anyway, a bit of random rambling, but there you have it.

This is one of our favorite bar/restaurants, called El Mundo (The World). It is, as you can see, Cuban themed, which is interesting. It has a bunch of weird communist stuff on the walls inside as well. As with many movements that make it to Japan, the commie decor is little more than fashion. I doubt they could even tell me what communism is. Its cheap and not as stuffy as many places are around here. Nice place.

This was one of those occasions when I was riding my bike and saw a scene that needed to be captured. I dunno.

Here's another one of the same place. Kinda nice.

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