Big Bike Adventure

Ok so I was totally pumped to get my bike but was unable to ride it the day we got it! Sad, I know! So Luke and I decided that we would take them out on Sunday and ride to the mall because we needed a few things. So we hopped on our matching bikes of awesomeness and headed out of town.

Just out of town is a cool view of some rice fields between two forests. We stop to take pictures and it's the only time we stop on the way there. I look a little confused as Luke tries to figure out the camera on his new iPhone.

I made him get in one.

The ride there was long, well long for me but probably not long for some, about 9.5 miles one way, uphill in the rain and snow with no shoes!!! Ok, that's not true but the uphill part is true. The whole way uphill. It sure makes for a good time back home!

We get to the mall and went to the cinema to see what was playing. Unfortunately we didn't realize that they do dub some of their English films and the only subtitled ones were playing at night. We couldn't stay that long because I don't have a light on my bike just yet so we had to be home by dark. Dark comes really early here, like 6:45 and sunrise well before 5 AM.

We walked around for a bit, went into a CD/DVD store called Sludge (or something like that!) where I realized that we would never make enough money to buy a DVD here! Holy crap people! I guess they do have to import the English DVDs but even the Japanese ones are really expensive. About $32 for a new Japanese DVD so you can just imagine what an English one costs! So no shopping there.

We went downstairs to the cheaper part of the mall where we found everything we needed. Mainly a pair of track pants for me and some new shorts for us both. We found a few other things we couldn't live without and then decided we were famished and were ready to head back.

About half way home was a restaurant called Joyful which Luke had eaten at with some other people before I had arrived. He enjoyed it so we stopped there to eat.

We ordered all matter of food and while we waited for it to arrive we got some drinks. I started out with some strawberry tea over ice which tasted remarkably like strawberry Nesquik! And Luke had grape soda which he said was "a totally orgasmic drink!" (Grape soda in my hand something else green in Luke's)

We ordered these chicken popper things as a appetizer. I pick one up and put it into my mouth and eww, it's very fatty. I remember how all the chicken I have had so far has been real and I just think maybe that's all that's happened. Then Luke grabs one...same thing. Then he thinks to tell me "oh by the way you have to be careful what you order when it looks like that on the menu. Here you can order chicken cartilage instead of just chicken!" EWWWW. Yes, we indeed had ordered cartilage by mistake. We didn't eat anymore of that.

Here I am with my lunch sipping my wonderful strawberry milk...I mean tea. Whatever, it was good!

My lunch close up. It was great, all cartilage aside. Clockwise from top left: miso soup (a true staple of Japanese quisine), dipping sauce for my pork, rice, pickled pickles (I call them this because they don't taste like regular pickles) and my pork and salad on the big plate. Between the dipping sauce and the breading on the pork it had a delightfully sweet taste. Like brown sugar and coconut or something. It was great.

Perhaps one of my favorite foods of all time, in any country, is gyoza. Lightly fried and great in its oily sauce it is just so tasty. You can find this same dish in many asian countries by different names. In Chinese it has a thicker wrapper but just as amazing! We made it in our apartment in Iowa all the time but now I have a different way to prepare it!

Of course we have to have a picture of Luke eating! He had a beef rice thing and miso.

We coasted all most all the way home and made it in time to get a lovely view of the seven mountains of Taiwa, our neighboring town.

Here is a better view of the mountains! I think we will clime them soon. It is lovely country here. Come join us if you can!


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