This week has been busy, I'm busy all weekend and next week and weekend too, so this is going to be a short Things I love Thursday list... here goes...
- ONSEN! I spent last weekend with my advisor, a group of school friends, and U at my advisor's weekend place in the onsen town of Ito. The building where my advisor has his apartment used to be partly a hotel, and has great big baths in the basement. No outdoor baths or anything terribly impressive, just good hot onsen - BLISS!
- friends - I hadn't seen most of this group of friends since I graduated. Most of them have already graduated and gone on to other things, so it was great to have everybody back together again (one girl came from Hiroshima!) and to be able to relax and have fun (without one of us having the pressure of a thesis to write hanging over our heads). U has met a couple of the girls in the group before, but it was his first time meeting my advisor and a few others. Since the rest of us are girls he got to share a room with my advisor. Despite all that, however, U had a great time and in the car on the way home told me how lucky I am to have such a great group of friends and an advisor - and how happy he was to have joined us.
- sashimi - when we weren't soaking in the onsen we were eating (and drinking...). Ito being on the coast has good seafood - really good seafood. Dinner on Saturday and lunch the next day were both amazing fresh sashimi and absolutely delicious.
- unexpected kindnesses - on the way home U and I stopped at a smallish temple we wanted to check out and got chatting with the wife of the priest as he stamped our books for us. She was so impressed that "young people" were visiting the temple that she brought out tea and sweets for us and chatted with us. I'm sure she was equally impressed that a foreigner was there, chatting with her in Japanese, but she never let on and didn't treat me any differently at all. It didn't even occur to me until afterwards, but when I realized I was very impressed. She made us both feel perfectly comfortable and we came away feeling as rested spiritually as we did physically after the onsen.