My computer is up and running again! A guy from my church who fixes computers had a couple extra HPs, and he cleaned up a little tea that had spilled in there, and replaced the keyboard. Everything else was fine, all my data was fine, and I’m back up and running!
Before the tea spill, I had the chance to explore Waki Town some more. I don’t know what it is about hot, muggy summer days that makes me want to hop on a bicycle and explore Japan, but it was like that last summer and this summer is looking no different. (Pictures taken June 8, 2013).
Even though Waki isn’t very big, I feel like I mostly only see “downtown” Waki, where all my schools, the BOE office, the City Hall, the supermarket, and the train station are located, because they’re all condensed into a very close space. I can reach all my schools in 10 mins or less on a bike, 15 mins or less walking. It’s the same for almost anywhere I need to be in Waki most of the time. It might be hard to imagine, but I took my parents on a tour that, without the stop at a friend’s house, could have taken about an hour, and we saw most of the main places I go on a regular basis.
Note: As of 6/1, there were about 6,562 people in Waki. This is listed on the Waki homepage, also informing us that there are about 3,276 males and 3,286 females. I don’t know if these are permanent residents or if it’s updated monthly to reflect the people who transfer here for a couple months to work here and then go back after their term is up, but that’s some really specific information to have up on the main page, haha. I tried to find it on Santa Rosa’s website, but no luck. They did make sure to remind us all on the front page that fireworks are illegal for the 4th of July, though. Thanks, Santa Rosa.
I probably got the idea to bike up this way from the time I went with a Waki teacher to go see the fireflies at night. A river winds down from the mountains, and people gather by the fence (see above) to see the fireflies light up. Houses line the road for a long way up, until finally you get to a point where you’re not supposed to go up by bike any more (that’s where I stopped). I met some older ladies who were getting off the Waki bus at that point. They stopped to pay respects at a small shrine that I hadn’t noticed, half covered by trees, right at that final point, and I walked down with them for a little ways. I think they already knew me, because…I am known in Waki, haha.
After I came back down, I meandered around “downtown” Waki on my bike, going down some residential streets that I always bike past on my way to school but never pay attention to, and I discovered a shrine that’s almost on the main street I always pass down. It’s directly off a little path that I sometimes see people walking out from, but I never went that way because I figured it led to houses or apartments or something. I think it’s really close to the Board of Education, and me and my parents probably walked past it.
I always think how it would be so weird to live here and only know about the things I got used to seeing, forgetting to explore it just because I live here now, and constantly passing things on my bike commute. My friend and I used to go on long walks in the summer in SR and sometimes drive a long time in one direction just to see what was there (my parents were generous to let us do that, haha). Santa Rosa is bigger than Waki–there are probably a lot of things there that I don’t know about or never saw because they’re a little out of the way, or aren’t visible from my usual commuting routes. There might be things you haven’t noticed about the place where you’re living, too. If your life feels boring right now, maybe you should take a look! *cues Owl City music*