We are supposed to be in the middle of "tsuyu" or rainy season but so far it has not rained much. This is bad since the rice needs the rain. As you can see from the pictures I took yesterday from work, the rice fields have been flooded and rice is being planted. Soon beautiful green rice will be everywhere! (It looks like a work at a jail with the wire in the glass windows...but I don't!)
You can tell that it is getting hot out when you see ladies using umbrellas to keep the sun off them...no it isn't so much a concern about skin cancer but tanning....they HATE tanned skin here. I always hear my students' mothers talk about how "kuro" or dark their skin is due to the sun and then they touch my skin and say "iina!!" (means they are jealous) and then I have to tell them that only in Japan is my very white skin not embarrassing to me. I remember my dad telling me my legs looked like the underside of a dead fish....needless to say I spent a lot of money on tanning beds at one time in my life.
Well, swine flu has hit Fukuoka (the state I live in) and actually pretty close to where I live. Sadly, an exchange student from Australia brought it with her to an all girls school in the big city near me so the school has been closed and all students must stay home (one of my students was absent at my school because she goes to that school) so that is why today, when I went to the mall, I saw hand sanitizer on a table between the inner and outer doors to the mall. Also, the McDonald's' staff were all wearing face masks....they didn't look happy about it either but since this is the land of face masks, it wasn't that surprising.
This next picture I meant to put in my last blog entry but forgot. This is corn tea. Every time we go to our favorite yakiniku restaurant, they give us this stuff at the end and (to me) it is pretty awful. I am assuming they roast corn and then make a tea out of it. Which reminds me of another tea I hate in Japan which is "mugicha" or "wheat tea" . Wheat tea is a summer drink and frankly reminds me of an ashtray. Anybody ever had it and liked it? Thankfully there are other teas I love to drink!!