1. Actually spending time with my husband
My husband has been working like CRAZY recently, including going into work in the mornings, and as he goes to work so early and gets back so late I end up not having much time to see him during the day... but that just makes the time that I can spend with him over the weekend feel more special! So I am very happy that I got to spend most of Saturday and Sunday with him <3
|Ebizou Ichikawa, one of the Kabuki actors we went to see!|
Kabuki, if you don't know, is a traditional style of Japanese play that involves singing, dancing, and elaborate acrobatic fight scenes. It was on my list of things to do in Japan at some point, and I finally got round to actually going on Saturday! Yay! The performance that we went to was about 4 hours long (although that includes some little breaks as they change scenery and one 30 minute break where we ate tea and another 10 or 15 minute break later), and I thought that I might get bored half way through but it was pretty entertaining!
If any of you ever come to Japan and are interested in that kind of thing I recommend it! Tickets for good seats are pretty expensive (we got them through my husband's company and they were very heavily discounted - we paid quite a bit less than half price), but if you ever come to Japan it might be worth going to! You can apparently go on the day and get tickets for just one act, which would maybe be about an hour and is much cheaper, although the seats aren't as good (and half of them are standing). They have English audio guides and a new subtitle thing that you can rent that explain what is going on. I actually used the subtitle thing myself as the Japanese used in the plays is pretty old and I wasn't sure whether I would understand it. My husband got an audio guide in Japanese and said that it was really helpful for him too!
3. Signing up for some MOOCs
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), if you don't know, are courses that you can do online for free. There's a massive amount of variation in them, but a lot of them are basically the equivalent of doing a university module. It's been a while since I was in education, but I have recently realised that although I don't mind most of the translation work I do, the translation that I actually enjoy the most is to do with health and medicine, so I have decided to take a few MOOCs to boost my credentials and knowledge so I can hopefully break into the medical translation industry (at the moment whenever I'm doing something related to medicine I just bombard my mum (who recently retired but was a doctor) with questions). Yay! You can pay for certificates to prove that you have passed the course, which I wouldn't do if I was just doing it for fun, but I definitely will if I'm doing it for professional reasons. Plus, tax write-off, yayyy!!!
If you haven't investigated them before and the idea sounds interesting, I think the three biggest sites are Coursera, EdX and Udacity, and there are all kinds of courses on there from highly respected universities, so even if you're just doing it for fun, I'm sure you could find something interesting! I kind of wish that the Japanese equivalent was more developed (there are some courses in Japanese, but although some of them sound interesting to do for fun, it would be nice to have some that would help me in a professional capacity).
YAY FOR LEARNING! I'm excited to get started, although first I'm doing a course that is supposed to help you learn techniques to learn more efficiently in the hopes that it will help me actually retain most of what I learn, hehe.
If anybody is interested in this I might do a post about it once I've either finished or am part way through some of the courses that I am going to do.
4. Lovely weather
Japan is on the verge of passing over into too hot for comfort territory, but at the moment it is pretty nice! It's sunny almost every day and not too hot, and it's nice to not have to wrap myself in millions of layers every day to stay warm. I love Japan, but houses here really really really need better insulation. Or insulation at all. And central heating! And to look nicer! Hehe. Hopefully there'll be at least a couple more weeks of this before we hit the rainy season (although I don't mind the rainy season either because I have cute wellies. Cute things make everything better!)