This weekend, They sure put me to work this weekend. I carried a mikoshi (portable shrine) through the town on Saturday. So, what's a mikoshi? It looks kind of like a little building, and there are some little statues of birds, bells, and various other items added on there as well. Two pieces of wood are but through the base, and it's carried through the streets of the town as a sort of parade. Along the way, there are little dances, people give donations in little envelopes, and at the end, the kids get a bunch of candy, and there's some sake for everyone else.
One thing I have to say is that sucker is heavy! We had 8 adults carrying the thing, and it was still quite a workout. I also wore the traditional clothes, which felt a little strange, and traditional straw sandals, which were just plain painful. We should all be very, very glad we have comfortable footwear today, trust me. But it wasn't all torture. Everyone was really helpful, and there were plenty of participants. Also, there were many stops along the way, and the roads were mostly flat, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. So it was nice to get involved and see some more of the local culture, and of course there was the sake.
For whatever reason, Kyushu is famous among fellow JETs for having awful, huge, scary insects. Giant bugs, you could say. Well, I have a few run ins with cockroaches last year, one noisy bug in my room that kept me awake for hours, and saw one of the infamous mukade (poisonous centipedes).
This year, I have decided to gear up and take action. I bought a ton of cockroach traps, pesticide spray, stuff you sprinkle on the ground, stuff I'm not quite sure what it does yet. And I'll ask at school for more tips as well. I'm going to keep my room clean as much as I can. But I have the feeling no matter what I do, it won't be enough. My room just doesn't have enough insulation. It's just not sealed up enough. There are just too many ways to get in. So I'll try to do what I can, but I have a feeling my bug troubles are far from over.