A New HobbyI’m getting used to urban life again, but there are still some moments when I do double-takes.
For example, a couple of nights ago a colleague and I went for ramen at a shop near our school. He stands out as a Caucasian male, but city people don’t stare as much so it proceeds as a normal dinner would. As we were paying at the register, the cashier suddenly asks us if we are ALTs (assistant teachers in Japanese public schools) in beautiful. perfect. English.
I don’t think I really looked at the guy until after he said that. Actually, I may have stared with my mouth open. This guy was tall, young, kinda good-looking, and he spoke with the slightest of accents (it wasn’t Japanese, but I couldn’t place its origin). Completely my type — if only I were 5 years younger… Sigh.
Anyway, the point of this was to illustrate how strange it (still) is for me to live in a place with people in my age group who can speak fluent English. It was something I sorely missed in my three years out in the inaka; two months after moving to Kobe, I am still surprised by the contrast.
Another thing I’ve picked up in these last two months is a new hobby: cafe-hopping!
I’m usually tougher than this, but there are some restaurants that you just can’t seem to walk into by yourself. Fast-food restaurants in Japan — which are far healthier than in N. America — tend to be clustered around train stations (which are not near me).
Cafes fill in that gap for me nicely. There are many possible types of interiors and food options that fit under the term “cafe”, so it’s never boring. The best part is cafe hours are usually long, so it’s easy to drop in whenever I feel like it and indulge in some me-time (without having to clean up after!).Of course, like many other hobbies, this can get expensive fast so I’m trying to limit myself to 3 cafes per month. So far it’s working, and the bonus is that I will always have some new Instagram content, haha. Speaking of which, I’ve added my Instagram feed at the bottom of this blog, so feel free to take a look! It gets updated frequently, so there will be more Kobe pictures there! —
I’ll share some pictures of Rokko Island in my next post! Until then!