a slightly boring January

During the coldest January in 25 years in Nagoya (though this is only at about 0 degrees on average), I count down my days teaching – about 10 or so left to go!

January has been a pretty tame month; nothing particularly noteworthy has happened (is it bad that this bores me?), spending my weekends either going out for karaoke (yes it is actually really fun!) or going to see the Nagoya philharmonic orchestra, and sitting around having a lot of coffee! However, next week I’m off to see the snow festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Apparently they have giant ice statues, on top of which the winter illuminations should still be up. Chilly on the outside, but oh so warm on the inside (what a cliché!). A bonus of course is that I immediately associate Hokkaido with good food – at a food festival I went to once most of the stalls displayed food from Hokkaido. This means fresh crab, lamb, ramen, and CHEESECAKE! Tanoshimi ni!! (I’m looking forward to it, in Japanese). Expect tonnes of photos.

Futhermore, by the end of this week I am aiming to get some flights booked for my upcoming adventures, though the timing of my visit to the Middle East isn’t exactly perfect. Is it ever?
The way I see it is that most of the anger is directed towards the government, and the latter will be doing everything possible to protect the tourism industry! And who knows, maybe an exciting story will come out of it? Anyone with suggestions on things off the beaten track to see/do in Jordan, Syria or Lebanon please give me a shout!

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