Kyoto and bicycles

Originally published on 21st December 2015 on Blogger

Kyoto is a really excellent place to cycle around, as it is quite flat. Sim offered to take us to a big flea market in Toji temple, on bikes. Maki explained to us that this market, which runs on the 21st of each month, has been running for hundreds of years. It runs on this day, as it marks the death of Kobo Daishi, the monk who ran the temple from 823AD.

The morning was wet and very cold. Finn decided it was too wet to ride. He stayed home, while Mya and I headed out, into the cold. Mya was a little nervous about riding down the streets, with lots of people, and cars and obstacles. We don’t get much practice at that kind of riding in Nathalia (where our bikes live at Mum’s). The ride was around 4.5kms each way. My glasses kept fogging up. Riding behind Mya was a very anxiety provoking experience. She had a couple of prangs (she ended up in someone’s pot plant), but I was far more nervous about her taking out some poor unsuspecting granny. Japanese grannies are very petite! No one was injured, in the end.

The market was enormous, and would have been more so, if it were not raining. We found some beautiful origami crane earrings, for the crane queen, and she bought herself a Kokeshi doll.

The ride home was just as anxious, but we got home without incident. Mya then waited for the girls to return from school. They have some beautiful tropical fish, which Mya has taken a great liking to, and she sits, watching the fish, while she waits.

An afternoon of cards and Wii and basketball and YouTube. I read and did washing, and talked with the very lovely Koori, who works with Maki. Sim came out to talk to the girls, and I realised he was speaking a different language. The girls are fluent in Japanese and Mandarin. And very proficient in English. Sim said that three languages was his minimum requirement for them. I asked Sim how many languages he speaks. SEVEN….. Multi-lingual fascinates me.

We headed out for dinner, hoping to go to a local okonomiyaki place. Sadly, it was closed. We went to the Indian across the road, which Finn and I had tried last time. Very delicious, very expensive (for Japan).

The evening was spent playing more Wii, (and Finn joined in this time), and more cards. I taught Lancy to play Solitaire. Lancy showed me her Japanese homework, Kanji and calligraphy. Lancy’s name in Japanese is らんし (Ranshi) and the Kanji for her full name is 56 strokes. Wow. She said it is unfair in tests, the boy who sits next to her only has 7 strokes.

Heading out for the day. It’s sunny and crisp and beautiful.

 

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