Day two of the workshop started at a much more reasonable time, 9:00 a.m., with some Tai Chi. I don’t know if I would like it. Mostly I felt awkward, but everyone else did too. I think I’ll stick with Yoga. The nice thing about Yoga is that you can feel when you get it right, and the time in the positions is much longer, allowing for self-adjustments & meditation. But I can see the appeal of Tai Chi.
We continued the individual current events presentations. I think we were all ready to be done, though. Too much sitting!
We took our “test.” Mary Laura was right, & she is much loved among the program participants.
Catherine Channell gave us a short Chinese lesson. She’s a really great teacher, which didn’t surprise me since she’s been teaching 7th graders Chinese for ??? years. Even though I have no idea how to speak Chinese now, I finally ‘get’ the inflection thing, & I can finally hear the tonal differences.
My husband took me out to dinner afterwards, which was really sweet. However, when I got up to leave I almost couldn’t move. A three-mile hike followed by two days of sitting in a desk really made me all stove up, as we like to say here in the South.
We had our first day of the two-day workshop, beginning at the crack of dawn. We had to be at the UALR campus at the obscene time of 7:15 for a 7:30 three mile hike. I was a little trepidatious about this part of the “test.” I have lost 22 lbs since January, but honestly I haven’t ever gotten into an exercise habit. Still, I’m a tough girl. I didn’t know that the leader of this thing was going to be a flippin boot camp instructor (literally) and that he was going to lead us on a sprint-paced all uphill death march! Good grief. I know we’ll be doing a lot of walking in China, but I don’t think we’ll have to walk at that pace! Anyway, I made it, & I wasn’t last, so it’s all good.
After that we did a lot of sitting in desks & listening. We had two guest lecturers. One of them, Dr. Huai from UCA, was fabulous. I do wish we had gotten a chance to get together in groups to discuss some of what we’ve been studying. We kept kind of trying, but there was no time allotted for that. Everyone is anxious about this test we’re supposed to take over Chinese history & culture, but Martha Morton’s daughter Mary Laura told us not to worry about it. Here’s hoping.
At the end of the day we went to Chai’s for a specially prepared Chinese meal. It was good; although I’m not a big fan of Chinese food (too much sweet). Susie & I really enjoyed the wine.
I have been trying for a month to find a place for Susie and me to stay while we’re in Kyoto, Japan. I really wanted traditional Japanese for our stay. At first I researched & researched for the perfect place, and I finally came up with this place, the Heianbo . Unfortunately, they were booked. Then I tried another place… and another… and another. I was getting desperate.
Fortunately, someone at tripadvisor lead me to the itcj, the International Tourism Center of Japan. Both are wonderful sites if you’re trying to plan a trip to Japan (tripadvisor, for anywhere) remotely. The ITCJ has maximum cost restrictions for the accomodations to be on the site, and it caters to foreigners trying to book from outside the country. You can do searches for everything in an area, and you can make reservation requests straight from that site, instead of trying to run down each hotel’s information. It’s great. Easy to use.
Anyway, I finally got us a reservation at Ryokan Rikiya. I hope it will be nice. I think it’s a little more expensive than I hoped & not quite as nice as I would’ve liked, but it was open, and it’s in a great district in Kyoto. It also has a private bathroom, a nicety that most ryokans do not provide. I think it’ll be somewhere between great and just fine with us. Fortunately, Susie is laid back & very agreeable about just about anything we do… except eating sushi. This could be a problem when I want to eat sushi for breakfast, lunch, & dinner every day while we’re there.