Over breakfast, I worked on finalizing plans for our trip to Japan over the Lunar New Year. We now have ferry reservations on the high speed ferry from Busan to Fukuoka! It's been a long time since I've visited a brand new country (as a tourist, anyway). I'm excited. From Fukuoka, we're going to take a train to Nagasaki and spend a couple days there. I picked Nagasaki because it's not far from Fukuoka, but also because I've met a Japanese woman here who is from Nagasaki. So she's given us good advice about places to visit. She also told us that there is a big lantern festival there for the New Year. You all should expect many, many photos in your future!
In the afternoon, I had three lessons. I met my student Rita's two sons today. They are both planning to do some graduate classes in Korea next year, and they are anxious to learn English to help them with the Korean language class they'll have to take, which is taught in English. Whew! I think they're brave. It's nice to have some male students to round out my group for a while, although it is only temporary. It's good to have a reminder that not everyone responds favorably to the topics "shopping" and "your upcoming wedding." It's also nice to have more advanced students who are easier to talk to. I think that my beginning students and I manage to communicate surprisingly well, but sometimes it's frustrating not to be able to have more complicated conversations.
After my lessons, I went to the supermarket and ran into Joy, a friend from Bulgaria. She had heard we were planning a trip to Japan (this really is a small town) and said she and her husband were thinking of going too. If they're planning to go for the lantern festival also, it would be fun to get together for an adventurous Japanese dinner.
I stopped by Glenda's house on the way home to pick up an extra cat carrier for tomorrow's adventure: taking the kittens to the vet for spaying and neutering! Poor little things are blithely unaware. Glenda and I have a nice afternoon planned to distract me from feeling sorry for my babies. We're going to try out a Turkish restaurant and maybe do some shopping. Another mind-numbingly detailed update is sure to follow.