As a Minnesotan, I must say one of my bad habits–especially when stalling out when conversing with a stranger–is talking about the weather. It’s a tad ironic that we tend to diver to weather as the main topic, since Minnesota typically only has two types of weather anyway: bad and worse, but alas, it’s a fundamental social tactic for me. By now I think I’ve been able to fully appreciate the mundane movement of the clouds and the banality of a midsummer’s day. As such, I’ve also come up with plenty of ways to look at weather under a unique lens. Words like: brisk, searing, and tranquil start to crop into my vocabulary, or at the extremes: sultry, blazing, and deluge. I don’t know if I mentioned early on, but the first days settling in Fukui were a torrid mix of sweat infused days and balmy nights.

That type of weather seemed ceaseless, at least in levels of humidity, even when the clouds started blocking out the sun. Now, only a month later and still in the wane of summer, it’s hard to remember those days when wearing anything more than your thinnest t-shirt seemed absurd. After we went to the BBQ a while back, my neighbor and I went scouring around the greater Tannan area to each Book-Off (a used manga, book, and media store). I mark it as the last day I wear a tank top in Japan, or at least until next summer. As the day wore on and the clouds moved in to rain, I felt pretty exposed stuck with bare shoulders (a social rarity) while wishing I had a jacket.

The changing has kept up, despite various assurances that whatever threatening typhoon has either dissipated or passed us by. It’s been pretty nice to have in school, since it’s the only sort of air conditioning we get, though, at home it gets to be a nuisance. As someone who still has no furniture, internet, books, or distinct form of entertainment in their apartment, watching the clouds go by (yes, an occasionally fun pastime) only reminds me that I’m stuck inside. Also, without a car the decision to walk to the grocery gets solved pretty quickly with a potential downpour.

One thing I guess I can say, is Monday morning–the day we had without school–turned into the day I finally figure out how to get my washing machine to work. I woke up habitually pretty early, at least before eight o’clock. The night before I determined that I would do laundry in my place after finally receiving a washing machine from my advisor used in his college days. When we had gotten it in the apartment and tried setting it up, the nozzle wound up spraying water all over whenever it was connected. I had looked around at other people’s machines and figured I needed a new part for my spigot. However, the Home-Depot-esque store that was the closet (half hour) walk away didn’t open until 9:30 like most stores, so I figured I’d putz around to see if I could actually get it to work.

I unscrewed plenty of things, twisted off tubes and nozzles, and after dousing the walls even went over everything with a borrowed hair dryer to make sure I wouldn’t get mold. By the time I planned to start walking to the store, a bit of rain rolled in and I decided it’d be better off on me and my wallet if I spent more time trying to figure it out on my own. In the end, I got a load of laundry going, and after a momentary shutdown and more unscrewing on my part, finally got everything working consistently. I did laundry for most of the day, starting at noon and going into the evening. After repairing the dry-wall in my old apartment from the wholes I drilled to mount my TV, I’d say I’ve probably achieved handy-man skill level 2 by now. Although, let’s hope it stays at that level for a while.


That picture is actually a bit misleading. It was taken at 7:30 in the morning over the weekend, but by 9:30 all the fog had disappeared and lead to a sunny and almost clear sky. A couple of sun showers and rain pours flocked in throughout the day, but it seems that’s just more for me to talk about.