Saturday, October 28, 2006


I know Halloween is not until Oct. 31 but everyone celebrated it on Saturday night. I signed up to be on the kids Trick or Treat trail and lots of them came out from the International School. They where sooooo cute. It was funny how everyone had to cram into the elevator to go to the eight floor, but hey it was worth it. Here are some of the cuties that visited:

After the Trick or Treat session we where invited to a costume party. Orlando and I dressed up as Japanese Public employees. He was a construction worker and I was a police women as you can see from the picture below.

Here we are with the hosts of the party Tom and Jan. I would have to take them into police custody for possession after this picture off course.

People kept staring at us when we here walking to the party about 8 blocks away. The costume where a big hit and every one kept taking pictures of us, the problem was that Orlando's vest kept reflecting the light from the flash back into the camera!!!

People kept asking me to arrest them but I could not find any handcuffs and it's Japan so female cops don't really do anything except write tickets (I looked it up on the web).

As Orlando was walking around the party he noticed a couple dressed up as Ohio State Fans and send them my way. We talked football and where both looking forward to the Michigan vs Ohio State game coming up. There where no hard feelings except for the dead wolverine she made up using arts and crafts...the horror. As you can see from the picture to your left there is no escaping Ohio State fans... Even in Japan.

The party was a lot of fun and everyone had on funky costumes. Here are some pictures:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I'm officially older!!!!! It was my B-day yesterday and my first one in Japan!!!
I found out that Happy Birthday in Japan is OTANJOBI OMEDETO and that the birthday song is the same one as in English. The only difference is that when you sing it you have to say Happy Birthday Iddya-san, which I find hilarious.

We went to a really nice dinner (you know with lots of silverware) with our friends to celebrate the occasion.

I got this SWEET Hello Kitty cake:

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who called, send gifts, e-mailed, instant messaged me or used any other form of communication to wish me well on my B-day. I guess now that I'm 27 I can't be conquering more mountains any more. Maybe I would be able to if I got a cane to help me out!!! HAHA just kidding!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Nature Hike

On Saturday we decided to "be one with nature" and go on a nature hike up Mt. Misen in Miyajima Island just off the coast of Hiroshima. We walked all the way from the pier to the top of the mountain, back down the mountain to the aquarium and back to pier. I added blue arrows to the map below to show our path.

At the beginning we where very excited and pupped up to be going up the mountain especially since the sign indicated about a 2 mile hike up. No problem right? WRONG!?!? It was 2 miles of super steep steps next to these huge landslides all over the mountain!!! Every time you would take a step your knees would hit your chin!!! It was like being in the stepmaster machine from hell with the highest and steepest level non-stop. Check out the steps on the backgruond of the picture to your right. Needless to say it took us about 2 hours to get to the top of the mountain. The most embarrasing part was that these two separate old Japanese gentlemen all dressed up in hiking gear, passed us by and beat us to the top!!! I realized that it's really all down hill after your 25 years old folks!

Here is the view from the top (there where deer all over the island):

The interesting part is that we decided to take a different trail to go back down. After 3 hours we realized that the second trail was even longer and steeper than the first one!!! Once I stopped staring and cursing (I exhausted every bad word I knew in Spanish and English, if I would have know some in Japanese I would have thrown them in there too) at the endless steps in front of me, I took a break to admire the great view. Check out the picture on the right.
It was a great accomplishment for me to actually go up the mountain at all, since those of you who know me very well are aware that I'm afraid of heights, but I made it all the way up and down the mountain in one piece. I do know one thing for certain I did it because I realized it was a once in a life time experience.

Monday, October 16, 2006


On October 12, 2006 Therese and I went on a day trip to Miyajima, a small island of the coast of Hiroshima. Miyajima is considered one of the "Three Most Beautiful Spots" of Japan and is the second tourist spot in Hiroshima after the Peace Museum. There where lots of tourists there from all over the world walking around the island. It was comforting and weird to finally hear some English being spoken around me.

Here are some cool pictures:

Let's play where is Iddya? Can you find me in this picture?

I'm really trying to fit in as you can see:

I found the real tourist attraction in the island a giant golden Hello Kitty:

For more information about the island visit:

Sunday, October 15, 2006


This morning I woke up to the weirdest news in the world - THE DETROIT TIGERS ARE GOING TO THE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES!!!! What?!?!?! I could barely believe it, after so many losing seasons, which Orlan and I presenced the past 4 years in Michigan now that we move they finally decide to win. In the words of Alanis Morrissette - "Isn't it ironic, don't you think?". For all the none Michigan readers of this blog ( I know your out there thanks to the dots on my cluster map on the right corner) here are a few pictures of Comerica Park:

In the picture above we are in front of the park with Orlando's parents. Watching the Tigers win (thanks to really brought back many good memories of the time we spent at the baseball park even though the team never ever won a game when we where there (or at least that's what it felt like). GO TIGERS!!!!

Now back to the usual blog subjects. Saturday we went to the Mazda purchasing annual softball tournament. It was very cool to meet the people who work with Orlando everyday. I spoke to a few English speakers who where mostly girls (younger than me if you can believe it, mostly 22-25 years old) who work in purchasing. They where all very stylish and nice. In the beginning of the activity there was speech made and then everyone stood up in rows and stretched out to the Mazda exercise song. Since I have no idea what the song or anyone speaking was saying I did my best to follow the exercises by imitating the people in front of me, clapped whenever they clapped and laughed whenever they laughed. When the game was about to start both teams made a row facing each other and bowed. Here is Orlando at bat proudly wearing his YA HEARD Dearborn Softball league shirt (notice the scenery in the background, the field was on the top of a mountain, the same as all the golf courses here, no space? problem just level the top of a mountain and there you go):

Check out the video of Orlan hitting a home run (I took the video with my cel phone so the quality is not great but you get the idea):

At the end of the first game time was up and the scored was tied. So how do you decide a winner? Well the answer is simple play 5 sets of rock, paper, scissors and who ever gets the most wins goes on to the next game. I was lucky enough to take a picture of this event since I figured no one would believe me, as you can sse on your right. Our team actually won the rock, paper, scissors Japanese shoot out, assembled in a row, bowed to the other team and continued to the next game. The whole day was allot of fun everyone went with their families and played for fun. There was no batting order or anything like that, if you where on the bench and grabbed the bat then you where next, as simple as that. The good thing was all the baseball terms where the same. First base was first base and an out is an out so even though I can't speak Japanese I defended myself with the universal language of baseball.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sake Festival

Today a group of friends and us went to a Sake Festival in Saijo about 30 minutes from Hiroshima by train. Sake is alcoholic beverage brewed mainly from rice. I'm not a big fan of sake. I tried it when I was in Michigan and did not particularly like but I went to the festival anyways to give it another shot. We walked around town and went into the different sake breweries. Here are some of them:

Here we are in front of the Sake barrels:

Here I am with my sidekick Erin (she finally updated her blog check it out at:

There where more than 200 different brands of Sake form all the different regions in Japan. You paid $ 15 at the entrance and could order all types of sake by region and number, as many times as you wanted!!! The first one to run out was sake # 69 from the Kinki region, I assume because there where lots of foreigners that where there and found that funny. You got these tiny sake cups or a wooden box with salt on the corner (all you needed was lime and you had a Japanese margarita ready to go) as you can see below:

Even though the containers where small the people where still really drunk all over the place. Since you could not come back out people would just hang around, like this guy to your right. He was just sleeping happily in one of the park benches and absolutely nothing was going to wake him up!!!! The sad part is that he was not the only one like this, you could barely find where to sit. On our way back to Hiroshima this poor man was so drunk that every time the train stopped he would fall on top of Orlando, which he did not enjoy but it was really funny!!! Finally the drunk guy got a chair and went to sleep. In general the sake festival was like being in "El festival del Cafe" back in Maricao, (I think I went there every year when I was in PR with my family) you just had to substitute the coffee for sake.

Girls Night

Friday night a group of ladies and I went out to celebrate 2 of their birthdays. So everyone left their kids at home with their husbands and I left Orlando with his playstation and some pizza!!! We all went to dinner at a Spanish restaurant near my apartment. Here we are:

After dinner we went to hang out for a while, here we are having a great time:

There I spoke to the owner of the establishment who is from Peru and requested La Gasolina in order to show the ladies how to dance some Reggeaton. Everyone proceeded to buggy down with some Daddy Yankee and to my surprise some of the Japanese people that where there started to dance and singing along to every word!!! To bad my video camera does not fit into my pursue because it was priceless. Music is truly a universal language because everyone was dancing to the rhythm of the song even though they had no idea what the music was saying.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Normal Life

We have been here almost 3 months now and are getting used to our new surroundings well. In general we lead very normal lives except for a few things:

- Football - We watch college football games on Sundays instead of Saturdays via internet by connecting the computer to the TV. I really do miss going to the Big house (U of M football stadium) and hanging out with Lauren and all her friends. This year would have been good since Valerie (my friend Ydalmi's 3-month old Baby [blog:]) would be quietly sitting with a little sweater on her mother's lap instead of growing inside her mother's belly while hanging out.
- Ordering pizza is an adventure - This Friday Orlando order a pizza successfully, he deserves an applause. Usually we just go get the neighbor's kid and he order for us, but we are on our way toward pizza independence.
- Going out - We still go out to eat and hang out on Fridays or Saturdays with friends. The only difference is that we don't know what we are eating and each bar we go to does not fit more than 10-15 people. Also there are so many Kareoke bars here that one does not even know where to start. This Saturday we finally went to one!!! I tried to sing Shakira's La Tortura (unfortunately Alejandro Sanz could not get his jet ready in time to fly in from Miami to sing his part) and completely butchered it. I feel really bad that everyone had to hear my horrible version to what is really a good song. Like any good Puerto Rican Orlando sang Ricky Martin's Living La Vida Loca, I think maybe because he was happy from ordering the pizza the day before. Here is the proof:

- Car - We really don't use the car at all here. My neighbors use it as a landmark to tell people where they live - "just look for the red car in front of the building". Also people worry and think something happened to us if the car is not there. So far we have only filled up the tank twice and still have half the second fill up left. Here is Orlan in our parking spot.

- Golf - I really do miss paying a reasonable amount of money to play golf. I would really consider not going to play if it was over $50 but now I can only dream of those good old days. I am not giving up though because practice amkes perfect except now there will a lot of practice in the driving range and not so much on a real course.

As you can see our livez have changed but not that much :-).