In the Land of Green Ricefields

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Hello, and welcome to my first blog post! After spending 2 weeks hopping from hostel to hostel, I’ve finally arrived in the small town of Usa-shi, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, where I will be staying for the next two and a half months. I’ll be living with my partner who will be starting work as an English Teacher in the beginning of September.

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It’s a small, southern agricultural town, sharing the same latitude with Northern Florida. Before I came here, Usa was experiencing the hottest on record weather at 36 °C, with humidity making it feel like 40 °C. Luckily, it had cooled off by the time I got here (and by cooled off I mean to 31 °C).

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There’s a picturesque rice field across the apartment, along with a kindergarten and other apartments. Across the field are several big box type stores, which include drugstores, groceries and home hardware stores, all within walking distance. However, the town is better explored with a car, which we have purchased used for ¥50,000 (about $500.00 US). A “K-Car”, it’s one of the most economically made cars, though not necessarily the most robust. The car often rumbles and vibrates when we are stopped at a light for too long. That being said, it’s a luxury to have during this hot weather, and surprisingly more affordable compared to the monthly bus passes back home in Vancouver.

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The rice fields are the most vibrant green I’ve ever seen in nature.

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On the day I arrive to the city, it’s already past 5:00pm, so we take my luggage to our new apartment. My partner’s has been here for about a week and has managed to set up most of the essentials for cooking. We go out briefly to pick up groceries for dinner, then return to relax and cook. Good night, and more soon!

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Getting dinner together.
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Dinner is local shrimp with stir-fried leafy greens, mushrooms, and cucumbers in rice vinegar.

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