Yesterday I spent about four hours exploring some more of our town. I was actually on the hunt for some photos for the photo101 workshop. I looked at the list of daily assignments and decided to get a bit of a jump on some of them because number one-it’s been rainy and cold and number two I’ll be traveling later on this week and might not have time to get out with my camera.
Besides, when I looked at the list I knew immediately what I wanted to capture for one or two of the assignments.
While I was scouting for photo-ops I came across some interesting things and couldn’t resist the opportunity to take more photos.
There is a homeless man that has taken up residence under one of the main bridges. I know that around the world that’s not uncommon but it is kind of uncommon in our area. I first noticed him around the end of summer. Yesterday I walked over the bridge and saw what went from a small pile of his belongings had grown to a whole mountain of odds and ends. He’s pretty much filled the entire space under the bridge with stuff. It’s actually quite and eyesore now and I wonder how long they will allow him to live there. He has clothing and bedding strewn everywhere along the bank of the river too.
As I looked over the bridge railing I couldn’t help but notice that a family of cats had taken shelter on one of the blankets that lay rumpled up on the riverbank. I took the shot with my telephoto lens. I doubt the cats would have let me get that close.
A little farther on down the road I saw this old home. I can’t resist old houses. I always wonder what the story is behind them. I wonder when they were built, who stayed there, what they looked like years ago. What I noticed about this one was the well. My husband told me stories about what it was like when he was growing up in post-war Japan….but I’ll tell you some of those another time. Anyhow, he mentioned wells.
I noticed that there were electric lines connected and wondered if anyone actually lived there. You’d be surprised-we used to pass by this dilapidated place on the other side of the river and were shocked one night to see lights on inside. The place has since been condemned. I’m surprised it didn’t collapse long ago. Half of the roof was sunk and one whole side was leaning dangerously.
I noticed this hair salon with all the washed towels drying outside on the side of the road-a typical sight in Asia. Notice the “come in we’re open” sign.
I found myself “downtown” and thought I’d take a shot of a street corner in sepia-
I like our town but it is such an odd assortment of buildings and businesses. Some of these buildings remind me of the big square concrete buildings in Saipan.
Low and behold I stumbled across an “American Hot dog ” restaurant. Complete with a statue of a hot dog dousing himself with ketchup while wrapped up in an American flag.
There was a woman inside who grinned broadly while I was taking the photo-maybe hoping for a real American customer? Sorry-I don’t eat hot dogs. Not sure what the “apartment” sign meant. Sometimes I see random English words here and there…that seem to have no real purpose other than to look foreign.
Moving down the road….and past a small stream I spotted a woman gathering tsukushi or horsetail.
Tsukushi is a wild edible plant (weed to some) that grows in early spring. My mother in law loves them. When I first moved to Japan and lived with her I helped her gather, prepare and cook them. They are a pain to clean and not worth the trouble if you ask me. They are tasty though. We have several wild plants that people gather during the early spring. You can actually buy packs of them already cleaned at super markets.
After a little over four hours wandering around I was cold. The wind was really chilly and despite having a hat on my ears were frozen. Frozen ears do not equal fun for me so I wandered back home.
I’ve been trying to force myself to get OUT of the house more often and this photo101 was really good timing because it’s a huge motivator to get out, get exercise and do something I love.