Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nagoya Trip: Subbotnik/Voskresnik

So I went to Nagoya on Sunday, and participated in this event of picking up garbage around Nagoya station. My friend from the International Lounge group invited me, and there was another friend there that I knew was coming, and one more friend who I didn't know was coming, so it was a very nice surprise :D.

Here's the group's blog by the way. Can you find me in one of the pictures there?

Aaaanyways, these guys meet every first Sunday of the month, at Nagoya station, and some people wear costumes (of power rangers mostly), but not everyone of course. We got divided into groups of about 10 people or so, and then we just walked around the station with our group, picking up garbage, and of course talking to each other. It was pretty fun, and I have to say, compared to Toronto, Nagoya is really clean. Doing the same in Toronto... well... around Union Station.... I dunno, I'd want to wear a mask probably because it's pretty dirty and the sewage smells bad. In Mississauga it won't be so much of a problem around the city center, but if I had to go clean around Hurontario and Dundas... I dunno, it's a lot dirtier, I think. Of course we found a lot of garbage anyway, and there was one box, wrapped in multiple bags, that we were joking was a bomb. It wasn't of course, but anyways the process of unwrapping it to determine if it goes into recycling or not was funny.

This is a picture of some of the members, most of them were group leaders:

There were a lot more people than that though.

I don't know exactly how long the garbage collection walk lasted, but I think maybe 2 hours or so. It's actually the first time for me to participate in something like that. I didn't really get involved in community projects in Mississauga even though I kind of wanted to in the last few years in Mississauga/Toronto. So it was really interesting.

I'd definitely love to go again, so if I have time, I will. It's in the afternoon too, so it's great, I don't have to worry about my private lesson in the morning.

After we finished we went to an izakaya to hang out, and it was really fun. We then went to another restauraunt, and it was also fun, especially because the group was smaller. I got to talk to my friends from the International Lounge too, and that was the best part, since I love talking to them and it was great to see them for a whole day. Some people were going to karaoke after, and I really wanted to go, especially because my friends were coming, but I had to catch a train back to Toyohashi, so I couldn't stay. Most of the other people were from Nagoya, so they didn't have to worry about trains so much—lucky! Well, maybe I can join them next time :D. On the way home I rode the train with one of my new friends from the Lounge, she lives in a city next to mine so it was nice that we could take the same train together.

I am so lucky I got invited to the International Lounge group around Christmas, because I met some really nice and interesting people, and also I got to join this event on Sunday which was fun.

Did I blog about the International Lounge? I can't remember and I am too lazy to go back and check my old posts. I don't think I did blog though. It's a really fun group. Basically it's people who want to practice English that get together once a month in Nagoya, and once a month in Mikawa area (Toyohashi, Toyokawa, Okazaki, etc.). There are either special events like cooking (this month), or we just hang out and talk. It's actually a lot like KonJa. Except people are a bit older. There are students too, but mostly people are between 23 and 35, with many people around 28-29 (it seems). Many people are my age and around my age (+-3 years), so it's wonderful, because I don't get to meet too many people my age at the dojo or at work. Everyone is from all sorts of different backgrounds, work-wise, so it's even more interesting that way. I get to learn so much about different people. I don't mean just Japanese people, I mean people with different kinds of interests and jobs. A lot of these people I would not have normally met because their area of interests or work is so different from mine, so it's great that I get to meet them and talk to them now.

^ ^

Ok, it's time to get ready for work, so I shall stop my long overdue post here.

P.S. by the way "subbotnik" in Russian means a Saturday when you go out and clean streets or do other community service. There's also a word for a Sunday like that, "voskresnik", and that would have been more appropriate to use, but hey, I like the first word better. Anyways, when I told parents about my plans for the weekend they were joking how I am going to a subbotnik/voskresnik, so dad was saying "please teach your friends this word". I wanted to, but forgot, so now I should go blog on mixi and add that word there, if I have time :D.


kaori said...

Hey! I jumped to your posted photo in this blog post, and was looking for you in the uniform!!! Damn! I thought you were in the picture! he he he
I don't know how many times I said to you this, but once again, I'm very very happy to hear you are enjpying your life in Japan! But I miss you in Toronto a lot.... :p

Katya said...

Ahahahahahaha, no way I'll wear the uniform :P.

I miss you too!! I really hope you get to come visit your parents and we can meet up.

And yeah, I can't believe how I am always doing something and meeting people—so lucky!