Although the dogs here look American, I doubt they know Fido

Today is the first day I've seen any dogs around Matsumoto. It's probably because it is the first day I'm walking. (every other day I've gotten rides) The school wants me to ride a bike but I took one look at the streets I'd be riding down (very, very narrow with cars careening around corners and no sidewalks - plus they drive on the opposite side of the road) and said "no way, José!" (I don't think they quite appreciated that)

I don't think "wobbly" is in their English/Japanese dictionary either but I also gave that one a try when trying to describe my bicycle riding skills.

Mr. Takahashi really encouraged me to try it - and I may still because the school bicycles are kept in what could best be described as an alleyway - but I highly doubt I'll be brave enough to go far.

Have I mentioned that it's the rainy season?

When it rains everyone here manages to ride with one hand on the handle bars and one hand holding an umbrella. (that can't be legal) I can't see how that is anymore pleasant than walking in the rain, though I concede that it will get you home faster.

It's a pleasant walk between Mrs. Ishii's and the school - I did it in about 30 minutes this morning (and all without getting lost - although there were times I questioned myself!) I get to walk past houses and fields and a big park called Agatanomori Park as well as small and large businesses. Today on my way home I stopped in the park and sat for while. The sun came out after a time and I really walked around - did a little bit of people watching. We Americans love Japanese parks - this wasn't the first one that I've been in, although it was my first one in Japan!

The pigeons here also look the same, but I'm pretty sure they don't understand English any more than the dogs do.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the park and my walk home: