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Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Day In Taiji

Today was another dolphin free kill day!  Rumour has it that the Fishermen are on holiday until January 3rd. 

Went to Shingu (a city close to Taiji) yesterday for some Indian food at the mall....later stopped by  the grocery store. Interesting to walk around trying to make out what some of the foods are. Came across what looked like dove birds? 

Myself and the "Eyes on Taiji" crew jumped into the freezing Cove water for a swim at Dusk...feeding time for sharks(a very large Great White has been caught at least once in Taiji waters).  The deeper I swam into the Cove the darker and scarier the water. Someone knowing my fears about sharks grabbed my scream was probably heard throughout Taiji.  Soon we noticed vehicles pulling over...we began to think that maybe we should swim back as we were not looking for trouble.  They(?) were obviously finding our winter ocean the night, a little suspicious, oops, we had unintentionally set off alarm bells!  When we walked to the parking lot, we saw a truck with dark tinted windows.....we were being watched!  We drove off wondering if we were being followed; so a quick left turn was made by the driver.  We went to an Onsen to thaw out and later I accidently referred to the Cove as "the Cold".

Yesterday morning, peeked into the Tuna Factory.  When the fishermen and workers saw me they crossed their arms, strong body language that was saying "no visitors!". They were packing Huge tuna in coffin-like boxes and covering them with ice. A young guy came up to chat...which then drew in the other fishermen  which led to a private tour; but  did not want to take any photos out of respect for their wishes. Later, the young fisherman walked me to my he could practice his English. He asked me questions about surfing....and i asked him if he has ever tried it. He told me that he can not afford a surfboard or wetsuit: but that he really wants to surf. When we reached my hotel...he said "you're staying here?". Then one of the Dolphin Organizations at the hotel walked by and I said "hello" to them. He said "your friends?" ...he  went red and left soon after.

Walked around town later that day...bought a coffee at the train station, but the lady who sold it to me was a bit funny. Remembered she was a little funny last year as she did not want to do business with me. Went into several shops around there and could still feel her eyes closely watching me.

Later that afternoon, walking out from my hotel,  ran into the young fisherman again...and he asked if I would like to join him Monday to see a shark. Hopefully he is not planning to feed me to one:)...however, it was nice of him to ask and I said yes...think he is happy to have the opportunity to practice his English...and I am curious about this shark!.

Walking to the store....noticed a man sitting in a wagon-like car, starring as I passed by. Then he got out and I could feel him tailing me. Went to a store at the train station to buy some snacks....and when I came out, he was talking to the lady whom I had bought the coffee from earlier and looking my way.

*This morning, when I bought my coffee, the lady at the train station was very nice...even telling me that I was not dressed warm enough...told her that I was Canadian, so it was OK. Maybe she just had to get to know me a little better.  As I was saying before, many people here do initially put their guard up with foreigners.

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