Right across the street from our house is a mental hospital, and since we are its closest neighbors, we decided to pop across the street to their summer festival. There were more people than we expected. Half the neighborhood came along to join the families of the patients.
I had to switch into genki teacher-mode when a bunch of my kindergarten children spotted me. Fortunately, with Rikuto squirming in my arms, I was able to avoid any unwanted kanchos.
We all lined up in front of the hospital, which has its windows all barred up to keep the patients from “escaping”. The guys on the roof were setting up the fireworks for later.
Most of the patients were already in their seats and watching the evening’s festivities.
There were a few fun games to keep people entertained. Here’s the ever popular baseball pitching game.
And food and drink stalls.
Unfortunately, not all the patients were content with sitting down and watching everybody else. I was quickly greeted by one gentlemen who wouldn’t leave me alone. I couldn’t understand much of his Japanese, and he certainly couldn’t understand my responses. He was fascinated by my foreign-ness and waffled on about “igirisu-go” (“Britain” language), and whether English people could understand each other with their hearts.
Moving from stall to stall, still with Rikuto squirming in my arms, this curious patient kept following, talking, and was becoming frustrated that I couldn’t understand him. It was a shame, but both Mami and I agreed that we had no choice but to head home, just 30 minutes after arriving.
Of course, going home was no big deal since we literally live across the street. Don’t believe me? I took this photo from my office window.
I know it’s not the best of views, but until this summer, the building was hidden by trees. When they came to cut back the branches, they went a bit overboard! So, at our request, they covered their windows with blinds to stop the patients peering across the street into our living room!
Anyway, we finished the evening by watching the fireworks out the window before Rikuto fell asleep on his big pink futon.