So yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year and a clear sign that it is finaly summer. Somehow, it doesn't quite feel like summer to me though, since Japanese students still have almost 1 more month of school left before the start of summer vacation, which only lasts a paltry 6 weeks! I only have about a month left to go in Japan. I can feel the clock ticking towards the end of an era. Also, to constantly remind me that it's summer (but not really summer). Teachers in the staffroom keep screaming "Achii! Achii!!" That's Oita Dialect for "暑い"(atsui – hot). They like to scream "samui! samui!" (It's cold! It's cold!) in the wintertime too. Hmm, I didn't notice it was hot, thanks for sharing. Does complaining about the heat really make it any less hot? I mean, the windows are already cracked open and the electric fans are on. Unfortunately there is no airconditioning in the staffroom of this particular school, but come on. It's only 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) and this is hot!? There are even teachers wiping off their sweat with towels! Maybe it's because I grew up in Arizona, but this hardly counts as summer heat to me. I'm looking forward to some bone dry 40 degree Celcius plus temperature (over 105 F) when I go home to Arizona at the end of July and quick dips in the swimming pool – now that is REAL summer.