Ontario Jones and the Temple of Zoom!

A while back, a fellow Torontonian, Derek, asked me if I'd substitute for him and give a speech about Canada to a group of Anglophiles in Matsushima. I said sure and soon after meeting the organizer, I regretted it. She's a little intense to say the least and I wasn't sure what I'd gotten myself into. (I bumped into Derek at the Jazz Fest and it was the first time I'd met his family outside of a phone-photo.)

But today was the day, so leaving everything to the last minute, yesterday I photocopied a lesson I gave to my students 2 years ago and whipped off a quick "Why I'm Proud of Canada" diatribe.

The crowd was lovely, and my speech went off without a hitch. I wowed them with my wit, educated them with my entreaty, charmed them by crooning-Oh Canada and belted out a few ballads.

They took me out to lunch at the uber-posh Century Hotel.

I had the colourful variety plate, and though it looks purty, isn't much to speak of. The Seafood Curry looked much yummier.

Then I was given a tour of the Zuiganji Temple & Art Museum.

The ever-friendly Goodwill Guide was Yoshio Ohura (022-354-3678), call him if you ever want an informative educational tour of the place. As with most temples, photos are verbotten, but I snapped lots around the place. Here's a sampling...

Not looking forward to another speech, but I will be returning to Matsushima someday.

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