Monday, March 26, 2012

House pictures

I've been so busy lately! This week I will be going to Taiwan, so I had a lot of planning to do! There will most definitely be a post about that, but I thought I would post the long-overdue pictures of my furnished house:

Coming soon: Taiwan, new host family, graduation and.... new member of the family? meow!

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 Hour Go-Kart Endurance Race

Yes, you read that correctly. This past Sunday (and actually, one time in July as well), I got to participate in a 3- hour go-kart race. It's not quite as extreme as it sounds though, but just as fun.

Omura has a go-kart circuit, a really nice track where you can race pretty much anytime. The track itself is really fun to drive on, with hairpin turns, other turns with names I don't know and a couple straightaways where you can really put the pedal to the metal and gun it.

I've never been to the course on a normal day, only for these special events. There is a group that tours go-kart tracks in Kyushu with endurance karts, which I assume means they have bigger (kerosene) gas tanks and don't go quite as fast as the normal ones. So about twice a year, they come to Omura. 

When I said it wasn't as extreme as it sounds, what I meant is that I didn't do the whole 3 hours myself; it's a relay team. In July my team only had 4 people, so I drove about 45 minutes. This time around we had 7 people, so we all only got 2 x 12 minute goes. But I won janken (rock paper scissors) and got to do an extra few minutes at the end of the first session.

In July, there were a lot of complaints about some karts being faster than others, so halfway through this time around, we had to switch karts to try to even the playing field. Not that it would make any difference for us though, we didn't expect to, or even really desire to win. We were just out there for fun. Most of the other teams were decked out in racing uniforms and gear, very professional looking. Some even had matching jackets! We were no match. And low and behold, we didn't measure up. On the plus side, we didn't get last this time! We got 13th out of 14 teams.

As far as driving itself goes, I was a little hesitant at first, but by the end of my second round, I was going around some turns without braking.  I did spin out once or twice, but it was fun. I wasn't going as fast as last time though, it was rainy so the ground was wet, so it was a little slippery. I also got really dirty from the water and dirt splashing up.

It was very fun, and I look forward to doing it again.