About 40 minutes drive away.
I like that. I like the thinking time I get in the car, I like that I meet different people- not related to anyone I know, no local politics to wade through and even a few different surnames for variety! Plus I really like my company, my boss and my students.
So yeah, a 40 minute drive doesn't feel like an issue at all.
Most of the time.
Today there was a heavy snow warning for central Nagano. This is central Nagano. It started snowing in the morning and just didn't stop. Here in Azusagawa we get quite a bit of snow and it tends to stick around but 40 minutes drive away Matsumoto is more of the dusting of snow, the smidgen of snow, the there tonight gone by 10 tomorrow type of snow. But today it snowed and snowed and it stuck. So when I left work at 5:30 the roads were white. There was about 10cm of snow accumulated. (Fellow Aussies: that's a cool word you use when you talk about snow that sticks, I just learnt it so I'm sharing) The slushy snow had frozen and the new snow was powdery on top- fabulous driving weather as the powder clogs your tread and you slip on the ice. And like I said Matsumoto people aren't used to accumulated snow so everyone was crawling along. A 40 minute drive home took 1 hour and 27 minutes. Yes, I was counting. It was lucky we were crawling along though as it seemed every block of houses had it's crazy old woman (and they're 90+% women) out there with a shovel or a broom scraping up the snow. In the dark. Wearing dark clothes. Pushing snow onto the road. AGGHHH!! I only slipped three times and didn't panic when I did slip so feeling rather proud of that one but boy was I glad to get home. Even when I had to park on the road, jump out, find the bloody snow shovel (K!!!) in the dark and dig out a place for the car before I could back in.
The girls were great, gave them each a piece of paper, a pen and a car manual to lean on and they drew pictures all the way home. Probably damaged their eyes drawing in the gloom but it sure made for an easy trip home not having to entertain them.
But now I have a horribly stiff neck from all the tension while driving and it's forecast to continue all day tomorrow.
Wonder if they sell 4-seater skidoos...