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Of a second family away from home

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/16/2004 8:10:32 AM
Ah, today was what a weekend should be: RESTFUL. I didn't worry myself really doing any serious homework today; instead, I talked with friends and worked on stuff online. At around 4:30, Kazuki (the older of the two Onishi guys I met today) came over to show me to his house. He's in seventh grade right now, and his brother is either in fifth or sixth I think... I don't know for sure. The Onishis are a very nice family; they have a small house here (though they have a MUCH larger one elsewhere in Japan, one that is over 200 years old), but it's very lively. Kazuki and K (the younger brother... we just call him K) showed me a bunch of card magic that was absolutely amazing. What amazed me perhaps the most was that they have only been practicing magic for three months! Wah! Mr. Onishi came home later and gave me this awesome hemp thread leisure shirt (sort of like a thin sweater), as well as a little foam zipper bag for Apsu (now I don't have to use the yellow plastic bag any more!). They also gave me a bag of these Osaka rice cakes, as well as this fish-shaped snack that was essentially a fish-shaped/textured pancake that surrounds some "an," which is a sweet and very yummy bean paste that I love. They sell those fish things at the Higashimurayama train station for 100 yen... I should pick one up on my way home some day! They're fantastic! They also let me borrow all these DVDs, though I doubt I'll have time to watch them all. *laughs*

All in all, I had a fabulous time. We spoke English for a while in the beginning, then went to just Japanese later on. I showed them some pictures and music on Apsu, and, well, they showed me lots of awesome magic. *laughs* The kids are really fun to spend time with, and the parents are very sweet and kind. Dad, you might not believe it, but Mr. Onishi has a sense of humor that is so close to yours it's scary. *laughs* He's like, "Yeah, and when you're done here, you can clean the bathroom." Sound familiar? *laughs again*

I wasn't paid anything for coming over like I originally thought I might be, but after the amazing welcome I got, I would have stubbornly refused to accept any money if I were offered any. I had such a wonderful time and they already gave me so much, both in the tangible and intangible department. The kids are genuinely interested in spending time with me, mainly because it'll really help their studies and because they want to go to an American university in the future. They want me over about two or three times a week when I have time... and I say, "Heck yeah." *laughs* It's a blast.

Tonight I had some octopus for dinner, among other things. Very interesting taste... it was sort of like a rubbery vegetable or something. And last night I had this thing that looked very much like a square orange on the outside, but on the inside was a mixture between an apple and a peach. And it was orange. Very, very interesting.

Tiredness. Bed = floomf.
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Of a day of absolutely amazing weather

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - kitchen 10/17/2004 10:13:55 AM
Today was another beautifully restful day. The weather was absolutly immaculate; I might even say it was on the warm side... actually, I will. Today was pretty warm, almost hot. I slept in about an hour or so and talked with friends online for a while, then did some studying outside. While this was going on, I made some VCR houses with Saki-chan and later went out with her, Soichiro, and Nana (the dog) for a walk through a nearby forest. It was absolutely wonderful! Being able to not worry about studying for a while really takes a load off the brain. The Onishi kids were busy today (there was a big test coming up they needed to study for), so I won't be going back over there until Friday.

Note to self: when I have kids, make sure that there is at least one room where I can take a nap that has a lock on the door. It seems that whenever I want to take a nap during the day (a "昼ね"), Saki-chan bursts into the room and wants to play with something or other. *laughs* In a completely unrelated note, Mama helped me set up a futon for my bed; now hopefully I won't get so cold in the mornings. Not that I mind being cold, but it's nice to know there's something I can do about it without having to resort to cheating (as in, turning on the space heater).

I'm still eating new things just about every day. A few days ago I had squid sashimi, yesterday I had octopus, and today I had this fruit that was... well, very odd (but tasty). I've realized just how much I cherish my fruit back home... it's not that you can't get fruit around here, it's that it's not in an overflowing abundance like it is back home. Note to self #2: when I have a house, make sure there is always a bountiful supply of fruit and veggies that can be munched on at any time. Note to self #3: do like the Japanese do and serve lots of different kinds of veggies during meals... they're cheaper than meat and they're tasty. Note to self #4: teach my future children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Note to self #5: stop making so many notes to yourself in your online journal.

Right now I'm sitting in the kitchen with Mama and Natsuko, watching TV and working on English and Japanese things. I have a Japanese presentation I have to give on Tuesday (which I'll study for much more tomorrow), and Natsuko has to memorize a paragraph of Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I have a Dream" speech for class. So, I'm helping her with that, and she's helping me with my report. This is the first time I've talked with Natsuko for more than a few short sentences, and it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll be able to do this more often!

I all of a sudden have this crazy desire to learn card magic. Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can find a cheap pack of cards either at a convenience store (konbini, コンビ二) or the supermarket or something, and as soon as I get back home I'm going to bust out my magic decks at home and re-learn their tricks... that is, if I still have this urge to learn. *laughs*

Last week zoomed by, and so will this week I think. I only have one class tomorrow, and that's at 2:40... so I can both sleep in AND study/goof around. *laughs* Thursday (my busiest day of the week now that I'm in Japanese 3) is a holiday, and we're just watching a movie in Sci-Fi class on Wednesday. I'm going to have lots of time this week to spend freely... hopefully I can make good use of it!

Which means, of course, that I'm going to have to study it up tomorrow. Grammar quiz and presentation on Tuesday, and most likely a kanji test on Friday. Study study study. And such.
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Of a free Monday

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/18/2004 8:00:24 AM
Today was my first Monday of classes since I changed over to Japanese 3 (last Monday was a holiday), and let me tell you something: it's AWESOME to have only one class on Monday, especially one at 2:40 and one that doesn't require any homework (none is assigned), preparation (you never know what he's going to talk about next), or studying (there's no book). Good stuff. I was able to spend the morning chatting with friends online, practicing my Japanese, and in general relaxin' on my futon (which, by the way, is ridiculously warm and cozy). Mama made a big bowl of fresh ramen noodles and veggies for breakfast which was quite yummy (which I followed up with a bowl of tempura soba for lunch). I set out a little earlier than necessary so I could hit up some stores to look for a deck of cards (I found one at Itoyokado for five bucks... no way) and also so I could find the bank at which I can deposit my traveler's cheques and use my bank card. It's actually quite close... right by the train station. Groovy. On the way, though, the battery on my Clie died, so not only did I lose all the information on it, but I also couldn't listen to music during my commute today. Oh well. It's charging now, so it should be good for tomorrow.

The weather today was absolutely fantastic, and I was able to get some nice pictures, too. Yet another typhoon is coming our way, though, so I'm bracing for yet more rain. At least the weather gave us a totally immaculate weekend. I'll miss the sun. *laughs*

I picked up a few snacky things today after classes, since I've found that my sweet tooth has been aching. There are lots of salty things to eat here, but not as many sweet, fruit-ish things. Well, they're there, but I just don't feel like spending the money for them. *laughs* So I picked up some anpan, some sweet cracker/cookie thingies, and a pack of lemon-lime Mentos for the heck of it, along with some OJ. As it turns out, though, Mama had bought me a bunch of sweet doughnut-ish things for dessert... so today was a very sweet day. No, I didn't eat them all at once... *laughs* I'm saving them for later. Eating them bit by bit. Taking in the sugary goodness one bite at a time. Yeah, shut up you.

Got a 20/20 on my kanji quiz, too, just like I thought I would. Awesome. Now let's go for the gold with my presentation and grammar quiz tomorrow!

Re-emphasis of note to self #2: FRUITS AND VEGGIES. *laughs* I should really just suck up my desire to be ultra-frugal with my money spending and go and buy an apple or nashi at the grocer. I just love fruit so much.

All right, bath, shave, study, bed. Sounds like a plan to me. Early to bed, early... you know the drill.
Photos: Sights on the way to school 0 replies

Of nothing much

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/19/2004 9:45:56 AM
Heh... pretty soon I'm going to run out of things to mention in my journal. I mean, after all, I'm down to the daily grind. *laughs*

Today's grammar quiz went well (I got 9/10), the dialogue presentation went well (I actually volunteered to go twice), and the speech went very well. Yay! Tomorrow we're basically going to be watching a movie for Sci-Fi class, so there's not really anything I need to do to prepare. Then I'm pretty much going to be spending the rest of the day up at Waseda, because we have a lunch meeting and then I'm going to Mr. Campbell's apartment for a dinner with some of the Japan Study folks. And then Thursday is a day off. Woo! I'm liking this week! ^___^

But, yeah... nothing super-exciting happened today. Just another rainy day in typhoon-crazy Japan. *laughs*
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Of an awesome and rainy Wednesday

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/20/2004 9:48:31 AM
Ah, today was the day I had been waiting for for a while. It was shaping up to be a very full day, and now it's finally over. Whew!

It started off with lots of rain. This typhoon is bigger than the last ones, and it just rained buckets ALL DAY. Fortunately I had a larger umbrella today, so neither I nor my backpack got totally owned. In Sci-Fi class we watched "The Day After Tomorrow" to compare it with the novel and video of "Japan Sinks" (which we also watched). Interesting films; I paid more attention with TDAT mostly because it had science behind it that I was much more interested in (though geophysics and geology is also very interesting, I find meteorology a bit more fun to follow), and also because it was in English. *laughs* After class, we had a meeting with the whole Japan Study group to talk about the Spring Practicum. I wasn't too sure when it was exactly, but apparently it's going to be for most of February and the first week or two of March (four weeks total). Classes at Waseda don't start again until April, so we have about two weeks on our own to explore Japan or do whatever we want. I'm not sure if I really feel like traveling during that time (I'm seriously not a traveling guy... but I don't know), but I do think I know what I'd like to do for the practicum: the internship program. The other programs sound interesting, and if this doesn't work out I'd gladly be a cultural ambassador to Japan's least-populated prefecture, but the internship really catches my eye because it deals almost exclusively with engineering students, plus I'll get to essentially do a co-op (albiet for four weeks), something I had all but given up after deciding to come to Waseda for a year. Sweet action!

After the meeting (which had pizza and drinks... I was very startled that I ate five whole pieces of pizza... o_O;;), I hung out with various Japan Study guys and gals in the International Student lounge, mostly working on Apsu and also helping friends with computer problems. Yep, I'm the computer guy still. *laughs* I needed to keep myself busy from 1:00 to 5:00 (since I was to meet with some people outside of the SILS building at 5:30), and I'll tell you, it's amazing how quickly four hours can go when you're busy with stuff and talking with friends. Oy. o_O;

Around 5:00 I ran to the bookstore to pick up the last book I needed for Sci-Fi class (The Box Man), and was greeted by stronger rain than I imagined. Whew. The rain was just as bad as my group left the SILS building a little while later to head to the Campbells' apartment, where we all got to meet the family in their house and eat dinner with them. We had spaghetti... a nice blast of home cookin'. And brownies. Brownies! *laughs* Mrs. Campbell even gave me an apple to eat on the way home. The Campbells are such great people, and they've got themselves a wonderful family. If you're reading this, Tom, I give y'all two big thumbs up. ^__^

Fun day. Got home pretty late (around 10:00), and quite wet, too. I want to hop in the bath ASAP so I can at least FEEL a little cleaner, and then probably head off right to bed. At least it's a holiday tomorrow, so I can sleep in. Whoo! Maybe I'll watch one of those DVDs the Onishis let me borrow tonight. Matrix Revolutions, anyone?
1 reply

Good Good
Posted by: Ben 10/21/2004 5:23:08 AM
Nice to see your enjoying yourself in Japan.
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Of a holiday

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/21/2004 9:58:22 AM
Ah, holidays. Gotta love 'em. Spent the morning talking with friends and family and cleaning out my room (not that it was in dire need, but I wanted to rearrange a few thing; everything looks much better now), and had lunch with Mama and a lot of her friends. Mama has guests over all the time. Seriously. *laughs* One of them wanted to see the loft in my room, and I realized that I'm not staying in Natsuko's room, I'm staying in Saki-chan's room! Natsuko's room is at the end of the hall; I don't know how the heck I made that dumb mistake. o_O

In any case, I was able to participate in the conversation some, and I did a lot of listening. I've found that I can pick up rapid-fire Japanese a little better, which is exciting. There's this amazing rush you get when you start realizing that you can comprehend a language, especially one that's so foreign like Japanese. Exciting stuff.

The afternoon was spent napping and reading books for Sci-Fi class, as well as doing some Statistics homework. The class is easy, but this homework seems oddly... odd. I still have another week to do it, so I'm not going to worry too much that I feel like I'm missing something right now; I bet when I come back to it with some new eyes, I'll be able to tackle it easily.

Oh, and the weather was great today. That typhoon must have totally moved on, because nary a raindrop fell today that I could see. I think it was misting in the morning, but otherwise the weather was fantastic.

Friday tomorrow. Swoot. Now it's time for sleep.
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Of becoming used to Japan

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/22/2004 10:34:50 AM
Despite rolling over and sleeping for another 25 minutes after my alarm went off (gosh dang super-comfortable futon, trying to make me skip class...) and feeling blah coming home (which made me take an almost hour-long nap), today was quite pleasant. Nailed my kanji quiz again, though now things are going to really pick up: we're going to be doing one lesson a day pretty much now, which is going to be nuts but doable I think. Only worked one hour today, and... well, came home and slept. And did homework.

The best part I'd say was at 8:00 (er, 20:00) when I went over to the Onishi's house again to speak English and Japanese with them. I spent a good long time talking Japanese with Kazuki, and spent an equally long time speaking English with him, too. The whole family seems to be so glad to have me over, which makes me feel so good. I really enjoy talking with them all! Tomorrow I'm going to head over at about 8:00 again, and on Sunday we're going to head to a nearby 100 yen store and maybe even go bowling. Sweet!

I took a look at the book Kazuki is using to learn English and, once again, realized that English is crazy-mad tough to learn. Little intricacies are just so random and hard to explain... I'm surprised anyone at all can speak English. Dang. *laughs*

Sorry these entries are getting shorter and more general. I've gotten into a "daily routine," and all of the intricate details aren't so obvious to me anymore. I've gotten used to Japanese life, and while I certainly haven't described all the new things I've been seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, and smelling, I've gotten to the point where I find it difficult to discern these "new" sensations from "old" ones that I am so used to already. Heck, by the time I go back to America, everything is going to be brand new to me all over again. Like my college courses. o_O;

Well, time for a bath and then some sleep. I'm going to do a lot of reading tomorrow and try to get all my other homework done (of which there really isn't that much), partially so I can be all cleared up for tomorrow's visit with the Onishis and also because it's good to get things done early! Oyasuminasai.
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Of earthquake #2

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence: my room 10/23/2004 11:04:27 AM
Ever have one of those dreams in which lots of things happen, but when you wake up you can only remember one of such things, and even then only vaguely? Yeah, happened to me. It's actually been happening quite often, though I've been able to job my memory because I keep my cell phone right next to my bed and can make quick verbal notes to myself if I wake up in the middle of the night. Even if I can't use my cell phone when I return home to make calls, I can still use it as one of the best dream-remembering devices yet. That and to play Tetris.

But anyway, today was another sit back and study day. I'm currently reading The Man in the High Castle for Sci Fi class, and I've got to finish this dang Statistics assignment. It shouldn't be this difficult... why does it look so weird?! Anyway, also today I filled out my absentee ballot, and will be sending that in on Monday. Yay for still being able to vote, despite being away in Japan!

Saki-chan got the Japanese equivalent of a Magna-Doodle today, which was totally awesome. I was trying to teach her how to write Japanese characters (since there were little plastic guides you could stick on top that had the letters on it), but she wouldn't listen one bit. *laughs* Later in the day, I felt my second earthquake since coming here. The first one was when I was in the tub; this one was when I was in my room, talking to Kristin online. The whole house started shaking, and at times it was almost "violent." My door actually knocked itself open and was swinging open and shut, and the lamp that hangs from my ceiling was swaying back and forth quite a bit. This lasted for a minute or so, and then started up again a few minutes later. All told, there were three such tremors. The center was somewhere in western Japan (I can't remember the name), and three people died in it. Meep.

It's kind of strange: when the earthquake was quakin', I didn't really feel unsafe... but because the house was shaking so much, I got quite disoriented and dizzy... "seasick" perhaps. Even just thinking about it now makes my head spin uneasily. Very odd. When everything is moving around you, it becomes hard to know what is still and what isn't. I now have somewhat of a better idea how people up in spacecrafts must feel sometimes. o_O;

Around 8:00 I went over to the Kazukis again and talked English and Japanese with them. It was great fun, as always. I had the great experience of trying to explain quantum mechanics and relativity to Kazuki in Japanese... whew! It's hard to get someone to understand it in English, for crying out loud. However, I think he got it. We exchanged some minty fresh gums (they even let me have a pack), and showed each other funny videos on the computer. I also wowed them with some finger DDR. Good stuff! Tomorrow we're going to meet at about 1:00 and head over to the local 100 yen store, which should be pretty cool. Dollar stores here aren't like the ones in the States... these places are HUGE and actually have useful things. We'll see what I can pick up tomorrow.

Random observation: Mr. Onishi's mannerisms and sense of humor reminds me of my dad's back home. That is to say, if Dad had a Japanese clone, it would be Mr. Onishi. The way he talks is just like Dad's... almost exactly. For example, today Mrs. Onishi gave me a steamed clam-ish thing to eat. It was pretty good, but I said that I wouldn't be able to eat one every day. Mr. Onishi then said, "Good, because we wouldn't feed you one every day!" Dad, that's you right there. *laughs*

Just like I use my cell phone to remind myself of dreams, I use it to remind myself of things I notice throughout the day that I'd like to make note of. There are little things I notice here and there that really catch my interest, and I'll do my best to get as many of those as I can over here to elucidate some of the differences and intricacies of Japanese life. I've described all this stuff to people personally and in other literature, but somehow have avoided putting it up here. So, for all you wonderin' what it's like over here, you can read my previous entries and wait for new ones.

Haha, I just said nothing with that last sentence. Nothing at all!
2 replies

Conjugate the verb
Posted by: vaso 10/23/2004 9:51:38 PM
you have been replied.
0 replies

whole lotta shakin goin on
Posted by: badcheeso 10/24/2004 5:34:15 PM
earthquake are eriee. you have no control and you just hang on. try being in one on the 22 nd floor of a high rise!

more than one dad? crap!

see dads also have eyes in the back of their heads or on the other side of the world.

adapt improvise change
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Of hyaku-en shops!

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence: my room 10/24/2004 10:25:12 AM
Today I vowed to get homework done if at all possible, and I think I succeeded. I studied some kanji this morning, which made me feel oddly good, and also did a lot of reading. They say once you learn a certain number of kanji characters, your learning slows because you start forgetting old ones. However, soon thereafter it skyrockets, and you can just pick up new ones left and right. I think I may actually be approaching that "skyrocket" level, because these next two chapters' kanji are almost all new to me, and I seem to be retaining and comprehending them well. I think it's because my vocabulary has greatly improved, and knowing the word before I learn the kanji makes learning the kanji so much easier. Confused? If not, reread this paragraph.

I didn't have quite as much time this morning to do all the things I would have liked to do, though; before I knew it, lunch was ready and I had to hastily wrap up some IM conversations and other work. However, it was a delicious lunch with the entire family. We each had a big bowl of ramen with all sorts of yummy, onion-like greens and even a whole hard-boiled egg. Interesting note: in Japan, lots of times when you get egg in your noodles it's just a raw egg. The Japanese eat lots of raw things: raw fish, raw eggs, raw plants... I'm not a complete fan of everything being raw yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it a bit more as I continue my cultural voyage here.

Around 1:00 I went over to the Onishi residence again where, once again, I talked with Kazuki and K about stuff, was treated very well by Mrs. Onishi's amazing hospitality, and laughed at Mr. Onishi's gosh-dang funny sense of humor. We didn't linger around too much, though, because soon we hopped in their car and drove off to the 100 yen store. Pictures are included at no additional fee. Now, "dollar stores" in America (or at least the ones I've been to) are places where you can pick up cheap toys and candies and other stuff that doesn't really have any real value... true, you spend only a dollar for each thing, but you end up not really buying anything. Not so at a Japanese "hyaku-en shop." These suckers are literally like department stores (the one I went to was two stories tall), and you can get just about anything ranging from batteries to underwear and everything in between, and everything is good quality, too. I got a nice bag of stuff, including such things at 100-yen boxes of cereal (!!), a deck of playing cards (so now I can re-learn some good ol' magic tricks), and some nice stationery. But, I mean, put yourself in just about any scenario and you can find a solution at the local hyaku-en shop. Toilet dirty? Pick up some cleaner for a buck. Need some plants for your garden? Buck apiece. Man, I need some lunch. Big thing of cup noodles for just one dollar. Well, okay, 100 yen. But who's following exchange rates, anyway? In any case, I'm definitely heading back there ASAP. Like, maybe this Wednesday after I get back from school (since I get back early). Definitely.

After that we hit up a book/CD/game store (also two stories), and browsed around for a while. Man, these stores are PACKED with stuff to buy! I'm glad I'm not a big CD collector... otherwise I'd be broke already. After seeing that place once. Yes. After returning to my "second home", Kazuki, K, and I played some poker (using assorted foreign coins as chips), and I won so much that I had to give out loans to each of them so many times. *laughs* I also showed them how to play BS... though they already knew the game, which is called "Doubt" in Japan. Fitting, eh? That was fun. We played three times and each won once, so that was cool. I'll probably be heading back there on Friday, or Wednesday if I can figure out how to finish up this gosh-dang statistics homework problem. o_O

I made sure to get home before 6:00, though, because today was Mama's birthday dinner! I actually made it back at 5:00 and found the house to be totally empty, which was nice because it gave me a little while to get situated with all the new stuff I had bought. On my way in, I noticed that the wireless LAN lights on the modem were flashing like crazy, and thought that perhaps somebody was leeching off the wireless connection. So I brought Apsu downstairs and hooked it up to the modem and spent a good half hour to forty minutes wading through Japanese documentation and menu screens to get some nice encryption and authentication set up. I could have done this in two seconds in English, but when all these password screens are in Japanese I sort of had to take it slowly lest I really screw something up. *laughs*

Mama's birthday dinner was nice (pictures included as well). The grandparents next door came over and ate with us, and we had a good time. There was sushi, sashimi, tempura, salad, assorted vegetables... we almost completely ran out of room on the table. And after that there was a black cherry cake! I ate a lot of tempura carrot and fried lotus... very yummy. As my birthday present, I washed and put away all the dishes from the meal... of which there were a LOT! I'm getting more of a taste for the sashimi, in particular this tan-colored eel that is very soft and kind of sweet. Some of the more "exotic" sashimi doesn't yet fit my tastes completely, but likely will before my time here is through. Start eating raw squid and shellfish and see what I mean. *laughs* Though, actually, squid sashimi isn't that bad. It's white and not entirely tasteful, but very, very tough.

Sometimes I just sit back and say, "Holy cow, I'm in Japan." To some extent, it still hasn't "sunk in" completely, because it just feels so normal. I mean, this is supposed to be crazy and dumbfounding, isn't it? I'm not supposed to get used to this stuff, like, ever. But here I am, speaking almost exclusively Japanese every day (and slowly getting better, I think; I find myself picking up and using words, expressions, and grammatical structures faster than I remember), eating Japanese foods, living in a Japanese village. Japanese customs are also becoming automatic: I bow quite often (much more than I see other people bow, in fact), I say "ittekimasu" and "tadaima" upon leaving and returning home, and take my shoes off before entering the house... all without even thinking about it. I knew I was supposed to do all these things from day one, but they required some conscious effort to do. Now it's automatic. I've even stopped untying and retying my shoes every time I take them on or off, something that I had been clinging to for some reason until just yesterday. I'm living away from home and I'm having a wonderful time.

And it really doesn't feel like a long vacation, either. When you're on vacation, you relax. Right now, I'm busy. I've been busy since I got here and I'll likely be busy up until the day I leave, and then even after that. I do admit I may be keeping myself a little too busy because I haven't gone out to see any temples or any of the "sightseeing places" of which there are so many in Japan, but at the same time I don't feel that I've missed anything. It would be nice to go to the places of picturebooks and travel guides in person at some point or another, but even without visiting them yet I still feel like I've seen more than most Americans would see when going to Japan. And not only seen, but tasted and smelled and felt and heard. It's not a fantasy land over here... the earthquake yesterday killed over 15 people and the recent typhoons have claimed close to a hundred lives. Rather, it is another place on our green planet. And therefore it is home.

I think it's starting to get too late. I'm stream-of-conscious-izing. *laughs*
Photos: Shopping with the Onishis and dinner with the grandparents 0 replies

Of not an awful lot... again

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/25/2004 9:07:17 AM
The only thing that could make Mondays any better would be if there were no Ecology class at 2:40. Well, I guess if Kristin or my family were here or something it would also be better, but... *laughs* Yeah, not having any class until 2:40 is wonderful. I have all morning to work on anything I need to, can catch the 12:30 train to Takadanobaba, eat at a yummy and cheap noodle shop underneath the bridge, head over to the school, and chill in the library until class starts... all while walking leisurely. Throw in beautiful weather and you have one happy Gerf trotting through the streets of Japan. ^__^

Amusing: today's breakfast was leftover sushi and tempura from last night's dinner party, and OJ. Mama was like, "OJ with sushi, huh? OJ goes with anything for you, doesn't it?" And I replied, "Most certainly." *laughs* It was yummy, though. I'm hopelessly hooked on tempura carrot and shrimp, though... very, very good stuff. Especially the carrots and any other vegetable you happen to deep fry (except eggplant... I don't like the stuff that much, no matter how you prepare it). It's a shame, though, that you can't get lotus stem or bamboo very easily in America, because I LOVE that stuff. Or, if you can, it's done a really good job of hiding itself from me, because I've never really seen it in any of the stores. Mmmm, yumyumyum.

Nothing really much to talk about today; I guess I kind of spewed out more than my mind could handle yesterday. I did a lot of reading for Sci-Fi class (I want to finish the book tomorrow... well, actually, I have to), and I buckled down and got my Statistics assignment finished. It wasn't anything hard by any means... it's just the final answers I got, no matter how many programs and calculators I ran the data through, just didn't seem to be right. But, hey, nobody ever said logarithmic transformations always worked. *shrugs* I was going to print it out when I realized that the Yoshitakas don't have a printer cable for their printer. A slight problem. *laughs* Maybe I'll see if I can grab one for them someday.

Once again, if anyone has any questions about what it's like in Japan, feel free to reply to this or drop me a line or something. I'd be happy to shed some light on anything that you might be wondering about!
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