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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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:: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 ::

First Full Day in Japan!

Good morning! Right now it's 5:24 am Japan time. The sun is just starting to rise--I can see it through the computer lab window. Both days here I've woken up really really early... I think it has to do with the fact that it's 4:24 pm back in the States. Body is still catching up.

Yesterday was great! Woke up really early, checked my e-mail, showered. The showers in our building are kind of weird. You have to hold down a little lever in order for water to flow. If you take your hand off the lever the water will stop five or ten seconds later. I'm sure it's to save water, but I'm just not used to it yet.

Went with my roomie Kate and some new friends to find our way to the University. It's not a short walk from the dorms--about a half hour. So we figure that's like what, two miles? Once there we went on a tour (very short, kind of disappointing) and grabbed some food to eat. The cafeteria is great! I'll do a whole entry about it some other time, but I will say that the onigiri (riceballs) were awesome. And only 100 yen (about a dollar)! Later in the day I got a set lunch--a patty of some sort, two small dumpings, a little pasta salad, a bowl of rice and a drink for 380 yen. That's around $3.50 US. Not bad.

Later in the day we went to a banking session to set up our bank accounts. The bank is absolutely crazy with how the forms must be done--perfectly. If your pen skips and you carefully rewrite over a letter, no good. Start form over. If your two signatures don't match, no good. Start form over. If your home address has a comma in your passport but you didn't write the comma on your form, no good. Start form over. Three forms had to be done this way. >_< I was really lucky and got my paperwork through on the first try. Hopefully it won't be in my mailbox tomorrow with a "do over" post-it on it! -_^

Afterwards a whole bunch of us went on a little adventure to find the supermarket. We passed so many neat things! Actually, let me start from the beginning with the photos. ^_^

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The Library (maybe?) on the main campus of Kansai Gaidai University. The fountain has a little routine it goes through, with all kinds of spurts and sprays.

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Vending machines are absolutely everywhere! I have a feeling they are going to be my weakness, hehe. Most of the ones I see are for cold drinks (they'll be hot drinks come winter), but these are for beer and cigarettes.

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My first vending machine drink! It's called "Hajime", or roughly "Begin", and is made by Coca-Cola of all people. It's good, but not very sweet. I'm used to sugar in my tea, so it took some getting used to.

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Everyone loves Engrish! This is outside of a hair salon right near the dorms. Your guess is as good as mine for what a "face sled" is. -_^

So! Where was I... ahh, to the market! We got to walk down a street with a lot of shoppes on the way. A third of the way there we went over a bridge and this was the view:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It was the most green I have seen in one place my whole time in Japan. I'll have to take more street pictures today so you can see what the place really looks like, this picture isn't very representative. I think I used more Japanese on this walk than anywhere else--mostly asking shoppe keepers where we could buy an international phone card, hehe.

Okay, I should really end here and try to get another hour worth of sleep before I shower and get ready for the day. I hope these pictures come out okay--they're resized by photobucket, with no photoshopping by me, straight from camera. (I hide a lot of sins in photoshop, usually. :P ) Take care everyone... and I hope I can keep this pace of writing and photos up, wheee! ^_^

PS - Thanks for your comments, everyone!
PPS - Maltorg - I'm manually updating it to Japan time now. Hopefully I'll remember to do that each entry, we'll see how it goes! ^_^

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