June 19th

MItsuda house

Today was the first day of classes at the Nihongo Institute. I went in this morning with Mayumi on the train, to learn the route. It's about a 40 minute train ride, with ~15 minute walks at both ends. LABO is located up on the 13th floor of an office skyscraper, both the offices and the classrooms.

For lunch, Ryan and... wow, I really do need to work on these name things... dragged me out through Shinjuku to find a place to eat. We wandered back and forth through several blocks and buildings, while he and she couldn't agree which way to go... we eventually found a place where we could all wanted to eat, a Starbucks five or six blocks from LABO. They actually make drinkable coffee at Starbucks in japan, and the service is really nice as well. We headed back the LABO building to eat, and then found another Starbucks and a McDonalds in the building's food court. We ate our lunch from Starbucks #1 at Starbucks #2, and Bobby-er, Ryan, bought some fries as well. I paid Holly back her 110¥ for the Fonta, too.

After class, Mayumi took me home on a different line, so I could see how they both worked. We had some yummy sesame-rice stuff for dinner, though Tokio couldn't eat because he had to stay at work late.

I'm learning more kanji left and right, it seems to be going a lot faster than I thought it would. An important one is 止, it means "stop". Useful for stop signs (they're triangle here, not octagonal), and that button on the toilet that makes it quit trying to "clean" you.

It occurs to me that I haven't yet introduced the Mitsuda family or any of my friends yet. Mitsuda Tokio is the dad, he's an electric engineer at Xerox japan. He's also the only one in the family who speaks fluent english, if not a little broken. Mitsuda Mayumi is the mom, she's a good cook and is very nice. I know enough japanese to be able to communicate with her, most of the time. Mitsuda Takehide (Take) is the 10 year old, and my host brother. He doesn't know any english, but he likes to play with me all the same. He's good at monologuing in context about stuff we play with, I've learnt a fair amount from that. Mitsuda Hidetaka is the 6 year old, and he's still learning japanese.

Boru is the dog, an 8 month old Shiba inu with the markings of an Australian shepherd. He likes me when he's in a good mood, but usually he treats me as though he's never seen me before. I've made plenty of friends at LABO, but I don't think I remember all their names. Nick is a cool guy. He knows probably the most japanese out of any of us, but he's kind of quiet for someone who talks a lot. Ryan is the youngest in the group, but he's done the program before and knows a lot about it. Emily likes to steal my hat, but I don't think she likes me too much. more friends include Victoria, Alex, Eric, Holly, and a few more who I kinda forgot. Anyways, that's the rundown as far as I can remember.