June 22nd

Mitsuda house

Tea ceremony today! We left the LABO classroom just after we arrived, and took the train to somewhere in west Tokyo. There were seven of us in my group. After getting lost on the way there, we got to the tea master's house. The tea ceremony is very spiritual, so we were all on our highest japanese politeness setting (really freaking polite, and as quiet as the calm before the apocalypse). Once we were briefed on how to not bring locusts upon ourselves throughout the ceremony (don't cross the black line, don't turn your back to the eldest in the room, stuff like that), we began. The first thing you'll notice about a tea ceremony is that it... goes... really... slow...ly.... Not in of itself a bad thing, until the second thing you notice kicks in- sitting in Seiza position for longer than a couple minutes is a freaking art. Unless you do it just right, it cuts off the circulation to your legs and dislocates your knees. I don't imagine weighing 230+ lbs helps anything, either.

The ceremony was just over an hour long, and by the time I got up, I didn't think I'd ever want to bend my knees again. It was quite educational, though, from a historical perspective. I'm glad I went, but I wouldn't jump up to do it again.

After the ceremony, we went out to a japanese burger place for lunch. The had rice burgers, which turned out to be regular burgurs on these rice bun thingies. I had a melon soda, a salad, and a couple of fries. After that, we visited a hyakuen store, basically a japanese dollar store. I couldn't decide whether to buy the yellow reflective tape or the orange neon tape, so I got an umbrella instead.

We didn't have to go back to LABO, so we just went straight home from there. I stopped at an apartment store on the way back, but ended up not getting anything. They had a version of my soccer ball puzzle, only even bigger than a real ball! They had ones of globes, too, even one of a celestial globe. The big ones were expensive, though, like 5000~7000 yen.

I've been thinking about getting a japanese DVD player so I can get some of these japanese DVDs, but they're really expensive. I might end up just getting a japanese PS2 instead, that way I would be able to play PS2 games as well as anime DVDs. Maybe just before I come home, when my budget is a little clearer.

After I got back to Hasuda station, Mayumi took me shopping. I got a rice bowl, a soup bowl, and chopsticks (you have personal dishes in Japan). After that, Hide and I hung out in a bookstore while Mayumi got groceries. Clayton would have loved to be in this place, they had complete series of all his favorite mangas, and they were all only 300~400 yen. I bought a few of them, but couldn't find any Azumanga or Spiral stuff. I'll try a used bookstore later, Mayumi said they were even cheaper there, and you can find rare stuff.

We had pizza for dinner tonight! The crust was store bought, but was passable... the cheese, however, was way better then whatever we have back in KC! I'm not sure if I was off my palette or what, but I need to find out what kind it was sometime, maybe even figure out how to get some to Bill.

We watched Pokemon after dinner, it's still really popular here. It was simple enough for me to watch and understand, so I enjoyed it. After that, I sat down with my new DAQ manga and my little magic C-3P0 and read a bit, and now it's time for bed. Nemuke.