9/1/08
Ishida House, Matsudo

I'm sure that some people may have noticed that I haven't yet posted anything online... or at least, I hope they would have... hi, mom.

I haven't really had a chance to get online at all since I left, my host family doesn't have wireless. They don't have broadband, either. What they have, for whenever they need something online, is a little modem that they string across the living room and plug into the fax machine's line. I haven't yet summed up the gall to ask that they let me take over their living room in such a way. Open wifi points are myth here, it seems that wireless hubs come default with random passwords. An opportunity hasn't yet presented itself from LABO, either. Maybe tomorrow. It's strange to not so much as have checked my email for however long it's been since Wednesday, but I comfort myself in knowing that I'm still doing better than some unnamed family members of mine might in my place. That is, I haven't recessed into a catatonic shock withdrawal. Yet.

This morning, my host mother took me to get my gaigokoujin (sp?) card. The first government office we went to turned out to be the wrong one, but they pointed us in the right direction, three train stops away. I filled out some forms, including one to let me get a cell phone.

As we were walking out of the building down the front steps, a lady looked up at me like I had eaten her dog. With a positively mortified expression, she climbed the stairs. Not taking her eyes off me, she muttered something as she passed. I caught the words "gaijinsan," but my host mother either didn't notice or pretended not to notice. I don't know what the lady said, but from the tone of the words it sounded like something along the lines of "I can't believe that a foreigner...(is here)." The word "gaijin" does have a somewhat negative connotation, but "san" conveys respect.

I split up with my host mother and went to Shinjuku. I stopped in at the Bic Camera store to check out their cell phones, and got a multilingual pamphlet explaining plans. I stopped by the AMPM at the foot of the Mitsui building for lunch before heading up to the Labo offices. When I arrived, Simon, Kate, and Coral were already waiting. Katie and Emma showed up, and then we all went back to a convenience store for more food. Later, we took a placement test, I think I did ok on the interview part. blah tired.

During dinner, my host mother's parents paid a visit. Nice folks, I've never seen someone so impressed by proper use of chopsticks. After my host father arrived home, I went over the cell phone plans with him. Here, the data transfer measure is in "packets," which, even after two hours of broken conversation, we still don't know how much are in meaningful units like bytes or characters. Oh well.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Google sez, cell phone packets are half a kilobyte, so multiply your file size in megabytes by 2000 to get the number of packets required.

Amanda said...

maybe the lay was saying GIANT.

Jennifer said...

It's hilarious how shocked the lady was to see you, considering you were right outside the building where you got your gaikokujin card, right? Were you wearing your yellow hat?? XD
Ahh, the Mitsui building. I was just there in the area like a month ago! That's very natsukashii! ("nostalgic") I knew the area better than the friends I was there with, lol.
It never ceases to be amazing to the nihonjin when a gaijin can use chopsticks competently. Never. Although it's always nice to be admired, ne? ;)