Ishida House, Matsudo

I woke up at four this morning, but managed to get back to sleep until seven. Got up, packed, and turned on the TV in the hotel room for a while. There are not a lot of channels on most Japanese televisions, cable is pretty rare. After surfing through the twelve channels, I could understand the lack of demand for more of the same. I watched a newscast that spent ten minutes talking about the rainy weather. One of the channels in the hotel was the BBC world news. I watched that for a while and learned that McCain picked his running mate. I forget her name, but she seems like the last thing Obama would want to be up against.

I went down and ate breakfast, it was sort of a continental buffet. They had natto, but there was no one to impress by eating it, so I restrained myself. I went back upstairs and watched some more TV (saturday morning cartoons are a bit more interesting here). I went down and waited in the lobby a little before ten, our meeting time for the orientation was 10:30. When I got to the lobby, I noticed that one of the rental computers still had five minutes left one it, so I took my chance; I had been meaning to double-check that my macbook's power brick was 100v compatible. After four and a half minutes of fighting with the Japanese keyboard, I managed to get to the apple site and confirm it.

I spent the time waiting on a bench with my DS dictionary, entering kanji and studying. I learned how to write "Tokyo" (東京) pretty well, because it wasn't in my DS dictionary and I entered it a dozen times thinking I'd made mistakes. Eventually everyone came down, and we proceeded into the cafe area for the orientation. As Ariel briefed us, another dude from LABO came in and set up some more tables, then our host families arrived and did their own orientation.

We introduced ourselves. Most of my host family was there: my host father, Naota, brother, Yuuto (8), and sister, Mayoko (4). My host mother, Tomoko, couldn't make it. After some pictures, we left. Emma's host family lived nearby and drove, so she wasn't going to the station. Coral, Katie, and I needed to change money, so our hosts agreed to meet up near the station and go to an exchange place. Coral defected along the way, I guess they changed their mind. After wandering around Odakyu for a while, we found the exchange place. After that, we went to eat lunch at an underground restaurant.

My family won't be able to accompany me on the train for the first day, so I had to keep track of the line as we traveled. On the way, my host dad updated my Suica commuter card from two years ago.

We arrived home after a short walk. It's a fairly big house by Japanese standards, enough so that they gave me my own room. At 4:30, my host mother arrived home. It was raining, as it had been on and off since I arrived. Lightning got pretty close. Among other things, I played othello with Yuuto before dinner. He beat me soundly, even though I thought I was winning for part of the game.

Dinner was great. Afterwards, I showed them my (tentative) album on my computer, and delivered scharffen berger. It had gotten a little melty in the heat, but it was still well-recieved.

Everyone helped me set up a brand new (!!!) futon and bedspread in my room. I took a bath, then we watched about half an hour of a Japanese dub of Independence Day that was on TV. The aliens loomed over new york, and just as they blew up the empire state, it cut to a commercial of a cute little girl singing and dancing.

Then I brushed my teeth and came up here to write this. Sorry if I seem a bit punctual in these entries, I guess that's a side effect of writing when I'm this tired.


Jeff said...

Is a "Suica commuter card" like a BART card?

I think "terse" is the word you were looking for, since punctual is a timeliness word. However, thank you for even your terse entries!

Cordell Newmiller said...

Yeah, maybe "terse" was the word I was looking for. I just meant that I was using a lot of periods. :p

A Suica commuting card is a plastic card a little thicker than your average credit card, and it has an RFID tag or something in it. You get one of these, and you can travel back and forth along a certain route as much as you like for a month. It's neat because you don't even need to take it out of your wallet to beep the machine, sort of like a low power fastrack.

~Cordell Newmiller

mamagotcha said...

Or maybe you were aiming for "perfunctory"?