About Me

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I'm an American living in Japan for three years while my wife is on assignment here. (Three years has come and gone so I should probably say three years and counting.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Short and Dirty. Sunday Afternoon in Okazaki.

I'm talking about a short and not very well thought out blog. Not about myself!

I still haven't talked about Marcia's and my trip back to East Aurora in late July and I'm going to keep you waiting a little longer. Like I said, this blog will be short and dirty. As some of you know, after returning to Japan I had planned on taking an intensive 4 week language course in a small town about a six hour drive from Yokohama. Well.............I did it! I'm now living in a one room apartment in the student village and have been thrown into the fray of full time study.

What was I thinking?
First of all, I haven't been in a classroom situation for more years than I can count. Secondly, I've been dropped into an ongoing class, so I have some catching up to do. AND thirdly, (is that even a word?) What the hell do I think I'm doing!!!

I arrived Wednesday and got my apartment, moved in (dumped my stuff on the bed) and headed out to rent a bicycle.

This is a very typical style of bike for Japan. It has three speeds and can carry a lot of stuff in the basket. Plus it looks cool. Right?

With my new means of transportation, I went shopping at the 100 yen store. I bought 1 each of a knife, fork, spoon, plate and glass. The apartment came equipped with 1 frying pan, 1 pot, a tea kettle and a rice cooker. Luckily, being a guy, this is all I need. Less to wash, etc. I then did a little grocery shopping including a couple of beers, which I felt I had earned.

This is where I'll spend most of my time when I'm in my apartment.
The rest of the room is filled with my bed. You might say, "Well, at least he has a television." That's true, of course, all of the channels are in Japanese. I'm already desperate enough to watch Japanese game shows, which is truly pathetic.

Thursday I took a 2 1/2 hour written placement exam and then had an interview. Oh, did I mention, everything here is done in Japanese? Admissions, bike rental, placement test, interview, directions, instructions, do's and don't's, etc. By Thursday night, my head was spinning and I was freaking out about starting class on Friday and wondering at what level I would be placed.

Friday, my first day of class, was pretty intense. Luckily, it's only a half day on Friday or I think that my brain might have exploded. I must have made some really lucky guesses on the test, because I'm in a class that is really going to test my abilities.

Anyhow, I've spent most of the weekend doing homework and trying to get up to speed on material that has already been covered. Writing this blog is my break before I dive back into the books.

Okazaki, which is where I'll call home for a month, has a population of 870,000 but is considered very rural. I have to agree with the rural designation. It's quite a change from Yokohama and Tokyo.

Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration.

Back to the books.

Ja mata,


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