Saturday, September 27, 2003
Sorry for the irregular blogging, but as my friend Mel predicted, getting internet access here in Japan via a computer is a serious pain in the butt. Right now, it's Saturday 4 PM local time and I'm chilling in downtown Kobe, in an area called Sannomiya.
Oh, I finally found the apostrophe key... SHIFT 7. Weird.
Anyways, the past few days here in Japan have been a bit crazy, as I don't have a set schedule. I don't officially start work until Monday, so I've been given free time until then.
As it turns out, I'm not living in the middle of the city as I hoped. I actually live in a suburb of Kobe called Suma, near this station called Myohoji. It's actually a lot like Renton back home... houses, apartment buildings, and lots of trees. Very family-esque, almost even rural. My 3-bed apartment is ontop of this awfully steep hill; I predict significant weight loss in the months to come from climbing the darn thing.
So what have I been up to?
Friday, one of my roommates, this Canadian guy named Ryan, was nice enough to take me around a little bit before he started his shift. I had to go down to the Kobe Ward office to do my required registration - all foreigners living in Japan are required by law to register with the Alien Office. Yeah... funny word, alien. After registering, I wandered around the shopping mall area, stopping at a cool 100 yen (dollar store) to buy hangers for my clothes. I had to be home promptly around 8:00 pm, because the rest of my airport luggage was being dropped off, all 100 pounds of it.
Today, I've been exploring downtown Sannomiya, my main mission being going to this huge electronics store called Seiden to buy a power adapter. It turns out that Japanese power outlets only have 2 slots, not the 2 slots and a hole (3 prong) like American ones, so I couldn't use the laptop... suckage. Anyways, I did manage to find a powerstrip/surge protector at the electronics store with the American outlet, but the strip of 6 outlets was around $14. Not too bad, I suppose... I just hope it works.
After that, I came to where I'm at now... this internet cafe called 'Comic Cafe' - people pay money to chill here, read manga, and surf the internet. Access is costing me $3 an hour, pretty reasonable... plus all the soft drinks I can drink. Mmmm. Now if only they had a regular US keyboard and ran Windows in English... that'd be good. Hopefully, I can figure out an FTP solution soon, so I can upload some pics I've taken. Next time, I'll bring the laptop.
So, random things I've noticed about Japan so far that are different than home...
1.?@People drive on the left side of the road
2. Almost every girl has her hair dyed orange or brown
3. Almost every guy around here smokes
4. BEER VENDING MACHINES
5. Crowds, and crowds of people
I wish I could put some pictures up... maybe it's time to find a place with wireless internet access? Hrmmm.
Also on the list of things to do: find a church to go to. Might be tough, though... especially since I don't know my work schedule yet.
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