9.29.2005

Getting out of town

I went to Kyoto on Sunday. This was my first big trip out of town if you don't include my brief coffee rendezvous in Kobe with the friend of friend. I just got my first paycheck on Thursday, so now I was free to travel at my leisure. I have to say that the first substantial paycheck in two years feels pretty good. Now I can go shopping at the grocery store and not have to rack my noggin for 5 minutes on which jar of peanut butter has a lower cost/ounce because I'm nickel and diming my way through grad school. So anywhoo, I hop on an early train because I'm trying to make it to the Christian Science Society in Kyoto by 10. I catch an express train in Osaka to Kyoto. I'm thinking, "oh, express. Great this will get me there lickety split." Little did I know that there are like 4 levels of express on the Hankyu line. Express, rapid express, limited express, and super express. So my express is pretty much the local one. By the time I get to Kyoto, church has already started. I take the subway there and arrive 1/2 way through the service. It was nice to meet some Christian Scientists in the area, that spiritual support when one is away from home is important.

After the service, I walked down to the Imperial Gardens. The Imperial Palace is closed on weekends, so I just walked around. You actually need to apply in advance with a passport for some of the buildings on the grounds, so I'll have to work on that.

Now I haven't splurged all my money from my paycheck yet, but I have bought a few essential things that I've been doing without for the past month. Keitai, or cell phones, have a lot of features over here. Seeing as though I am basically illiterate to text message in Kanji and don't have too many people to chat with for hours on end, I decided to go for the basic pre-paid keitai. I'm telling this because I used the camera feature to take some pictures of the Imperial Gardens and Nijo-jo (castle) on my trip. But, I still haven't figured out how to send the pictures from my phone to my computer. So you'll have to use your imagination or the link at the top to get an idea of where I went.

Tonight I had Japanese class. We studied adjectives tonight. Fortunately, our teacher is tri-lingual (Japanese, Chinese, and English) and most of the class is either from China or speaks English. But still, our class is mostly in Japanese. Our teachers uses big and simple pictures to teach new vocabulary. I'm scrambling to write in hiragana and pop my head up to get the new words. By the end of class I have a page and a half full of new vocab to memorize for next week. I'm trying to make use of my commute time (by foot, 10 minutes) to read some flashcards. I honed my skill in reading while I walk during high school, so I'm pretty much the best walk reader that I know of. (echos of Napolean Dynamite there. Thanks Gilda.)

Things at school are going well. This weekend we have English camp for the first year students. Just 24 hours. I'm not sure we'll have any breakthroughs, but at least introduce them to the environment of being surrounded by another language. Our school has two exchanges with schools in India and California each year. The Indian students are coming next week. Perhaps that will be the topic of next week's blog. Thanks for your comments, conversation is the best way to tell a story for me anyway. Ja mata ne! (See you later!)

1 comment:

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