Saturday, June 03, 2006

My new home

Hello all,

I am back, and had a few more minutes to continue about my trip to Japan. Well, I finally got to my room and found out some of the biggest differences from the United States. When I first walked through the door, I found out that you have to ware slippers in the building. You pick them up when you first walk in and there is a little shelf where you put your shoes (I guess nobody ever steels shoes). Anyway I walked up to my room and found even more interesting things.

The room was pretty small, I guess about the size of an average size for a dorm room, just a bit smaller than my double room in Paty. Inside I found a kimono for me, and I am still not exactly sure when I am supposed to wear it. The room has a pretty nice air conditioner with a thermostat; the only problem is that the remote is in Japanese. I got it to where all I have to do is set the temp and now I all I have to figure out is what a nice temp in Celsius is so I don't have to keep turning it off. There is no real storage space accept a small metal locker, but I managed to fit all my clothes in as long as the kimono is not supposed to go in there. I also found out that they leave you a fresh kimono and fresh sheets if you change them and leave the old ones outside the door.

As I mentioned before, there is no internet line so I think there will be little to do in my room besides DVDs that I brought. A TV was provided, but of course, only Japanese stations with Japanese words. I was trying to look the menu to see if there was a way to change it to English but since the menu is in Japanese I have had very little luck. I got really excited when I found news from the BBC and when I was flipping through the channels and even more excited when Condoleezza Rice came on in English. Then two seconds later it was dubbed over in Japanese. Oh well. I did find that I can download the news in the lab, video from ABC and audio from NBC (they won't let you download video outside the US).

The only thing else worth mentioning is the bath room. There is a urinal like usual, but the toilet is a squatting one (I am not sure exactly how to use it, but I found a regular one in the chemistry building). Also there is a tub, and on the door there are a few instructions. The sign says:

1. Don’t touch the gas knob
2. Hours for taking a bath are 1800 to 2100
3. Make sure you wash and rinse yourself before getting in the tub
4. Leave the plug in because someone else might want to use the water after you are done.

I am still trying to figure it all out. That’s enough for me today.

Till next time,
Josh

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