Chapter Eight: Shizuoka, Tokyo again, Hirosaki

Trip Start Mar 11, 2006
1
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Trip End Feb 09, 2007


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Flag of Japan  ,
Monday, April 3, 2006

Hey
This is a quick one I will update later but seriously, that little voice in your head telling you to send me stuff, dont deny it. That, my friends, is the Holy Spirit, and its a good train to be on. Thats right folks, I have an apartment. It has some serious oddities which I will tell you all about when I have some more time and dont have to do a million things.
My address is

Becky Crouch
B202 Shimoda Haitsu III
55 Tomita-machi
Hirosaki, AOMORI
JAPAN

If you feel your kanji is up to it (if its not, dont even try, it might not get here)

ÂXŒ§O‘OŽs•x“c’¬55”Ô’n
‰º“cƒnƒCƒc‡VB“202† ok that obviously didnt work...

And be sure to put Japan in there somewhere. I really dont understand Japanese addresses.
For the record, I had my first taste of Japanese karaoke last week. It was so incredibly hilarious there are just no words. Plus everyone made me sing for most of it, in English. I also sang 2 songs in Japanese even though the kanjis were crazy. I am liking Karaoke. Yesterday I hi fived a girl who had just returned from a 7 hour karaoke stint. What craziness. I want to try...
Right so now its the next day and I have officially moved in to my apartment. Lets see, so what should I say...
I am going to start with leaving Shizuoka. Can I mention here that I LOVE Yukikos family. They are so awesome. Will post pictures when I find a place here to do so. I really loved being in Shizuoka, even though the bathroom door was a TAD translucent. Actually here are some things I have noticed about Japan in general:

1. Thou shalt not care about public nudity.
2. Thou shalt install a machine in the toilet that makes running-water noises so no one can hear you pee.(Whats up with that)
3. If thou art old, thou shalt not smile at anyone.
4. If thou dost work in a shop, thou shalt use a high pitched, squealy and excruciatingly shrill voice.
5. Thou shalt not give the bus driver 1 yen coins.
6. Thou shalt no wear thy shoes in the house, but thou shalt wear house slippers in thy house, and thou shalt only wear socks on tatami floors.
7. When removing thy shoes, thou shalt balance precariously whilst holding numerous bags, on one of thy feet, while searching for house slipper, with the other foot.
8. Thou shalt think natto is delicious (I hate this one)
9. Thou shalt never eat and walk at the same time. In fact, if thou must eat, thou shalt go into a restaurant or go home.(This was a problem when I had no apartment and wanted a 300yen lunch)
10. Thou shalt bow. And bow again. Then shalt thou bow again.

Actually I have found 2 foods I dont like. Last week I tried to eat natto and my stomach kept trying to reject it. I held it down!! But it was not good. The taste isnt so bad but the texture is disgusting. Next week I will try again. The food I dislike the most is these little red fish eggs that go usually in an onigiri or something, I tried to eat them the other day and I couldnt bring myself to take another bite. You pop tehm in your mouth and all this nasty red fish oil stuff comes out and it just tastes rotten.
Anyway
I went back to Tokyo to pick up my bags and stayed the night with this cute little family with 2 little boys, to whom I gave crunchie bars. So cute!! The next day I sent (!) my suitcase up to Hirosaki. I was so happy not to have to take it myself!! ANd it was only like 20 bucks to send. If only I had known....
So the next night I went with Fumi, who was going to Vietnam the next day for a backpacking trip, to her friends apartment in Tokyo, just outside Shibuya. We spent the night there and the next morning said goodbye and good luck and went our different ways. I had purchased a shinkhansen ticket (The bullet train, people) to Morioka (yeah Katie!) where I planned on finding other means of transportation to Hirosaki. By the way, Morioka is like MASSIVE compared to Hirosaki. Yeah, thanks. So anyway, whilst I was in Morioka, I needed to grab some cash, from the yuubinkyoku(post office). So I thought Id just zip over and get it. But it was one of those long, meandering zips, you know, like where you ask someone the way and you dont really understand so they take you there and then you get lost on the way back. Yeah, one of those zips. So anyways by the time I managed to find the bus ticket place and figure out how to use the machines to buy a ticket, as teh woman behind the desk clearly wasnt in the mood to help me, and got on the bus (it was so cold too. It was snowing in Sendai by the way) I was ready to pass out. Fortunately I did not.
When I arrived in Hirosaki it was cold, wet, windy and I had no idea what to do. I took a taxi to the University and called Sawada san from a payphone. The next couple of days were a bit boring so I will skip to when I first saw my apartment. I was glad it was upstairs because if it is downstairs dont you have more chance of getting cockroaches??
Anyways at the international centre they had said, just take this apartment it will be easiest. WHAT??? I should have listened to my brain.
Anyway by all accounts my apartment is cute. However there is a certain thing missing. A BATHROOM SINK. Neither me nor my tutor noticed this upon first inspection, as we were in something of a hurry. Plus last night I noticed that my bedroom doesnt have a light. I have been going to bed quite early lately. Plus the toilet makes weird noises, and this morning I heard THE TANUKI NOISE. Its the same noise I heard coming from that cave in Shizuoka ken. I dont know where it is coming from but you can be sure I am going to find out.
I have a small couch, a TV, a stove, a fridge, a bath/shower, a vacuum, a desk (which is really big and doesnt look like it belongs in there) and a gas heater. Im sure I will blow something up before long.
I have spent quite alot of money (hint dad, seriously...) on getting stuff for my apartment like a futon, a rice cooker, and I am looking for some drawers and a table. Then I should be about done.
The people who live around me are all foreigners. The guy who lives next door is Aussie, and there are some Americans downstairs.
Write again later
Becky
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Comments

nzaussie
nzaussie on

my goodies...
any requests on stuff you want me to send you - within the legal limits :) you name it... i'll give it a shot...

isi
isi on

all requests considered... then discarded
Hi Becks.. Give us some idea of what you might need and we will send other stuff. (Usual tradition)We have dried beans and molasses just waiting to be boxed. The Japanese are just crying out for molasses I think it will really catch on.(private joke)OK so let us know what you need as it will take at least 12 months slow boat to reach you. I am anxiously awaiting photos of the apartment... My imagination says shoe box size with the cooking elements just above your pillow and the front door is the toilet door.. that sort of thing?? Cool.
Thanks for all the updates.. its been fun to follow your journey thus far. All the best for the shock of 'class' and the total 'Imersion'(sp) experience.

Love dad

gayna
gayna on

yay you made it....
Nice to have a catch up. If there is no molasas then we are bound to have flour and vinegar.....gummy bears have gone (hmmm)

cant wait for photos....

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