April 10, 2006


Hope you all had a good weekend.

Classes started today. I am in Class M - 15 people consisting of Chinese, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Americans, and I think a Canadian, a Spaniard, a Brazilian and a Swede. Diverse bunch, I'm the only Brit. Not too heavy, mostly revision of hiragana and katakana (if you want to know what these are, I'm afraid I can't be bothered, try Wikipedia or something).

In the afternoon, went to the bank to try and exchange some money. Based on my experiences at the Post Office/Beaureau de Change back home, I thought this would be relatively straightforward; but oh dearie me no. After just about managing to get my intentions across to the cashier, and giving, as requested, my name, address, passport, samples of bodily fluid etc., there followed a 'processing period' of a good 20-30 mins before I was sorted. Hey ho.

A few random observations following my first week here -

  • The bread is weird. It's really expensive and comes in little bags of 5/6/10 slices depending on the slice thickness, which ranges from chunky, super chunky and ultra chunky. Evidently the baking industry never quite took hold here. On the other hand, you can get baked goodies such as Curry Pan, which are kind of savory donuts with a curry filling, and these are bitchin.
  • The ATM system is dumb. ATMs here live in their own special booth (which speaks to you when you go in) and are only open at certain times of the day. If you want to get money out after, say 10pm, you're screwed. Also, it appears that if you don't have a card issued by a Japanese bank, you can't get anything out of them. I've heard a rumor that the Post Office machines accept Maestro/Cirrus, but I have yet to confirm this.
  • Japanese soft drinks tend to be a bit sugar-heavy. My favorite of the bunch so far is Suntory Natchan!, which sports a big orange (or green or whatever, depending on flavour) smiley face on the front.
Anyway, I'm enjoying it here, though missing aspects of home life - friends, family, my record collection, The Simpsons, etc.


Homer,  April 10, 2006 7:57 PM  


Phil T,  April 13, 2006 5:00 AM  

Remind me to get you a bread maker for XMas. Could start a whole new industry. ;-)

Oh... And.... Err.. All Hail Emperor Clobbersauras!?!? I think?

Dave,  April 13, 2006 7:12 PM  

ooh ooh! talking of curry pan, you /have/ to try melon pan. It's like a party in your mouth, maybe with beer and hookers.

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