Wednesday, March 28, 2007

FUN FUN FUN!




Today was a blast (minus several hours of orientation without food). We met up with Japanese students who showed us around, buying our commuter passes, and studying the art of cell phone buying, tied up with a delicious Japanese meal of soba (noodles in broth). We did registration today, and saw the campus. Very pretty, lots of flowers, and sakura (cherry blossoms) are out!


Interesting things I noticed today:

Uniforms: all workers wear crazy uniforms, like the ticket-selling ladies who wear bright orange coats and wide-brimmed hats with black ribbons.

Signs on the sidewalk: "no-smoking here", "smoking station soon"

Automatic glass doors that slide when you touch the door, very James-Bondy




Train ticket machines: you stick your ticket (kippu) in the machine to get in, and scan the ticket to leave the transit system-- if you ride too many stops you will be stopped and charged the difference.Combini: convenience stores are really handy. They sell everything from natto (yucky fermented soybeans), to yogurt, pencils and magazines. Surprisingly, you can eat pretty cheaply from a combini .

Bakery food: soo tasty! We found a bakery (called Saint-Germains) this morning (after asking a policeman!). Very French (croissants, baguettes) and some Japanese influence (skinny hot-dog-esk wrapped in phyllo pastry dough).

Policemen: they're everywhere. They seem to patrol a certain block.

Outfits: I saw a gal wearing pantie-shorts (I'm not sure which), a bejeweled belt, knee-high stockings and an overcoat. Hmm.

Japanese Cell Phones: super cool! You can buy some for 1 yen, the one I like is about $21. The Japanese students helped us so we can find a cell phone to use for just 4 months (most have 1 yr contracts). Surprising how many phone designs they have. I saw over 4 cell phone (keitai) shops where there must be over 200 phones on display! They look so much cooler (kakkoi) than American cell phones!

Hotel Escalator: the hotel only has one escalator. In the morning it goes down and at night it goes up!

Tipping: I've found a place on Earth that you don't have to tip!! Even at restaurants. And I *think* the sales taxes are built into prices!

3 comments:

Chris Ball said...

Great pictures honey! Better give me the grand tour while you're there so I know what to look forward to when we go together! :) <3

La Grande Public Library said...

I love the list of interesting things! It gives me a real FLAVOR of what you are eating and seeing. So happy you are doing so well. I would go nutz with all the technology!

La Grande Public Library said...

I love the list of interesting things! It gives me a real FLAVOR of what you are eating and seeing. So happy you are doing so well. I would go nutz with all the technology!