Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

(on Technorati , Del.icio.us)

I got a Wii

On Friday, December 8th, at 9am, I was among many that were ushered into the Best Buy on Cambie St in Vancouver. As we walked down the stairs, there were a bunch of staff that clapped. I gave my ticket to one of the guys at the bottom and he directed me to my basket containing a Nintendo Wii and Zelda: Twilight Princess. My friend Jesse bought the exact same thing. We paid for our stuff and walked back to his place, exhausted. We hadn’t really slept. You see, to get a Nintendo Wii in Vancouver, apparently, you must wait in front of the store that is getting their shipment, all night.

I knew from talking to the Best Buy representative that they were getting 25-30 units of Wii. They were also getting a similar number of PS3’s but I wasn’t concerned about that. Initially, the plan was to go hang out with Jesse, play some games, get some sleep, and walk over to line up early in the morning, around 5:30am. But when I talked to the Best Buy guy, he said there were already a couple people lined up, earlier in the afternoon. So, on my way to Jesse’s, I scoped out the line: about 10 people at 8pm, Thursday. This changed the plans.

We played some Soul Calibur 2 on the cube and Jesse eventually admitted total and utter defeat (par for the course). 🙂

At midnight, we went out for a walk. I would grab something to eat and we could check out the line. Jesse wasn’t really planning on getting a Wii, but was nice enough to keep me company for a while. First, we checked out the line, it had more than doubled! I checked the posters at the front of the door: 27 Wii, 8 60GB PS3, and 17 20GB PS3. Then I did a quick poll of everyone in line: the 60GB PS3s were taken by some people near the front, the rest were Wii. If Jesse and I lined up right then, we would be #19 and #20 for the Wii… so we did. Since the time of my arrival, Jesse had somehow decided he was going to get a Wii, as well. It didn’t even take much convincing on my part!

It was 12:30am by the time we entered the queue. The store opened at 9am, so we only had 8.5 hours to wait on the cold concrete. 😐 We had nothing to do and I still hadn’t had dinner! I asked the people around me if they wanted something from Wendy’s, up the street. Chili for a couple people ahead of me, a coffee for Jesse, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted yet. I walked up to Wendy’s, maybe around 1:30am. Only the drive-through was open, so I went and tapped on the window. They ignored me for as long as they could, and then one girl came over and said, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve walk-through.” What the fuck?! That had to be one of the stupidest things I’d ever heard! “Why not?! Would you like me to pretend I’m in a car?” “We can’t serve you.” *sigh* Fine. It’s clearly difficult to argue with that logic. Sorry guys, no chili or coffee. I had to eat something, so I walked to a Pho place on Broadway, and got a large beef steak pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) to go. It was kind of expensive ($7) but it was exactly what I needed. And after I opened that bad boy in the lineup, a few others made the trek up to that store and got something. 🙂

I think the cutoff point for Wii was around 3:00am. Some people decided to “try their luck” anyways, and others may have ended up getting a PS3. It’s funny, initially, because of the PS3 shortage, a lot of PS3 buyers ended up getting a Wii… but now, because of the demand for Wii, some Wii buyers end up getting a PS3. 🙂 There were still a couple PS3s left when they finished handing out tickets around 8am.

Best Buy did not get any extra controllers with their shipment of systems, neither wiimotes nor nunchuks, so we could only get the ones that come with the system. Rayman and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance were sold out for Wii. No Wii buyers I met were selling, and one PS3 buyer I spoke to was. There were a couple parents lining up to get a Wii for their kids, but they ended up leaving after realizing they weren’t going to get one. There were quite a few people who would walk up to the end of the line, set up their chair and blanket, check out the numbers, and end up leaving with a disappointed look on their face. Kinda sad. At one point, closer to opening, the line was humongous! There were only systems for 52 people, but there must have been an additional 30 people that just… appeared. Crazy.

After getting back to Jesse’s, having not slept, we tried out Wii Sports. Since we each had a system (and thus, a controller), we could play two-player. It’s pretty fun. I’d say tennis and bowling are the best. Boxing would be awesome if the control was more intuitive, but I haven’t quite got it yet (if it’s even possible to “get”). Golf is also pretty hard to control the power of the swing. Finally, baseball is a little too over-simplified. Wii Sports is a fun demo of things to come. Good for multiplayer, but I’ve not yet played it by myself. Could be because I’ve been playing Zelda, I guess. 🙂 Not much to say that hasn’t been covered in the millions of reviews already. If you like Zelda games, or adventure games in general, you’ll like this game. I’m hooked.

Now, I’d better study for my exams.

Bitter Sweet

Yesterday, I was at a cafe with my friend, Jesse. We each bought a coffee and a cookie for our nutritional kick-start of the day (around noon, at the time). I gave my visa card to the well-endowed clerk to pay for my purchase, and she gave me the debit user-input pad saying “You have to confirm.”

Huh? Um… Okay. “Purchase $3-something Okay?” I click Okay.

“Tip?” I think I actually made an audible grunt of surprise. Whatever. Fine. She’s nice to look at, I guess I’ll give her 15%. I’m so weak. “Purchase $4-something okay?” Okay.

I took my newly purchased beverage over to the counter to sweeten it up. Now, this may sound strange, but I actually prefer the taste of non-sugar sweeteners to actual sugar. Maybe this is because I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, and I don’t like adding so much sugar to my coffee. And I figure I could lose some weight, maybe not adding so much sugar would help. As I explain this to Jesse, he says something along the lines of “Weight or cancer, one of ’em will get ya.” I added one packet of sweetener, and one of sugar (regretfully, I missed the brown sugar).

Later in the day, I was in a computer lab at school working on project with my group. Jesse had given me a Tab energy drink earlier. He said he didn’t like the taste of non-sugar sweetener. I was kind of thirsty, so I pulled it out of my bag and was about to drink it. One of my group members said, “You know that stuff’s carcinogenic, right?”

“That’s what people say.”

“So… why do you drink it?”

“I dunno… tastes good?” I enjoyed my energy drink.

Since the start of this school term, I’ve been drinking a coffee sweetened with a sugar-substitute nearly every day. So this morning, I decided to look into the controversy over these sweet things I enjoy.

My current sweeteners at home are Sugar-Twin and some no name “calorie-free” sweetener. Both contain sodium cyclamate. Both say, “Use only at the advice of a physician” and both are available on the shelf of any grocery store, in Canada. In the US and the UK, cyclamate has been banned since 1969 and 1970, respectively, due to some tests on rats linking cyclamate to bladder cancer. According to Wikipedia, Sugar-Twin does not contain cyclamate in the US market, but instead uses saccharin, which has been banned in Canada since 1977, excpet for diabetic usage. Tab Energy apparently uses sucralose as its sweetener, which seems to be the least controversial. Many other low-calorie soft-drinks currently use aspartame as the sweetener, which has been linked to brain tumours. Of course, all of these “links” are not of the greatest strength.

For a seriously fascinating read, check out the Wikipedia article on sugar substitutes. For a much less fascinating read, search Canadian Food and Health regulations.

Now, as I finish my cyclamate-sweetened coffee, I embark on a painful journey of homework and assignments. I wonder if that’s the cause of this slight bitterness….

Whatever you use, use it in happy moderation. 🙂

Wedding Photos

Finally got around to posting some pictures.

Scott & Kim
Scott & Kim’s Wedding

Ben & Mayu
Ben & Mayu’s Wedding
(and the following evening)

Happy Birthday, Canada!

gmail

Okay, so I returned from the cabin a couple days ago (one day earlier than planned). I kept a mini-journal of sorts on my zaurus, which I will update on this site soon. I just wanted to mention that, by Shirley’s grace, I now have a shiny new gmail account.

user: steven.w.j.brown
domain: gmail.com
email: user@domain
(replace the “user” and “domain” with values given)

Thanks, Shirley!

Catching up; Dinner with “Mayu” & Friends :)

I’m at work right now, tired after having only a few hours of sleep last night – on the floor, not on the bed.

Yes, I was suppose to get lots of things done (that *really* need to be done), last night. Little did I know, that when Alex entered my room around 9:30pm, that I would be talking for the rest of the night. Initially, Ben, Alex, and I had to talk about our plans to hike Fuji-san on the weekend (no rest for the wicked). We looked at a Hiking-in-Japan book that Ben has (he has lots of really cool books) and a train tome that Alex has trying to figure out where we were going to go, and which route to hike. Unfortunately, I couldn’t provide much to the conversation: I don’t know maps like Ben does, and I don’t know Kanji like Alex. So I mainly listened and attempted some extremely slow searches on an online train planner.

We had something sorta figured out, so Ben left to do his laundry. Alex and I continued talking, but not about the hike. Topics ranged so wildly, and largely consisted of rants. In person, rants are much different. Nearly everything you read on the net will be a “rant,” but a rant on the net is well composed. The author has had time to organize their thoughts, and it’s usually fairly coherent. But having done a few myself last night, I realized I couldn’t just say what was on my mind – I had so many things on my mind that I couldn’t concentrate on one and convey a clear thought. I had to really stop talking, and take time to organize my thoughts. This is okay, because I saw Alex doing the same thing, later. We talked about anything from video games, to religion, to relationships. It’s really funny, and I would not have expected it, but Alex and I have a lot in common.

Eventually, we said good-night a little after 4am. I was afraid to go to sleep, fearing I might not wake for work. I went to the bathroom, and saw at least one person also walking in the hallway on my way – this is Japan, after all. I came back to my room and read my email, and then I must have laid down on the floor….

Had it not been for my life-saving cell-phone which was nestled in its charger, I may not have waken up. But I had cleverly set the alarm on that awesome cell phone of mine to go off every day at 7:45am. Usually, I wake up by the Wal-Mart alarm clock I brought from Canada, but I must set that every night. Maybe I won’t bother, anymore – my ketai works great! I can wake up to melodies of sorts rather than that irritating beep. Much better. Amazingly, I managed to have a shower and still be on time for work. God, did I need a shower!

So, I just finished reading Ben’s monolithic journal entry about his crazy adventure around Japan during Obon the holiday. Yes, I’m at work, but I was alternating between technical documentation. I actually relied on Ben’s writing to keep me awake, so I can justify it. After reading it, I’ve decided I may go back and try to add a few details from my Obon holiday – which I completely glazed over.

I have to wait for a computer to arrive before I can “work on my project,” but I can always read… it’s just so boring. So my day today is not so interesting. Can’t wait for lunch.

10:20pm – Just got back from dinner with Ben and 3 Japanese Girls: Yukko, Mami, Mayu

And a good time was had by all…

The girls took us to an Okonomiyaki restaurant in South Ogaki. They even picked us up! 😮 Ben knows an uncanny amount of information about food! And maps. But, I guess he enjoys both of those things, so that’s ok. I love food, too… but Ben is not satisfied til he knows all the details of how a certain dish was prepared and exactly where the ingredients came from! However, this kind of info is great for ice-breaking, because it’s really quite interesting. As such, during dinner, we talked mostly of food. We also talked about Vancouver and Canada because all of the girls had been there.

I have been wondering where the closest swimming pool was almost since I got here, and Ben remembered I wanted to know that, so he asked the girls. After dinner, they looked at map books in their car (I could see Ben was getting excited – maps!) and they made a couple calls, and they decided to drive us there. It didn’t take long for us to appear completely lost in the deep dark inaka (countryside). That’s okay, we soon found it, and it turns out it’s really easy to bike to. It’s about twice the distance as the Hashima train station we usually bike to, however, so it’s a little far.

That was a nice casual night. Didn’t cost much (1200yen), and it was refreshing. Thanks to the three ladies for taking us out!

I’m tired… and must do things BEFORE I sleep. *sigh*

Lying on Jeff’s tatami mat (lower back is sore…)

Jeff was gracious enough to provide accomodations. Have to leave soon. Going to meet Hana (she stayed at our house in Canada a few years ago) in Shinjuku.

12:49am

I just got out of the shower (at Hana’s house!!)

This is a big surprise: I’m sitting in a room that Hana’s family has prepared for me! There’s even a TV and a Super-Famicom (Super Nintendo) and a Playstation! It’s a traditional Japanese room with sliding paper doors and really nice tatami mats! SUGOI! When I went to meet Hana, I had no idea that she had planned for me to stay a week at her house! I thought I would be back in Jeff’s dormitory with Alex eating konbini food… which would not be bad, but this is really cool! Already, I’ve learned so much Japanese. My Japanese level, which is VERY low, will probably double just because of my stay here! I’m so excited! =) Thank you, so much, Hana and Hana’s hospitable family! ^_^ The only bad things I can possibly think of would be that I can’t seem to connect on my wireless Internet, and that I don’t have any worthy omiyage for Hana’s family. =( I will have to “order” something from Canada. =)

I actually met Hana in Meidaimae. Sadly, this marked the first time I took the train by myself, in Japan – but I made it! I’m so proud! Actually, I was early, because Jeff and Alex were meeting Sound, John, and Larry (I think) later that day, so I had to leave with them, of course. I took a long walk around Meidaimae, sneaking into air-conditioned stores whenever possible, and met Hana a little later. I would not have been able to do it if I did not have this super-cool Japanese cell-phone with VERY USEFUL email support! *phew* I love my ketai denwa. =) Hana showed me where she goes to school, Meiji University, but we were not able to go inside. 🙁

8:15am – the next day (I fell asleep) ^_^

From Meidaimae, Hana and I went to Shinjuku.

She took me to a famous ramen restaurant, where we must have stood in line for 45 minutes! But the ramen was the best ramen I’ve ever had! SO GOOD! Unfortunately, it was a very hot day, and I was sweating badly, especially eating a hot bowl of ramen. =) After that, we went to Shibuya, I believe, and walked around some “popular” places where I got to see SO MANY crazy fashions! Many girls dressed up like dolls. I really wanted to take pictures. I will ask, next time. We walked around a lot, and were pretty tired, so we decided to find the closest cafe and sit down to have a drink. At this cafe, which had a really cool fountain in the middle, I had the 2nd most expensive drink I’ve ever had. 500 yen Orange juice. Yep, about $6 CDN for a large glass of OJ (filled half w/ice). But, it was the best glass of OJ I’ve ever had! I think they used 3 real oranges. I saw them make it – they rolled the oranges into some kind of juicer. It was so good! I even had a seed in my drink! heheh ^_^
So we sat at this cafe for a long time, trying to decide what to do. You see, I did not know I was going to be staying at Hana’s that night, so I did not bring all my stuff. It was at Jeff’s. I had to wait for Jeff (who doesn’t have a cell phone) to tell me when he was going back so as I could grab my bags. We decided we would go to a “game centre” to kill some time; after all, I saw F-Zero GX when walking earlier. =) But we must have really liked that cafe, because we went back again! (Hana forgot her hat ^^).

Earlier, I had given Hana some cookies I bought while waiting for her, and she put them in her bag. They ended up falling out of their package and making a mess of her bag! Gomen!

I got an email from Shirley saying Jeff had already left, so then Hana and I changed our destinations, and I immediately left for the dormitory. I would meet Hana and her mother at Shinjuku, later (once again, taking trains all by myself – scary, but necessary). A few non-interesting events followed: I went back to dormitory; I packed; I left; I met Hana and her mother and appologized for making them wait; we road trains together for maybe an hour, and Hana’s father picked us up at a train station, and drove us to their home. Hana’s family does not speak any English, so I will have to try to speak a little Japanese! Cool! =)

Thank you, once again, to Hana and her nice family for taking me into their home. This Obon holiday is going to be great!

Sitting on a train, using my wireless Internet and playing w/my laptop :)

I’m with a couple country boys from Gifu (dorm mates), and we’re heading to one of the largest cities in the world. Typhoon Etau (“storm cloud” – not Japanese) is creeping across Japan. We left Anpachi just before it hit. It will probably catch up with us in Tokyo.

I barely got any sleep last night. Packing. Writing important emails. No really, they were important! Skipped going to the cafeteria for breakfast; as usual, no time. John, Alex, and I (Ben had other “bigger” plans, and Shirley decided to wait a day for possibly better weather) headed out at 7:45, running for the bus to Ogaki. We were rushed, and by the time we got on the bus, we were very wet. About 15 minutes later, we arrived in Ogaki; we had a bit of time to kill before taking the train, so we grabbed something to eat at Mr.Donut.

Train from Ogaki to Hasamatsu: ~2 hours

At Hasamatsu, we had to transfer to the train heading to Atami. This is the train I am currently on. When we transferred, I was not at all prepared for the rush of people to fill the train. We had to get off, but as soon as the doors opened, a flood of people rushed in. I’d like to describe it as opening a container under water. John expected this, and escaped before being crushed by the flow of people. Alex and I, however, were still scrambling to get our bags, and were pushed right back into our seats by the masses. Eventually, we squeezed out, holding our bags above our heads and repeating “sumimasen” over and over. I thought we were gonna get stuck on that train and end up backtracking! Luckily, we escaped. I’ve NEVER in my ENTIRE LIFE seen a huge group of people panic so much to get a seat! It’s like musical chairs: when the doors open, the music stopped, and whoever doesn’t get seat is SOTO!

What a crazy-insane costly day!

Today, me and Ben… oh, sorry (Pat) – “Ben and I” took the train to Nagashima Spaland – a super cool amusement/water park.

Why did we decide to do this? Well, it was Pat’s birthday, and the plan was to meet Pat and some other guys (Adam, Wojtek, Edwin, and some french people I’ve never met before) at Nagashima. Wait a sec… Ben has these crazy fireworks on his birthday, and Pat has a party at an amusement park for his the next day… there better be something cool going on for MY b-day! =)

On our way there, we ran into a “fat sweaty Japanese man” who was selling discounted tickets for Nagashima that included the bus ride there. Well, it must be really easy to swindle some poor gaijin, because we got the water park ticket, the bus, and the roller coaster ticket… but this roller coaster ticket was only going to last for ONE ride! To cut a boring financial tragedy short, we ended up having to buy the all-day ride pass ON TOP of what we bought from the swindler. Okay, so he probably wasn’t really a swindler, there was just an evident language barrier.

Nagashima Spaland is home to the Steel Dragon. This is the biggest friggin roller coaster I’ve EVER seen. And so it should be! It holds 4 Guiness World Records! I think it was Fastest (150km/hr), Longest (2.5km), Highest, .. and something else. There was hardly any people at the park, so line-ups weren’t bad at all: 10-15 minutes, maybe. People were apparently going to a festival in the city later that night, so the park seemed very empty compared with most places in Japan. We went on almost all of the good rides. Oh crap! I just realized: Pat, Ben and I never got a chance to get super wet riding the crazy “Shoot the Chute” because we arrived a bit later. =( Oh well… looked super fun, though. After doing all the potentially stomach-tossing rides that we wanted to, we had lunch, and did a couple more after. Then, we decided to go to the big water park.

Ben and I got split up from the rest of the group at this point, but we had lots of fun riding the inner-tube slides and a couple regular slides. The weather was perfect, and so was the scenery… eheh. ^_^ It’s weird, I hardly saw any overweight Japanese – especially girls. They do exist, but not in the water park, it seemed. Eventually, we ran into the group again, and we went on a couple last slides, the fake river that used ocean water (filtered, I hope), and left.

After getting dressed, and some grabbed something to eat (I resisted with all my might, as the day was already SUPER expensive) only a few of us… okay, everyone except for the French people, went on a couple last rides. I really wanted to stay longer, because the park was looking cooler and cooler the darker it got, but it was good we left. We (Ben and I) actually had the easiest journey ahead of us, because everyone else was either from Osaka or near Kyoto, and Nagashima is near Nagoya. I bought a “chili dog” from a bakery in Nagoya train station, and that was pretty good. After we got to our last train station, (after switching a couple of times – I really have to do this on my own, some time), we got on our bikes and biked back to the dormitory. Home, sweet home! I sorted out a couple of things, had a BATH (so badly needed), and here I am. For some reason, it seems like I have SO MANY things to do! I have to organize my trip to Tokyo this upcoming week. I have to do school related and student loan related paper-work. I have to iron my clothes. I have to download pictures from my camera. Many more things, I’m sure….

Today was lots of fun! However, it easily cost over 10000 yen with travelling and food.

It’s now 12:47am, and I really REALLY do not want to iron. I want to sleep. What an exhausting weekend! Usually, I like to have one day of rest before going back to work. Not getting that, this week. So tired. Maybe my shirts and pants will just have to be wrinkly… can’t say it bothers me that much. =)

Just got back from Sanyo Solar Ark Festival….

Holy crap! I’m SOO CUT!

The festival was awesome! Some of the nurses that we met last week came and hung out with us for a bit. Also, Sanyo has these festivals every year (apparently) and every year they hire brazillian dancers. I’ve heard of the term G-string before, but never “T-back.” They’re similar. And man did these girls have six-packs!! Very nice! But, the best part was getting totally wasted with everyone! Initially, Ben, Alex, and I, took part in a couple LARGE shots of Kumashochu (the 25% poison that has actually started to grow on me) before we left. This made our spirits high very quickly! In fact, for those that really know me, you’ll know I do not like beer. There was no sake or any other alcoholic beverage at the festival, so I started drinking beer. And other people (co-workers and such) started buying me beers. So, I drank. I drank so much, that eventually, the beer actually started to taste good!

But I’m a little worried about Ben. I think he may have drank too much. He was knocking over tables and cursing a lot, by the end of the night. Ben was more gone than I was, but…

I repeat: I am wasted!
Bath time!

Lying on my bed typing….

Japan Time: 9:00am, June 27
Vancouver Time: 5:00pm, June 26

I finally made it. The trip itself, turned out to be a little more adventurous than I had planned, however.

When the plane landed in Tokyo, I had an hour and fifteen minutes before I was suppose to board the next plane (to Nagoya). However, I was getting conflicting stories about my luggage. In Vancouver, they told me I had to pick up my baggage in Tokyo and check it in all over again. I had to do this so as it went through the Narita customs. So, I’m following this massive crowd of people to the baggage claiming area, and this Japanese airport guy tells us to go down this other hall… in Japanese, of course. I swear he was looking directly at me when telling everyone to go down that hall. Well, that was away from baggage claims, and in the time I figured out I really did have to go pick up my baggage at LEAST one more flight-full of people had lined up to claim baggage. I knew I would not have time to do whatever it is I had to do. I also got confused about International and Domestic flights. Anyways, I lined up at a help-desk (took many tries to get the right one) and explained my situation. They were very nice, spoke very good English, and got me transferred onto the next flight to Nagoya. I took Kato-san’s (the one who was going to pick me up) cell phone number out of my wallet, got someone to assist me making the call with one of Haseeb’s calling cards (arigatou Haseeb!), apologized many times, and had time to spare.

Two highway tolls (totalling 1000yen ~ 12$CDN) and 30 minutes later, we were at the dormitory. The Sanyo Solar Ark is pretty cool – that’s right across the street from the dormitory. First thing I noticed: the smell. Second thing I noticed: it wasn’t pretty. I was sweating profusely by the time we had found my room and hauled the luggage up there (5th floor, no elevator). Kato-san was extremely nice; he asked me if I was hungry and how much I could eat. I said, “a little,” so he took me to a convenience store to get something to eat. I got out my wallet and paid for my stuff (warm lemon tea and Japanese pickle sushi) right away, because I’m sure he was going to. Maybe I just should let him, but he’s already done (and is going to do) so much! He’s taking me out for lunch today, and then there’s a welcoming party for dinner with me and a few other interns and new employees. Anyways, Ben had left a welcome note in my locker so I went and knocked on his door after saying bye and thanking Kato-san. Just then, John stepped out of the door next to Ben’s, and they gave me a guided tour.

After saying goodnight to Ben and John, I spent a long time unpacking until I was satisfied. I really wanted to have a bath, but first, I had to use the toilet. There are three stalls in each bathroom, two bathrooms on each floor. First stall I looked at scared me: squat-toilet. Second stall: squat-toilet. Oh great, I thought, I’m gonna have to learn how to use one of these…. Thankfully, the third stall turned out to be a westernized toilet. If you don’t know what a squat-toilet is, it’s basically a trough in the floor which you squat over and do your thing. It’s got the same flushing function as a regular (western) toilet, but you never touch it. Even with the westernized toilet, there are water soluble paper covers to place on the seat. Yes, it took me a while to figure that out. And there’s nothing to dry your hands with! I will have to get a hand towel or something.

It was somewhere around 2:30am Japan time, and I had not gotten more than 4 hours sleep over the last (couple?) days. But, I forced myself to try out the bath, because I needed it. Badly. The baths are very interesting. You sit (naked) on a small stool with a hole in the centre, facing a mirror. There is a shower head in front of you which you use to get yourself wet and wash yourself with. Surprisingly, I didn’t seem to mind this, at all. However, there was no-one else in there at the time (there is no such thing as a wall in Japanese baths, it seems). There is also a deep, piping-hot bath in the same room as all the stools and mirrors. And I mean HOT! It must have taken me 5 minutes to get in that sucker! No wonder Japanese have no hair, they scold it off! I felt much better after the bath, and went to sleep shortly after.

Waking up this morning, I immediately turned on the air conditioner in my room. Slowly, I got dressed, slipped into my glossy green slippers that were provided, and went to the cafeteria for breakfast. Lucky for me, Ben and John were still there to tell me what to do! I had scrambled egg with bits of ham in it, a bowl of rice, and a bowl of miso soup. That filled me up and cost 200yen (about $2.40 CDN). I’ll probably just get the egg or the rice and soup (unless I’m *really* hungry) in the future.

I *did* end up forgetting something else (I had previously forgotten the AC power adapter for my laptop, but my big brother was kind enough to drop that off at the airport); my CD player’s AC adapter!! Now the 17$ rechargeable batteries are useless. Oh well, I don’t imagine I’ll be using it much. I can just buy regular AA batteries here.