first off, why aren’t more of you online at early (10-11 am-ish) so i can harass you from japan via my super-secret aim name? sheesh.
another thing, i think that there must be a law or something saying if you want to stay in japan you have to ride a bicycle, because everyone rides one. and since everyone rides one, they’re EVERYWHERE. on a side note, all the people driving cars seem like they’re going to crash into people on bicycles, and vice versa, and the people on bikes are going to crash into people on foot, and vice versa, and the cars are going to crash with people on foot, and vice versa. so the rule for japan must say “must be able to ride bicycle, and must be skilled at not-crashing into other stuff.”
anyway, today was a bit more eventful than yesterday. i watched some japanese television while i waited for kittenchan to wake up, and after she was up and while she worked on her application for school i walked down to the local 7-11 to pick up some food for myself for breakfast. i got a cup noodle, an apple pastry, and an apple soda (i thought that it was apple juice, but it turned out to be soda… imagine apple juice with the slight afterbite of ginger ale).
we went to the post office and mailed some letters (i mailed my thank-you notes from christmas – since they were about getting money for christmas which helped finance this trip, i decided to mail them from japan ^_^), and then we went to kyoto and got me some maps and guides in english, and stopped at the international atm so i could get some money, and then lisa gave me a quick course in how to buy tickets / figure out which platform to find trains at, then she went off to school, while i figured out how to get to nara.
i planned to go there to go see daibatsu, a huge statue of buddah. on the way there, though, i found out in the guide that the place closes at 4:30 and i was going to be arriving there at 4 pm, and it was recommended that people arrive a half-hour before closing time. since i didn’t know where it was in the first place, i figured that i’d spend the day figuring out where it was, so when i returned to the city on another day i could get straight there. after i found out about where it was, i walked through some shopping bazaars and poked my head in the shops that weren’t closing. i found an anime store that was kinda hidden out-of-the-way and browsed around, and i was able to find in there a cd of the azumanga daioh soundtrack! ^-^ i saw other azumanga daioh stuff in there too, but i only got the soundtrack.
another place that i poked my head in was a sega arcade. they had a bunch of games in there, and a bunch of photo booths. i just pretty much poked my head in, looked around, used the bathroom i discovered in there, and left. ^_^; i also went to a store that sold books / magazines / comics / cds / movies / video games. i browsed the magazine, manga, soundtrack, and video game sections before leaving there to find something to eat.
i wasn’t really sure what i wanted to eat (i had seen a mcdonald’s and a kentucky fried chicken, but i didn’t want to eat at either), so i wandered around and found a place called “mister coffee”. i was able to order in japanese (the menu was in katakana, which made it pretty easy to see what they had) – “アメレカンコーヒーとチョコドナッツおねがいします。” – and only had a little mix-up with the coins for payment, but we managed to figure everything out. ^-^
after eating, i took the train back to kyoto and from there on to takatsuki to meet up with vond. we wandered around looking for where to eat at, but we couldn’t make up our minds, so when lisa got out of work we all went to eat chicken curry. after that we made our way to brian’s dorm where i got to meet the dorm-father (told him in japanese that i was a student, but brian had to tell him how long i had taken japanese classes ^_^;), and he showed us the common room. we then got food for breakfast and rode our bikes back here.
tomorrow i think we’re going to be exploring around osaka and see if we can find the international hostel office so i can see if i can get a membership card so if needed i can stay in a hostel next week.
let me see if i can get my camera hooked up and pictures transferred, and if i can then i’ll make another post about some of the things i’ve seen so far. otherwise it’s bedtime. ^_^