The Yamasa Excursion.

After about 24 hours of riding in various vehicles, I finally reached my destination: Okazaki. My initial flight left Pittsburgh shortly after noon and landed me in Chicago, where I had a short layover and an hour delay before heading to Tokyo, after which I had another short layover before my flight to Nagoya. From the US to Japan, I sat beside a nice Osaka girl who had just finished studying at a school in Michigan. She was quiet, but friendly, and spoke excellent English (and I didn’t bother her with more than a few Japanese words). In-flight movies I chose were Chronicle (vaguely disturbing), The Social Network (entertaining), and The Adventures of Tintin (fun).

I was doing fine until an employee at the bus station misinformed me as to which bus I needed, forcing me to take an unplanned train ride for about a dozen stops. Once I arrived, the coordinator I’d spoken to online said he’d talk to me later, and to take it easy today, while another gentleman drove me to the student village (i.e. the dorm). The nice lady who oversees this part of the dorms showed me around and explained Where Stuff Was (e.g. kitchen, showers, rec room).

I desperately needed to brush my teeth and get a shower, but I had one problem: I hadn’t brought any towels. The guy I’d been talking to online had been very helpful in answering questions until I asked him if I needed towels, and my suitcase was pretty full, so I didn’t pack any. The lady who showed me around gave me three little towels that she said were so old that when I was done, I should throw them away, but they’re barely adequate for body-drying purposes. Thus, I’m in the market for a towel.

I also met two of the guys who live in the hall with me: Eugenio (from Puerto Rico) and Andy (from Seattle). Eugenio gave me a spare bar of soap he had, since he’d bought three for 100円 and hadn’t even finished one yet. Eugenio’s here for the regular program — unlike the flexible one I’m taking — while Andy’s actually finished and just living here. I’m guessing it’s because there aren’t a lot of students here right now, and an occupied room pays more than an empty one. These are technically supposed to be shared rooms, but we all seem to have them to ourselves for the time being, with at least one empty room.

Post-Arrival Dinner: A small sausage, beef-rib onigiri, a cup of popcorn chicken, and a bottle of royal milk tea.

Classes don’t start until Thursday, and no one’s told me when I’ll take my placement test, so today will be the day I use to learn the local area, shop for some necessities, and mostly take it easy from a long day of sitting in vehicles and having my inner ears assaulted by pressure changes. The building is right behind a convenience store and a laundromat, which is pretty handy, and a 100円 shop is never far away in Japan.

There, nice and wordy to sum up my arrival. I should suit up and go get some breakfast, a pair of slippers (for the dorm), and something to dry with after a shower.

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