The next few days slid by quickly. I spent Saturday watching my downloaded TV shows from home, breaking midday to go shopping for basics with Gabby (which was surprisingly fun). I slept in on Sunday, then headed to Sakae with Tom and his girlfriend (who’s studying at nearby Nagoya U) to get his phone, which took longer than it should have due to a minor issue. Afterward, we split and I went to Akamon to hit the game center and use my point card to get free Mega Kebab.
Monday was our first official day of classes, which sounds impressive, but the semester hasn’t started yet for the ASU regulars, and we’d been to campus a couple times already. My first class, at 9:30, was kanji I. This wouldn’t be a problem for me, only I was told that day there wouldn’t be a kanji III class (despite it being listed in the catalog). I’d asked for the Kanji II book on Friday, so I got it with the kanji I book, both of which are made by the instructor. They seem to be designed for beginners, without listing stroke order (that’s on the homework), meanings, or readings (except as furigana for that specific lesson). Tom, Natascha, and I were joined by Marta, the only one of us who was starting from the beginning.
Our second class was also pretty easy, and over pretty quickly. Rather than head back this time, we were joined by Risa and Oka-san from the international office so we could go to the Meito-ku Ward Office and register for health insurance. This is very useful in Japan, because not only does it allow you to offset medical costs, but it acts as a solid form of identification. The paperwork I received had told me I had to sign up for it, but if I was going to be here less than a year, I couldn’t (i.e. you have to get this, unless you can’t get this). Oka-san assured me I could still get the insurance, though, so I went ahead. What followed was a long wait, much like tyou’d get at the DMV, but we finally all got situated (which meant we’d have to come back in a day or two with the postcard they’d be sending us) and took the bus back. Later that evening, I slipped out to ヤマデン to get a memory card for my phone (so I could store music and more photos) and had a bit of CoCo Ichiban for dinner.The following day was our second day of classes, including 華道、or traditional flower arrangement. I’d dabbled briefly in this at Kindai, but just for an hour or so. This time, it’s a weekly class. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take it at first — it’s an elective, and not required — but there was nothing else I could take opposite, and I figured it was worth a try. As it turns out, it’s not hard, the teacher’s really nice, and the time goes pretty quickly. I figure I’ll learn a little something and get a couple extra credits along the way.
By evening, the two rumored Korean students had finally arrived. It hadn’t been so long since we’d all been new, so we welcomed them and hung out in the TV room. They’re not here for the same classes we are; they’re here to take regular courses, and therefore don’t start until the 24th. So-Hee, the Korean girl, had a little bit of the whiskey Jaime left me and went to bed, while Jun, the guy, had quite a bit more of the whiskey and stayed a lot longer. They seemed pretty nice, and after some conversation, we all eventually broke for bed.