Health and nutrition.

The following day, a few of us left from school to go back to the Meito-ku Ward Office. We’d received our postcards the day before, so we could finally head over and register for health insurance. Everyone else had set up a bank account for transfers, since they take neither cards nor plastic at the Ward Office, but I’m not gonna be here long enough for a bank account to be useful. (I’m starting to think I should have decided to come for a year.) Unfortunately, due to my Japanese program’s policy of Not Teaching Many Words, I was at a loss to understand what the hell was going on, which was extremely frustrating. The Chinese girls with me had a handle on things, since their Japanese is miles above mine, but I honestly couldn’t get what the office guy was saying, and the school hadn’t sent anyone with us this time. They explained it later; it seems that if I don’t have a bank account, I can go to any post office or convenience store and pay there, but only after I get some other document (hello, Japanese bureaucracy) in the mail. Regardless, I got my registration card, so if I get hit by a bicyclist and knocked into the path of an oncoming car, it’ll cost substantially less to reassemble me. Afterward, we stopped at a 100円 shop, where I bought a container to use as a bento box and a pair of plastic chopsticks with a case to eat said bento.

Incidentally, at lunchtime, two of the Chinese girls (Sai and Isou) had offered to cook some traditional Chinese cuisine for me. I accepted, of course, so around dinnertime, I found the two of them hard at work in the kitchen. I have to say, they were very generous. Rice, thin-cut potatoes and carrots, and more, separated into three or four dishes — it was all really good, more so because they’d made it for me and ate with me. I provided the beverages, my fridge usually full of Coke Zero, oolong tea, and the Olympic-themed British Lemon Tonic (which is on its way out, it seems). We had a really nice dinner, and I helped wash up. I couldn’t have asked for a better dorm.

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2 thoughts on “Health and nutrition.

  1. I think learning extra words is something you can do on your own time if you have a good dictionary. I wouldn’t blame the school’s program. I think It is better to learn other things in class other than just vocab. In my opinion, anyhoo.

    • It’s not extra words, it’s words. My home university’s Japanese department head has the philosophy of “you’ll learn vocabulary when you go to Japan,” which is ridiculous. Without vocabulary, you can’t have more than the most elementary conversation. The only reason I can get by is from picking up words here and there on my own, and I’m still sorely lacking.

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