Monday, 18 August 2008

I Come Bearing Omiyage

Not really. But I am back from quite a busy end of the week. Were I able to, I'd have posted an update over the weekend. Because as it is, I still have nothing to do at my apartment and so my weekend itself is barely worth mentioning.

On Wednesday, I went to K-town to get my pensioner booklet -- all workers in Japan automatically have a compulsory fee deducted towards their pension -- you can reclaim the first three years' worth back if you leave the country; my health insurance card -- the government of Japan pays 70% of health costs here; my keitai -- cellphone -- I got the latest Sharp, the SH906iTV -- unfortunately, I don't have my email set up or have an understanding yet of the contract I have signed into :/; and my alien registration card, which must be carried with me at all times whilst in Japan.

I stayed overnight at Candice's so that we could take the train to Kochi City in the morning. We wandered around Obiyamachi and had lunch at Hirome before the prefectural orientation started. It was good to see people again whom we hadn't seen since being in Tokyo.

Most people that were staying in the city were staying at the Kochi No. 1 Hotel. We all got checked in and then met in the foyer to go to a beer garden, for all you can eat and drink. I just saw it as paying towards other people's booze, because I sure didn't eat 3,400 yen worth of food. Either way, it was a good time.

After the beer garden, most of us went to a bar in Obiyamachi. It was a new environment for me. I went for conformity's sake. I managed to last until 12am when I decided that sitting around doing nothing wasn't enjoyable and I could make an inconspicuous exit -- which I did.

Friday was a long day. We covered everything from what to do in a distaster to things to do throughout our prefecture. There are a lot of places to visit here and there will be a lot of stuff happening over the next year. All in all, the biggest thing I took from the orientation was a list of questions to direct towards my supervisor and the schools that I will be teaching at.

After orientation, I grabbed one of the CIRs, Simon, and we walked towards the station, then turned East. My intention was to find a computer store. We asked in a music store for directions to the store I had heard about, and continued walking. Simon's Japanese is fluent and it amazed me each time he talked to a Japanese person. I want to be fluent one day!

Well, we continued walking for a long time, wondering where this place was, when we decided to stop at a ramen restaurant. They told us that we had passed it by about half an hour! What n00bs we felt like. Anyway, we got a taxi back to the store and I ended up not being able to get a suitable laptop at the time. However, the clerk gave me a catalogue of Windows laptops, which I looked over later.

I felt bad about dragging Simon all over Kochi like that, but at least we both got some exercise. The taxi driver was also kind enough to stop the meter while we were inside the store and took us to the station after our little stop. I met Candice at the station and we took the express to K-town. I decided to stay over at her place again on Friday night and take the train home in the morning.

On Saturday morning, I wandered around K-town a bit. I got some drawing supplies from Ryubi and sat around at the station for a while until my train departed for Taisho.

After getting home, I cleaned my apartment and then just spent the rest of the day resting, watching tv and drawing.

Sunday was just as uneventful as Saturday. I really wish that I'd been able to get a laptop, but here I am on Monday morning, happy to be alive. ^^ I walked around on Sunday, having slept in (I didn't go to church because the train was too early -- I will try and get a ride in future, but Michael is still away on holiday in Fukuoka), and took some photos. I promise that I will put all of my photos up when I am able to.

I visited Maiko at the izakaya last night to pass some time. I also did a little more drawing, some Japanese study and watched more Olympics on tv. Usain Bolt is fast!

Now it's Monday. I need to get all of these questions answered by my supervisor, and I need to find out the prices of these laptops, then possibly order one so that I can go to Kochi and get it as soon as possible.

I hope that this week will be a lot more productive than the previous few slow days in the last two weeks.


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