Saturday, April 2, 2011

New friends... Maps... and Walking

     So, I walked today. A lot. It was nice out though, all things considered. Plus, I learned the location of the university (on my own). Right! I have yet to explain where I am at this time. I had some time away from the internet. Actually, the how I am connected now might change in the next few days, but until then, I will be using the web.
     After I left the Narita Tobu Hotel, I returned to Narita Airport to wait for the delegation/collectors from Tokyo Gakugei University. The hotel required that I check out by 11:00 am, and the representative from TGU were not to be picking us up until 2:30 pm. With the gap of time I was expecting a boring wait. Luckily, after looking around at Narita, and then returning to the arrival gates, I noticed a sign that read, "東京学芸大学 — Tokyo Gakugei Daigaku." As it turned out, TGU was there, and shortly after I boarded the bus to travel to the dormitories.

Tokyo Bridge

     I was aware that the ride would be long, from the airport to the dorms in Kodaira, however, I did not expect quite that long. It took roughly two and half hours by bus. The trip was made better by the fact that there was plenty of room, and the bus afforded a good deal of leg room, along with reclining chairs.
     Upon arrival, through an interesting process, I was given direction and a guided tour. Now, I have been working on this whole "Japanese" thing for some time, and that would suggest that I should understand the language.... But, I was so lost. So much Japanese, all at once, with no clear awareness of whether or not I had understood correctly left me somewhat nervous. After being shown my room (not that bad at all) on the 8th floor, along with the shower, kitchen, laundry, etc., I went back to my room with an invitation to attend a welcoming party at 8:00 pm. First, I went out on my balcony and took in the day, and the view. I proceeded to unpack and read a multi-lingual handbook on the dormitory community. It didn't  take long for me to realize how tired I was, and I started to take a nap.

     I woke up at 7:50... Although I rushed to get ready, I arrived right on time. I was greeted by many people, all in Japanese. I think I will not be able to use my English all that much, for the best, I believe. I was treated a plate with rice and curry (with what I believe was mussels and other seafood in it). At first I basically stood in the corner, avoiding having to speak with anyone to any large degree. In all honesty, I was absolutely terrified. Everyone spoke very quickly, and with so much slang, in addition to various accents. Thankfully a few people took time with me. I was surprised at just how warm people were, and how willing/eager to meet others and introduce themselves. My only dislike of the evening was that with all the names I heard I remember maybe five of them.
     By the end of the night, after more alcohol than I had anticipated drinking, I think I made some friends. A special note, not a big fan of the Chinese liquor I was given.

Riding The Bus

     I woke up somewhat late, though I'd prefer to believe it was a result of jet-lag, not drinking. I cleaned up, and decided that I would attempt to learn my surroundings. What started as a whim turned into a very involved day. A day that ended with more than 10 km (over 6 miles) underfoot. Though I was slightly tired from the experience, I am happy to report that I located the TGU campus, as I stated at the beginning. Not only did I discover it, I was able to check and see how long it would take to walk it. Comparing that with the map (below), I have an even faster method in mind. I understand that I can take the train, but that would still involve walking to and from various stations. I figure, enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.

View My Saved Places in a larger map. Though, there might not be much to see. :)

     I hope to take more pictures soon, but with the next few days schedule unclear, I cannot guarantee much of anything. After today, however, I need some rest. With that, an update concludes. Also, please comment on any of these posts, it makes me feel good. Thanks!


  1. I'm happy you arrived safely! To go to TGU, I strongly recommend you to buy a bicycle! It's not so cheap, like 7000 ye, at least, but I'm sure it's worth paying. It helps you a lot in any ways!!

  2. I am so glad that things are going so well for you sweetheart. I look forward to more of your blog postings :)

  3. What is the weather like there?

  4. Michael! I'm so glad you're having such an interesting time. I know just what you mean about being terrified of using another language. Japanese is SO much harder than French, but I went through the same thing. Best thing I ever thought to use was "Slower, please, my "French" isn't very good yet." Believe me, people did listen and it became fun.
    Thanks for the updates. I hope that's the last aftershock for a loooooong time!