The Past Week…

 

Went indoor rock climbing (bouldering) today after work with a bunch of colleagues.

I’m back! Actually, was back from Kyushu a week ago. Just didn’t have the time or mood to blog about anything (many things happened in the Kyushu trip, one of them is losing half of my precious photos! So I’ve been trying to recover them these days after work). I know I have tons to catch up on… so hopefully I can get some posts out of the way this weekend.

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Foreigner’s life in Japan – Part I: Settling down

I am alive! I know, it’s been one full week since I’ve arrived… but it was almost like I vaporized into thin air. I totally didn’t expect this (think Murphy’s law): no internet, no cell phone, closest pay phone with international calling is at city hall (which is closed on weekend BTW). But I finally made it to this day, of course, I kinda have to pay premium for it. Otherwise, I can only surface two weeks later… this story deserves another post.

Anyhow, without internet, there’s no entertainment at my dorm. So I have been sleeping really early (11pm) and waking up early too! At least I feel my lifestyle here is much much healthier than in Vancouver… too bad this all ends from now on XD

Without further ado, I will stop babbling now and go straight to (pasting) my daily (offline) diaries…

Day 1 (Jan 30th). Foreigner Noob

It’s pretty self explanatory, please look at the photos.

Nice meal on JAL, dessert is ice-cream! The drink is plum wine by the way =)

It all began with a 9 hour flight on JAL, which I spent 80% sleeping and the rest watching a documentary about pandas.

A photo of my luggages as I was waiting for the N'EX train at the airport.

So after 2 hours on Narita Express, I finally arrived at Yokohama station. Can’t believe how many people there were at the Yokohama station, could barely passed through the flock of people.. Reminds me of Hong Kong’s Central MTR station, except Yokohama station is busy like that ALL THE TIME! It took another transfer for Keikyu Line to reach Yokosuka Chuo station. A-san (my supervisor) was really nice helping me with luggages. First thing he did was to bring me to my dormitory, and gave me a brief tour of my home for the next 7 months. My dorm room is on the third floor (girls only) with locked entrance- pretty safe.

My tiny apartment...

My desk area.

Empty bed.... with old mattress

Small kitchen with stove.

After that, we went for dinner around the area (he treated me!). I ordered squid sauce spagetti (which is black BTW), bad mistake… because I had to try my best to talk with my mouth shut the entire time. After dinner, he walked me back and lent me his phone to email my parents about my safe arrival. The day pretty much ended with me unpacking+cleaning the room.

Toilet looks like this after cleaning...

Organized desktop which looks like a dumpster now....

The bed is kind of soft, but I don't really care.

I really have to thank my colleagues who lent me their fridge, microwave, water boiler, and bike (coming soon)! My supervisor too, as he (probably with his friend) carried the fridge all the way to my room (no elevator at my apartment) and delivered other appliances to my door.

Man, it's just sooooo convenient to have microwave... though I've been eating out mostly.

Day 2 (Jan 31st). City Wanderer

Natural light shines through in the morning...

It was my day off before work began, I woke up with sore arms in the morning. First thing I had to do was to get my Foreigner’s ID (a.k.a. Alien card or Gaijin (外人) card) from the Yokosuka City Hall. It’s a nice 15 30min walk from where I live.

By the sea wall...

I chose the path by the ocean so I could enjoy the fine view (to be honest, I was actually lost, that’s why it took half an hour lol).

The city hall... The process was not smooth as they asked a lot of information which I didn't know, at the end had to spent 200 yen calling my supervisor.

After the alien registration ( need to pick up the ID in two weeks), I wandered around Yokosuka Chuo (横須賀中央), the downtown of Yokosuka. Yokosuka is a small city, so is its downtown… because I am already really familiar with the area now. =P

What "downtown" looks like from outside of the train station.

There are a few malls, a slot machine/arcade place, many restaurants, some shops, and two (that I know of) 100-yen stores…

One of the malls...

As you can see, the streets are quite empty.

Despite the area’s size, there are many good deals…

I bought this jacket that was on sale for 1980 yen (originally around 4800 yen).

In fact I bought so many things that I was struggling to carry everything home!

Need to rest up a bit to before heading home...

At the time I was already addicted to the 100 yen stores, so I went back and forth to Yokosuka Chuo three times in that day!  Little did I know there’s actually a 100-yen store nearby my place, although I still haven’t got time to visit it yet!

Look at the receipts, that's just how crazy I was.

Mostly just living supplies... I actually bought other stuff such as bloom, bucket, etc. Too lazy to photograph tho...

For lunch, I went to McDonalds… I actually walked in with the sole purpose to fish for free Wi-fi, however, I didn’t feel too good sitting down w/o ordering anything… So I got what’s on promotion that day.

My first lunch in Japan, MacDonald's it is!

To my surprise (not), hamburger is simply with a piece of patty- no cheese, no nothing.

To my frustration, there’s NO GODDAMN wifi!!! I tried Starbucks, NO EITHER! I later learned that Japan’s WIFI is similar to lunch…. there’s no free lunch in this world, right? XD

Cute bowls at a store that remind me of my grandparents...

On the way back to my dorm, I wandered around stores near by: Uniqlo (meh, don’t really like Uniqlo in Japan), a store similar to Home Depot, LIVIN (a 24 hour supermarket, where I bought some essentials and food)…

Cute pink cooking set for less than 1000 yen from LIVIN...

My bento dinner, and I didn't have microwave at the time... so I ate it cold. I'm sure it would've tasted so much better if heated.

I also bought some Onrigiri for 64 yen each as breakfast for the coming days.

At around 8pm, N-san, my neighbour+colleague who went to Tokyo for a work trip came back and visited me. We chatted a little and scheduled a time to meet up next morning so we could go to work together…

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Though I am thrilled to have internet back into my life, I’m just too exhausted right now… Will continue part 2 tomorrow after work.