Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-11

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The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I have reposted them separately, as they were meant to be.

Small Victories

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

I have successfully explained binary and how to count in binary on your fingers to a Japanese person who has no computer programming experience. You have no idea how awesome that felt. I can feel the power of the Japanese language growing within me daily. Soon, I shall conquer the universe.

I mean, be fluent.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-10

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

More News

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

It’s been a week since I updated this… o.O Holy Hand Grenade, it HAS been a week. Well. Let’s start with…

Taste-O-Meter!

Natto
Natto up close. Fermented soy beans. Definitely an acquired taste. (Photo by Jasja Dekker.)

Natto: 3
Ever since I got to UAF, I’ve heard about natto. It’s slightly fermented soy beans. Generally, foreigners come to Japan can’t stand the stuff. I’ve heard horror stories about how the first thing people wanted to do after putting it in their mouths is to spit it out. I did not have that problem. Maybe it’s my faulty nose making my taste buds think the wrong thing, but I just found the taste to be… interesting. I don’t really want to eat more natto, but I’m sure that if I had to eat it every day it would quickly become palatable, then tasty. Foreigners who’ll eat natto are rare, so Sayaka wanted a picture.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-9

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

Finishing Up the Official Stuff

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

I met Sayaka-san the next day after her first class. We went to City Hall again (by foot this time since there was no rush) and got me a piece of paper that will serve me as a substitute alien registration card until I get the actual card later this month.

The Japanese post office is one of the largest banks in the world. o_Oa (Photo by sekihan.)

With that, I was able to get a post office account and a bank account. These are both savings accounts. This is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve seen here. I couldn’t get a cell phone without a savings account at the post office, but I can only pay my bills to the city government through the bank. What??? I like how the latter works, since it streamlines your bill paying to the one office. The former really boggled my mind until I looked at the ATM books I got and realized that the post office one looked a little more formal, considering the fact that the post office had officially sealed my hanko into the book.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-8

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

City Hall

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

Ishida-sensei gave Sayaka-san money for a cab, since there was only an hour until her second (and last) class of the day. We first hoofed it to a place to get some pictures of me taken (I’ve gotten my picture taken more times in the last three months than in the preceding year, by the way), then took a cab to the city hall.

Japanese cabs are funny-looking. Like American cabs, they have lit-up signs on top. However, they also have antennae (often v-shaped) symmetrically placed on top. The drivers all wear gloves, though there’s no standard glove type. One thing that’s really awesome about them is the fact that the driver can open the passenger door at the push of a button.

Surprise Koto Lessons

"Koto Strings". Photo by Adam Chamness, licensed under Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA).
This awesome koto photo was taken by Adam Chamness.

We got some alien registration stuff done, then went back to the school. Sayaka-san had her class, and I got to go to my first class. I had indicated an interest in music, and there was a traditional Japanese music class at the same time as Sayaka’s English class, so I went there. It sounded interesting; history, studying the forms, appreciation.

PSYCH!

How about, “Let’s play the koto?”

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-7

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

Now What?

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

View from the window
This was the view out one of my apartment’s side windows. If my illiterate reading of the sign behind the fence at the end of the block was correct, this used to be a landfill. I wouldn’t trust that translation, though, if I were you. (Photo added to post on June 23, 2010.)

At this point, I was tired. But it was only like 15:00! So I decided to work on this blog post. I did that until I got to my recollection of waking up in the hotel room. Then I realized if I was to hand-wash my clothes with time for them to dry, I needed to do that. I’ll tell you what: hand-washing your clothes in a kitchen sink with no drain plug is interesting, especially if you’re using cold water ’cause you don’t want to use the gas to heat the water and are not wearing much ’cause you’re washing most of your clothes.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-6

Posted on
Bright Green Gaijin Pants

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

Yay, I Have Stuff Now!

Originally posted on October 16, 2005.

So after that, Nei-san drove us back to my apartment. We pulled up to unload my loot and discovered that a guy had shown up to turn on the gas. We took all but the futon upstairs and let the guy in to do that. There was a lot (and I mean a lot) of dust inside the heater until it was turned on. :P After the gas guy and the girls showed me how to work the stove, heater, and water heater (You have to open and close the valves to each before using it, and the water heater works so fast that you don’t have to turn the power on until you want to use it), the gas guy left and we brought the futon upstairs. At this point, Utsuki-san and Nei-san took their leave to allow me to rest/set up the place, with my thanks for their help. ^^

This is the first time since I got to Kushiro that I had taken any pictures. I could have gotten pictures of the stores, but didn’t really want to while I was doing heavy shopping. So here’s my apartment, empty.

This ended up being the corner where I did most of my living. That box in the middle of the picture was the only heating in the apartment.
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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-5

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My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them separately, as they were meant to be.

Operation: Lena Needs Stuff

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

So I met Nei-san. Nei-san is a fourth-year biology student, with a car. She took us to my apartment to drop my stuff off, then the three of us went shopping. We got a lot of things to get me started here, general necessities I was without either because I had no intention of bringing it or because my baggage didn’t make it. Stuff like a futon to sleep on, food, dishes, and soap.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-4

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

Haha! Finally in Kushiro!

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

Hokkaido University of Education, Kushiro
This is the college I went to when I was in Japan. If I recall correctly, I took it while leaning out one of my apartment’s windows. Angle looks right for that. (Photo added to post on Jun 23, 2010.)
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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-3

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

On to Kushiro

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

When the alarm went off, I reset it for 4:35. When it went off again, I reset it for 4:40. Then I got up. I did morning things, then went down to the lobby. Before checking out, I got on line and checked some Neopets stuff, as well as sending an e-mail to everyone to say, “Yo, I am alive.” It seemed like my contacts on gmail did not include someone, and it wasn’t until I got to the part about the hotel key card in writing this that I realized that for some reason, Zeal was totally not on there. Sorry, Zeal. m(_ _)m Did Gokuiroth tell you? :s

Anyway, I checked out in time to catch the 5:40 AM shuttle to the airport. No lateness again for me! Everything happened smoothly. The young woman at the ticketing counter seemed to be in training, but there was no slowdown of services. Even if there had been, I would have been fine with it. I usually am fine with new trainees, but even if I wasn’t, the service I had received the day before was so good that I’d have been patient anyway. At one point they informed me that there was a flight change charge. It didn’t surprise me, so I was like, *sigh* “Hai.” Then they told me the charge was 100 yen.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-2

Posted on
The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

The Hotel

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

One thing which is just flippin’ awesome is the key card I received. American hotel key cards each have a magnetic strip, which is somehow swiped in the door to unlock it. This key card did not have a magnetic strip. The door did not have a place to swipe it. what it did have was a shiny black dot about an inch in diameter above the door handle. When I moved the key card in front of said dot, the door unlocked.

What’s even cooler is that just inside the door was a little fixture on the wall that said, “Please insert card. When I did, the lights turned on.

light_switch
Best light switch ever.

Sweet-tastic. So I plopped my stuff on the bed and looked around. Let’s start with the bathroom.

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