Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finally after a few weeks of waiting, I have regular internet in my dormitory room! It's so nice to have reliable internet access, though I have sadly discovered that I am unable to watch American television online due to my Japanese IP address. Looks like I need to find something else to do besides watch television...

Classes started this week, though for right now I only have a single class made up of myself and two other students. It's nice to have a small class size, but I feel like I'm in a tutor-session more than an actual class. Next week, I should start my Japanese language course, but there is a significant scheduling conflict I have to resolve before this week is out. It seems I have been have really bad luck with online systems, and registering for things. This is the second time I've done something online, and there has been a major error not on my part. Other than that, my life has been fairly laid back, and I've had a great time.

My lab members have invited me to join their Badminton club. They play every Monday and Friday afternoon at the gym on Ito Campus. I went last Friday, and it was a lot of fun, though I had no idea if I was on the losing or winning side since I couldn't understand the person calling the matches.

Here are some photos of my lab members at my initial introduction party and a BBQ. They're a fun group, but I'm still getting to know them. We also had a feral cat come up to our picnic table looking for food. The cat was not friendly but I managed to get one nice photo of it:

I was also able to explore the city a little more with one of my friends, Momoyo. She was an exchange student at my college sophomore year, and I was so lucky she came to see me! Momoyo took me to Tenjin, the big shopping district of Fukuoka. We rode the subway to Tenjin, and ate inside the subway station's shopping mall. Train stations in Japan have little shopping malls built into them, with several floors of clothing, goods, and restaurants. I thought this was odd, but it's common at the big train depots, and they are good places to walk around and window shop. I managed to take some pictures of dinner and the inside of the 'Hello Kitty' store. It's amazing how much stuff Hello Kitty has.

 It was a really nice visit, and I had a lot of fun! I just wish my campus wasn't so isolated. It takes a long time for anyone to come visit me because the Ito campus is so far out in the country.

I was also able to meet with Taku, a friend who was also an exchange student at Berea College. He was fellow foodie and donuts-enthusiast back a college, so we spent the whole time looking at cooking goods and eating food. We even went to Mister Donuts, which was an exciting goal for me to accomplish! Mister Donuts is the equivalent of Dunkin' Donuts in the United States, but their menu lacks my all-time favorites of jelly donuts and lemon filled donuts. Hopefully this will be my worse case of culture shock. Sadly, my batteries in my camera were dying when I was with him, so I was unable to take any pictures. I will, however, say that I really owe Taku a great deal of thanks! As a welcome present for me, he brought a large quantity of cooking supplies, and even bought me a few things so I would be able to cook. Only a  fellow foodie would understand my cooking withdrawal! I am really missing my full-sized kitchen and oven.

The next coming weeks should have some fun things planned! I have a science department girls party next Friday, and then a Halloween Party the following week. I also have to go to the Hospital Campus for health check up on Halloween! That should be fun!

I'll post more soon!

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