weill in japan: day 43
The presentation is over, my report is ready for printing, and there are
just two days of class left. Will anyone actually be in class to see them?
My morning began in less than glorious fashion as I left the house after
7:30 AM. With both my backpack and laptop bag, I had to hustle to the train
station with a lot of extra weight. I barely made it onto the 7:49 AM train,
seven crucial minutes later than my ideal 7:42 AM train, and arrived with
time to catch the 8:09 AM bus to ICU. (The next bus after that leaves at
8:23 AM, which would get me into class about 15 minutes late.)
prep had mixed results: I was unable to use the inkjet printer at home to
print to transparencies, so my only other choice was to print on paper for
later photocopying onto transparencies in black-and-white. Minutes after
leaving the house, I realized that the classroom has a TV with RCA inputs, and
there was an S-Video to RCA cable in my drawer at home. D'oh. I could have
done the presentation straight from my laptop had I remembered to bring the
Only eight people out of the 13 actually showed up today, our lowest level
yet. The five absentees will likely not be seen through the end of the
program. It's a sad end to the program, but everyone saw it coming. I'm
more interested to see if any more people skip out tomorrow or Friday.
Presentations went fairly well, although it's still not much fun to sit
and listen to people talk for two hours at a time. Although I didn't have my
laptop video cable on hand, I realized that the three photos I would use in my
project were on my digital camera. I had the cable for that on hand, so I was
able to show pictures vividly on the TV. That earned me kudos from the other
students and visitors.
I brought my laptop with me to type my report on campus, expecting the same
throngs of students that I saw earlier in the week. That turned out to be
unnecessary: most people seem to be done with projects for the most part, so
I could have gotten by with my memory device alone. In any case, I was able
to get my report typed up on campus to avoid having to do lots of work at
Money is holding up well. I forgot to carry a one earlier in the week, so
I actually have a slightly larger budget than I expected. That means more
money to spend on essentials like beverages, video games, and Famicom badges.
I bought another capsule today, this one of the "Donkey Kong" title screen.
My collection now includes five different designs out of the 15 offered.
The heat is still bearing down on Tokyo, and my heavy backpack doesn't
make matters any better. I felt very weak after walking home with all that
extra weight on me, despite eating a filling lunch on campus. A one-hour
nap refreshed me before dinner, but I think I should save a little extra
money for buying some 900-milliliter (30.4 fluid ounce) bottles of Pocari
I miss chocolate milk. You can obviously make it by yourself at home, but
it is not sold pre-mixed in convenience stores or vending machines. Instead,
coffee milk is extremely popular. It is not as good as choco-mik.
Another drink you won't find in Japan: root beer. Just like in the U.K.,
many children's medicines were made to taste like root beer years ago. When
companies tried to introduce root beer as a drink to the Japanese market,
children hated it because it tasted like medicine. I don't drink root beer
very much in the U.S., so that's not a big problem.
I attracted a couple of people today playing Taiko no Tatsujin. Maybe
they were surprised by a 21-year-old white guy playing a game designed for
pre-teen Japanese children, or maybe they recognized the songs I was playing
There are just two days of class left, and then I leave on Saturday.
I'm trying not to think too much about heading back, but class is over for
all practical purposes. Welcome to garbage time.