I saw a place called "Condomania" today. And it was exactly what you think it was. A mania of condoms. Dear Japan - I love you.
Ok, no fun photos in this post because I STILL don't have the internet at my apartment and I'm currently using le internet cafe computer. The internet cafes here are amazzzzing! I get my own little private cubicle thing and a free drink bar comes with the price of admission, and I can order Japanese curry to my cube if I so desire. Oh and I can smoke. BONUS.
So I've been doing lots of stuff. Mostly just around my town (I technically live in Sakura, not Katsutadai) and I've also been unpacking. This past week I went through some work training and taught my very first class on Friday afternoon. The kids here are insanely cute. Although, they really like boobs. I guess western kids do too. You hear them say "oppei" (breasts) a lot, especially little boys. Apparently, they also try and stick their fingers in your caboose if they like you. Little pervs. But they're cute. When they don't understand what you want them to do in class, they do this cute little head tilt thing and it's precious. I bet in a couple months all this will be not cute at all. But I'll take the newness of teaching kids at face value for now.
As far as how I did...I think I did ok. The week before summer vacation was a lax teaching week, so the teacher I shadowed didn't even have a lesson plan It freaked me out. I'm an over-planner by nature! So i just winged it and it still went pretty well. I'm a bit nervous about teaching the adults though...but oh well. We'll see next Monday I suppose.
I met another fellow co-worker (and my neighbor), Courtney, and she's really cool. I'm pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of the MIL teachers that were here before me. I also got to meet Nathalie from London last night, and that was really fun. It's good to have friends here when I've just been in Japan a mere week. Especially ones that know more Japanese than me and can help me learn! I realllly need to get to studying my kana. It would make things much easier.
Today I went into Tokyo for the first time by myself. I started out in Ueno, and then rode the subway all the way to Harajuku, and then to Akihabara. It was an amazing day. In Harajuku, I went to this gyoza restaurant recommended by my Frommer's and it was incredible. Best restaurant that I've been to in Japan thus far, I'd say. For those of you who don't know what gyoza is, you've most likely eaten them before...they're those dumplings that you can get at pretty much any Asian joint in the States, God it was good. I also had some cucumber with miso sauce, white rice, and some cold sake. It was muy yummy. I'll post a picture of the restaurant interior later.
After that, I went to Kiddy Land. Omg. As soon as I walked in, I saw a huge stuffed Totoro doll in the center of the store. I nearly squaled aloud. Needless to say, they had a massive collection of Ghibli stuff. I almost spent ￥2000 on a stuffed cat bus doll, but I refrained. Instead I got Blake a cute little Kodoma charm and a soot sprite pin for myself. Can you tell I'm a huge Miyazaki fan? Total dork.
I also got a watch in Harajuku, because I don't have a cell here and I was tired of not knowing the time. After walking around for a bit, I decided to go into Akihabara (aptly nicknamed "Electric Town") and it was INSANE. It was nightfall by this point so everywhere I turned there was neon and electronic stores with gadgets beyond anything I could possibly fathom. There was a place called "Sega Club" which was basically like an arcade where you can play Sega games and such. At this point I was really missing Blake, because I'm pretty sure he's going to shit himself when he sees Akihabara. I'm so glad he's coming to visit me early 2010. We're going to have so much fun. I want to go to the Ghibli museum like, NOW, but I almost feel I should save it for when he comes in so we can both see it for the first time together. Eh, we'll see.
Oh, and something crazy happened! I was in one of the many many electronic stores in Akihabara, and I felt my first earthquake. They happen all the time here, most of the time it just lasts for a few seconds or so. I was looking at Apple accessories and they started to shake! I looked at the store clerk and he seemed pretty non-bothered by it, but I exclaimed to him in English, "That was my first earthquake!" I don't think he understood, but dammit, if I knew how to say it in Japanese, I would've done so. Crazy.
I don't remember if I put it on this blog or not, but I bought a pedometer before this blog or not, but I bought a pedometer before I left the US and vowed to try and walk 10,000 steps a day. So far today, I've walked 10,973 steps. And I still have to walk home, which is another 2,000 or so. And I don't even feel that tired...I'm proud of how good I'm doing.
So I'll post pictures later from today's excursions. I may go into Hakone/Mt.Fuji area tomorrow, who knows. I'm being really indecisive about where to go this week!
Sexy: My new watch is white and it looks like I bought it in the future. And by "future" I mean the 1980s. It has a Marty McFly kind of feel to it.
Unsexy: This stupid Japanese keyboard. And wishing that all my family and friends could be here to witness all this craziness with me. Get here now! All of you!