So, today… I know this is the second post of the day, but I feel that a lot has happened that I should write about. After I got breakfast, I went to see what I needed to do in order to stay legally in Japan. I was told to visit room F106 to fill out forms to get my Alien Registration Card (ain’t that an awesome name?). So to kill some time until my appointment, I went ‘sploring and found the building where you can sign up for the APU Co-op, which offers lots of discounts on travel, food, books, et cetera. So I signed up and then bought some stuff I needed from the store right next door. Also, I discovered that my room was supposed to have an ice tray but that the last resident stole it. So I had to go to the Housing/Security Office and request a new one. I then got locked in for a brief period of time because I didn’t know how to get the door open (you have to flip a tiny switch that’s on the door), but luckily someone came along and helped me. I also found two pianos in the lobby of AP House 1 (I’ll have to ask about whether or not I can practice there).

After all that, I still had more time, so I checked out the cafeteria for lunch and got rice and a brick of chilled tofu for only 140 JPY (that’s about 1.65 USD). Note to Americans and those unaccustomed to the unique taste of tofu: it’s gross chilled. Really, unimaginably gross. Drown it in soy sauce and try to ignore the feeling of chomping on fermented slime. Don’t get me wrong, I love tofu, I eat it multiple times per week; it just was not meant to be eaten cold.

Something interesting about Japanese cafeterias which you may not have known: they have little sinks at the entrance/exit that you use to wash your hands both before and after eating. The hand soap at this one looked, smelled, even sprayed kind of like Windex, but it got the job done. Also, when you take your food from the line or request something from the cafeteria workers, you’re supposed to bow as you take it and humbly thank them. Not really deeply, or over-dramatically, just a quick bend of the shoulders and an “Arigatou gozaimasu.” And if you take something from someone or offer someone something, always offer with both hands if possible. See how much I learned today alone? xP

Today was the first move-in day for Japanese freshman, so I’m seeing a lot more people around campus. My roommate arrived, too, though we haven’t actually met yet since she literally just got here and is still unpacking. The actual campus itself is bustling away… did you know that in Japan, if you’re late, it’s perfectly fine or even expected that you run to get there faster? I saw many people running this way and that way, looking very intently busy.

I was all excited about the vending machines (have you seen them, who wouldn’t be?), but as it turns out most of the stuff offered in them are actually Coke products. No kiddin’. There is one Glico machine in AP House 1 that sells “Forever Seventeen,” a type of ice cream that’s actually more like a candy bar I think, since it looks like it’s a wafer shell stuffed with ice cream, chocolate, and toppings. I’ll have to try one eventually and get back to you on that.

After I had my lunch, I went on a mini-adventure quest type thing trying to find the designated classroom (there is no English on the building labels) and had a ball (can you sense me rolling my eyes right now?) filling out the mountains of paperwork that are needed to get a registration card. I got my kanji crossed and wrote four times that my birth year was 2012… This greatly amused those responsible for checking over the paperwork. I managed to get through it, though, and afterwards returned to my dorm and am now writing this.

I think I’m going to go wander around campus some more and find the library, maybe play some basketball. I’ll write more tomorrow.

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