These are pictures of our view in the morning, after the storm but before things started to clear up. To the north/west is a national park, Craig can run to it in 10min so we're closer to one here than we were in Bozeman, you can see the forested hills in the picture.
To the south east is Osaka and further urban sprawl.
The island with all the cranes is where Craig works, it's called Port Island. You can sort of see them against the clouds; it is out in the water a little ways. With public transportation it only takes him about 1/2 an hour to get to work.
The background of the blog is our view once the sun came out.
Craig headed off to RIKEN this morning with Naoko. She lives in the same apartment complex as we do so they can commute together. I'm at home waiting for our varies deliveries. It is easy to feel like I've accomplished a lot when I've done very little. The internet guy just finished setting up our modem and I feel like I just climbed Everest. First he called to confirm someone was home, I think. I understood “internet” and “today” which he said in English and he understood “anytime” which I said in English, so he showed up about 20min later. I pointed to the room, he got it working and then tried to explain somethings. Between two dictionaries and a sort of English help line through the cable company I was able to figure out that in one week they will mail us our ID and password so we can set-up a J Com email address. I also figured out that we need to provide the LAN cable so I currently have a working modem but no way to hook it up to my computer – so close yet so far. I didn't even think to pack one. I called Craig and asked him to buy one on his way home. In doing this we discovered that he listed my phone number on all of his RIKEN paperwork because our numbers only vary by one digit and he got it backwards. We have cell phones that have English interfaces but not really. If you want to add someone to contacts you “register” them and further instruction is in Japanese, so are the buttons on the phone and they are too small for a helpful cartoon. We figured out how to call each other but still don't know how to text or see texts that have been sent to us.
I managed through two more phone calls from delivery men and received out refrigerator etc. I met Craig at the train station at the bottom of the hill and we tried finding some more restaurants. We ended up back at the noodle bar. We are literally across the street from Kobe University and just 5min from Kobe Women's University so you'd think there would be a stretch of road with bunches of cheap restaurants and other college-y type things but we haven't found it yet. We managed to tell the woman at the noodle bar what we wanted instead of having her come outside with us so we could point at the picture. We also tried grocery shopping. From what we can tell grocery stores are just grocery stores, no cosmetics, cleaning supplies etc. Eventually we will have to figure out were to buy that kind of stuff. They had bento boxes of sushi for what seemed to be reasonable prices, little containers of fried squid, and various other prepared pieces of seafood that all looked delicious. We ended up adding yogurt to our usual list of fruit, juice, and crackers. We will eventually have to go down there with a dictionary since going by appearance is only getting us so far.
Once we got back we decided to set up the wireless router and finally get internet. Well, remember how I said we have one light, it was not in the same room as the internet modem and it is such a pain to hook up we tried doing everything by flashlight. This should have been an easy process but we were tired, working in the dark and translating directions. We could not get it to work and Craig did figure out that the router company does not support English help calls. We decided to go to bed at that point.