Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 6 May 31st

This morning, in the light, we discovered, in English, the words “login” and “password” with sets of letters and numbers below each written on the side of the router. All we needed to do was enter them into our computers and we had internet. If it hadn't been dark last night we probably wouldn't have missed that.

We went back to Midori, the appliance store to buy an electric water kettle, rice cooker, and washing machine. Unfortunately they can't deliver the washing machine until June 9th so Craig's working on navigating google maps in Japanese to try to find a near by laundromat to get us by. They don't seem to use dryers here, every balcony either has clothes hanging from it or a set-up to do so. We're wondering if the laundromat will have dryers, it would be weird if it didn't.

We had our very first authentic Japanese Bento boxes for lunch. That whole spread only cost about $12. We thought the salad on the right was vegetarian but those little white bits had eyes so presumably they were fish. The soy sauce came in a little plastic fish shaped container. It was all pretty good. We think there was squid, shrimp, salmon, eel and some other stuff and shrimp tempura and some other stuff. It is a good thing we don't have food allergies because we've probably only known about 70% of what we've eaten since we got here.

Craig had to head back to Port Island so I took the kettle and rice cooker on the bus and managed to hit just about every person on the bus with the boxes when it was my stop – I'm doing a great job representing America.

I am trying to kick it up a notch in the wardrobe department. I am very happy in my sneakers, jeans, t-shirt, and cardigan but all the people here dress up. Of course we are surrounded by universities and there are constantly students walking around. I haven't seen a single woman under 60 in sneakers or any other practical shoes. Black tights or stirrup pants seem to be all the rage. Short skirts are prevalent, with knee high socks too. I figured I'd be taller and rounder than most women but on the street I don't feel taller because I'm in flats and most everyone (including some men) has on heels. The styles also seem to be designed to hide a lack of curves, lots of flow-y tops. If you go to down town the number of people in conservative navy suits is pretty impressive. We read that high school is very stressful and starting a career is stressful so college is when Japanese people cut loose. So, we figure anyone in a school uniform is in high school, navy suit in their late 20's and up, people with practical shoes are senior citizens and the 20 somethings are fashionistas.

Craig found a “koinrandori” laundromat that did have rather expensive dryers to use and yoga studio on the interwebs so we headed back down the hill. After successfully navigating a new part of the our neighborhood we picked a restaurant for dinner. We hadn't seen any with helpful pictures or models so we just picked one that looked good. It turned out to be a place specializing in okonomiyaki, a speciality of Kansai which is the region we're in. It's basically a pancake consisting of cabbage, egg and whatever else you want to add. I picked “tako” squid and Craig picked "buta" at random. Turned out it was something like bacon – he's got skills. They were very good “Oishi deshita” the wait staff always gives me an 'oh that's so cute' smile when I attempt Japanese. The table had a grill on it so they put your food right on it to keep it warm while you're eating it. The other picture is of a bus we passed that was made to look like a dog, the sides even had spots.

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