Or, at least, not too many crazy stories.
Monday I felt a little sick...
so I spent the day doing not much of anything. Went to class, handed in homework. Our professor seemed to be completely out of sorts with us, and so was short with people, yelled at someone for not getting rid of their gum, and then seemed to lack enthusiasm for any of the excercises he was having us do. I think he lost hope for a day or so that we were going to learn anything. Or maybe he just had a long weekend.
We, of course, made ourselves feel a little better by going a single stop along the train line away to find a little "authentic" Irish Pub that serves fantastic fish and chips, guiness on tap, and has one bartender who's a sweet Japanese woman and another who's a green-mohawked tattooed Japanese guy. The five of us fell in love with the place and shared all our food with each other. I was happily surprised to find that they had cider on the menu too, so I even had one of those becuase I was feeling better. We decided we're going to keep the little pub, even if it does serve the weirdest (but tasty) concoction of spaghetti in with a salmon cream tomato sauce. It's good, I promise!
After that though, I went to bed early in the hopes that I'd wake up feeling fine the next day.
Sadly Tuesday was really more of the same...
Part of the reason I worried that I was going to catch a cold was that half a dozen people in the program are alternatively coughing (without covering their mouths - UGH) or saying that they're beginning to feel sick, so I don't know if I was being a hypocondriac or contracting what was in the air. No one seems to understand the value of opening windows and letting in sunlight either, and that's not really helping the germ situation.
For lunch I tried to get a healthy sandwich from the little cafe that's in the same building as our classes - but the center is FULL of people now and everyone has their meetings in the central building, so the only things they had were fresh hot dogs. Which were actually really good, but not quite as healthy as one would like. Imagine a hot dog with tons of melted cheese, with a line of ketchup on top of the cheese and some peppers (red and yellow) and thinly sliced onions on top. Like I said, weird, but good.
After the afternoon class was over I actually went back and took a nap in my room until about 6 pm. It was pretty weird waking up, but apparently I needed the rest because I felt a little better. Megan and I went over to the other side of the street where the restaurants are (we've got an overpass we have to use, and it sucks) and got bento box stuff and some things from the conbeni - among them green tea so we can make it here, since the only food type appliance we have is this thing that will heat water for us. Gotta love these four star accomodations.
We spent the rest of the evening doing homework and practicing kanji for our quiz, and went to bed. Yep, exciting time in ye olde Japan tonight!
On Wednesday, though...
A little explaining - so far Megan and I have been watching the various troubles and turmoils that most of the people here are going through with a bird's eye view. We're both attached and so we are staying as far as we can from the squabbles, the romantic (and not so romantic) hook ups, and little pitched battles of who likes who. It's really nice to be out of it and to watch it all going on around us. Sadly, however, two of the people who we both really like are kind of romatically entangling themselves in each other (ok, that's not the sad part, they're really cute when they flirt). The sad part is that there's a lot of emotion bundled up into these last several weeks. The program's atmosphere creates a kind of intensity and urgency to everything. What we do here can be fleeting, or it can profoundly affect us. For some people that's happening romantically too - or they want it to.
You see, the best thing about Megan is she's seen a whole bunch too, and she's got a damn fine head on her shoulders as far as advice goes. So the two of us have tried to offer a sympathetic ear to ... well, to the people we like. And since we both like Johnny and Tebo (yep, it's a girl's name, not that you'd be worried about that), we've tried to give 'em both someplace to bounce things off of. And yes, I'm using the we. That's how it goes these days.
Last night, though, was the night that Johnny's emotional damn kind of burst. Or something like that. We had really great conversation, we decided that we needed food (and drink) while we were doing it, and so we went back to our little Irish pub that we'd found earlier in the week, and proceeded to have some pizza. And some white russians. And perhaps Johnny was outpacing me and Meg just a little bit... but we had a rollicing good time. Johnny's the kind of guy who makes friends with anyone (and he happens to be better than us at Japanese, although that doesn't quite become apparant after as many drinks as he'd had), and so he talked to the green-haired guy about his tattoos, we introduced ourselves to the guy and the girl at the table beside us and discovered she works in an architecture gallery in Ropongi Hills (and she gave us an invite to their showing, so we're all going out there next week probably) and he is a web designer and has fantastic taste in hats. It was giggly, hilarous, and fun.
Right up until we had to go home, and then Johnny's alcohol level hit critical mass and he became, as we termed it towards the end of the night, a walking penis. Yep, the worst kind of drunken American. Luckily we were only a stop away from NYC and we hustled him back home before he tried to chat up too many poor Japanese women. Not that he didn't still make friends, because on the way to our side of the complex he managed to befriend a bunch of Mongolian kids who are staying in the youth hostel on the NYC grounds. Still... I'll get the pictures from Megan, and you guys can see. It was a little scary.
So after all that I made it to bed in mostly decent time and definitely decent shape since while we were trying to wait out some of Johnny's antics we had plenty of time to rehydrate ourselves.
Thankfully, today was much quieter...
I slept in a little this morning. We took our vocab quiz, and then proceeded through grammar checks. We're doing "tara" which is really conditional (things like "if you were a superman, what would you do" kind of stuff and had a great time making up answers to silly questions. And of course, one of them was "if you were a man/woman, what would you do" and since we've apparently all mentally 16 year olds we laughed and giggled and wondered how we could say "we'd have sex" if we were turned into men. Yes, we're dorks.
This evening Megan and I were good little munchkins and did our homework and then went out just the two of us. As much as we like other people, I think we were both trying to actually just have a quiet evening, and so went to Shinjuku for some dinner and for another shopping trip. I thought I'd be carrying my backpack everywhere here, but I'm really not, so I needed a purse that would actually fit my camera and camera case. And we got a bunch of souvenirs tonight too, and spent a couple of hours shopping and then ended up in this little ramen shop that was super tasty. Basically just a counter that streached around an open kitchen, so we could see these big vats of noodles and stuff and the guys who make everything. It was super fun. I finally got a picture of Shinjuku at night, too, and I haven't uploaded/downloaded it to the computer, but I'm thinking it's going to be cool. We also had our orientation for Nikko, and Marius (our cool RA) mentioned that when he went last year he took over 200 pictures when he was at Nikko, so Megan and I are clearing off the computers in preparation.
And that's all the updates from here. The classes are so busy that the days are streaming by. Next week I'm going to try to get research done, since I kind of crapped out this week. But that's all after the Nikko trip! Yay Nikko!