Orientation day, take two. Earlier day? Yes. More info? Check. A whole lotta exhausting? Youuu got it! Today was another round of ‘stuff you didn’t know about Japan’, mostly focused on how to interact with your host family and live like a Japanese person. Also some light-hearted exploration of Kansai-ben, or dialect, specifically the sing-songy tone of it. Cool beans, right? We all got handkerchiefs too, which were cute and I have one with a nice little giraffe on it (passed over a penguin one for it though, sorry to disappoint Feff). Very cute and kindly of the AKP staff! Oh, and because I took them here’s the view of my morning breakfast and view, in reverse order.
That wasn’t it though. No, today we all had a mission impossible situation: meet a Doshisha student, have lunch with them, go to/from your host family’s house starting at Doshisha, register as a resident of Kyoto and for national health care, then lastly buy your commuter pass. All in Japanese. Sounds fun, huh? And it was! I mean, there was also a major headache involved, don’t get me wrong. Plus I only understood half of what was happening due in part to my poor comprehension skills/being away from Japanese for so long paired with my sad excuse for hearing abilities. However, it was still super fun, lunch was lovely and my Doshisha student guide was spectacular! Seiko-san is a 4th year student from Osaka and one of the sweetest beans I’ve met. So friendly, so nice in putting up with my limited Japanese and so helpful in maneuvering us everywhere we needed to go. Here’s a picture of us at the bus stop!
I learned that I’m less than a half hour away from Doshisha (praise), I now have a Kyoto-shi bus pass (it covers a bunch of places in the city and is supposed to have cost the same as if I had bought a pass for just my necessary stops, so yay super access!), I’m a resident of Kyoto and I have health insurance x2. Locked in and loaded, can’t get rid of me now 😉 Although sweet jesus, there were various language issues at the residency office, including a huge mishap over how many characters were in my name, them not fitting on my form and me questioning everything I ever thought I knew. After 20 minutes someone figured out that, stunningly, my name is within their 14-character limit, but the ride until then and even just understanding the dang issue was a doozy. Thanks for helping Seiko, serious savior up above^. Oh, and another fun thing about this part of the day? We walked to the host family’s house, as I thought we would, but we had to ring the bell just for them to come out, see us, have us tell them “best regards, until tomorrow!” (明日から、よろしくおねがいします) then peace the hell out. Why AKP, why?!
Once our long day of wandering about wound down Seiko and I parted ways, but we’re facebook friends now so it’s official. I’d definitely love to see her again, and hopefully next time I can be a better conversation partner! Then I ended up meeting Lizzie and Steph back at Teramachi, where we ate at some Japanese restaurant chock full of Western options, such as prosciutto pasta, caprese salad, hamburg steak with mashed potatoes and other interesting combos. I got a caprese salad that was literally tomato rather than greens-based, which was actually pretty good! Plus I got the half-size salad so I’d have room for dessert, which I did and thank cheese for it. Chocolate matcha tarte (チョコと抹茶のタルト) in the house, and Lizzie had tiramisu. おいしかったね！(Delicious!)