Thursday, November 27, 2008

A moment of quiet reflection

Sorry for not updating last night - the internet at my place is a bit dodgy and the kids were up late so I didn't get time last night. I also haven't had the chance to upload any photos because I can't seem to get online with my lappie... >.<

So, we had our orientation and campus tour at uni yesterday. It was pretty cool. The university is really pretty right now, all the leaves are turning and they’re all red and gold and pretty. The grounds are so clean and tidy! That’s one thing that I’ve noticed about Japan – everything is really tidy and clean. Even the dodgy little alleyway our hostel was in was clean, not littered with rubbish everywhere. The trains are clean too. Devoid of rubbish and gum and whatnot that you’d find on Australian trains. The recycling system here is really really good. They have bins for everything – bottles, cans, paper, plastic, and “dirty” rubbish. Also, there’s hardly any waste over here – if you don’t eat all your meal, someone will finish it off for you. Food waste is quite rare.

During our tour of the campus, we went to the library. It was SO COOL! They have electronic shelves that slide in and out, and a whole wall devoted to English literature, and a whole room full of antique books – antique in the real sense, that of more than 100 years old. It was amazing!! We were shown a collection of handwritten books, and scrolls, and were even allowed to handle them. It was brilliant!!

After our campus tour, we decided to hit the town. Amagasaki is really nice. It reminds me of some of the biggish country towns in Australia, like Shepparton or Golburn. It’s quite flat, and the CBD is smallish. We went to a hyakuen shop – a 100 yen shop. 100 yen is about $1.50 AUD, and they have all sorts of cool stuff there. It was located in a store that had a supermarket on the ground floor, and a department store – kind of like Big W or Best and Less – on the second and third floor. It was quite a modest affair for a Japanese department store. It liked it – they had some jackets with the most wonderful Engrish on them.

So, we spent some time checking the hyakuen shop out, and then it was time to go home. I managed to find home on my own, which was good, because I’d hate to get lost here!! I don’t even know the name of the street I’m on! I’m going to ask my family about that tonight…

Oh, I haven’t said much about them, have I? My host mother’s name is Miki, she’s 43 and she works at the university, near the computer lab where I tend to spend a fair bit of time. She’s quite lovely. She visited Brisbane when she was about my age, about 20 years ago. My host father is Sogo, he’s 34 and is a Net work Connections Consultant (or something like that). He works quite late most nights, and I only met him last night by chance because I was still up checking my emails when he got home at 11pm. He’s pretty cool too. My little sister is Saki, 9, an elementary school girl, and my little brother is Kaidai, 2. They’re a lovely family.

Well, now, I think that’s about everything. Don’t forget to check out my photobucket for photos!!

Missing you all!!


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