Okazaki 岡崎

Currently: Awake and dreading the walk to class.

So after flying halfway around the world and then taking two different trains 2 hours to a Japanese town of ~400 thousand people, I call the Japanese language school on a pay phone and with my crappy Japanese I explain who I am and that I just got to the station, and they tell me (after having to switch to English for my benefit) where to meet my ride to the school.

This older Japanese gentleman (who speaks no English) flags me down at the meeting point, and we load my stuff up into his van. I get in next to this other guy, older than me, apparently another student. We strike up a conversation, and it turns out that even though he’s originally from Cuba, he a) went to the University of Texas for college, b) currently lives in San Francisco and c) went to the SAME Japanese language school in SF that I did. We spent the rest of the ride talking about how cool all the different teachers are.

So far my experience with the school has been pretty good. The people working there are very friendly and helpful, but most don’t speak English, or don’t speak English well. This is very good for immersion purposes, but if I have a question or an issue it’s a barrier. My apartment here is…functional, I guess. I had a fight with the air conditioner last night, and we eventually came to an agreement at about 2am. I thought that it was broken and only pumping out cold air (on a night when the temp dropped to freezing). Turns out that I had accidentally hit the wrong button at some point. Since all the buttons are in Japanese, and the functions weren’t really clear, I guess I ended up having a cultural misunderstanding with a home appliance. Anyway, it was good for my jet lag, because even though I woke up a few times, not wanting to get out of bed is a good way to catch up on sleep.