Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. Things have been picking up very, very quickly... in fact, I don't have nearly as much free time as I initially wanted- either I need more downtime than most people or my classes really are just too much for me at the moment. I think I am getting used to the pace of these "intensive" classes. They amount to a chapter out of the book a day, which is around thirty to forty new words, their kanjis, and four to six pieces of grammar. It's fantastic for my Japanese, but destroys any and all free time since I am also trying to maintain an active social life while I am here.

I took another big trip to Osaka yesterday after a Friday night of Izakaya. I visited a few of the famous consumer districts of the city, bought the things that I wanted, and got out. This took around five hours, of course. Later on I ended up in a weird part of the city called "American Town" which was appropriate since I was with a bunch of Americans, but there wasn't really anything American about it. However, there was the first time I was openly accepted and received by Japanese youth on the street, which was pretty gratifying. At this point my Japanese is functional, and only that, so of course I couldn't exchange much with them. It's always a struggle, but I think I'm on my way here.

Anyway, I went home after the group I was roving around with decided it was club time, and barely made the last train back to Kobe after barely making the subway train from the south end of the city (Nanba) to get to that train. It was a pretty uncomfortable train, but it beats staying out all night. It's weird, how this party rhythm works here. In my college town, the bars close at 2:00... after this point, you wind down the night somewhere else and go home. Here, that doesn't exist. You either start drinking at 8:00 and continue until 5 in the morning, or you do the smart thing and take the last train INTO the city to go to these places. Like I said, I am trying to maintain a social life here as well as an academic one, and a happy medium hasn't really presented itself (living in Kobe, it may never do so, since I have to commute to Osaka) and right now that leads to not getting enough sleep, which hurts my schoolwork, and so on....

On the bright side, I found a Subway and what looks to be a fairly non-Japanized Mexican restaurant within easy walking distance of the main Nanba station in Osaka. Subways are all over Osaka, apparently, and of course the sandwiches arent quite the same and you can't get free refills BUT it actually tastes like a real sandwich and doesnt cost an arm and a leg. It was pretty awesome.

I would upload pictures from the past little while but when I tried to do that this morning my computer froze up. I've got a bit too much to do tonight to try to solve the problem, so I will see what I can do tomorrow night...

That's all for now. Hope everyone is doing fine.

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