It was one thing for the kid in the lab from California to have heard of the University of Virginia - and why not, it's a pretty famous school. It's quite another though when you just happen to glance over at him and find him preparing a presentation on Jeffersonian architecture and looking up the Rotunda on Wikipedia. Thought you could escape TJ in Japan? Think again.
A few anecdotes:
(1) Knowing Kanji while speaking no Japanese does have some amusing benefits. For one, the word for ‘emergency exit' in Japanese is actually the Kanji for 'Extreme door'. I was staring at the exit yesterday and those characters and trying to figure out what they could mean in the context of Japanese.
(2) Now that my luggage came in, I have clean clothes. Yay! So I went running yesterday. Yay! And ran/hiked up to the Aoba castle. It was so beautiful that I wanted to cry. I went back later and took pictures.
|View of Sendai from the top of the Castle|
|A Gate to the Castle|
|Gate and the Castle walls (they were about 5 feet thick)|
|A random building but it looks 'Asian' so snapped a shot|
(4) One of my lab mates asked me if I had experienced any earthquakes since coming to Japan. Even though he asked the question in clear English, I was confused. I'd only been in the country for three days! Turns out, Sendai experiences earthquakes about three times a week.
(5) In all of my wandering, I still have yet to find a map or a grocery store. It's a good thing 7-11 sells good food or I'd be starving by now.