Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There's No Escape

Dear Self,

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)

Castle walls

A random building but it looks 'Asian' so snapped a shot
(3) While taking pictures, I started to hear some brass instruments (trumpets mostly) warming up their instruments.  Very curious and very desperate for music, I followed the sounds until I found a marching? band practicing with a cheerleading squad some cheers and dances for what I would assume is an upcoming sporting event.  I pretended it was a free concert and sat down and listened.

(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.

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