Journal Entry: August 9, 2013

My first home-cooked meal!

My first home-cooked meal! In Japan, of course. I was quite the cook back in the states, I’ll have you know.

2013年8月9日の日記

To be a child again, in more ways than one.

JAPAN JOURNAL

6:00 am – Oh man! Just heard a song called something like 「朝からいいきぶん」 on a show called “Hook Book Row”. Can’t forget this. I don’t care if it was a kid’s show song. It was great!!

Maybe because I could understand it.

6:35 am – Already took a bath this morning. Rice is being made. Going to scramble an egg and mix it in for a simple but good breakfast. I’d have the natto, but I want to make sure I have some 辛し on hand before I delve into that mess.

When I woke up at 5:00 this morning, I looked at my clock and thought ‘too early’ again. I’m sure I’ll get out of that habit sometime soon. When I go to bed between 8 and 9, it can’t be helped, I guess.

Going to play videogames / study all day today until Riku comes by with my hanko. With a hanko I’ll be able to get a cellphone and internet, either of which will make my life significantly more livable. I mean, it’s pretty livable right now, but if I want to get in and out of Sendai, I’ll need that communication ability. Just understanding the buses will be a good start.

As I sat in the bath this morning, I thought about how nice it would be to be in a relationship again. Maybe it’s too early to want that? I reasoned in my head that I needed to settle down and have my feet in the ground (and my Japanese well off) before I start any romantic journeys. Gotta be all set in the head before you move forward with something like that. It’s a little strange being on this side of things again, without a girlfriend, but I need to follow my own advice. No using a girlfriend to fix anything in my life—just improve on something already great. But is there anything to fix right now? Besides my lack of communication devices I mean. 笑

9:35 am – Playing video games is hard when you have to translate all the time. And yet, I can see my progress so easily. Not just in EXP and items, but in Japanese. New words come up and even if I don’t understand them, I can read them, making them 50x easier to look up. I’m tired though, after playing. Guess all I can do now is watch some more TV.

2:05 pm – Yuuichi came by today and gave me my hanko! よし! It has probably the coolest kanji combination for my name: 城主. With it, I opened a bank account. When Riku comes by at 4:00, I’ll be able to get a cellphone too. The day gets better and better. It’s nice knowing when Riku will come. Now instead of being on effective house arrest, I can go eat and explore some more.

I encountered a particular problem today that I never thought I’d have: problems with Japanese etiquette, specifically when to use 挨拶. For instance, at the bank today, I met the mayor of the town. In English, naturally, I’d be able to handle myself just fine. In Japanese I’m a bumbling idiot. To some degree it’s expected of a foreigner such as myself. However, I’d like to correct it.

Well, to get some lunch! Hopefully Marumitsu is open. I’d like to try it.

Thoughts

Marumitsu is the ramen shop I found previously, and like everything here, it’s only open for lunch, from 11:00-2:00 or so (as the Japanese say, 11:00-14:00). So, spoiler alert, it wasn’t open. It took a long time to learn when I could or couldn’t go.

I think it’s funny the confidence I thought I’d have if I encountered the mayor in English. Would I have really been so well-spoken? Maybe. When your language is really lacking, however, you want to believe that in another situation you’d be better. But that’s not always true.

As for why I was surprised that etiquette would be a problem, well, I’d studied and read so much about Japanese etiquette. I figured I was good. But reading about baseball and playing baseball are two different things. So I hear. I’ve never done either.

Next time, we return with a cellphone in hand and some exploration. Get ready for some pictures!

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