Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Journey to the past, present, and future

Hiroshima. Nice place. In fact, it had me thinking whether I was posted in the right city. I like the mountain town feeling of Saijo, but there are some things it obviously lacks. Would I rather be working a more hectic schedule at my school, but rather surrounded by nice restaurants, cheaper food, more access to clothing, furniture and nightlife? Tough call. Let's just say for now I love the city, and I also like running around Saijo.

The schedule that day:

10:00 AM
Oversleep and realize you have a lot to do before going into Hiroshima. As I would explain to my students, I am too lazy to get up on time. Ugh. In any case, the deed is done. I rushed down to the Recycle Mart just past my school and ordered a large wooden dresser I had my eye on for 5,800 Yen. After stumbling through the Japanese to have it delivered (it's seriously a disadvantage if you don't know your address in Kanji), I ran literally over to the tailor's to pick up my suit pants. Some kids had torn the leg off of them early last week. Ugh. Money, money, money. Yenage, if you will.

10:30 AM
The dresser is delivered and carried painstakingly by me through the elevator to my still-dilapidated room.

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
A quick visit to the YMCA so I can get nice and drained (yet buff) before I have to walk around Hiroshima in the sun all day. Good times. I do feel stronger. I can now take on the members of the Japanese Self-Defense Force one at a time. Japan doesn't "officially" have an army, just the self-defense force. This created a huge controversy recently because they haven't been mobilized in decades, and Japan was considering sending them to Iraq to aid in the US incursion. Too bad we'll never know how effective they might have been.

12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Home to shower, realize that the only non-express train to Hiroshima leaves at 2:41. I'm an idiot.

Thus endith the timeline. After that, the Saijo train station, or pretty much any JR (Japanese Rail) station, is easy to navigate. You insert your money to a vending machine, and press the button for destination. They have the option of round trip for most places with a savings of a few hundred yen. I was stupid and just bought two one-way tickets, but next time I'll know better. Usually the Romanji names are listed with the Kanji. No pics this time, but I'll put them up next trip - Saturday.

I have to run to the YMCA before work. To be continued... Here's a preview:

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