So I’m in Tokyo. It’s a big fuckin city. Extremely dense. Period. .
I flew over in the beginning of this week. The plane ride wasn’t too bad until the last 2 hours or so, by which point I had developed some pretty severe eye strain and could barely keep my eyes open to find my way to the dorm. Thankfully I ran into someone else going to the exact same place as me on the plane and we made the trek together.
It’s quite an adjustment going from rural and semi-rural Virginia to one of the most densely populated cities in the world. I miss nature pretty hard, but it’s interesting seeing all the dense little clusters of garden and plantlife that people throw together in their tiny living spaces. I will say that the one park-type area I saw was gorgeous.
There’s been a ton of things to accomplish: Apply for alien registration, open a bank account, get a cell phone (otherwise there’s almost no way to keep in touch with people here), keep myself fed, turn in a thousand and one forms to Keio’s various departments, pay rent and housing fees, buy essential items for apartment living, figure out the train system sufficiently to navigate at least the small area of city I need to, oh and get a commuter pass.
I havn’t done a lot of those things yet, some are particularly difficult because the people I must talk to only speak japanese. I think today I want to walk to Shibuya, and then finish up some homework for classes that I couldn’t finish before I left because I got sick right before I had to fly, something I don’t recommend to anyone.
There hasn’t been too much unexpected culture differences, but as far as Americans go I’m pretty familiar with a lot of Japanese culture, traditions, conventions, and social norms. That’s not to say I havn’t learned anything already, we had an interesting and educational Intercultural Communication workshop for Orientation. There were some pretty useful anecdotes there.
I just finished making coleslaw this morning… pretty coarsely cut, but I only have a knife so that’ll just have to do. Well… off to Shibuya I think…