UPDATED with parts that disappeared somehow when I copied the text here o_o
Somehow I feel like I will never catch up with this diary, because I’m unable to write every night. I guess it was a mistake to wait more than a week to start with it. Anyway, let’s continue. On Thursday I only had two classes in the afternoon, so I decided to do the compulsory health check. I wasn’t really happy when it turned out at the orientation that we need to have one, because except for taking blood the same things were needed than before applying for the scholarship – x-ray and urine test included – eh… :/ Well, okay, at least no blood was drawn.
I had a slow start in the morning and just when I thought they would have the exams for women till 11:00, it turned out it was just till 10:00, so I was almost running to KyoDai. This was when I had my record time reaching there: under 30 minutes XD; But due to that I was quite out of breath and stressed, not to mention it was a bit hard to know where to go first and how. I got into the room, and it was full of separate machines for the different exams. There were a lot of people at the exam as well, and we were going from machine to machine. Blood pressure was the first one, and it was completely self-service with a machine I have never ever seen in my life – I had to ask a guy there how to actually use the machine ^^; My stress level was already very high, so my result wasn’t that great: generally I’m at 120/something, but now it was like 137/something >< After that there was a machine for weight and height measures and of course I wasn’t sure how to use them either ^^; Although I have eaten less in the first week here and feel lighter, my weight didn’t change that much – I guess all the cakes before I left home did their job on me XD The eye exam was completely automatic as well, but the thing is, I completely didn’t understand the result… Well, I just had 3 eye examinations over the past six months at home, so not that it matters. After that only the x-ray exam was left, fortunately it was fast. I’m not sure when the results will be done, but I will apply for a more office certificate, because it costs 100 yen only, but later it can even cost 10 000 at a regular hospital.
The whole exam took only 30 minutes, so I still had plenty of time on my hands. I went to the Kyoto University Co-op shop near the campus to buy the books we had to. There is the possibility to apply for a membership, and with that you can get a little discount on the books. The fee is 4000 yen, but the good thing is that you get it back when you cancel the membership. So I applied and bought the four compulsory books and one of the kanji books. Even with the 10% discount they cost almost 10 000 yen, which is just… orz The kanji book was especially expensive, and since I took the Basic Kajin II class as well, I had to buy two more of those >< After the disheartening shopping I went to Sujata once more for lunch. This time the main dish was something else, a block of tofu on some kind of a sauce. The tofu had some jelly on the outside but the inside was very soft, for it was impossible for me to eat it with chopsticks – fortunately they gave me a spoon ^^; From the consistence and how the inside had no taste as it was, I didn't really like the tofu, but the sauce was very good – and the rest as well, of course. After lunch I went to my classes. The second ended after 16:00, and I wanted to take it easy for once, so I just went home after that – this time by bus so I hardy needed to walk. By the time I got home I have found the notice about the registered mail with my cash card from the mail man. It was hard to decipher what to do, but I saw I could call them for a rescheduled delivery – well, phoning in Japanese is still impossible for me, not to mention I don't even have a phone, so I decided to drop by the post on Friday and maybe get the letter. That day I also got a mail from Seika that they will have an event for the new international students from 18:00, so the next day promised to be quite busy again.
On Friday I also had afternoon classes so after lunch I dropped by the post office to ask about the registered mail. I was guided to the right window and there it turned out that the mail needs to be re-scheduled for delivery. I had to write my name and address on the paper and we agreed on Saturday morning. If I hadn't been there, the mail man would have left another type of note and with that I could have collected the mail at the post. After researching a bit I found out that the re-schedule can be organized via internet as well, so I won't need to go to the post for that. To get to the post I was walking almost three stations from my apartment, which took like 20-25 minutes only, and looking at the map I decided it would be shorter to just go the same road till KyoDai, instead of getting on the train and then walk a lot again. The whole trip to KyoDai took like 50 minutes walking, and while you can't do that every day, it does save money. The trip was useful too, because (other than seeing more of the town) on the way I have seen a few shops I didn't know about: like a Fresco supermarket with a bakery in front of it, and they are even closer than the one near the Seika shuttle bus! Good for daily shoppings. After my classes I decided to walk back home to save some money and to take a better look at everything along the way. Now I dropped by the Fresco and got some sweets as I didn't really need anything. You can also buy ready-to-go food in such places, and I decided to try the dango XD Well, in won't be my favorite food here, but it was a nice experience, and my breakfast was solved for a few days.
After I got home I didn't have much more time left, so after a short food break I left for Seika. The event itself turned out to be a bit different from what I expected, but not in a bad way of course. So there we were, the foreign students, and there were a lot of Japanese students as well. The purpose of the event was to mix the foreign and Japanese students, and the concept was that they came up to us and asked us basically the same questions starting with the name, where we were from, what we study and such. We would talk a bit and then they would go up to another one. It also seemed like they were told to speak in English? Or they thought they needed to speak English, I don't know, but they were generally trying to practice their English. Me, on the other hand, wanted to practice my Japanese on them, so we were kinda speaking both XD We foreigners were kinda of a spectacle to the Japanese kids (well, for me they were kinda like kids), and we had to pose for photos too ^^; They were also pretty interested in our ages, which I was kind of embarrassed to say, as I'm so much older than the rest, but in the end it gave me a good feeling because they were pretty shocked at the number, and told me how I don't look like it – well, if the ever so young-looking Japanese think so then there has to be some truth in it XD Btw there was some food at the event as well and even I could eat something because they had salad and fried potatoes – yay for potatoes! The event ended around 20:00 and of course there was a long line at the shuttle bus. While waiting another Japanese guy came up to me, who was at the event before as well, so we were chatting while waiting and on the bus. I was already pretty tired, so my Japanese wasn't that great anymore, but the event was good for practice. The Dutch girl and some others went to a bar after this, but I was so tired from all the walking around and the event was mentally exhausting as well, that I didn't go with them. I was happy to be at home again.
On Saturday I wasn't sure what to do, but in the end I decided to walk once more to Kyodai to buy the two missing kanji books and check out the electronic dictionaries as I felt it's a real necessity when living and studying in Japan. The ones at the university store were around 24-33 000, which I thought was too much, but the newer types do indeed cost that much. After lamenting the question and looking around a bit on the net I decided to buy a tablet for the same price instead, as you can use it for more than just a dictionary, and I would need to read 160+ pages of essays in digital form, which my laptop is not that great for, not to mention I can't read on the train with that for example. In the store I finally found a 10 m LAN cable for a good price (651 yen), so I was delighted to finally have one, though on the other hand the two kanji book were almost 5000 yen, which is just :/
My feet hurt from the walking the day before, so I decided to use the train home, and finally got myself to ask the staff about the commuter passes. In the end I could get the one I saw on the net – one month for 7700, which is pretty much worth the money, as one trip to the uni and back cost me 520 yen, and I need to go there almost every day. The pass is great, because you can use it as much as you want, and while it's only valid between two specific stations, I think you can get on and off at any station between them as well. Okay, I didn't try the getting-off thing yet, but I did get on at a different station – though it was unmanned ^^; So I still need to figure this out, but after a week I can say it's great to have a commuter pass~
I wanted to take some photos on the way to the Seika shuttle bus, so I thought I would go shopping there too. The last time I saw there a confectionery as well, and while I wanted to avoid it to save money, in the end I went there and bought two pieces of cakes. Actually they were all looking so pretty that it was hard to pick one, but well, I can go back later as well. Okay, not that much, because the cakes are indeed very expensive, but you can't not discover the cakes of another country XD It surprised me that you can't site down in the store to eat, it's take-away only, which is unknown in Hungary, but here I have only seen such confectioneries so far. Well, the packing and everything is very tasteful and pretty, just how it's supposed to be for the more expensive kind of food. As for the taste, they were both very sweet, and I liked the one with kiwi more. I got the basket-type because I wanted to compare it to ours, but it's just totally different. Based on these two cakes I can say they are using much less cream and different types of dough in the cakes, which was a bit strange for me, but it's not bad. The fruits on top were all very sweet and tasty, and all in all a nice discovery.
After that I went to Fresco to figure out what to cook on Sunday and get the ingredients. Just the other night I saw a TV show where they were trying to make food with p-man for people who hate it. I was already resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn't be able to eat "lecsó" here, because there is no paprika, the main ingredient here, but seeing how cheap p-man was, I decided to try and see how it was – and well, to figure out why many Japanese are hating it. There were good discounts, so I got shiitake and potatoes at a very cheap price. What really surprised me, how cheap bean spouts are! At home they are very expensive, but here you can get a big bag for just 29-39 yen o_o Great and healthy as well~ Since I didn't have a rice cooker yet, I got some ready-to-go rice, and finally dared to buy potato salad, as it didn't seem to have any meat or derived products. For all these things (adding a C.C Lemon and yogurt to the list) I paid like 761 yen only, which is great. Of course it would have been more expensive if I bought fruits, but I was very satisfied.
Outside of the store there was a taiyaki stall. At first I didn't want to buy any, because I just got some expensive cakes, but in the end I couldn't resist – and I didn't regret it! There were anko and choco taiyaki, and I got an anko one, because I wanted to know how it tastes. Oh, I just loved it, it was crispy on the outside and the red bean paste was very yummy! This was probably the first typical Japanese food I really enjoyed, and I knew I would try more stuff with anko in future :D
My Sunday was pretty uneventful, but I needed a rest already. I was cooking lunch: fried some onions, the p-man and some sprouts, while I fried the mushrooms separately and added the otherwise tasteless rice to that and fried them together. The end result was very yummy, and the p-man turned out to be plain paprika, just like in my country. I thought the skin would be thick or the taste would be strange, but it's just… paprika. Coming from a paprika-loving country it's a mystery for me, how the Japanese don't like it XD; Since p-man is so cheap, I can have lecsó in future as well – yay~ Actually p-man is interesting, because it's small, the shape is like of the California paprika sort, and with this strong green color the paprika would be very hot in Hungary, but here it's just regular paprika. A great discovery for my cooking~
That's all for now, I'm still very behind on posting, but I will do my best ^^