Day 27: Drawing to a close

I just realized my day numbering has been off since the first week, so I went back and corrected all the titles since then.

Today was raining all day again.  I got soaked from the waist down on my way home, despite my umbrella.  I walked this time instead of biking.

A classic shot.  I had to get this at some point during my stay.  These mirrors are designed to help you see around corners so you can tell if cars are coming before you pull out.  I've gotten used to using them somewhat when I ride my bike, and it's actually pretty helpful on the narrow streets.

All the drainage systems were full of rushing water.
We were going to do the archery today if it hadn't rained.  It got rained out last week, and they moved it to today, then it got rained out today, so it's just not happening at all.  That's one I was really looking forward to, too.

I can't believe how quickly time has passed/is passing.  For some reason, all day I've been thinking it was Wednesday instead of Thursday, so when I just noticed what day it actually is, that made me feel as though it was passing even faster than it already felt like.

I leave here Saturday morning, but I don't have any of the actual details worked out.  I think I'll take a train from here to Osaka, then a bus to Nagoya, then a train down to Yokkaichi.  It's a longer trip than trains the whole way, but fewer transfers and cheaper.  Once I arrive there, I'll meet up with my friend who will take me to his apartment where I can deposit all my stuff.  Then I think we're planning to go out and get lunch somewhere, then we'll take a bus to Tokyo.  I still don't really know what I'll be doing there yet, or how long I'm going to stay, but my friend can only stay one night, and he'll come back on Sunday night.  I may or may not go with him.  That depends on if there's anything else I really want to do there, and on how confident I am that I could find my way back by myself.

I should probably start packing everything up tonight, and make more solid plans about how I'm getting to Yokkaichi.  My host family should be able to help me with that, I hope.  I also still have homework to do, and a final test and presentation tomorrow.

Another round of quick observations:
  • Keyboards on Japanese computers are all different from the standard US ones.  They have the hiragana printed on them, of course, but they also have a few extra keys here and there.  One of the worst changes is that all the little symbols (!@#$%^&*()[];:'" etc) are in different places, so when I've had to use the computers to write things, it always takes a while to search for those.  Also, the spacebar is tiny, and there's a button where the right side of it should be that changes it from English to hiragana/kanji, so it's really annoying when I keep accidentally hitting that.  And apostrophe is something like shift+7.  I never did figure out how to get an underscore.
  • You don't hand cashiers money directly.  Instead, you put it all into a tray next to the register.  Once you've stopped putting money in, they'll count the coins one by one, pushing them with their fingertips as they go, and total up the bills, then pick it all up and put it away.  When you get change, they'll take any bills first, count them for you while holding them up in front of you so you can see you're getting the right amount, then hand them to you.  Coins are handed to you in a single pile, and generally not counted separately.
  • Dryers seem to be rare.  Looking at any apartment complex or on any residential street in the middle of the day, you'll see clothes hanging out on a line to dry.
  • Meats are often served with all the fat, skin, cartilage etc. still on them.  This is generally just eaten as is.  I've only had bones in the meat twice: once at the barbeque, and once a couple nights ago in some fish.  They apparently ate the fish bones, too, which I can't understand.  Those things hurt when they jab you in the gums.  I didn't eat those (well, I tried not to), and I took off most of the cartilage from the meats I had, but otherwise I ate it basically the same way they did.
Right as I was about to publish this, I heard the doorbell.  I'm the only one home, so I went down to take a look, and apparently there was a package that I had to sign for.  I wrote my name out in katakana.  Hopefully that's alright.  Alright.  Off to do my homework.

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