I had probably one of the most productive days in decent memory last Monday, which is impressive because my days off usually involve waking up around 12, watching TV and surfing the net all afternoon, then, if I’m feeling ambitious, going out at night.

I had quite a few things to do in Chiba, so after getting home on Sunday night around 12:30, I started doing some prep and things like that. On my list of things to do were applying for my visa renewal and also deciding on my vacation plans. Once deciding, mainly through internet research, where I’m going to go for Obon vacation, I was going to hit up H.I.S. Travel to get tickets and stuff. I was going to do all kinds of reading and internet research to get ready, even considering an all nighter just to make it to Chiba when the Immigration Office opens. I didn’t want to have to get there during a busy period and have to wait for hours like last time. I got a decent amount of stuff done, and was pretty sure on going to Seoul, since it’s close, cheap, and seems interesting. Also because I love Korean BBQ.

Of course, I fell asleep in my chair around 4:30AM only to be waken up painfully by my 7AM alarm. Somehow managed to shower and gather my paperwork to leave for Chiba at 8ish. Made it to the Immigration Office’s station (市役所前 on the Chiba Monorail line) right at 9, opening time. They should just be opening their doors, right? Apparently not, because I got there and it seemed like they had been open for hours. I got my ticket and was number 28, which I guess isn’t that terrible but also made me wonder what time these 27 other people actually got here. All said and done, I filled out my paperwork, got my 印紙 currency stamp, and waited just a little bit. Only about an hour in and out this time; much better than my last visit to the Immigration Office. My new visa should be ready near the end of the month, and it will be good for at least another year.

After submitting my visa renewal, I walked down to the Yamada Denki to pick up a DS case, since the Nikka Whiskey pouch doesn’t seem to be protecting my DS as well as I’d like it to. Took care of that and by 10:30 I was feeling pretty tired. Went back to Chiba and decided to get some breakfast. This was opposed to the other idea of going back home and sleeping, which would surely ruin the rest of the day’s plans. After eating, tried out the new Popeye internet cafe, which was actually pretty nice. Did about 2 and a half hours there finishing up reading about Korea and stuff like that. I also enjoyed the massage chair, and am pretty sure I fell asleep in the net cafe for at least an hour of my time there. Anyways, by that time it was time to get my next job done.

Went to the Yodobashi building, did some shopping around. Checked out the Mitsukoshi department store, which I’d never been to before. It reminded me of what a 1950’s department store must have been like, and the elevator and staff seemed like they’d been there as long. Went to HIS and got some prices for Seoul. A bit more expensive than I had thought I saw on the internet, but with the taxes and fuel charges, etc, it seemed about right. Definitely cheaper than going somewhere else. Took a lunch break to think it over and check with a few other places. Had some katsudon with Brian, who was on lunch break. Did some shopping in Sogo, and even bought some books with practice tests for the JLPT (日本語能力試験), which I’ll hopefully take in December. 2級. Went to JTB Travel Agency about 5 minutes before they closed, but their prices seemed about the same as HIS, which was open til 8. Went there and booked some tickets. This second agent that I talked to was better than the first, since she was able to get different flight times and also saved me a bit of money. Anyways, I’m set for my trip. Friday Aug 10 to Monday Aug 13, I’ll be in Seoul, South Korea.

Having accomplished so much all day, it was almost time to head home. Decided if I went to sleep at like 9, I’d get up early and have a messed up sleep schedule all week, so I waited for Brian to get off work and had dinner at Skylark or something, I don’t remember since I was so out of it by then. But, I got everything accomplished and had the longest Monday in a long time.