…is the name of the internet cafe I’m in right now. I was walking around Goi station, near where I live, and saw this huge sign with “HOT ONE BREATH” on it. This being Japan, I assumed it was some kind of sketch establishment, but instead its a small or medium sized internet cafe that is actually one of the cleanest I’ve been in here. So far so good. It also seems to be fairly cheap, so I’ll likely be coming here more until I finally get internet in my apartment.
Speaking of, life has been very good for the most part since coming to Japan. Work, except for the long hours of usually 12 or 1PM until 9PM every day Tuesday to Saturday, is actually pretty fun. One thing has kept things from being perfect, though, and that is a little magic item called the Foreign Alien Registration Card (外国人登録証明書), or Gaijin Card for short. Surprisingly, when registering for the thing the second day after moving into my apartment, I was told that it would take 3 or 4 weeks for them to process it. I’m pretty sure it didn’t take that long to get a Gaijin Card in the past. Anyway, since that is pretty much the main ID for a foreigner living here, not having it has been a bit difficult. First off, I wasn’t able to get a cell phone through DoCoMo, which was a pain in the butt because I was really planning on getting one from them, because I think they have the sweetest phone models. I was at least able to get one with au, and to be honest, I’ve been really happy with it, so no harm no foul. By the way, this is the phone I ended up getting: the Sony Ericsson W43S.
I am also unable to get internet at my apartment until I get my Gaijin Card. I suppose it makes sense, since they want to make sure that I’m a legal resident and everything, but what a pain in the butt. Even after I get my card next week and finish the application, it will take around a month for them to get internet service, since apparently no one in my building already has DSL or fiber internet. So I will likely not have a regular internet connection at my apartment until like mid November. My predecessor at AEON, who lived in my apartment before me, was able to steal wireless from someone until a few months ago, but it disappeared and he didn’t bother to apply for net since he was leaving anyway. Ah well. Internet cafes are not bad, I suppose, but going from my addiction of sitting on the internet for at least a few hours a day to having it only maybe once a week, is a big change. Luckily, my cell phone is helping me cope a bit, since I can do e-mail on it, view some webpages, and read Gmail. Gotta love Japanese technology.
Yesterday and today were my days off, and I am happy to say that I accomplished very little. I was at least able to do some shopping, including buying a nice Japanese-style (by that I mean for use on the floor) chair thing, which is exactly what I was looking for. And it only cost 1500 yen (about $13)! Shopping has to be done either before work or on my days off, since getting off at 9 or 9:30 everyday means that everywhere except for convenience stores and restaurants are closed. The other day, though, I went to the Ito-Yokado department store on my lunch break and bought Pokemon Diamond. I do have to say, it was well worth it. Definitely an awesome game. Uh…and no I am not a nerd. OK fine, shut up.
I don’t know what else I should update you all on right now. To be honest, my life has been pretty boring, since I don’t really do anything exciting. Right now, my usual routine consists of waking up around 11, watching some TV and being lazy in my apartment, then going to work from 12:45ish until 9 or 9:30ish. Work consists of planning lessons, which is pretty easy, since most materials are already made and in the Staff Room, meaning I just flip through the text book for that class, grab a folder of materials, write down some notes, and I’m good to go. I teach on average 4 or 5 lessons a day, each 50 minutes long. Saturdays are about 7 or 8 lessons, but half of them are repeats of classes I’ve already taught that week so it’s super easy. Then I teach the classes. The rest of the day I am sitting in my office/classroom, playing on my phone or doing other random goofing off. My staff is real chill, which is good because I have to hang out with them in the school all day. The school itself is half a floor of a building, with a lobby and reception area, 2 or 3 staff rooms, and about 5 classrooms. Small but efficient. After work every day, I usually grab some dinner at one of the nearby restaurants, then go home to either play DS, watch TV, or both. I sleep around 1AM every day, and then repeat this schedule. Every now and then I’ll vary it up by going to Chiba to hang out with Blanchard, but so far not very exciting.
I went to Tokyo Game Show 2 weekends ago, but I am too lazy to write up anything about it. It was sweet, but really crowded and hot. Lots of nerdy otaku guys taking pictures of booth girls. Very different atmosphere from E3. But either way, it was sweet. Played Metal Gear on PSP, saw Devil May Cry 4, Bleach on Wii, and many other random sweet games. The new Dragonball game on PS2 actually looks amazing, with pretty much any character EVER available to play, all the way from the original Dragonball up to GT. Movie characters also. We also saw Morgan Webb from G4 in the lobby/food area of TGS, and talked to her briefly. I don’t know exactly when the Wii comes out, but I really really want to buy one. I am still very confident that it is going to beat the PS3, if not based on price alone. XBox 360 is already pretty much out of the race, which I think it just hilarious.
I am going to get out of Hot One Breath now, and probably get some ramen for dinner, since aside from Family Restaurants, Goi pretty much only has ramen shops and sketch hostess and “snack” bars. It was embarrassing applying for internet, because they did a lookup of my address and there were all these sketch bars on the list, and I was like “yeah, that’s my neighborhood alright.” The live-action Detective Conan drama special is on tonight at 9, so I will probably be lame and sit at home for 3 hours watching TV.