Mar. 31st, 2009

a_taller_tale: (Confident)
Day One in Kamisu

Michelle, Michael, and I stayed Saturday night in Kashima Central Hotel, our third and final hotel.

Kashima is right next to Kamisu, our new home, and has much the same feel. It's very spread out with industrial work sites interspersed with little apartment buildings and domestic houses. When they say city its a loose term. There are enough people for it to be a city but the spacing is more like a large town. I will need a bike.

At 10 AM the three of us had gathered in the lobby of the hotel to meet our IC's (or independent contractors) for the first time. An IC is a native Japanese that Interac hires to help us register at the city hall, check in to our apartments, open a bank account, and the million other things you need to do when moving to another country. 

Kumi Shinozuka-san was both Michelle's and mine.

I had learned to get along with Michelle and she was more barable once we got closer to our apartments. When she says she's OCD I believe her because she had terrible hives all over her face and hands during the training that went away the day we moved to Kamisu.

Michael was in another part of the city, maybe 12 miles from my place. (Sadly... I have a bit of a crush on his accent) so he went with Yuko-san to go shopping.

Our first stop was to go to each respective apartment and mine, the Sun Shine building, was first.

I'm planning on filming a video tour tomorrow but basically there is a space under the first step after you open the door to store shoes, then you go up the narrow stairs. There is a short hallway off of which is a toilet room, and a shower room. Just before the door to the bedroom there is the fridge (college size), microwave, and on the other side sink and stovetop.

The bedroom had a television (old) and an internet hookup (although it took a day to activate). In front of the television is a table with two chairs and on the opposite side is a closet and a place for a bed with a sliding cabinet underneath. Thats it! There's a washing machine in the hallway also.

After unloading my bags we preceded to Michelle's apartment (which was also a "Leo Palace") so her layout was much the same although it was newer, so her doorbell has a camera and she has a small flatscreen television included. But those things are minor I think. I'm not too jealous. She also has to travel farther to get to her schools.

All we had time to do after that was get some lunch before gas company appointments (for hot water) . We didn't even have anough time to go foodshopping before we had to be at the apartments to wait for the last of our baggage (shipped from Narita View Hotel) would arrive. Kumi-san kindly bought some bedding and a futon for each of us and delivered it back to our apartments. She's a really dedicated guide and I managed to get a decent amount of sleep thanks to her caring enough to get those.

Thank you Kumi!

To Be Continued...
a_taller_tale: (AHH!)
Day Two

I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't a little irritated that we didn't get more done on the first day. We were supposed to go food shopping and to the hundred yen store (think dollar store but larger with better quality stuff) but Kumi-san likes to chat, and check prices, and the whole process moves very very slowly.

So the next day, Monday, the plan was to meet at ten again to go to City Hall and register the new aliens in town (probably meet Michael over there), then go to the post office to set up a bank account (???? Weird right?), then break for lunch with a few other ALT's that were coming to meet us. After lunch we could get the things done that we didn't get to do.

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a_taller_tale: (Thumbs up!)
Today I hung around my apartment until hunger drove me out into a really cloudy drizzly day.

Kumi-san checked the weather and said it would be cloudy but not rain. I doubted her when I smelled the air when I got outside but it never did rain.

I couldn't make it to the grocery store, I'm very much out of practice on a bike. So I rode to Sunkus (the other convenience store close to me) and bought some groceries and shampoo, etc. there. The clerk was very nkice and made sure I have some chopsticks and stuff.

Definitely a redeeming quality of Kamisu is the people. Plus, although everything is spread out, I'm not too irritated about it yet. We'll see when I start school.

When I got home I had an email from Kate, another ALT from Interac waiting for me asking if I wanted to go out for sushi and then to their Japanese class since I had expressed an interest at lunch the day before.

The sushi was on a conveyer belt and the way you eat it is this. The rolls are on different colored plates and each plate represents a price. You eat each plate on top of the last and leave it there like sticker shells. At the end the waiter counts your plates and gives you each a bill. It was very fun and it didn't get too crowded until we were already leaving to go to class.

The Japanese class is run at the KIFA Center (Kamisu International Friendship Association) and the teacher is a very energetic middle aged lady called Kawaji-sensei. The class is run entirely in Japanese, and though I felt a little behind I already knew the grammar we were working on so I was right at home. I have to remember to bring some money next week for a book etc.

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