Trip Start Aug 30, 2006
2Trip End Ongoing
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Hello friends, this is lama. I have been in Tokyo now for about four days. I arrived and was greeted by my airport pickup and friend Naoko and spent my first night in japan in Musahisakai city in a very very tiny hotel. Then next day I took the bus (yes all by myself) to my new home for the next ten months- International Christian University (ICU) in Mitaka-shi, Tokyo.
I will take this entry to fill you all in on the details.
I am here on a student exchange from the University of Windsor, in Windsor, Canada. I will be studying Japanese language and International Relations. I am living in the dorms here at ICU, my dorm is called Global House- it is a big deal to get into this dorm as it is the newest and has AC (what up). Shout out to the AC (it's a blessing right now as it is currently and constantly humid as hell)- holla
So global house has flats that are shared by 4 people. Each flat has a bathroom, shower room, kitchen and living room and everyone has their own private bedroom (now do you see why everyone wants to get into global house?)
It is the most international dorm here, in every flat there are 2 Japanese students and 2 international students. There are people from all over the world- from Thailand to Chile and a Texan with a Scottish accent.
Mitaka-shi is a fairly small city (pop about 175 000) , but it is very beautiful. It is 15 minutes away from everything it seems and about 30-40 minutes train ride to Tokyo's downtown areas altho I haven't gone yet as I am still busy (they are spread about everywhere, no actual downtown).
I am loving the campus here, it is beautiful, many many trees- it feels like holiday beach for those of you from Windsor and like camping for the rest of you- to back up that statement - I have gotten about 5 mosquito bites today alone (including an embarrassing one on my face).
My roommates are friendly. Grace is Chinese and from California and Haruka is Japanese from japan and will surely give me lots of practice in my Japanese skills and I in her English skills.
I have been exploring the campus and city for the last couple of days (and getting lost and almost killed by a stray cat- I fed it some of my granola bar but that didn't stop it) and attending the various orientation activities they have planned for us.
There are more during this week, including a club day (to introduce us to the clubs), a matriculation ceremony in the school chapel which does not have air conditioning (it will be about 85 degrees with 88% humidity I think), needless to say they told us to dress neat and light.
Classes start on Friday September 8th, so I am excited to get going and start learning Japanese (it is impossible to read the bus map) and meet some new friends.
I have also bought my cell phone (everyone has one here and is constantly emailing on it) and my bicycle which I have never been more happy to have in my life especially since the campus is huge and takes about 15 minutes to walk to the gate of the school from my dorm alone and another 10 to get to the nearest store (don't scoff, it doesn't sound like much but you try doing it a couple times a day then get back to me).
I am just setting myself up now and going food shopping- our kitchen is completely empty- and trying to meet as many people as possible.