6.3

The first week of school is over and I’m as satisfied with my schedule/classes as is possible.  I’m there from 9-5:30 Mondays and Wednesdays.  Fridays I get out at 3 and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have one class from 3:45-5:45.  Four out of my five classes are taught by teachers from last semester who I really liked and my only new teacher is wonderful.  Koyama Sensei, Steph and my Japanese teacher, is probably in her 40’s and she’s extremely energetic.  Class is and will continue to be fun with her in charge.

On Monday, our last night of freedom, Steph and I headed out to the outlet store that Shigeko had taken me to before.  We had dinner at the food court, thawed ourselves in some of the overpriced stores (it’s an outdoor mall and it was really cold) and then bought groceries at the grocery store near-by.  The next morning we didn’t have school until later in the afternoon so the ride to school was pleasant since I could find a seat with no problem.  After our classes we came back to the apartment and made our first official meal of curry and rice.  It’s my favorite meal here and before I moved out of the Fukuoka’s, Ayumi taught me how to make it.  With little effort we made a delicious dish that fed us for three meals.  It definitely made this place feel more like home.

Wednesday morning we woke up around 6am and were finally out of the door at 7:20.  Even though we arrived at the station late we ended up being only 5 minutes late to our 9 o’clock classes.  We had our break from 11:15-1:40 and then headed to our Japanese class.  The day was very long and the train ride home was very crowded.  But I was happy because I was finally able to get a semester sticker for my student i.d. so that I could buy a commuter pass for the trains.  When we arrived at Machida station we bought our passes and later figured out we’re saving over $350.  It’s a big relief to finally have that taken care of.

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to Shinjuku to pick up some art supplies and check out the Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Unfortunately the Krispy Kreme just opened last month so when we saw the very long line outside of the building we decided to go next door to Starbucks.  Then we came back to the apartment and made our second official meal, white curry and rice.

Ayumi told me that in March on the 3rd or 4th she is going to a party for Girl’s Day (a annual Japanese festival) and in April her tea ceremony class is having an official tea ceremony.  I can wear my kimono to both events.  I’ll just need to figure out the complicated process of putting it on.

The temperature here has been dropping, interspersed with a few warmer days.  I’ve been told that February is the coldest time of the year so I’m bracing myself for the impending chill.  Today though is a clear, crisp day, not a cloud in the sky.  And tomorrow begins another week of school.

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