Getting Settled in Japan: Lazy Day

The text of this post was originally written in April, 2004 as part of an online diary I kept before I actually started my blog. I'd forgotten about it until I ran across it in February 2008. I inserted it into my blog then, assigning dates appropriate to the content instead of to the time I actually added it. Thus, these April 2004 posts show up as my “first posts” in my list of posts, even though I didn't actually start a blog until a year later with my first post about buying a car in Japan.

There's nothing here of interest to anyone but me; I insert it here so that it's together with my other posts (which are also of little interest to anyone but me :-)) Any comments I add while posting this to my blog in February 2008 appear like this.

This was originally written just after we moved from California to Japan, so our days were dominated by jet lag, and trying to set up our life and newly-acquired apartment. Anthony was 18 months old.

Anthony slept until 5:20 — getting better. It started out as a lazy day, with Fumie getting up at 7:00 and taking Anthony out for a stroll while I unintentionally collapsed into a restless sleep until 11:30. Fumie then took a nap while I watched Anthony.

In the afternoon, I called my friend Katsunori Shimada, who lives not all that far away. It turns out that there's a Yamada-denki (electronics shop) store at the end of the subway line that runs by the apartment (the “Higashiyama” subway station is about a five-minute walk away). So, Anthony and I spent 260 yen ($2.50) and took the subway 16 minutes to its eastern-most station. While on the subway, I composed a short test email to Fumie, on my phone. While on her walk that morning, during a time when Anthony was taking a nap, she sat on a park bench and figured out how to set her phone's email address.

I also took a picture of Anthony and included it with the mail. Unfortunately, the phone had no network connectivity in the subway, perhaps by design – they may have jammers installed, since they don't want people using their cell phones on trains and such – it “causes trouble” for others to have people talking. Makes no sense to me, since it's no different from talking to the person next to you, except you're taking up only one seat instead of two. Anyway, once we got off the subway and up to street level, I sent it.

I also called Shimada-san again, who then came by motorcycle to find me looking at printers in Yamada-denki. While waiting for him, I'd bought a larger memory card for the phone. It uses a “Mini SD” memory card, which is smaller than most postage stamps, and only slightly thicker (it's 3/4" × 7/8" × 1mm thick). I wanted to replace the tiny 16-meg card that came with the phone with a slightly larger one — 128 meg. I also got a USB reader, so I could download the pictures. here's a sample picture, of a beautiful flower arrangement that Mom sent us for the apartment. Here's another of Anthony “driving” at the mall yesterday. One problem with the phone is that it has a very slow shutter, so any movement in the frame (or shaking by the photographer) is readily apparent. This is probably due the extremely small lens (about 1/8" ), which doesn't let much light in. Oh well.

I looked at printers and computers with Shimada-san. He is extremely knowledgeable about any and everything which humans have ever endeavored to explore. This includes printers and computers. Unfortunately, Anthony is not, and became more and more fussy, so we grabbed some pamphlets and left. Outside the store (in the “mall” open area, still under the roof), there was a square of benches with a small tree in the middle. There was plenty of room within the square for Anthony to play while we talked, and so he did. At one point, a young (4 years old?) girl came running up at full speed, stopping as she slapped her hands on the bench in front of Anthony. She then ran away. Anthony found this incredibly amusing, and laughed and laughed when she did it several times. By the fourth or so time, he was so beside himself with excited anticipation that he was stomping his feet and putting both hands in his mouth and doing other kinds of crazy things. It was very nice, except the girl's mom was not amused and wanted to get going, so Anthony's new girlfriend disappeared as soon as she appeared.

Anthony and I took the 6:06 train to the back toward home, but went two extra stops to the city-hall stop, which left us a two-minute walk to the local catholic church (where Fumie and I got married). We arrived just as the 6:30 mass was starting. Anthony was challengingly fussy, but we made it through. We walked home, stopped by a convenience store for some groceries (at which point I noticed that Anthony had fallen asleep).

Continued here...

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