It has been almost a month since I got on an airplane and set off on this grand adventure. It sometimes seems like years, while other times, I feel like I just got off the plane yesterday. My Japanese at this point consists of, "Excuse me," Thank you," "Yes," "No," and "Coffee." Half the time I can't remember how to say please or hello, though I know I have learned them. I am really good at saying "excuse me." It's an all-purpose word, and I make my way through stores and trains and the post office saying "Excuse me, thank you." I am sure I am a funny sight. Our language training has started, so I hope to be able to communicate with the people at stores and the post office soon. For example, when I buy groceries, I know that the cashier will ask me if I have a card from the store, so I know to wait for the question and say no. However, if anyone else asks me the same thing, I probably wouldn't understand it. I'm sure the people at the post office flinch when they see me come in. "What kind of trouble is she going to cause today?" they ask themselves. One time, I had to buy a money order, and the woman had the hardest time trying to ask me if I wanted to send it myself or have the post office take care of the envelope and stamp. That was difficult. Mailing a box home was fun, too ... the man kept asking questions and looking up words in his dictionary, while I just smiled. What else is there to do? It took a bit of doing before I relaized that I was supposed to detail what kind of food I was sending, not just that I was sending "food." Tomorrow I am going to try to transfer money into my bank account at home. That ought to be interesting. Wish me luck!
My housemates both have digital cameras, so they have lots of pictures I hope to post on the web soon (as in, within the next month). Be on the lookout for them!