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February 03, 2003

Hakodate apartment at 6am

I've been up for about four hours. Nothing new for me in Japan. The jetlag frog has me in its clutches. When I've been over in the past, I've always woken up early for the first couple of days. But usually I'm staying at my sister-in-law Yoshie's house. There I can creep out of the house, and grab a hot canned coffee or two from a 24 hour vending machine at the side of the road, and go for a walk. Usually, I'd go out among the rice fields, and stop at a shrine or temple, or just polk about the town. Once, I remember calling Yuka after I'd been out for 2.5 hours. I'd walked through town and up into the mountains, and I needed instructions regarding which bus to take to get home. Apartment pictures: hallway, bedroom 1, bedroom 2 Not this time. There's work to be done. I finished transcribing a couple of chapters of William of Newburgh's Historia Rerum Anglicarum that Ben needs to have so he can translate it for our vampire conference. UNFORTUNATELY, I didn't photocopy all the pages I needed. So I wrote an email to the always lovely and ever talented Mudsey to grab the book out of my office and to photocopy, and hopefully fax, the missing pages to Larry's office. Of course, I was watching TV, and saw the pictures of something streaming across the sky, accompanied by the words NASA and Texas, and bits and pieces of the Japanese from the announcers I could figure out. Strange feeling, as I was sitting alone in a bachelor apartment typing back in 1986, just before I moved to Japan for a year, with the radio on behind me, when I heard about the challenger disaster. My uncle was a senior engineer on the space shuttle program, responsible for the heat shield team, and he'd passed away the previous summer. So I've always had a special interest in the space shuttles, even though I find the whole space exploration thing a real problem. You probably don't care about my reminiscing about this. What about the cool apartment Larry and Atsuko (larry's partner) arranged for me. I've got a tiny apartment about 15 minutes on foot from Larry's house, and 25 minutes on foot from the university. Views one and two show the inside of the main room, and view three shows the entrance way. It is about three times larger than the one I had when I lived in Japan in the mid 80s. So it is luxury plus. TV. Washing machine. Japanese style bath. Everything looks brand new, and the heater keeps everything toasty. Only the main room is heated. The kitchette, bathroom and toilet are unheated... wise. Of course the toilet seat is heated. Larry took me out to a 100 yen store, and we picked up some necessities. Bowls, cups, glasses, chopsticks, cutlery, and the sort of foods you can get for 100 yen. Dried seaweed soups and stuff. I have some rice in the microwave as I type, and I'll probably sprinkle some soup mix over it, and that's breakfast! Nummy. It is friggen cold outside. Not like it has been in Toronto, but I want to go out and explore here, and just walk about. I know it will be a challenge today, but as soon as the sun's up, I'll head out, probably in the direction of the university, to see what I can see. Larry's going to call me this afternoon, and I'll probably go out with he and Atsuko for dinner. And tomorrow, I'll start in at his office, to see if I have some workspace. He told me that they've approved my internet access, so I'll be able to post these blogs in rapid succession, and get email sent out. What fun! Just got back from that ""little walk when the sun's up"" but it took about 5 hours. Didn't get lost. That would be too easy. Walked the 2.5 km up to the university. More on that when I recover. Then walked back. Then continued on downtown for another 3km. Looking for something to eat, on a Sunday at 10:30am besides eating from a 7-11. Ended up with KFC, which is better here than in Canada. Did some real shopping: carrots, peppers, satsuma (oranges), bokchoy, fresh noodles, bottle of wine. I can start eating civilized. Larry called me on his cell that he's loaned me to say we're going out for sushi tonight! And asked if I wanted to go to a snow festival. I need some sleep though. Got 3.5 hours to do it."

Posted by jason at February 3, 2003 12:40 AM