~/.diary schedule

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I finally got a perfect score on the dictation part of our lesson. Whee!

We started our fieldwork today. My group chose transportation as the topic for our brochure, so we spent the afternoon trying out different modes of transportation. We took pictures to illustrate the process of taking the train, bus, and subway. We also got very good at asking for the receipt so that we could get reimbursed by the training center. "Reshiito o onegaishimasu."

As we knew picture-taking wouldn't take up the whole afternoon, we decided to do a little sightseeing. We got off at the Ishikawa-chou station, following the plan scribbled in highlighter ink on my much-folded map. My groupmates wanted to check out the Tin Toy Museum, so we wandered over there. When we got there, though, no one really wanted to go in! I went in anyway because I was curious. The place was jampacked with tin toys: cars, airplanes, monsters, people... I took a few pictures of recognizable toys, like a model of Astroboy.

On the way out, I just had to stumble across the only cat museum in all of Yokohama. It was a small place crammed with cat representations: statues, paintings, books... Thankfully, there were no mummified cats, but there were a few old pieces of artwork. I was once again tempted to get the cat ring, but the designs there were still too big. I didn't have the time to look too closely at the pendants, as my groupmates were getting a little bit bored.

We walked from there to the Motomachi-Chinatown station on the Minato Mirai line, then took the subway to Yokohama station. My groupmates looked very tired, so I suggested that they return to YKC early, taking whatever other pictures we needed on their way back. I told them I planned to take the bus to one of the shopping districts, as my map indicated a bookstore there. After some deliberation, they decided to accompany me.

Taking the bus was an interesting experience. After a lot of questions, we managed to find out which bus to take in order to get to the Yoshidabashi stop. Although the bus number was the same as the one on our sheet, we weren't quite sure, so we asked other people for confirmation and they helped us find our way. When we got off at our stop, though, one person was missing--Cuong-san had fallen asleep on the bus!

My other groupmates decided they were too tired to go on, so they went to Kannai Station to take the train home. Bang-san and I got pretty good at asking for directions as we tried to find our way.

And we found it! The red building on our left was a huge bookstore called Yorindo. Six floors! I headed for the Japanese language learning books on the fifth floor and the manga on the sixth floor.

- Chotto sumimasen. Manga wa dochira desu ka? - Chotto sumimasen. Chobits no manga ga arimasu ka? - Un. Rurouni Kenshin no manga ga arimasu ka? - Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!

Kathy will probably be pleased to hear that I have Kenshin volume 1. It has Ruby / furigana, so I can still read the kanji (although very slowly). I'm glad to say that I can recognize a few sentence patterns here and there. Kenshin uses somewhat archaic language, though. I shouldn't use "de gozaru" in normal conversations... ;) Chobits is also cute, but it doesn't have furigana, so it'll take me a while to understand. I also bought a kanji mnemonics/practice book.

Chatted with Bang-san on the way home. In Japanese, of course--we need to practice! I couldn't help but eavesdrop on a Filipino conversation held around me on the train, though, and I mentioned the fact to Bang-san. We agreed that they were probably also trainees, and we weren't surprised when they also got off at the Shinsugita station. Bang-san and I changed to the Seaside Line and settled into the seats, reading our newly-acquired books.

A few stations later, I was surprised to hear the Filipino group burst into the train, a little out of breath. My reaction must've been obvious, because they then started talking about how I was probably laughing at them. Naturally, they did this in Filipino, thinking I wouldn't understand. ^_^ When I explained that I was just startled as I'd thought they had gotten on with us, they laughed and said they really, really thought I was Japanese. Or at least I sounded Japanese. Hmm. No surprise to people who have heard me, eh?

Anyway, back to groupwork:

We hadn't quite covered all the transportation options. Taxis are just way too expensive, but the sightseeing buses might be interesting. We had taken the ship before, but didn't take pictures of the exact process. Maybe I'll go on a short cruise on Sunday for completeness.

I might either go back to Yurindo this Sunday or (weather permitting) even go to Mt. Fuji. I need to go to Fuji-san before the end of summer if I want to climb it. I'll go again during winter so that I can take pictures from a distance. I don't really have zoom, though. Maybe I should just get postcards. Hmm. Ah, I should go to the old places. I'll look around for some kind of tourist map.

In other news, I have invested in ten clothespins, as my clothes keep getting blown off the line...

Miss everyone, particularly my parents. =) My dad would probably have been able to take advantage of this nice, sunny day, and my mom would've loved the museums and the parks.

Update: Cuong-san woke up a few stops later and took another bus back to the train station. He made it back in time for dinner, as did everyone else. As the cafeteria stops accepting orders at 8:30, we do our best to return early...