Almost done with the absurdly long updates
Monday and Tuesday I can't really remember much happening. We had a big presentation due in class that Wednesday; we had to memorize a five-minute speech talking about ourselves and some sort of item that we were to bring in. In Japanese, of course. By the way, this was my item:
I also talked with Kudo-san, and decided that this Sunday would be the best time to move in with my new family. I found out a lot more information about them, both officially from IES (the Seses, live about 40 minutes away, have two sons, one my age and one already working), and unofficially from Matt, another IES Spring student (not the one in my house) who had lived with them earlier in the year. Nothing too out of the ordinary; they're very nice and have had many homestays before; additionally, they are not 80 years old. Looks like a good situation.
Tuesday, we had a professor and architect come and talk to us about the history and current state of architecture in Japan, in advance of this Thursday's trip to the Roppongi Hills complex. I have some choice quotes of his: let me see if I can pull them up...
"You pretend... it's like shoji screens and you can hear everything... but you don't hear anything and it's like haiku or Zen or something and you pretend."- George Kunihiro, on the density of underground developments
"On the surface, they're polite."- Kunihiro, on Japanese taxi drivers and property owners
Really was a fascinating speaker, though; I've always had a passing interest in architecture. I'll have to check out some of the many, many buildings he listed and report to y'all.
That night, while trying desperately to memorize my presentation, we had a small earthquake. I completely forgot to mention the big one we had last week, now that I think of it. Clocking in at about 4.8 on the Richter scale, it lasted about ten seconds and happened right as I was trying to wake up. You can bet that was an interesting situation. This one was a good bit weaker, though.
Vending Machine Special #4: Royal Milk Tea
I am proud to report to Hadley that after two weeks of living here now, I still cannot stand Eastern-style tea. It's passable, but it's just too weak and I do not like hot beverages. This concoction is interesting, though; a bit of stronger tea mixed around with milk and chilled. It's probably the equivalent of drinking one of those double-caramel-mocha-cream-frappucinos and calling it 'coffee', but it has a very unusual and appealing taste.