Whoever said 'you make your own luck' never dealt with Kuroneko Shipping.
So I'm told by Kudo-san that the shipping company (that's taking my bags to my new host family) is going to be at the house I'm living in at 10:00 on Saturday, and that I'll have to fill out some forms and stuff so I should be ready. Figuring this won't take long, I make plans with Mitchell to do some shopping at Akihabara around 2 in the afternoon.
Oh, I said "figuring this won't take long". Begorrah; I've given myself away again, haven't I? I wake up at 8:30, have breakfast, lug everything downstairs and start waiting at about 9:20. Some time passes. A bit more passes. 10:00 passes. I consider calling Kudo-san, then discover I've lost my cell phone. Around 12:15, I decide that the odds of the shipping company coming are pretty low, so I walk the block and a half to Takeda-san's house to see if she knows anything or, at the least, can call Kudo-san for me.It turns out that Kudo-san called her earlier that morning, saying the shipping company would be stopping by Takeda-san's house instead of mine. They didn't show there either, though. Takeda-san called Kudo-san, who didn't answer, though I at least found out from Anthony that my cell phone was at the IES Center. Since it was about 1 by this point--about 15 minutes later than I wanted to leave for Akihabara--I decided to go to Kaihin Makuhari. If the IES Center was open, I would be able to pick it up and call Mitchell, explaining why I was late; there was also a post office open on weekends nearby, and I needed some money.
Standing in front of the doorway at Takeda-san's house. Insert your own joke here.
The IES Center was closed; the post office closed at 12:30 on Saturdays. I called Mitchell from a public telephone and made it to Akihabara at about 3:15. Total losses: four hours of time, my umbrella (no idea how; I'll buy another one).
Sunday would hopefully be an upturn, however, as I was finally moving in with my new host family. I was, I realized, going to miss biking to school, watching the fireworks in the distance whenever the Chiba Lotte Marines won a home game, and having pretty much every evening after 7 PM free to myself. I wasn't going to miss not wearing a helmet when biking, only being able to take a shower in the kitchen between 7 and 8 AM, and having curry rice three dinners a week. So yeah, I'd call it a draw.
This is where I used to live.
Takeda-san's house, which I never realized looks just like mine.
This entire entry, up to this point, was written Sunday morning, therefore the 'hopefully'. "I know exactly what's happening today, I'm all packed, I'm prepared--nothing can go wrong, right?" I thought. Naturally, catastrophe struck. I won't put you through yet another "what can happen to Brice in Japan?" rant, but let's just say I survived in one piece and move on.
Takeshi, the oldest son, met me at the station and walked me back to their house. He explained on the way that he had wanted to pick me up in his car, but the battery had died. So I barely had time to move my luggage upstairs before we were off to get it recharged. The mechanic said the car would need to be driven for about 40 minutes, so Takeshi decided to drive to Yokohama. Although this technically was on the other side of Tokyo and another city altogether, it was only about a three-hour round trip, including an hour stuck in traffic.
Given that I was entering my mild oh-great-an-entirely-new-situation shock I've referenced a few times before, it was really nice to just drive through the city, talk in English/Japanese about various landmarks, and just chill. It was night by the time we came back through Tokyo, and we drove across the Rainbow Bridge
to Norah Jones, with the entire harbor lit up and the boats in the bay and it was easy to see how Japan was the best city in the world at night...
...then the Backstreet Boys CD came on and ruined it. Oh well. I'll try and get y'all pictures of my new house and all ASAP.Vending Machine Special #8: Bubble Man... II!With a can like this, I just had to find out what's inside. It's some sort of green soda, with a vaguely bubble-gummish flavor. If this is what Bubble Man II tastes like, I'm not sure if I want to know much of Bubble Man I.