Saturday, October 10, 2009

First impressions

Today is the beginning of a long weekend in Japan, and there has been so many things done and waiting to be done, impressions, hopes. Let's get on it reverse chronologically.

Day 3 i.e. today
not much being done yet, but this is the first day I can wake up at 10.50! and to think that last night I went to sleep at about 11pm here, so I got almost a 12-hour sleep. I like to think that I need this much sleep as previously my sleeps were scattered in couples of hours but I hope I won't need this much sleep in the future. Else I'm doomed.
Day 2.
the last thing that I did yesterday was knocking on other people's door and being knocked. Some guy ringing my bell looking for a bald, Chinese guy. Obviously wrong room number. But before that, I had a chat with other Indonesian student who also lives in the same international house, in the same floor. Unaware that I had been spent 2 hours inside my own room, I stepped out to his room with only a polo shirt on. Obviously not long after we're pretty much shivering from the cold. From our conversation, it can be concluded that there is one Japanese dish that is pretty much safe (that means halal) though I can't catch the name. Honestly, I'll put my concern more on other issues, as..
I already found out that the tap water is safe to drink. Thank god I didn't bought the bottled water. It was only on my way home from the supermarket that I realized that the lack of bottled water display are probably because of that. Nevertheless, I did some shopping for sustenance, bought several foods and more. However, what really baffled me is the sections that displays various items that I believe has something to do for cleaning. Problem is, I can't figure out what is for cleaning what. I set out to the supermarket with the idea that I needed soap, detergent and dish cleaning liquids. I didn't find the detergent, or at least, I can't read which one is the one saying it's detergent. None of the items displayed are in the form of powder just like Rinso or Attack we had back home. To say that I am baffled would be an understatement here.
On that day, I visited 3 different supermarket/convenience stores, mostly for food. I still thought that supermarket here should be more like in Indonesia, where there's also a section displaying pans and everything/ how am I supposed to cook instant noodles if I don't have any pans? I think I'll find some tomorrow.
I had the time to visit the supermarket because there was an item on the planning list that I haven't got to do: meeting with my professor. You see, from the morning I was already visiting offices: dorm offices, quick tour to what the dorm has, then to Uji city hall, registering for alien card and national health insurance, then to the main campus, registering to foreign student division and making an account in the post office. Boy, it's a lot of walk! I thought this would be a breeze, as I can tire my sister quite easily when we're walking a distance, but this time: dorm-eki, eki-city hall-eki, eki-campus-getting around campus-eki. I'll find out how many kilometers I have walked yesterday.
My biggest surprise happens in the campus: it turns out that I will have a desk! My first thought on that was “I am royally screwed! I am screwed in five different ways from Monday.” I mean, I don't even have any idea what I'm doing here. I thought that I would be able to buy time for 6 month, until the admission test, but no. Urgh. On top of all that, it will require me to actually make a social connection. Unlike Uphie, whose pride was wounded when I called him party pooper and thus able to make a conscious effort to change himself, it was different with me. Of course, I might found myself comfortable around them in the future, but well.
Day 1
on my first night, however, I thought that everything I have was impressive. My flight arrived 6pm, and after I cleared immigration, I was picked up by Mbak Kiki herself. The shared shuttle taxi has to be canceled as the delay was too long, so she decided to pick me up in Kansai Airport. From there we took trains to Uji, and I remembered that I felt I might be interested in pursuing doctorate here, when mbak kiki said that the scholarship can be automatically given if the scholarship recipient is capable. I'll have to cope with the workload first sih to make it that far.
My flight itself was uneventful, though when I watched The Hangover and The Taking of Pelham 123, I regretted why I didn't just watched The Hangover while I was in Jakarta and chose The Grudge 3 instead. It was hilarious! Nonetheless, it's was a good way to spend my time in the air.
Oh, I guess it's pretty clear by now that I should've done my registrations in Day 1, but because my flight was delayed for 9hours, I didn't get to do that. Instead, I got myself an interesting Day 0.
Day 0
It was the day I went from Bandung, went nearing 1pm, and it took us almost 5 hours to get to Cengkareng. My first pick was of course to just go by travel shuttle, but a relative of mine obviously has its own plan. Which involves getting lost for a while.
So I arrived at the airport all grimy and everything, but then when I checked myself in at SQ counter, the guy told me that my flight out of Singapore will be delayed. As it turns out, it was delayed, but then every passengers were given lodging in Grand Mercure Roxy. I couldn't be much happier! Great lodging, great breakfast in the morning after, and I was leaving to Changi in a much much better mood!

So that's how events pretty much transpired here. As of now, I am hoping I will be able to cope with the workload and actually able to communicate with others here. Wish me luck!
And if you're interested, pics of my room and surrounding, as well as the pics of the room at grand mercure are at http://my.opera,com/cormocodran/albums. Until then.

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