shopping, what else do you do in japan?

I`m trying to sit here in this net cafe to type this, but my back is killing me so we`ll see how long I hold out. Have you ever had your back just mysteriously stop working, for no reason that you can fathom, and suddenly walking, sitting, laying down, etc. are extremely painful? Yeah, I don`t know why but that`s what`s going on at the moment. I don`t want to deal with going to a doctor in my current state of having NO Japanese ability, so I`m hoping it just gets better...

This week we ventured to the Costco in Amagasaki and found that it is exactly like Costco anywhere else. We bought huge bottles of Kirkland shampoo, Tilex, Doritos, and the giant pack of muffins, which are now wrapped up in our tiny freezer. We then went to Starbucks, which is also exactly the same. It was America night. It was funny, the largest concentration of gaijin I have seen in one place since coming here was at the Costco. In our little suburb, we are the ONLY ones and we get plenty of stares of surprise because of it. It can make one feel a bit self-conscious after a while. Next week, I will begin teaching classes and everything will become busy. Which is good, because it feels sort of like we`re on a vacation that has lasted a bit too long. Then, the next week - oh joy! We should have Yahoo BB set up, complete with at-home very fast net access and cheap calls to the US. I have felt so disconnected, having gone from all-day at-work fast net access to next-to-zero. I want it back! I want to figure out how to post some of the photos that are filling up my keitai! I want to email everyone I know! Soon...

There is apparently another typhoon on the way, it`s getting windy and the light has that strange heavy quality. But at least it is not over 90 degrees outside, THANK GOD. I cannot wait for fall to come. Also, I must remember to bring a CD to this cafe next time, because the muzak in here is going to do me in.


this is a test of the popsiclestand keitai posting system



There is really no way to sum up the last several weeks in the few minutes I have on this computer. I`m at a JET conference and managed to get online, but we`ve no net access at home, I can`t get online for more than 5 minutes per day at work, and I`ve yet to find an internet cafe, although I know they`re around. So, I feel very out of touch at the moment. Add that to the fact that I can`t understand anything that anyone around me is saying ever, and it`s a rather weird isolating feeling. It is really incredible here though, and beautiful, and amazingly hot hot hot hot hot. We`ve been learning to grocery shop, learning all the etiquette you never thought about that deals with basic things like shopping and restaurants, learning how to get around on the trains, etc. Learning everything all over again. It is quite disorienting. But that`s all part of the experience. I`m hoping to make some connections at this conference so we can get out and about and meet some people. Our little area where our apartment is located is very beautiful and has an amazing view, but we get stares everywhere we go and yesterday a little girl cried and ran to hide behind her sister. We definitely stick out. It`s not quite like Tokyo... Well, there is a line for the computers, so that`s all for now. When internet access presents itself again, I`ll try to post more of the crazy experiences we`ve had with the whole moving process so far. We really really really miss everyone from home! We`ll be in touch eventually once we have a phone line or internet access! Promise!!!