100 Yen

I realize I’ve missed my September 30th music suggestion.  Of course it’s hard to keep up with that when I don’t have internet in my own room.  Today while I was in the library I kept on disappointing people by not answering their Skype calls.  Sorry!  No talking in the library!  But don’t worry, I should be able to talk to you all in a couple weeks!

Hopefully I can make up for missing it (did anyone even miss it?) by talking about my 百円(hyaku en), or one dollar, finds.

When students enter into my program they’re assigned a tutor who helps them with all of the basic things that might be hard for a foreigner to do on their own.  A lot of this involves finding your way around, shopping for the basics, and doing paperwork.  (Japanese word of the day: めんどくさい(mendokusai), which means something like troublesome, or perhaps better described as an adjective used for things you don’t want to do.  While doing paperwork, the word mendokusai comes up a lot.)

Being a Saturday, both my tutor and I had nothing but free time.  The morning was spent resizing pictures that needed to be pasted onto several pieces of paperwork and searching for campus wifi.  That was how my day started out.  Facebook and paperwork.

After arriving at the library we looked around to discover that several other international students were there with us.  Eventually we gathered together and the two tutors with us decided to take us somewhere.  We ended up in a department store near Saijo Eki.

A slightly random note on Japanese department stores, particularly the ones in Saijo called YouMe Town: they remind me so very much of the fictional department store Junes from Persona 4.  If I meet a worker there named Yosuke, I think I’m going to try and stick my hand through a television.  But I digress.

At first I was looking for Murakami Ryu’s 「五分後の世界」 (The World After Five Minutes), but neither my tutor nor I had any luck.  That was when one of the other exchange students and I moved onto the music section.  Let me tell you, the music section in a Japanese store is typically painful as CDs cost about twice as much as they do in America.  Your typical Japanese album will be 3000 yen, which is roughly $30.  Probably more since the dollar is so worthless right now.  You can get as excited as you want when you see a SID album, but when you pick it up your heart is going to break a little.

That was when I noticed the 100 yen bin in the middle of the store calling to me like a beacon.  My tutor showed up and glanced through, telling me they were all old CDs.  True enough – they were mostly from the early-to-mid 1990’s.  That was when I thought maybe – just maybe – I might be able to find some access.

And find I did.  I picked up access’ “Misty Heartbreak Re-sync Style”, Hiroyuki Takami’s “Wall”, Penicillin’s “Into the Valley of Dolls” and Shazna’s “Promise Eve”. 400 yen for these isn’t bad.  They would probably be out of my price range on the internet.

Not that the majority of you will recognize these names.  My Japanese tutor didn’t either.  Just know that I’m greatly pleased.

Spending the day getting to know the people who came along with me was nice.  I got to know my tutor better.  I got to practice lots of conversational Japanese.  There was also lots of comparing between Japanese and other cultures going on.  Sometimes I love the way the world seems to get smaller.

I doubt I’ll get to post this online tomorrow.  Today is the 2nd, if you’re into timelines.  Tomorrow the exchange students are all going to Yoshiura Autumn Festival, which is about an hour away from here.  Apparently it’s the hometown of one of the coordinators of the program.  It will be my first Japanese Festival, so I’m looking forward to it.

I’m also looking forward to the Sake Festival next week.  Did you know Higashi Hiroshima is famous for its sake?  Teehee.

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~ by megumiwasframed on October 5, 2010.

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