I had my interview with an academic course advisor today. I’ve been recommended to do level 2F which is the intermediate level 2 class – there’s 2B (the standard class); 2F (slightly accelerated) and 2G (more accelerated). There are a total of 4 levels - 1 is for beginners and 4 is for fluent speakers. So i'm sort of a bit below the middle i suppose. My scores were pretty uneven when I had a look at them; I did a lot better in the listening comprehension than in any of the other sections. But that might have been because I kind of didn’t try as hard as I should have in those bits… Anyway I think 2F should be fun since it will (hopefully) be fairly straight forward. If it’s too hard or too easy I’m able to change classes (in the first week or so) apparently anyway.
After my interview I met up with Ryo (the other Melbourne Uni student here at Keio for exchange) who took me to the Keio library before he had to head off to another academic advisor meeting (since, being Japanese, he kinda scored a bit too high to take the normal language program; and wants to take standard classes). The library is pretty big at the Mita campus considering Mita isn’t really a main campus: if I remember correctly it’s about 5 levels. It’s probably similar in size to the legal resource centre at Melbourne. I couldn’t really find a place where I could sit down and use my laptop in there though (all the study tables have signs saying that in the interests of your fellow students, please refrain from using personal computers here). I ended up going outside and sitting at some of the tables in the shade. Did I mention it was really hot? I’m not sure when winter is coming here, but right now it still feels like summer to me. Even Ryo said this year the weather here has been really crazy. So anyway that’s why I was kind of hoping I could sit in the library – but the tables and chairs under the trees were comfortable enough with the breeze. Until I realized there was about 8 mosquitoes feeding on me. I gave up on using my laptop about then.
I had my first try at using an ATM machine here with my cash card from Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank today – and it was very straight forward. There’s an English option on the machine at the uni which is helpful – but even in Japanese it’s easy enough to understand (I tried both methods). What’s interesting is that if you use an ATM outside business hours (I think about 8am-6pm or so) you actually get charged banking fees! There’s a screen that pops up every time you go to withdraw money that tells you – and you have to click a confirm button to say you’ve read and agreed to it. I guess I shall be trying not to run out of money after hours.
And as for my mobile phone that I was meant to get today, I managed once again not to end up going to get one. The original plan was to contact my friend Kelly after my academic meeting to arrange a time to meet (since we both don’t have mobile phones yet). Of course, when I called nobody answered. I did end up meeting another guy (Jakob) after his meeting though. After we’d had lunch (and unsuccessfully tried to get in contact with Kelly again) we decided to just go back to Plume IS and head to the local ward office to get a temporary alien registration document (which you need to set up a bank account/phone account) as well as take out the national health insurance policy. On arrival we bumped into somebody else from our dorm and managed after a bit of confusion to get the necessary things sorted out. I was sort of just along for the ride since I figured I don’t need the health insurance policy since I took out travel insurance for 6 months with Melbourne Uni (which covers me for major accidents and stuff… I’ll still have to pay if I see the doctor though … but fingers cross I won’t get too sick). We all need to head back there later on to pick up our 外国人登録書 (alien registration cards) which are our primary form of identification here in Japan. So know I think I can get there on my own if I have to.
I did manage to contact Kelly while we were there at the office and we are (hopefully?) going to go get a phone tomorrow after her interview. We shall see what else I can get to go wrong before then haha.
Anyway we decided to walk back to the train station instead of take a bus back – which saved us about 200 yen or so. I spent about 400 yen on a bacon egg with mayo breadtop-style thing and some onigiri at a convenience store we passed on the way home instead. I also got my first look at the proper supermarket which is near Shinkawasaki station and it’s got a fairly decent range of stuff. Whether or not I will be cooking a whole heap I’ve yet to decide. The instant noodles here still taste quite good to me hehe. On the walk back I realized there are actually some rather large buildings quite close to Plume IS and here is one of them:
I’m still not quite sure how I missed it… it is pretty big huh. Anyway I’m back in my room now and trying to work out whether or not I should go for a quick run before I have my shower. Decisions decisions… such is life.