Well, I hate to say it, but I am having second thoughts about one of my summer 'classes'. Originally, I signed up for six credit hours this summer: three for my internship and three for a research paper I was going to write about the research I'm doing here. Well, I'm sure I can still get three credits for the internship simply by cutting and pasting and rewording stuff I've written on my blog, but writing a 20 or 30 page research paper is looking more and more unfeasible. I am at city hall 40 hours a week, I try to get out and enjoy my weekends, and I still have preparations for Taiwan. I don't really know where I would get the time to read books and articles for my paper. I would really hate to stress out over this paper, when I don't really need it now, and it would be easy to write a paper on Japanese emergency management during my last semester at SMSU (which will be Missouri State by then).
Enough of my whining for now... I will have to wait until I communicate with my professors before I make any decisions on this now (Dr. Ellison and Dr. Kernen - if you read this, let me know what you think...)
On to other stuff: I moved into a teeney-tiny little hole of an apartment yesterday. I am only there for about six weeks, so I think I can manage, but it is like a shoe-box after my five week stay in a furnished two bedroom flat. We moved all my stuff in the morning. Ms. Togiya from the front office in Society Hall was impressed with the job I did cleaning the place (see! I can clean if I have to!). Takahashi-san and another guy interning at city hall (a Japanese guy that works in the office at a local high school) helped me move, but since I was all packed, we finished getting everything in my new place before noon. I then had to go to Yokohama to start the Taiwan visa process. I was starving by the time I got there, but I couldn't decide what to eat. I sent Maiko (who is a great food consultant) a text message and she told me that Japanese people often eat soba (buckwheat noodles) when they move. Luckily, there was a soba place near the station, so I stopped in for a Ten-Zaru set (several pieces of tempura and a plate of cold soba). Needless to say, I ate my fill and was very satisfied.
I finished at the Taiwanese office (it's not an independent country, so it doesn't have embassies or consulates here) by 2:15 or so and stopped by Starbucks. While sipping on my mocha frappuchino, I decided it would be a waste of a beautifully cool summer day to just go home and unpack. So I went to Tokyo and met up with Maiko. We did some shopping in Akihabara, the electronics Mecha of the universe. I wasn't planning on going to Tokyo, so I didn't bring a ton of money, which is probably a good thing because I probably would have spent too much. Seriously, I could spend days and millions of dollars there... If only I had them..
We ate at Nishio-san again. This is Maiko's favorite restaraunt and, since Nishio-san is a friend of the family, he hooks us up with his recommendations at a discounted price. If you ever make it out to Shinjuku, let me know and I will get you directions, because this place is the bomb! Everything is fresh and exceptionally good. Try the grilled mackerel! Even if you don't like mackerel, you will like this. Trust me. If Maiko ever e-mails me the pictures we took there the first time I went (when I first got here we ate there with her mom and brother) I will be sure to post them on flicker. If I get out there again, maybe I can draw up a map and take some more pictures of the place and the food.
Time to get back to organizing my research.