Entrance ceremony

After raining for two days it is finally a nice day. Unfortunately entrance ceremony was yesterday – and I really hoped that we will have nice weather for it since it was preferred to wear some more formal clothes. It was hard to wake up on time to be able to dress in a suit ant to be at the Sakura hall for the entrance ceremony at 8:45 AM. It proved so – since a lot of students were late and entrance ceremony started late. And on students orientation class on Monday they said to us that punctuality is important thing in Japan – however… a lot of them didn’t mind that too much. It even happened that two of them didn’t show up.
We were seated as designated and than they started calling us and as someone heard something that resembled his name – he stood up and remained standing until all were called. There were 61, oh…, there should have been 61, of us present who are going for the undergraduate studies here. The head of the university gave us a few words and than all of the professors introduced themselves to us. Some even presented in fun ways their names.
After the ceremony we had to go for Japanese language aptitude test. It’s for them to evaluate how hard for us will be to learn Japanese. It consisted of several tests. One was that they show you a graphic symbol – then they present you with four choices and you have to circle the correct one – others were slight variations on the theme. Also there was part of identifying kanji – you were given one kanji and four another and you had to identify which one of the choices had something in common with the first one. Also they made an artificial language and you had to look at it from samples and to find out the grammar of it and then to give translations of other sentences. The last one was with real japanese – they played two sentences and you had to just tell if the intonation and accent is the same – or different of those two sentences.
After finishing – I finally went to the dormitory and changed from suit to something casual and with friends went to Musashisakai station to shop. On the top of shopping center there is a whole floor with books – and mostly of manga comics ; ) I tried finding some good book about C or Perl – because it would be one of the easy ways to learn Japanese because I know that programming language and I could guess without dictionary what they want to say. But I didn’t find it… Perhaps I will buy something like Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, Small prince… Back to the old days when I was a kid 😉
I then went to find some jeans as I needed some. The prices are much lower than in Serbia – Levi’s costs only around $80   – in Serbia I think that those models I checked costed around $160. There was also some Japanese brand UNIQLO and I bought jeans for around $40 and got a discount for the next purchase $5. After I came back I noticed that UNIQLO is a large brand and has shops in many countries – it has also a shop on Manhattan – very large one.
We got hungry so we bought some prepared food in a convenient store nearby and ate it on the street. It is rude to eat on the street in Japan – that’s the thing you should not do. But we have done it ; ) Yes – we got some odd looks – but… who cares – I felt very good while eating sushi… Oh yeah – one interesting thing. I met a girl who rents apartment in Tokyo – in fact near our campus. The place where we are is something like Mirijevo in Belgrade, or maybe even Borca, Ovca, Krnjaca… only in terms of distance from the city center – around 25 km. And she pays a rent $500. That would be an OK rent if it wasn’t for the flat of 18 square meters.
Today we were opening postal savings accounts. I like Japan! They are so well organized. One of the examples was this thing. We didn’t have to go to post office to open accounts. Instead post office came to us. Two guys from the post office came to a hall on our campus and from there open us accounts and told us that we will receive cards by email. No need to visit post office at all. After that I wanted to go to our embassy to register that I am staying in Japan for a long time. I told that to one of my tutors – and when he heard about that he immediately looked for address on the Internet from his mobile phone and gave me instructions how to get there. When I asked him where is the public phone (I wanted to first call them and ask if they are working) he told me that he will take me – and insisted on doing it. And he even waited for me while I was on a telephone so that if I need anything… There was a nice surprise when I phoned the embassy. They told me that it is not necessary for me to come if I don’t have time – it is OK to just scan the documents and send them by email – wow… first time something well organized in our bureaucracy… So then I needed the place to scan the documents… I asked the friendly tutor about that and he again offered himself to take me to library, to show me where and how, and since I didn’t have mine account details for the usage of schools computers – he let me on his account. The Japanese people really like to help people. And it is not the case with only this one tutor – also when we were in the city center looking for some shop many people tried to help us – but we couldn’t understand them. I think I have heard that around 80% of the Japanese do not know English. And those 20% are questionable – it is more jinglish than english…
One of the things that is very hard to do in Japan is to throw away a bottle after drinking it. In center it was very hard to find a trash can – and when we found it – it is hard to know in which to throw your trash. All trash here you have to separate – paper, combustible, non combustible, can, PET bottles. And all signs are in Japanese. If I understood correctly some documents – pickup of trash is organized for combustible, paper, can, PET and for non combustible – you have to organize it yourself. Maybe I am wrong – but who knows. And if they find out that you didn’t obey the rules of garbage separation – they will not take out your garbage (or they will return something like that) – so you have to separate garbage.
Streets are very clean wherever I have been – in the center and also in periphery. No garbage at all – only cherry flowers that fell off from trees. It is very nice to see it that way. The same thing is for the grass surfaces beside the streets, the grass is cut on a regular basis. There are also large bicycle only parking everywhere. A lot of people ride bicycles here. Even when it rains – in one hand they hold umbrella – and with the other one they use to steer the bike. OK, now I have had several phone conversations while writing this – and I don’t know what I wanted to write here… so until next time… See ya!

Comments are closed.