I am writing this in a McDonalds. The burgers here are better than the ones in America, they are big and juicy and take up the whole bun. Sadly they still don't put enough pickles on it. But the onions are actually obviously onions and not some unknowns diced whit substance.
I have had a very long and not great day. It was the real start of classes, which of course makes things difficult. I have decided to take classes I really want to take that work for my major at the Yokohama campus. Sadly both of the classes I am taking are early morning classes. Also, sadly, it is a very long way to Yokohama, and a very expensive way at that.
I need to wake up at 6 a.m. in order to make it to the campus at 9, just in time for class. And even then I only have an hour to get ready. So I wake up at 6 a.m. and do that "just-five-more-minutes-I-promise" thing that college students do so well. Ended up getting up again at 6:30 and hurrying through everything. Skipping breakfast (my favorite phrase is asagohan tabemasendeshita (I didn't eat breakfast)) and walked to Ookayama station with my back pack and a small list of directions to take.
Ookayama is always ridiculously crowded in the morning. It's just how it is in Japan. Those terrifying youtube videos of people being shoved into metro trains by metro official people... yeah, those aren't exaggerations and they happen about twice a day for two hours. 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. It's kinda ridiculous, it always reminds me of a very crowded dance club with no music or flashy lights. I think the whole situation would be much more enjoyable with the music and flashy lights (unce unce unce unce unce).
I pilled onto one of the over crowded cars at 7 in the morning, beginning of rush hour. I don't mind it so much, but really, it gets ridiculous after a while, with everyone leaning on you and no one makes an attempt to stop the shifting when the train lurches forward. Got off at Meguro, which is really only a few stops down the line. Meguro is worse than Ookayama, there are more useful things around it. Went up stairs at Meguro, which is like a few floors up, lots of stairs. Hopped the JR Yamanote Line to Shinagawa. From what I can tell of the Tokyo trains system, there are the local lines, which are more like metro trains and don't go very far and are for the most part intertwined. Then there are the JR Lines, which are like the long distance lines. But I am not sure about that so don't take my word for it. I will let you know if my ponderings are correct when I consult someone who knows what they are talking about.
Got off the Yamanote line at Shinagawa. I usually don't go out to Shinagawa, only once before had been out there. The station is HUGE, a bit more like a mall than an actual station, but a lot of them are like that actually. I found this little pastry shop on my way to my line and bought a little banana bread type thing, a biscuite, and a little pastry that was a bit like a cressonte with apple filling.
If memory serves, there are about 8 lines that come out of Shinagawa, but all of the Tokyo Metro stations are pretty easy to navigate. Just pay close attention to the signs. I got on my train. This was one of the nicer trains, a lot of them are kinda shiftty looking. But it wasn't as nice on the platform across from me that was double decker with couch like things. This trains was a little less jam packed though. And after we got past Kawasaki it was pretty much comfortably occupied. I EVEN GOT TO SIT DOWN *gasp*. The ride was about 30 minutes, and all in all not that bad of a ride. It was however expensive and very early in the morning, neither of which I am very fond of.
I got off at Totsuka around 8:20, at this point I think I have a 30 minutes walk ahead of me and I am not sure where exactly I am going. I walk out of the station and see this ridiculously long line of Japanese teens stretching into the station. So I walk over to the wall out of the way and am about to call Joe (the guy in charge of the IS Program) when I hear this group of Japanese ladies talking and I hear the words (Meiji Gakuin Daigaku). I walk over to them and ask if the ridiculous line of people are MGU students, they say they are, and I do a little happy dance and skip on over to the line. I ask the girl in front of me if she was an MGU student, I think I kinda scared her cause she seemed a tad nervous, but she said yes, and I did a celebratory fist pump in the air. I called Joe anyways, he said I was probably in the right place and that I needed to ride the bus there and it cost 210 Yen, ect.
I finally rounded the corner the line went around and found this flight of stairs down to where the busses were. The line twisted a few times and was bisected twice by guys in uniforms with little green glowing battons. The first thing I though was great, I'm going to get bopped by a batton.
I got through the line and onto this bus with little trouble. I did decide to eat in line, and finished off the banana thing with great relish. The bus ride over to the college was uneventful as well. The area is kinda pretty in that subberb kind of way. I do not think the area is as nice as the one where we live. There are a lot of appartment complexes and industrial looking buildings.
The school, however is pretty. It is a pretty big campus, though I don't think it is bigger than Shirokane-dai, probably about the same size. It is a nice campus. It seemed very white to me, like all of the walls of the buildings were this strange white wash. I would like to go back one more time to see what it looks like again and make a final opinion. I wasn't actually there that long.
Getting off the bus I went with the flow across the street to what I would assume was the main gate. I was a little concerned because the campus seemed to streatch across a highway and I wasn't sure which side I was supposed to be on. But I went to the right place. I looked at the map of the buildings in front of the main gate, it didn't helped me at all.
I ended up following the mass of students onto the campus and wandering around until I ran into some familiar faces. Two of the U of C students I had met before ended up being there as well. I asked them where the place I was going and they gave me directions and up I went.
The "Main Confrence Center" was on the 4th floor I believe of one of the main buildings. When I got there not many people were in the room so I set my stuff down and went to the bathroom. I came back and there were a few more students in the room, including some of the U of C students. More people came in and I started making polite chit chat, telling them of my great treck to campus.
Class started, the prof. seemed nice, and the class seemed really interesting. I enjoyed listening and took a lot of notes. The only issue with anything I had was the atendance policy, which was pretty much don't miss and don't be late. The only reason I did have a problem with it was because of the ridiculous commute. If I was coming from where ever the Yokohama ISP kids were coming I would have been okay with it.
I said good buy to the U of C guys and did the whole trip in reverse. It was much more pleasent in reverse, by that point most people had gone to work and the stations and trains were only comfortably occupide. I make it back safetly to Shirokane-dai and do the walk to school.
I think I got there around lunch time because everyone was still eating. I had some tasty pasta and ate te biscuit that I had bought at the bakery. It was wonderfully buttery and flackie. I was so exhausted my the time I got back to campus, I really didn't want to go to my last class. But I did.
It was kabuki and I am glad I went. I think it is going to be a great class. Easy and fun and I will still learn things. We also get to take trips and go to see live preformances and that in by it's self pleases me quite a lot.
I don't honestly remember what I did the rest of the day. It was a week a go and things have become distant and nuts since then. I probably should have gone back to the dorm and showered and slept but I am betting I didn't. I'm not that smart. I probably went out for food later... in fact I think that is exactly what happened. But I do remember that I slept like the dead last night. It was a good day all in all. But so much going back and forth. It was one of those days where no matter how long you are sitting down, it isn't long enoug.
I appologize for not telling this story sooner. But as you can see it is long and a lot has been happening.
I'll try to be faster to post.