July 15, 2004
I woke up the morning not feeling fully rested even though I fell asleep at 11.30 last night. I had a mild headache in the morning but that went away after my shower. I decided to carry my map in case I did anymore off road stuff. And today�s bike ride wasn�t as smooth as usual. I had to brake for the �impediments� several times which annoyed me. If you are walking and hear a ringing, you are supposed to look back and register than someone wants to come through. Apparently this logic is lost here. And cars don�t watch for traffic in the sidewalk when they want onto the road. Idiots! I had to swerve to avoid cars getting onto traffic without looking. Granted they were moving pretty slow, but I wouldn�t be affected. They were the ones who would have dings on the bumpers.
When I got to work and hooked on the net, the computer this time worked flawlessly which pleased me greatly. I was very happy to get an email from Sunny which said that she was transferring to Minneapolis�s AI. This means she�s closer and we can see each other more. Because anytime Kevin goes up to Minneapolis and I have time, I can go up to see her. And she is extremely lucky to have Alex because he offered to move there so that they can be together. She gets the one she loves and her friends and family simultaneously. She missed home a lot when she was at Seattle. I also talked to Robi again and I was told that my journals were being scrutinized at home. Hehe. I wonder what�s in my journals to pick apart. Need to talk to mum and dad to see if anything is worrying them because I haven�t done anything illegal. Haha. And he is corresponding with a bong from Kettering. I feel good that he will be in the same country now and I don�t need a visa to visit him. And he isn�t very far away. He has a very interesting phase of life coming up. The boundaries seem limitless but to stay in control, limitations will be needed. He will have to learn to compromise and it�s a good thing that he has a running start from Woodstock. I had to learn from scratch because I have had a relatively sheltered childhood. I learnt from my mistakes and I seem to be doing just fine now.
After Masao got in and my Vit D drink, we discussed the plan of attack for today�s work. He reminded me that I still had to go to the bank. So after extracting the glass cylinders from the carbon cast using a vacuum cleaner and labeling them, I left to go to the bank. I thought about carrying my camera with me if I wanted to take a few pictures of downtown and they realized that this was a quick trip because I had to be back soon. I broke 70 bucks to Yen hoping it would be enough to sustain me for another few days. But I was still worried about needing cash to buy my souvenirs. I hope most of them take credit cards. Otherwise I will have to find an ATM which allows withdrawls from international cards. I think I might end up spending a couple of hundred dollars on stuff for other people and me this weekend. I guess I�ll keep my fingers crossed. I already know what I will be getting for some of my friends. Hehe. One of them might be very surprised because I can just imagine the look on the person�s face. There are so many things here! I have to make tough decisions. I will prefer handicrafts over mass-manufactured stuff.
When I got back, we decided to do a quick lunch so that we could make a glass sample and a couple of precursors. We went to a handimart within the campus and bought a curry filled thing, strawberry milk, and a couple of rice triangles in seaweed. I also took a bag of chocolate chip bread sticks. They looked healthy and good snack food. This total was 680 Y which was a bit more than usual but still pretty cheap. And I bought lunch for myself for a change. Masao got some of his fruits out. I had a peach and a couple of bananas before digging into my lunch. I told him that at my house, we had a couple of mango trees that produced 3000 mangoes in a year and banana trees that gave about 900 bananas. He was amazed because he thought Nigeria had a lot of desert land because it was a major oil producing nations. A common misconception that all oil comes from desert lands.
After the quick 30 min lunch, I checked traffic on my blogs. I saw that I missed Andi again because she came during my lunch but at least she reads my journals and got to see the pictures. It really sucks that I haven�t been able to chat with her since the first time on Monday. I really miss her.. I sent her an email telling her that I was thinking about her. I haven�t gotten any reply from Pat or Deanna yet. They got my email though. Hopefully, I would get some correspondence about the Diplomat thing soon. Traffic on my blog has surged. Some one from Jamaica viewed it which was cool. I have random views all the time now. I also posted up pictures from yesterday too. Doll now agrees that I have been to Japan because these pictures featured me. Hehe. I missed chatting with Doll by a few minutes but it was pretty late there already, so she went to bed. She left a couple of messages which was sweet. I also got some messages from Bul but she had to leave quickly.
We made our second glass sample today. I don�t think we will be doing any of the characteristic testing here since I don�t have much time. I will be carrying these samples back with me. I will also get a letter from Masao giving details about the materials I am carrying in case I am questioned during baggage check. I might keep it in my carry on because I don�t want anyone to open my checked in suit case. I might be deemed a terrorist and a threat to National Security with deadly chemical weapons if I don�t have the necessary official documentation. Actually, that might be a thrill and they�d feel dumb when they realized it was completely harmless. But I don�t want to tempt fate and get delayed in the process.
And on and off, I kept chatting and browsing during the little breathers. I also found out about something really big and I can�t disclose what I found out. If I talked about it, it would make some people very unhappy. I had a heart to heart conversation with Pallavi which started with Abhiram. They have become stead fast friends and their friendship parallels mine and Doll�s. When they were in school, they weren�t good friends but have gotten closer since undergrad. But now they pretty dependent on each other. I am glad to see that some old school ties are still going on and getting stronger as time goes by. Ever since I have been in the US, I have lost touch with some of my best friends from DAV. I have also reached the point of no return after 4 years. I am content keeping in touch with the people who want to stay in contact. I also talked to mammi for a bit and sent her my journals so that she can take it home for them to read because she�s at her parent�s house now. She feels old now and she�s only 23! I couldn�t help but smile. She sent me some of her pictures and I liked the one with her and Robi. I might get a print of that from home if they have it. I might ask Robi to be useful and send me photographs or post them online. I want to see how things went in India. I have seriously been out of the loop with family happenings because I don�t get any news unless my parents tell me or I chat with Mammi. I like these chats I have with Piu now, and it helps that we are on more manageable time zones.
After making today�s glass, I made solutions to make more glasses! I made a couple of precursor solutions to dry overnight. I messed up the first one, so we had to dispose all the chemicals and start over again. Since there is no mixing involved, this takes about 15 minutes compared to the 30 minutes at Coe. I also like the prep room because it is air conditioned and I like being cool and dry! We took a early drink break around 3.30 instead of 5 pm. That was because we had about an hour to kill.
I figured out more stuff with Ben about our upcoming weekend. He will be coming in at 4.10 and I will be picking him up from the Kami-Kumamoto station which is closer to Sojo. We take a taxi to my apartment, ask him to wait and then take us to Sojo so that Ben can see Masao and his lab. And then we have been invited to dinner by Masao�s wife at a restaurant near Kumamoto Castle. And then, the next day we explore Kumamoto Castle with Masao and then he might take us to another tourist spot which is also supposed to be picturesque. And then we leave on Monday morning to Kyoto where we spend an afternoon and then onto Tokyo. We will be at a hotel overnight. I might see some of my friends that night too. Then I will be going to a fish market early in the morning because Ben says that it�s an amazing experience. And then I will leave to get back down to Kumamoto and stay in my apartments over night after packing to leave by train again the next morning. Masao and I figured out our plans after work today. I have to leave Kumamoto at 9 in the morning to reach Kansai International Airport by 3.30 which is 2 hours before I depart for Chicago. So clearly evident, I will be doing a shit load of traveling and sightseeing which easily compensates for the past week. I have train travel for 3 days in a row and then a 12.5 hour flight back to Chicago. I will probably be worn thin by the time I get back to Andi�s and possibly jet lagged since I wasn�t jet lagged when I got into Japan. I do have a lot of time before we both have to get back to Coe. I can relax before I enter next year�s chaos.
I got done with work around much later than usual. I left for the apartment at 7.30 after I got done with the last solution. I had a leisurely ride back with a few gear glitches. I bought a couple of curry filled bread. I took a quick shower and ate my dinner while watching a segment on one of the female Japanese volleyball players. They train hard! They do blind goal keeping with medicine balls! Ouch! I had my other Japanese beer. I like these beers because they are very smooth. I still have to finish the rice liquor. I might do that with Ben because I don�t want to drink that much of alcohol. I also ate up the remains of my cake from last night. And then, I journaled so that you can read about today�s experiences.. It seems like more of a work and internet journal to me. It will be more exciting for me to write about the exploring the country this weekend. I might not get to post the pictures and journal entries till I reach Chicago because I won�t have internet access for long enough to do it in Japan. I�ll try to do some if I get back to Kumamoto early enough. I guess that�s it for today and I am actually done early today. It�s only 10.20. I might read some because I haven�t done any reading here so far. I haven�t been able to make time for it. I am normally tired and need to go to bed by 11 pm. Japan is making me something I am not, an early sleeper..