Monday, July 12, 2004

surfin' the wave of the net!

July 12, 2004

I have been having the weirdest dream everyday since I have been here. I am with some Japanese girl and we seem to be going around a city entering buildings and stuff. I always wake up at 4.30 am because it relates to some part of my dream. And then I am fully awake past 7.30. I basically lay down in my bed till 8 so that I could hear my alarm go off. I thought I might shave in the morning but when I got up, I didn�t feel like shaving any more. So, I had a relatively quick shower and got ready for work. I planned on getting there about an hour early so that I use the internet before I had to start working. I took some of the postcards with the intention of posting them en route.

When I got out and before I started pedaling, it was so nice out.. At least my skin was not sticky. And then within 5 minutes of biking, I felt the stickiness setting in. It took me 15 minutes to get there. I wore shorts because I did not want to be sweating in my trousers. But I carried along a pair of jeans in case Masao didn�t want me to work in shorts with chemicals. By the time, I got there, I felt yucky because I was sweating and I had showered less than 30 minutes ago! I also think I might have to use the longer extension for the seat because I feel like I am cramped for space. And of course, my butt hurts. I think if I had more leg extension space, the ride might be easier. It�s hard on my back with the heavy back pack, and then bending towards the handle bar to steer.

This time when I reached the university, I didn�t find Masao at his office. So, I could use the internet calmly. For some reason, I always check Coe email first. And I did get a reply from Britta with her address. I wonder if any more wild happenings have occurred. She did tell me that she was going to be sober and un-wild for the rest of the summer when I talked to her at Andi�s house. We�ll see about that prediction..hehe.. Also got an email from Sara updating us to what was going on there. I also chatted with Andi�s mum for a while. She was asking me about how things were going here and about the country and stuff. Andi realized late that I was chatting with her mum, and they had to go eat. So, we chatted for a couple of minutes and then she was off. I think she might hang out as much as possible with Urs before he leaves for Germany. There�s hardly anyone left at the Ziffer residence with Magaret gone as well. I wonder what Andi does all day apart from see her friends. I might get to chat with Andi a bit more after Urs leaves. I ended up chatting with a lot of people actually. I also chatted with Doll for a while before she had to leave to hang out with Meghna because she was in town. They are going to see The Terminal. I saw that movie with Andi and we liked it. It�s a different romantic comedy and doesn�t end the way you normally would assume. I also got a hold of Miho and told her that I was going to come up to Tokyo sometime this weekend. I told her to alert my other friends there. I talked to Ben early and he sent me an email with his travel plans for this weekend�s trip down here. I sent an email to my parents telling them I got here safe and sound and they could call me at work only because my room phone can�t send or receive calls. I also told most of the people to check my blogs out because I put my Japan journals and pictures up there.

Masao got to the office around 10 am and told me that I was going to make some barium borates. We were to make some glasses in the bulk glass formation range first for test runs and then try to extend the glass formation of barium and calcium borates while I am here. But first I was supposed to do the calculations for the preparation of the precipitate. I decided to use my old spreadsheets and edit the info from there. First, I had to balance the equation which I eventually got help in because my balancing was incorrect due to a mis-write of a chemical. And then it took me about 20 minutes to go through every single calculation and edit everything. And then finally, the spreadsheet was ready and the tough part of the glass making procedure had finished.

We went out to eat for lunch again. We first tried the Chinese restaurant again to taste some other Chinese food but they were too crowded. So, he decided to take me somewhere else. We walked for about 20 minutes till we got to a traditional Japanese -restaurant. It was another sit-on-the-floor place. Masao suggested that I try Dango soup. Dango is made from wheat flour and is chewy. We had some iced tea and a sort of fruit wine called Zacuro in a really small glass. The wine quantity was like that of a shot glass. We had salad before the main course. The salad was really good. We had to use chop sticks for the salad. They don�t have any silverware. So, we first ground up sesame seeds to garnish the Dango soup. While eating this meal, I got hit on (read flirting) by some old Japanese women. That was sooo funny! The soup had boiled veggies, eggs and a shrimp. And after I was done with that, I could have stopped there. But nooo..there was more food to be eaten. The chopsticks were slowing down my otherwise brisk eating pace. I had a sweet piece of eggplant. I also had my first full fish in Japan. It was pretty small and was supposed to be eaten fully. It was very tasty! I think it had a ginger after taste to it. Then we had boiled corn and other boiled veggies. There was a sort of pickle made from young bamboo which was good. And the coup de grace was a gelatinous dessert which had beans in it. I wish I had taken my camera with me so that I could have photo graphed my first authentic Japanese food.

I was unbelievably stuffed yet again. What, it�s the third or fourth time? We still had a relatively uphill walk back to the university. My tummy was tight..hehe.. I am mighty lucky I haven�t puked yet. It�s a darn good thing that I eat so much at lunch which allows for a light dinner. We got back and we talked about the nuclear situation in the present day world. He pointed out that Japan although highly developed had no plans on nuclear weapon production. He was surprised by the budget consumption of the defense every year in India and Pakistan. He knew about the nuclear information supply by the Pakistani scientist to Iran and North Korea. He didn�t know that Pakistan is planning a massive nuclear test in the next month.

So, after the 2 hour lunch, I got back and started making the two solutions for tomorrow�s glasses. I got to be in the cool A/c room for an hour. The method for the solutions is different from the alkali metal prep. All we do this time is weigh the two powders separately and then put them into a Teflon beaker and pour in distilled water slowly. The weighing was done to a much greater accuracy. I think this is the reason why he gets such amazing results. The reaction occurs in the drying oven while the water boils and evaporates. After I made the solutions, I was done with work for today.

So, while he was cleaning up, I wrote up the process and aims for the stay here in my notebook. I was done by 5 pm. I think I would normally work till 6 pm. I talked to Mammi and Ben for quite some time. Me and Masao tried calling Nigeria but we never got through to anyone. I think I will try to call mum and dad tomorrow a bit earlier so that they call me back. The operator has to connect calls coming in for Sojo. I don�t think they have an extension system. He bought me a drink to rehydrate me. My cold water was almost done. And then he worked on a paper while I started sending emails. I sent Inga, Britta, Jessi, Bhavya, and Andi emails. I also replied to Kit to tell him that I got here. And then I chatted with Nastasha and Ben till I left. Tash sent me her prom pictures. She looks so mature, and beautiful. Both the girls are growing into beautiful creatures.

I spent a lot of my free time in between stuff posting all my pictures online. I posted about 33 pictures and gave brief descriptions.. Well, since I am sending this word doc to other people I could list the blog site. Its and as I keep taking more pictures I will be putting them up. I hope people can access this website.

I left for my apartments at 8.45 pm. I thought I had been there for about 12 hours, and I was sticky, so I just want to get back to the cool and dry bed room. Before I got to my room, I bought a small pair of shampoo and conditioner for $3. I might as well buy it since I don�t want my hair to be yucky. I thought I might shave tonight before sleeping but I�ll do it in the morning hopefully and not put it off anymore. I don�t look that bad, but I should keep myself groomed here. At least a bit..hehe.. I took a shower to get the much needed feel of clean and then ate a small dinner because I was still full from lunch. Well, I think it�s time to head to bed.

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