David Chart's Japan Diary

October 7th 2003

Second day at school, and the last one before lessons start tomorrow morning. The main business for today was the orientation meeting. The first part, Faculty Orientation, took place in Japanese, which was then translated into English. On the whole, I could understand both parts, but it was definitely good to have an English version to check against. I will find out which class I am in tomorrow, and also tomorrow I will choose my electives. We have four hours of electives per week, spread over eight slots, two every afternoon apart from Friday. So, I don't know my timetable yet, nor do I know when I will be free, but I have four hours' more free time every week than I thought.

The classes are conducted entirely in Japanese, and we are not allowed to speak any other language in the classroom. Not that it would help much -- the students don't, on the whole, share a language. It will just be a little frustrating at times, although less so for me than for the novices.

The next bit of the orientation session covered everything else. We have to apply for alien registration cards, and we will be bussed to City Hall to do that in the next couple of weeks. Once we have those cards, we can open bank accounts, get mobile phones that require a bank account, and go to Immigration in Nagoya to get permission to engage in part-time work. I want to get that done pretty quickly, so that I can get back to writing.

Skipping ahead, there is, at present, a problem with that. Yamasa's SMTP server was having problems with spammers, and kept crashing, so at present it is unavailable. That means that, at the moment, I cannot send email very easily. I'm afraid there won't be any long personal emails going out until that is fixed or I find another solution. I can receive email, although having over 1650 on Demon's server did cause some problems, but you will have to wait for replies.

The main focus of the accommodation orientation was the instructions on how to throw rubbish away. This is far from trivial, as it has to be sorted into about five different varieties and then taken to particular places on particular days. There are special bags for most of the varieties, which are clear so that people can check that you aren't putting the wrong sort of rubbish out. This is, of course, a Japanese cultural experience.

So, lessons start tomorrow. Here we go...