David Chart's Japan Diary

January 17th 2004

It snowed again last night. This lot of snow isn't as pretty, and I can't be bothered going out in the cold, so you'll have to live without pictures, I'm afraid.

Not a lot to report this week; it's been fairly ordinary. Monday was Adulthood Day, so we had the day off, but I just caught up on a bit of work. I have kept my new improved study schedule up for a second week, but I'm not sure it's going to remain practical. I was very tired mid-week, and thus got a little depressed. I'm feeling a lot better now, though. I did stay up a bit late last night (OK, quite a lot late), because I passed the critical point in the manga I've been reading for practice for about a year now. I reached the point where I could realistically finish it before going to bed, so I did. It took until about midnight, but I have finally finished all eight volumes. Now to start reading Tenra Banshow Zero.

I also gave a little talk in class yesterday. Everyone has to do it, and I volunteered to give the first one. It was about spam. I think it was a bit too short, but Sakai-sensei said nice things about it, and apparently I spoke at the right speed. This is reassuring; I know I can do it in English, and it's good to see that the skill is now transferring to Japanese.

Spam is a major problem at the moment. It's taking about three hours to get my email, and those are three hours I don't really have spare. Part of this is the fault of the Yamasa network, but the main problem is the several hundred spam messages per day. Demon can't introduce filtering soon enough for me.

I'm using the video recorder Adam and Julia gave me to video lots of dramas, including 'Okusama ha Majo' -- 'His wife's a witch', subtitled 'Bewitched in Tokyo', which does indeed appear to be a Japanese remake of 'Bewitched'. Quite what this Japanese witch was doing living in a European castle I don't know, but it's funny and cute, rather like the original series, although the actress playing the witch can't wiggle her nose properly.

What else? A new block of flats is being built next to Yamasa, and an advert for them was pushed through my door. Two bedroom flats start at 21,000,000 yen, about 115,000 pounds, and these are probably in the upper part of the price range as the location is good, and they're brand new (or will be). So, Okazaki is a bit cheaper than Cambridge and rather more expensive than Thetford.

My mobile phone bill was exactly 4,000 yen for the second month running. It's a conspiracy, I tell you. I've also accumulated about 300 points of some variety, but I have no idea what they're for. Maybe, before I leave, my reading speed will be good enough that finding out won't take a whole afternoon.

OK, enough trivia. I promise do something else interesting before I go back to the UK. Maybe not before next Saturday, though.