Hello, everybody. This is Steven Crowder, and here is my journal entry for this month. Once again, I apologize for not updating for having the multi-month journal entry last month. At least I remembered to add this month's entry on time, right?
To be honest, I have been taking things slow this past month. The reason for this is because for this month, students who intend to stay in Japan for one whole year will have not only dorm fees to pay for, but they will also have to pay to get their rail pass renewed after it expires. I don't know if I stated this in my first or second log, but they do not accept credit cards from overseas when you intend to purchase the student rail pass. Luckily, Rikkyo University's International Office wwas kind enough to tell me that the materials that all students need to renew their train pass were handed out when I got my train pass back in September. All I need is my student identification card, my residency card, and the little slip of paper that came with my ID card. Luckily for me, I have those on hand at all times of the day.
In other news, I have managed to enjoy myself this month, despite having those payments on my mind. I went to see Cloud Atlus in Shinjuku last weekend with my friend Matthew from Michigan. If you go to a movie theater and show your student ID, you can get a discount on your ticket. However, going to the movies in Japan is twice as expensive as it is back in America, so I suggest going only every now and then. I have also managed to find some shops that sell used games, books, and DVDs in the Tokyo area and nearby my dorm. Every time I go in those kinds of shops, I find something that catches my eye. I have bought a ferw books so that I can practice my Japanese in time for the next semester, as well as read a good story or two. I miss these kinds of shops, to be honest.
I have also cooked for myself numerous times during the last month. I had a craving for Mexican food three weeks ago, and I did not know of many Mexican restaurants in the area. I have also experimented with mixing different cultures into my cooking. For example, I mixed Japanese, German, and Italian cooking methods into one of the meals I cooked last week, as well as some ingredients that are found in certain recipes to make dishes from those countries. I feel like I am getting better at cooking, but I still have some difficulty when it comes to using a Japanese oven.
Also, I have learned something about some parts of Tokyo when it gets dark. Around 8:30 P.M. in Shinjuku, for example, it becomes like Las Vegas and the streets become packed with people going out to restaurants, arcades, and gambling parlors, as well as people asking if you want to go to a bar or passing out fliers for escort services. Whenever this happens to me, I just ignore them and keep on walking. If you plan on staying in Japan, you should do the same. You are going to be representing Linfield during your time in Japan, so don't do anything that might jeopardize your reputation or your school's. Instead, go to an arcade, bookstore, or restaurant; you'll be out of people's way, and you may find something you like.
This is Steven Crowder, signing off. Remember, people; cities like Tokyo can be totally different at night from how they are in the daytime, so be cautious when you are out on the town. Stay tuned for more advice from a student abroad next month. Until then, dear readers!