Have you ever had one of those days where nothing went right, where you could not buy a lucky break? Well today was nothing like that!
Lyani woke me up around 08:30, in time to have breakfast with her before she had to leave for school. We ate apples and yogurt: a Japanese brand called Meiji Bulgaria (Japanese people know two things about Bulgarians, they eat lots of yogurt and they are good at gymnastics)! After Lyani left, I checked my email, read the news (which is mostly a euphamism for reading my daily blogs: Gaweeka, I am a Japanese School Teacher / Kancho Assassin, Naked Suit, Politics Schmolitics, and Rude Boy, Rude Girl; and my daily comics: Alpha-Shade, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Dilbert (of course), FoxTrot, Mega Tokyo, Penny Arcade, and User Friendly. I do read the actual news as well (Yahoo! News and the superlative Google News, just not as thoroughly!
I started a load of laundry--boy it is nice to finally have a laundry machine in our apartment (actually, ours is on our rear balcony)--then sat down to play a little UN Squadron on ZSNES an Open Source Super Nintendo emulator. Ian, I know you remember many happy hours spent with UN Squadron on your SNES!
My thrist for retro gaming (yes, I am a contributor to this book--look for it in stores by mid-October) sated, I headed into the kitchen to rustle up some grub; in this case, a grilled cheese sandwich and some potato chips served quite nicely. After finishing lunch, I set out for Yokohama Station, and the all-important Citibank ATM located just outside of the West Entrance. Until Lyani's scholarship arrives, we have been paying the Citibank ATM regular visits, as it can be quite expensive to live in Japan. Luckily, Citibank ATMs charge almost nothing for international withdrawls--in fact, I think it is just the standard $1 charge, plus your bank's $1 charge--and they deliver the precious Fukuzawas (the ichi man yen satsu--10,000 yen bill--is graced by the face of Fukuzawa Yukichi, who was an important Meiji-era educator).
The weather was wonderful for walking (23 degrees and sunny), so I first walked past Yokohama Station (pictured at left; click on it to see a slideshow of pictures from around Yokohama) to the Naka Ward Office, to peruse their brochures and maps. From there, I walked to Kannai Station and boarded a train for Yokohama. After taking care of my business at the Citibank ATM, I caught a train from Yokohama Station to Yamate Station, which is one stop east of our station, Ishikawa-cho. From there, I attempted to head south-east to the Naka Ward Public Library, but managed to get pretty lost in the maze-like hills of Yamate. Luckily, I managed to take some pretty decent pictures and had a lovely walk anyway. The highlight of said walk had to be in Honmoku, when I was walking down the street behind three shougaku-sei (elementary school) boys. They were just chatting, but all of a sudden, they started, in unison, to hum the "Imperial Death March" from "Star Wars". You know, Darth Vader's theme? They continued to do this for three blocks or so, and they went through the song. They did not just repeat the main theme. And this was a theme from a trilogy of movies that was made a good ten years before they were even born! Amazing! I should have joined in, but I chickened out.
I did eventually find the library, and obtained a library card in order to check out six books (the maximum). From there, I took a bus (my first this time in Japan) back to our neighbourhood, and got home just a few minutes before Lyani returned from school. I checked the mail, to find a letter from my grandmother, and then Lyani came home with some more good news: her scholarship had arrived! This means that we can now afford to live here!
To celebrate the money, Lyani and I went out to supper at Saizeria, a chain restaurant that offers a Japanese take on Italian food. We used to frequent one back in Kanazawa, so besides the good food, we shared in some good memories.
So today was a good day.
By way of a parting note, allow me to explain the titles of my blog entries. They are all allusions, whether literary, musical, film, or otherwise. Anyone who groks the reference should post what it comes from in the comments. The first person to answer correctly will receive a cookie!