School continues. Sometimes it feels like I'm making zero progress, other times it doesn't. I'm impatient, of course (two months now! ...Well, not quite yet. But I should be totally fluent by now!) but even with that, there are days I notice I'm understanding just a tiny bit more of what's going on around me. I suppose it would be easier if I didn't feel totally brain-tired all the time, it's the effort that really brings improvement, but by the time the weekend rolls around, I've got very little energy to spare. I find Japan quite draining, what with all the time spent commuting on rush hour trains and endless walking and especially standing, all the rain and humidity, and all the struggling to comprehend what's going really going on.
But I seem to be getting good grades, at any rate.
Tuesday was interesting (I think it was Tuesday) -- apparently the Russian PM was in town, and things were crazy around campus, complete with roadblocks (the Imperial Guest House is pretty much right next door to campus), massive police presence (complete with riot cops in tactical gear at the station), and those annoying black loudspeaker vans and some sort of protest rally reminiscent of a two minute hate (that was the most annoying part, the rest was just kind of interesting in a not-particularly-positive way). It makes me wonder what the heck was going on around Ueno back in November, when I saw scores of riot cops running around for whatever reason, with some sort of rally going on (only saw a few this time here). Maybe the same thing?
I am sick of the bugs already, though. High point was somehow picking up a centipede that pretty much crawled all over me... I noticed it when it was crawling on my neck on the train (probably picked it up at Meiji Jinguu), although I didn't know what it was until later when it was crawling up my leg again when I finally got rid of it for good in Ikebukuro station (might have tried to release it back into nature, but was going to be on trains for the next half hour, so oh well).
This weekend was fun, though. More fun than last weekend, I guess, although I can barely remember that far back. Although there will be much studying today, I have quite a lot that needs doing, homework-wise and otherwise. But found a cool bar called Popeye which claims to have (regardless of their actual URL) 70 beers on tap, although I only counted about 50 craft-and-microbrews when I was there -- the rest are probably the normal slightly-better-than-crappy mainline Japanese beers that they don't bother listing. Of course Denver has much better (they have a Falling Rock bumper sticker from Denver on the wall, which tells you something), but it's still nice (if expensive). Also had cheap tabehodai yakiniku with a bunch of interesting new (to me) people, and they did DDR afterwards which they were rather impressively good at. Apart from not having a lot of interest in trying, my legs are a bit sore and beat up from track, so I just watched.
Speaking of track -- still getting my legs all beat up and sore from sadly minimal effort... I swear I can run even less than when I started. It's very depressing. I like the guys there, but more than ever I'm wondering what the heck I was ever thinking. At any rate, I'll go cheer on some of the team that's competing today (weather permitting?)
Let's see, what else... I finally figured out what that supposedly soothing but faintly disturbing music at my dentist is... It's like aquarium music, or the music they played at the top of Taipei 101 in the observation/buy-lots-of-expensive-coral shopping area. Heck, it might have been the exact same music.
I found the mother-lode for train keychains at the Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro. Got an Akihabara one for Dusty, and a couple for me (including Shakujii-Kouen, yay). They had all sorts of cool stuff there, including pens that cycle through the various express trains when you click them, and little music boxes that do the music for all the stations. I'm tempted to get the Ueno one to annoy the GF with. :)
It's funny how quickly you stop people-watching when you live in Tokyo. With so many people, they just start seeming less interesting somehow after a while. Or maybe I'm just tired. On the other hand, Tokyo is really a city you'll never run out of. There's always something new to do (or eat).
Finally, I'm pissed at my bank, they seem to have lost my wire transfer agreement (as well as causing me other headaches on a couple other points). But I'm kind of too tired to deal with it at the moment, and I can work around it for now.