In Tsukuba

Well, it has been hot. Very hot. Actually it has been cool in Japanese summer standards, but as the air humidity is so high it literally feels like walking around in a sauna. I have been sweating like crazy and suffered from a mild dehydration in the beginning, but I think I am finally starting to adjust to this climate. I just hope it won’t get any hotter xD

The weather is very changeable. One moment it is scorching hot, the next it is pouring down glorious glorious rain. And it always surprises me how fast it gets dark in Japan. Basically when 6pm drops it’s pitch black outside.

I’m here with two other Estonian girls- Sanna and Maarja. Our dormitory rooms are right next to each other, so we have mostly been hanging out together. Maarja has been a pretty good guide to us as she had been to Tsukuba before. I think I would have managed without her as well, but it has been a lot easier to settle in with her around. I suppose when you hang around with people from your own country it’s more difficult to mingle and find new acquaintances, but as I’m not that good at socializing anyway then I don’t complain.

I don’t like our dormitory much. It’s old and worn, but that’s not why I don’t like it. I don’t like it because it’s filthy. My room had dried mud on the floor and after washing it twice it still doesn’t feel as if it’s clean. The walls are covered with stains of god knows what and my table was literally covered with stains of faeces (I am not kidding!). And then there is the dust, dead bugs and spider webs everywhere. They do have a cleaning service for the corridors and other shared areas… I have seen several old men and ladies around scrubbing some corner or sweeping the floor, but honestly I haven’t noticed much of a change. The giant dead cicada I was too afraid to clean up myself is still lying in the exact same spot since we got here.

Speaking of bugs then yes they are huge and yes there are a lot of them and yes they are everywhere. Hell, I shared a shower today morning with a huge green grasshopper and a giant praying mantis was chilling behind my window for almost the whole day. The giant cicadas freaked me out in the beginning and they still do when they decide to fly at me or stare me down at the hallway, so I have returned to my old hobby of screaming and cussing at bugs. Ropendan mõne peale nagu voorimees xD But it’s good stress relief!

Bugs are also very noisy buggers:

Then we saw this cool looking fellow:

A praying mantis doing it’s thing behind my window:

Another thing I don’t like about the dorm is that there is only one shower per 20 rooms or so and that you have to pay for it (it costs 100yen/1eur per 10 minutes). It’s a pain to get a chance to take a shower in the morning and especially so since some of the girls gang up together and let their friends in right after they have finished. Some of the girls even “book” the shower by leaving their towels and shampoos in the front room so you’d feel awkward just going in there, because you have no idea if they forgot their items there or they just popped back to their room for just a second and will be back in a moment. Today the shower was “booked” like that for almost an hour and when I finally went to ask whose stuff was in there, they told me that yeah one of their friends wanted to go and take a shower next. UGH. Next time when the shower is “booked” like that I am simply not going to care and go take my shower anyway.

These certain girls aren’t very nice in general. They only come to talk to you when they need something from you and they aren’t very keen on returning the things they have borrowed. Rather unpleasant if you ask me.

The tiny kitchen and the bathroom are shared too, but that doesn’t bother me much. At first I thought I wouldn’t cook at the dormitory, but since I am constantly hungry for some reason I can’t afford to run to the convenience store whenever my stomach starts to rumble again. It feels like I have already spent way too much money and that most of the money spent has been on food. At first I thought that storing food would be an issue because there wasn’t a refrigerator in the kitchen or anywhere in the building, but since we now got one from one of Sanna’s and Maarja’s acquaintances it won’t be a problem. We also got a rice cooker, a kettle and a some ventilators for our rooms, so I think we’re pretty settled now 😀 It would be cheaper in the long run to buy a big pack of rice and other ingredients than going shopping for take-away food every day or eat out in a restaurant.

We have been walking around a lot and Maarja has been showing us where the most important shops and other places are. I like Tsukuba so far. The way we got our refrigerator was a bit of adventure too, because we had to carry it to the dormitory on our own and the guy who was holding it lived somewhat far away. We took a big cart from the school campus and then carried the refrigerator down one set of stairs, then carted it back to the dorm and carried it up on the fourth floor. Man was I sweaty and tired afterwards.

It has been rather slow on the school front. There have only been a few orientation and information meetings so far. And that’s how it will probably remain for the most of my stay here. The only mandatory things we have are a presentation in the beginning of November and attend the preparatory meetings for that and then another class that will be different teachers giving lectures on different subjects once a week. Most of the things I have to do on my own. I probably will get help though if I go and ask. But yeah research for the win. I suppose the presentation I have to prepare will help me do my research as well and then I just want to gather some material (find some books, take some photos, talk to people maybe, conduct a survey if possible…) for my final paper. So that’s what I am doing here. Hoarding stuff for my master’s thesis.

I think that’s about it for the moment. I’m not so sure what I should or shouldn’t write about, but if any of you, my few readers, have any questions or want me to write about something specific then ask away 🙂

As photobucket is down for maintenance I can’t post any photos at the moment, but as soon as it’s up again I’ll be sure to do a photo entry.

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