Day 4: Not so confused anymore

Things began to fit into place. I wasn’t always so confused about where I was going. Although I was still dehydrated and tired from the previous day, I was definitely more settled and calm mentally. I got to Waseda and picked up lunch at a convenience store, with the intention of eating it in class. My professor later told me and some other classmates who had turned up at class with a konbini (another word for convenience stores) lunch that eating at the desk is a very Japanese thing to do.

The professor talked to us about the Meiji period in Japanese history and we learnt about Edo, Samurais and the significance of water in Japan. After class, I went to Shibuya, which is comparable to the Times Square of New York. As I stood on a bridge watching people cross the scramble crossing, it was scary to see such a large number of people walking towards each other. And the way they were walking was almost mechanical and robotic. It seemed as if they were walking in sync.

I also discovered this little button that Japanese toilets have which make a flushing sound on being pressed. But they don’t actually flush. According to one of my friend, it is used when people are peeing so that it covers the sound of peeing from people outside. Brilliant, isn’t it?

I returned home that night to find a delicious meal on the table cooked my Kaori-san! We had salad, oranges, rice, soup and korokke, a deep friend meat cutlet. Eating the korokke with chopsticks was a new experience for me, something I did not think was possible, since I would earlier just eat cutlets with my hands or a spoon.

I spent a long time hanging out with Kaori-san and Masaki-san after dinner, and it was really fun. We tried to make weekend plans, only to be distracted several times by the television and other random topics of conversation. From one of Kaori-san’s books, I learnt about geishas, the uchi-soto concept and other arbitrary things related to Japanese culture. I only got to my readings for the next day of class after they went to sleep.

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