May 15, 2003
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The plane trip was not so bad. I ended up watching three of the four movies and only reading two of my eleven books. Patrick came with us to Japan after all. He and I played video games on my computer for the hour or so that the battery ran. We both wanted to listen to the sound, though. Luckily, the complimentary headphones were simple to take apart, so we split two apart and reassembled them with one earpiece from each. It worked well. Unfortunately, the headphones were not actually complimentary, so when the attendent came around and asked for them we had to take them apart and reassemble them properly in a hurry. From Antioch to Seika, it took about twenty-three hours, if I've calculated my time zones properly, and it was ten at night Tuesday when we arrived.

Mai, Hiroshi, Shuhei

After class on Wednesday, we met up with Shuhei, Mai and Hiroshi, who were at Antioch in the fall. The bunch of us, plus some others, coming and going, kicked a soccer ball around in front of the library, in the rain. It was more exercise than I'd gotten in a while, especially after the plane trip. Then we all hung out a while back at the dohokan, our dorms. They are very good people, and I think we will see them a lot.

Today we, the Antioch students, went to the Aoi festival, I think. It rained a lot, and was not so interesting. I didn't have an umbrella, and had to borrow or make do without. I got a little wet. It was the parade which we went to watch. It was people walking or on horseback, in traditional dress. They walked. After it finished, we rode the trains to downtown Kyoto and walked around a shopping district for a while. I gave Patrick three hundred yen, and he bought an umbrella for me off some guy. It worked out well, and I think we got a good deal. We asked some other people, carrying similar umbrellas, how much their cost and they ranged from three hundred fifty upwards. Not bad, and the guy will have a small story to tell his friends now.

Patrick and I played Jan Ken, too, when we were in groups of Japanese people. I'm not sure if that's how it's spelled, but regardless, it's just Rock Paper Scissors, but in Japanese. Instead of "Rock Paper Scissors" or "One Two Three Shoot" you say "Jan Ken Hoi" or if you tie, you say "Aiko desho" instead. Patrick learned all about it from Shuhei last fall. We had a system set up so that we could tie everytime, so the Japanese could hear us, "Aiko deshou, Aiko deshou, Aiko deshou," and be surprised at how good we were, and also that two Americans knew Jon Ken.

I have been very pleased so far. The city is excellent, and the campus is also. There is a cafeteria and a smaller cafe. The food is good, although all Patrick will eat there is rice. We also went to a tasty sushi restaurant today, and Mai knows a vegan place where will have to try out. Patrick has been doing some research on other vegan-friendly restaurants in Kyoto, and I imagine we will try a lot of them before the trip is done.

I will probably write more often, I think, but I will not necessarily put pictures every time. It's too much bother.