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Oct 30
Last night around eleven Mai and Shuhei and I snuck into a children's park. It was fun. They had the biggest slide I've ever seen, and a maze, and trampolines. We had to climb over an extra fence to get to the trampolines, but it was worth it.
Oct 24
Yesterday was my last day of work here. It went well, and I'm pleased. A week ago we worked at a house that was about to be torn down. It was built in 1901, or around then. It was full of neat old stuff, and it was all free for the taking, because it would just be thrown away and probably incinerated otherwise. There was plenty of stuff I would have liked, but it would have been a problem to get it all home. I took a book from the fifties, full of diagrams and things. The reason I said that the other stuff would probably be incinerated is because a few weeks ago I went to a garbage incineration facility, and it was pretty cool, and I like to think that that's what they do with all the non-recycleables here. It makes sense, I think.
Oct 6
I went to a magic show with Shuhei a while ago. It was some eight or ten hours away, so we stopped at his home, about halfway there, to spend the night. We hitch-hiked, which is something that I haven't done before. He has done it quite a few times, usually along the the same route we took, from the college to his house. It went fairly well, but took four days. We were planning on three, but we missed the lunch magic show and had to wait for the afternoon one, so we couldn't make it back to his house the same day. We ended up staying with a friend of his, which was fun. He's a video game fan, and we ended up playing puzzle games until late. The people who picked us up were generally interesting. One man gave us a ride, but spent it telling us, more or less, that if we couldn't afford to pay for our travels, then we probably had better things to do with our time than go to see a magic show. Most people were more friendly than that, though, and one woman gave us a 10000 bill (about eighty-five dollars) after she dropped us off. We tried, politely, to refuse of course, but she insisted. We spent the last leg of the return trip with some younger businessmen. They were about twenty-five, and we got along well. Most of the drivers, I didn't really talk to, but these guys spoke the more informal Japanese that I've been using. It was fun. Shuhei has been teaching me slang and other high-skill Japanese that generally surprises people when I use it. These two thought it was great.
Sep 16
I got a rice cooker the other day. It's not much, but it makes a big difference in how I eat. Up until now, I had to pretty much eat out every day, or buy take-out lunches from the convenience stores. I was getting pretty creative with what I could get from the supermarket, too. I didn't, and still don't, have a refrigerator, so I can't really buy much of any food that would spoil. I'm not big on single-serving packaging, so it took some thought to figure out what I could buy and eat in one meal without having to waste any of it at the end. Now that I can make rice, though, the rest of a meal can come together pretty easily and cheaply. I think it probably cuts what I've been spending on food in half.

It was unseasonably temperate all summer, but last week was unseasonably hot. Even in the summer, I had to leave the windows open and the fan on all night and all day, and recently I was spending my midafternoons, when I had the day off, at the air conditioned comfort of the college library. Now, though, the nights are already cold and when it gets to around one oclock, I only turn on the fan for a few hours.
Sep 2
I moved about a week ago. My new room is very tiny, and not airconditioned. Also, there is no internet or lighting. I work occassionally at a garden company. Mostly, my job involves cleaning up debris. I have a lot of free time, and I've been thinking I'll get around to starting or finishing some sort of project, but so far I just spend a lot of time reading.
Aug 19
The layout will change for a few months while I don't really have internet access.