My first day. After a grand total of 4 hours of sleep, I went through a rather hurried training for so-called "A1" classes—more intensive classes that have year-round schedules—before rushing to a town to the west of Shinjuku I'd never seen before. I meant to do a little preparation before being thrown to the wolves (in this case, rather harmless-looking 6-9 year-olds, but wolves nonetheless, I tell you). A half-hour's prep time is not enough, and so I flubbed through as best I could. Kids give you the benefit of the doubt, at least until they turn nine or ten, so I was able to make do. My greatest pleasure in the kids department was a little girl who began to cry at the prospect of being left alone with me but who smiled and later yelled and laughed a little after I had her jumping around and turning in a circle with the other kids. I remember being the "sensitive" kid when I was young and I have a special place in my heart for the ones that, for some reason, start crying at the drop of a hat. Many people think they want attention or "are cry-babies," ie just lost causes—I know neither is the case, and my heart always goes out to them.
Yesterday I made a rather long trip on my bicycle around the city. I first went to Akihabara, the electronics district, to window-shop for cell phones—I can't get one until my foreign registration card, showing I have an address in Japan, comes through, so I just took a look at the deals and continued to be patient. From there, I rode about 20 kilometers (I'm using the metric system as much as I can these days, but that's about 12 miles(?)) to see a "firefly viewing." I got there about 7:30, but like many events in Tokyo, you get a ticket with a number on it and have to wait until that number is called before you go in.
I'm in an odd situation—my life is about as good as I could expect, outside of work. It may be a bit inconvenient to get into the city from my apartment, but it is still near the city; the compensation is being near the Arakawa with its bike path. An initial chill of depression and cold feet has cleared up, and now I love just walking around the city when I get a chance. My apartment is excellent, I really like my room, and my roommate is better than I could ask for: funny, intelligent, and willing to do his share of the housework. I see us getting along well, no matter what happens. I don't think I've felt this comfortable straight off the bat with a roommate since college.