Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Patrick- Another comment about credit cards

When shopping online, I'm not eligible for a Japanese credit card (they don't give them out like candy here), so I have to use the "pay at a convenience store" option. In Amazon's case, that means after you order, they send you a number by e-mail after about thirty minutes. You walk down the street and show the people at the convenience store the number, then pay them, then Amazon ships the product to you.

This is pretty simple and about as good as it gets.

But for Apple, if you choose the convenience store option, they physically mail you the number, causing you to wait two or three days, which you then take to the convenience store and pay. Why a US computer company feels the need to physically mail payment numbers for online purchases is beyond me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sara-Bone Fracture

On Monday, I went to the hospital because my foot had been hurting since the Tochigi trip. I went to the prefecture hospital and after about 3 or 4 hours, I learned that I have a small fracture in my foot. The cost of this was 4,000 yen. I also received pain killers and another medicine for my back pain for only 730 yen. So I have crutches from the hospital and I’m learning how to walk to school and move around the apartment with them. The teachers and students at my school have all been very nice and helpful.
I keep telling them that it just looks worse than it really is, but it’s been really nice to get the help. Juggling two crutches and two lunch boxes is not a skill I have. The great thing about the injury though is that I’m now working on my abs. Maybe after the crutches I can do 200 sit-ups without breaking a sweat. :)

Sara-"Spring vacation" in Tochigi and Saitama

From March 27-30th Patrick and I went to Tochigi and Saitama prefecture to see two friends. First we went to Tochigi to visit our friend Jura who is studying at a university there. Then Jura joined us to visit our friend Risa in Saitama. There, we walked up a mountain, but only a little way up because I had injured my foot earlier. Then we walked around the Tokyo area. We had dinner in Shibuya, and looked at the cherry blossoms. The following day we said goodbye to Jura and then Risa, Patrick and I went to the World’s only Parasite Museum. It was interestingly disgusting. We had a really great time and the Shinkansen one way was 13,000 yen from Tokyo station to Morioka.
Here are a few pictures from our trip. The fist is Patrick (green jacket) and Jura (red jacket) going up to see a Shrine while in Utsunimiya city (Tochigi). The next is an Izakaya (bar/restaurant) that we went to. We went to the one on the right that has たこ which is Octopus in Japanese. The next pictures are of cherry blossoms and a view from the mountain that we walked up while around the Tokyo area.