I'm getting used to living in this quaint little village. Our aparto is small but Zack and I can handle that. I've started venturing out and getting to know the area. I think I've find my new favorite writing spot, this little temple that's not even 10 minutes away.
The language barrier hasn't started bothering me yet. It's actually pretty hilarious because people could be putting a curse on me for all I know, and all I can do is smile and laugh in reply. I went up to Tetsuya's dad's shop (Tetsuya is a friend of Zack's) to buy produce today and ended up laughing and shrugging more than talking. A lot of people are really understanding, especially if you say Arigato gozaimasu when you leave their shops. I've only met one other person who speaks English in the town, this guy who works at a cosmetics place. I've been practicing hiragana, so that's a start to communicating here. It'll be nice to be able to understand what signs say instead of guessing what kind of store or restaurant the building is.
I love living in a place where I can be a pedestrian and buy fresh food every day. They also recycle like crazy here! There are no trash cans because you're not supposed to throw anything away, not even styrofoam. The only downside to their awesome recycling system is that Zack has yet to figure out where to drop off the recyclables. He accumulated surprisingly little trash in the three months he was here without me, though. The recycling center is also only open from 6-7 a.m., we think. So it looks like I have another quest for next week. I've been really hitting the job search hard so let's all hope that works out for me. My other option at this point is to try and get a student visa to study Japanese while I'm here. I'm going up to the little language school in town tomorrow to investigate that possibility. I could work part time on a student visa, too. I'm just trying not to stress about everything and keep my head up. Tomorrow night, Tetsuya is throwing me a welcome party! And this weekend we're going into Matsumoto to hang out with some lucky bastards who actually made it into the Jet Program. Yippee!