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Japan Day 32: A Trip to Narita

Now that I have a solution to my problems, I want to share some of the difficulty I have had living abroad in a house without internet. I always knew internet was important to me, but I didn’t realize how crippled I would be without it!

A few friends helped me find a way to rent a router that I can actually take anywhere with me, and hook up as many as 14 devices to it at once! If anyone is interested, the website I used was this one: e-ca (The page is entirely Japanese, so if you aren’t fluent I recommend you find a Japanese friend to help you out!)

Here is an entry from several days ago when I tried to get a SIM card for my phone.

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I am not sure how much I have talked about it on my blog, but my host family doesn’t have internet. Sometimes this is positive; I study a lot and my Japanese level is clearly improving because of it. Sometimes this is negative. This week it was especially negative, and I had issues with communication while I was without internet from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday morning.

Because of this, after classes I headed out to Narita airport with a few friends in order to get a SIM card for my iPhone. When we finally got out there I was super excited—we walked to the booth which had signs for SIM cards and everyone spoke English. It was perfect. Too perfect.

I got the SIM card, put it in my phone…and it didn’t work. Apparently my phone is locked—which I believe I could rectify—and solving this problem would take a lot of time and money.

Luckily for one of my friends, the SIM card worked. For the rest of us, we returned to Makuhari empty handed.

The long bus ride home coupled with the recent phone failure gave me a lot of time to think about the other disappointments with the program and my stay so far. Because I was exhausted and my friends needed to leave to return to their respective houses, I headed over to Starbucks for some restorative hot cocoa and internet.

As I walked home from Starbucks, I was thinking about how much to tell obaachan. By the time I reached the house, I was leaning toward not telling her anything. However as I sat down to dinner, I found myself telling her a little bit of the story, and suddenly I was telling her everything—not just about todays adventures but all of the problems I have been having with the program.

Obaachan listened to everything I had to say and was very understanding, even saying she would call IES to try to ask about the phone problem and telling me to give her number to my family in the US for them to call in emergencies—and that if someone called speaking English she would know it was for me and she would find a way to contact me. After the day I had, it felt good to be able to talk about everything to someone who wasn’t involved and didn’t have a role in the good or bad things that were happening. I was also surprised—and pleased—that I could have such a conversation with obaachan and that my Japanese/confidence in speaking Japanese has gotten to such a level in which it is possible to do so.

What I have gained from today is that no matter the struggles I may face, I clearly have a strong support system in place and I am surrounded with fantastic opportunities and people.

Thanks for reading! Sorry today’s post was a mini tantrum >.< Stay tuned for this weekend’s adventures! 😀 As I mentioned before, I am going out to karaoke, Shibuya, Harajuku and Yokohama!

じゃ、また明日!

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