16 July 2010

3 months

Today marks my 3rd month since leaving home and, of course, it hasn't been easy.  But it's not very, very bad; "I'll live."  Some problems are here and there, unavoidable, and just needs managing.  Aside from today's "monthsary," nothing is special.  Went straight to class, got home, ate my yesterday-bought convenience store ulam (burger, chicken, sausage, potato balls) with ready-to-heat-and-eat frozen veggies and the last batch of my own cooked rice.  Did a little work.  Played basketball.  Forgot my knee braces, but I was still fine the whole time.  Got a little bit of my form back.  But, one typical "injury" in basketball: landing on someone else's foot!  This causes a kind of ankle sprain.  But I'm a (self-proclaimed) "veteran" of ankle sprains now and I knew what to do - hold them high and apply pressure (tighten your shoes) to keep it from swelling; i.e. let the blood flow out of there!  After a 5 minute rest I was almost back to normal and shooting just as well as before the mini-incident.  No one won the "betting" again.  That's probably 3 weeks now since anyone has won.  Anyways, as usual I showered after basketball - like everyone does.  Well not straight from after basketball, I rested a bit and let my sweating come to a halt first before I went into the shower.  It feels good to shower after sports!  Yeah, I know about the Pinoy myth that you shouldn't shower right after sports, but why is swimming an exception?  Anyways, I looked it up and it's safe, mga kababayan.  The important thing is you take a warm shower.  Not a hot one because you could get burned (duh!  but actually because your body temperature is warmer than usual, you might think the water is 3 degrees cooler).  And definitely not a cold shower, because that could cause muscle cramps, which is fatal.  After shower, as usual I went home to park my basketball stuff but since I didn't have any food to eat, I went to the convenience store to buy my ban-gohan (dinner; night food/rice).  But I actually didn't eat any rice.  I instead got a salad (I really liked this one), two kinds of pasta (baked ziti with shrimps, and the usual red sauce spaghetti), and apple iced tea.  Very nice dinner.  I think the last time I had pasta like these was still back in Manila.  On my trips to the "Italian restaurant" tabehodai place, there wasn't any pasta on the buffet menu.  You have to order it separately.  Of course as I mentioned, last time I went there, I ordered pizza (with a very good crust).  And then I find myself back here, typing away on the computer.  Tomorrow is another day.

By the way, we don't have any seminars tomorrow, and Monday is a holiday which means it's a long weekend!  I don't know yet what I'll do though; I haven't made plans yet.  I'll ask around and see.  Have I mentioned?  The school will be closed from August 12 to 17 - as in no entry, and no electricity (so no access to our computers here as well).  Some of the PhD students here are thinking about going up Mt. Fuji.  Yikes, I haven't climbed a mountain before!  Walking for 6 or 10 hours (with stops), I can do better than running 1 hour and 30 minutes for a 10 kilometer marathon!  Of course the problem is the thin air in high altitude.  Plus, as with any long duration physical activity, hydration is important.  So I'm bringing with me some cans of O2 (oxygen) and powdered "Pocari Sweat," and some water of course.  Basically the trip starts from the 5th station, which is 2,300 meters up.  The summit is at 3,700 meters.  There is a total of 4 more stations before the summit, but as you can expect, prices rise exponentially for goods sold at each station.  And, there's a price to pay to enter each station.  But anyways, the hike up is generally easy, and climbing season is only mid-July to mid-August, I think.  But it gets as cold as around 2 or 3 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Farenheit) there in the wee hours of the morning.  The start of the climb should be timed well in order to get to the summit just exactly before sunrise, which thankfully is around 4:30am here in Japan.  If you arrive early, you'll have to endure the cold for hours! If you arrive too late, of course you miss the sunrise.  Anyways, the climb might be 6 to 10 hours, depending on the pace of the people you're with. :-D  I have maybe three weeks to think about this really hard, and to do some preparations (i.e. cardiovascular exercises).  I'll keep you guys posted.

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