Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two weeks too late

Hah! When I said "tomorrow," what I really meant was "in two weeks." Musta been a typo. :-P But remember what I said about not being good at updating blogs? Yeah. Exactly.

SO! Today is July 15. Today marks the official "holy crap it's halfway through the month of July which means I'll be in Japan in about two weeks" day. Today is also the release of the Motorola Droid X; fitting, since I've spent a lot of time yesterday and today trying to decipher the various cell phone plans in Japan. None of the three companies seem to agree on how phone plans are laid out. That, or I just don't understand them (quite likely). In the beginning, I was leaning towards Docomo. For two reasons: 1) my girlfriend and I each got a $50 off coupon for them from Kinokuniya Bookstore in NYC, and 2) they have this phone called the docomo PRIME series F-06B. And hoooooooollllllyyyyyyy crap this phone is sexy. LOOK! THE SCREEN TURNS SIDEWAYS AFTER IT SLIDES OPEN! But Docomo's plans are all really expensive, and they don't seem to have an affordable "free/unlimited texting" plan. To make things more difficult, texting in Japan is apparently called e-mail. At least, SMS messaging with SoftBank is called e-mail. Or S! Mail. Or something. Anyway, I'll try to work it all out tomorrow. While I finish unpacking. Ugh.

I've been so busy over the past two weeks. I've had to pack up my stuff from my old apartment and move back into my parent's place temporarily until Japan. But this means packing, unpacking, and packing again! Ugh, and packing is my #1 least favorite activity. At least for activities that seemingly have to be done at least once a year.

One of the very important things I've had to take care of was purchasing Japanese money. Yes, I said purchasing. BECAUSE IT'S NOT FREE. I was under the impression that my bank would never charge me a fee, and therefore, converting money into foreign currency doesn't cost any more than the current exchange rate. And right, they don't charge a fee. Instead, they mess with the exchange rate that's used. Those punks! I checked the exchange rate on 20 minutes before I got to the bank. According to XE, I should have been given 88 JPY for every 1 USD. But with the exchange rate the bank gave me, I only got 81 JPY for 1 USD! That's 8% less!!! What a ripoff! Ugh, but 仕方がない as they say in Japan. Apparently, getting ripped off by your local bank is still cheaper than getting ripped off at the airport. That said, I'll try to make a note of what the exchange rate is at both the departing and arrival airport.

These past two weeks have been really hectic. I have been busy packing and moving, yes. But most of all, I've been trying to meet up with old friends to say our last goodbyes. Well not really; I'm sure I'll see them again. :-) Still, I'm finally spending more than three months away from Pittsburgh in over seven years. It's heartwrenching. And I'm glad I was able to see some of my friends before I left. I should try and make a trip out to my dojo and see my martial arts master.

While I've been at home, I've spent some time with my family. We've also done a lot of pre-flight shopping. You know, like new pieces of luggage, travel goodies, and whatnot. I even got bright neon-green tags so that I can easily differentiate my luggage from the thousands of others traveling with me to Japan! Fantastic idea. I hope. And I must say, there have been some really annoying restrictions for carryon luggage. I have been limited to a size that most luggage brands (like Samsonite) don't make! What a hassle. But anyway, I should be grateful that I found any bag about that size at all.

Now on to games. There have been some new Marvel VS Capcom 3 exhibition match videos from this year's EVO. Here they are, 'cause they're awesomely, fantastically amazing:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
I also finally beat MGS: Peace Walker! Wonderful game! Absolutely great! Highly recommended for any PSP owner, and a good reason to get one. What's amusing is that new missions are unlocked after beating the game, and certain things (items, weapons, and epilogue) are unavailable until you "beat" the game. Though really, maybe I never beat the game at all, and there's another, better ending? We'll find out. And I look forward to playing the missions in co-op mode with my brother and best friend.

I was thinking about making a vlog (video log), and maybe doing it not unlike sxephil. (Watch him, he's hilarious!) What do you guys think? All two of you? Just kidding, I know I have more readers than that. All five of you. :-)

Phrase of the day: 仕方がない 「しかたがない」 "shikata ga nai." It means, basically, "it can't be helped."


  1. I think the Arashi phones from AU are better. :P


  2. Harold, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one stressing out before moving! It was a flurry of packing, selling (car, piano, house...) getting rid of (weird stuff, cat, etc.) and all that. I've already packed; I left NC on Sunday and have been in Indiana with my sister for the past week, then I'm off to Oregon on Saturday, where I'll stay till D-Day. I hope you enjoy your last few weeks at home--have a big party!!!

  3. Wow, you sold a car, a piano, AND a house!??! A complete change of your life! I'm impressed that you've already packed. I've only begun!