Sunday, June 14, 2009

Japan Day 12- Matthew vs Laundry

Well the day started off with the plan to get laundry done first and then go out and see Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilian)

First I have to vent about the internet here at the hotel. Its a pain because it involves unplugging my computer and gadgets in my room and hauling my laptop downstairs to the lobby and plugging into the internet connection there and then babysitting it while it uploads pictures. I am completely spoiled by in room internet back in the states. There is wifi in the lobby but it is encrypted and they won't share the password (we've tried asking nicely). Apparenty Japanese are paranoid that people will steal their internet and use it for malicious things. Supposedly even the libraries here that offer free internet, don't offer wifi. Instead you have to plug in with hardline too. I can pick up the lobby wifi in my room and I am getting very tempted to try and crack their the password. It uses the old WEP encryption method which is flawed and is supposedly easy to crack. (FYI Use WPA2 encryption instead).

I got a late start and there were already people down in the lobby so it took twice along as usual to get all of Fridays photos uploaded. By the time I was done with the internet, It was lunch time. I cooked 2 mini pizzas in the toaster oven in the community kitchen.

After that I got started on laundry. Getting the stuff washed was easy- put 200 yen in each machine and off they went. The machines had a cool feature where they did self cleaning cycle before you put your clothes in. After that it was into the dryer. 100 yen per 15 minutes. I put 300yen in each and I though all was good but when I came back only one load was dry. the other set looked like the machine hadn't turned on at all- my clothes were still completely soaked. Off to the front desk I went and luckily one of the ladies who speaks pretty good English was there and I was able to communicate my issue to her. She came up and took a look at it and couldn't figure it out so she apologetically went down stairs and refunded my money and put an out of order sign on it. I folded the dry set and then I moved the other set to the machine that worked. While I was waiting. A man, who I guess was the manager, came up to look at the machine. He didn't speak much English and he gestured a question like "did I put coins in it?" I held 3 fingers and he ran off and brought me three more 100yen coins. I tried to explain that I had already been refunded but he didn't get it so I reluctantly took the coins. I don't think its possible to refuse Japanese hospitality. He put a coin in the bad machine and pushed the start button and the timer started counting down. Because the other machine was running it was hard to tell it wasn't making any noise. He started to take the sign off so I attempted to show him that the machine wasn't working by opening the door on the good one, stopping the machine and showing him that the other one wasn't making any noise. Ah he got it!

It was 4ish by the time my laundry was done it was too late to go see Kinkakuji becuase it's about a 25 mintute bus ride away and it closes at 5. So I ended up taking a walking through the park across the street which I hadn't seen yet and wondered around the local streets and found domburi restaurant for dinner.

I'm not sure what the place is called because their sign was only in Japanese but I knew from the ads in the windows that they severed domburi which are the bowls of rice topped with meat and other stuff. It is Japanese fastfood meal and the place was interesting. To order, you go to a vending machine that had at least 50 buttons (with pictures) of different meal combinations so you pick and pay and it prints out a meal ticket that you bring to the counter where they then prepare your food. It was simple, cheap and was tasty so I'll probably be back again.

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