Tuesday, May 31, 2005


It was my assignment this morning to find some flyers advertising community Japanese learning courses that might be offered at community centres and the like in my neighbourhood. Aukje gave me two locations, pointed out where they would on the map, described where the were, and sent me on my way. I jumped on my bike with a little apprehension, since I did not know where I was going and don't have enough language yet to help things much. I zipped up the street toward the first location, a community learning centre. I got to the overhead expressway before I realized I'd gone much too far in my haste. I back tracked to the number 14 block and found the building I thought I was looking for. I was a little skeptical, it did look very communitycenterish but I wasn't sure. I parked and locked my bicycle and ventured in. I wandered around a little looking for a big flyer rack filled with brochures advertising this and that. All I could come up with was a pitiful little excuse holding about twenty flyers. The place smelled somewhat hospitalish as well. I snagged a couple potentials but didn't hold out much hope. This couldn't be the right place.
I decided to get to my next destination, the library. I found the NTT building right where Aukje said it would be, and turned the corner to look for the library. Where I expected the library to be I found a taxation building (the sign was in English). I looked a little further and found a building that looked like a potential. Again I parked and locked my bicycle and ventured in. Aukje had told me that the library was on the third floor and that I could take either the elevator or the stairs. I wandered around looking for a way up but I couldn't find either stairs or an elevator. Not to have been wandering around for nothing I stopped at the washroom which made me feel a little less frustrated. I found another pitiful rack of flyers on my way out, nothing potentially language like however. I left. I hopped on my bicycle and went round the other side of the building and, Eureka! I did indeed find the library. About time I thought. Yup. There were the stairs and an elevator. I parked and locked my bicycle and headed for the elevator. I entered and hit the button for three. Curiously the doors didn't close, so I hit the close door button. Then I didn't go anywhere. I tried the other third floor buttons (beside the button panel in the usual place there were button panels on each side of the elevator as well) and when nothing happened I repeatedly jabbed the buttons for a while. As I was jabbing I noticed a little sticky note on one of the buttons with some kanji written on it. Perhaps it had something to do with the elevator trouble. "Well no matter" sez I to myself, I shall take the stairs. I arrived at the second level only to find a chain barring my way. It now dawned upon me that perhaps the library was closed. Hmmm. I headed back down, to see a lady tossing a library book into the return book thingy at the bottom of the stairs, adding more support for my hypothesis. I hopped on my bike and headed home, feeling like a complete and utter failure. Such is coping with life in a foreign city.

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