So, clearly, the GRE did not kill me. Although it was like going to a secret prison. It turned out that the directions in the email from the GRE test center pointed toward an equity union, and the address they gave me didn't exist. When I finally found the testing center, it was in a building marked "Kaiser Permanente." And then they made me empty my pockets, and I was only allowed to carry my ID and a key to my locker. And then I got my picture taken and they ran a metal detector over me and there were CAMERAS in the TEST ROOM CEILING. It. Was. Ridiculous.
But now it's over, and I am still alive! And I didn't even fail it, which is an added bonus!
And I really need to finish packing.
I spent much of yesterday randomly singing for my old choir*, being bitten by FIVE THOUSAND MOSQUITOES**, hanging out with cool homeschooling kids and parents, watching a horde of small children punching my going-away-party-balloons, hanging out with cool homeschooling kids and parents some more***, and reading my little brother Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.****
Also, a bunch of exceedingly nice people gave me exceedingly nice presents, and for that I thank them, and also rearrange my partially packed suitcases. Seriously, I need to get on this packing thing.
In other news, I got an email from my advisor telling me that he could meet me when I come to Nagoya from Tokyo as long as I come after 3 p.m. (and for that I am so grateful, because, seriously, I thought I would have to find my way around Nagoya alone). That's not really a problem at all, since there's a Shinkansen (bullet-train) from Tokyo to Nagoya that gets in at 3:21 p.m. The only problem is that I can't figure out how to get to the Shinkansen. On a whim, I tried Google maps, which worked surprisingly well...except that it's convinced the only way to get to the Shinkansen is to take a $60 train. What the heck? It's not even a long train; it says the train ride is 7 minutes. Compare that to the Shinkansen, which is an hour and forty-one minutes for $45, and you have to wonder if the train is made of solid gold. So I'm trying to figure out a way to use the Tokyo Metro to get to the Shinkansen instead of paying $8.57/minute.
A final note: I have forgotten all of my useful Japanese. I know how to say "sexual generative organ" (生殖器) and "marijuana" (大麻) and "friction" (摩擦) and "the act of carrying a coffin out of a home or temple" (出棺), but I cannot for the life of me remember how to say "train timetable." GAH. Add that to my normal stutter in Japanese, and my first few weeks are going to be mildly terrible, from a speaking perspective.
*My old choir director decided that she would make me sing the Japanese verses of "Tonari no Totoro" rather than braving them herself.
**OW, the bites itch so much. Ugh, I hate mosquitoes. Or at least female mosquitoes. Dude mosquitoes are okay.
***Maybe this is news to some of you, but I actually was homeschooled (until I was 15-ish). Then again, it's still news to some people that I'm 20 years old... YES, I AM 20.
****We're trying to finish it before I leave. We haven't even gotten to the second task yet. I leave on Monday. Yeaaaaaah. We're going to have to read A LOT.