On Saturday, I got to experience the Japanese health care system by sitting in an ER for three hours. It was approximately as exciting as expected. Basically, my roommate Grace wasn't feeling so great, so I went to the ER at the local hospital with her. Although the people in the study abroad office had told me that the local hospital had English translators, we didn't wind up with one. The doctor did put all the medical terms he was using into a Japanese-English online medical dictionary, but, while I don't know what 気胸 means (other than that it clearly involves air and chests), I don't really know what pneumothorax is either. Fortunately, my electronic dictionary* includes an English medical dictionary, so we were able to look up the terms we didn't already know, and discovered that they thought that Grace might have a collapsed lung. Three x-rays later, they decided that she didn't actually have a collapsed lung and sent her home with an anti-inflammatory, which apparently worked, so I dunno what was up.
Anyway, it was way faster than an American ER, involved a whole lot less randomly sitting around waiting for results (we only had to wait about half an hour for the x-ray results), and was a lot less expensive than an American ER would be, because the national health insurance pays for 70% of all costs. THANK YOU, JAPANESE HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM.
Other exciting things that have been going on? UMMMMMM, I have been doing the reading for my religious history class, which actually isn't too hard, except for the parts where they quote Meiji Restoration proclamations, and then I have absolutely no idea what's going on. Well, at least I can read enough to get the general gist of what's going on, but they use so many words that aren't in my dictionary (either Japanese-English or Japanese-Japanese), that it's impossible to get everything.
Something I forgot to mention before is that all this year's Fulbrighters have to write a handbook for next year's Fulbrighters. We...didn't actually know about this until the mid-year conference, and it's due at the end of May, so it's been kind of a scramble. I wound up as the editor-like-person-position-job-thing, because apparently I am doomed to forever wind up in a position of evil power.
Also, I called to set up an interview and the priest I was calling had forgotten that I existed. Super awkward. It was a conversation fraught with awkward pauses until he remembered who I was and that my host family in Tochigi had introduced us. SUPER AWKWARD. But I have a tentative interview set up for the 25th, so YAY.
On a final note, I just discovered that "Washington, D.C." in Japanese is コロンビア特別区, or "the special ward of Columbia." HA.
*which I love madly and would marry so hard. LET'S HAVE BABIES, DENSHI JISHO.