> Annals > 2006 > Japan > Week 8
> Annals > 2006 > Japan > Week 8
by ZweiBieren Japan, Pittsburgh - Aug 14-15-15 Torii at Miyajima Shrine
Monday, August 14

Nonetheless, we slept excellently well despite having only a futon and tatami mats. A garbage truck woke us at 5:30, but did not do a good job. We returned to slumber only to arise at 9:20.

The ryokan front hall had a dozen pairs of shoes where we left ours, so we assumed many other guests were there. We checked out at ten, the latest possible time, without our ever having seen another guest. And the same dozen pairs of shoes were still there. 

Our reservations for the trip to Tokyo were for 2:30, but we decided to go to the station area and hang out there rather than attempt more touring. Breakfast at Mister Donut. Subway to Shin-Osaka station. At 11:10 we easily changed our tickets to leave at 11:27. Did sudoku on train. Arrived Tokyo 2PM.  Pleasant surprise: Our shinkansen tickets were also good for local train service. JR line to our hotel. Another pleasure: all our bags were waiting in our room: the three we left and the two we shipped from Osaka (for a total of $30). Japanese logistics is incredible.

We are toured out and are just hanging out in the hotel. S is packing while I write this stuff.

Tuesday, August 15, Tokyo

Slight drizzle this morning. It's welcome as it cuts down the heat.

I'm packed and ready to roll.

Tuesday, August 15, Pittsburgh

Wednesday, August 16

Wrote captions for all pictures.

Thursday, August 17

Selected highlights pictures.

Friday, August 18

Found the technology to have captions appear for rollovers.

Saturday, August 19

Designed and built a tool, gendirs, to create an html file for each picture.

Sunday, August 20

Debugged  gendirs.

TODO: use gendirs to create better picture directory
   revise pic/template.hin
   revise pic/index.html
   revise pic/Makefile

put result of template.hin into subdir
   make each thumb refer to html file

the files created are named .jpg, not .html
errors in run log
make line above picture same as the line below it
index number in upper left and smaller font
need a relativizing mechanism for pagetrailer's icon

    $base is a number of instances of ../
    $base=() in frame.hin

Impressions - Language

The Japanese all learn English starting in the early years of school. This makes it relatively easy to communicate. No one ever had any trouble inviting us to buy things or telling us how much money we owed.

I was surprised to realise that learning English is not enough. You can learn all the words and all the sentence structure. You can be fluent at reading English. And yet, you can still find it difficult to put words together exactly as would a native speaker:

A common sign is, "Watch your steps." This makes perfect sense. IT is the correct way to express the sentiment. But it is not what a native would say.

A Japanese person lives in a "mansion," no matter its size.
Many hotels have large bottles of toiletries rather than the tiny packages familiar in the states. This is much better for everyone because it reduces waste of toiletry and the enormous additional waste of packaging. One hotel expressed it this way:
Being conscious of Environment is our belife.
Simply packaged as well as reliable toiletry items
provided to help conserve our valuable resources.
Thank you for your understanding.
The one spelling mistake may even be a typo rather than an error. Otherwise the words are impeccable, just not exactly English.

Knowing when to put in an article, a, an, or the, turns out to be very tough. (It still bothers me to hear the British phrase that someone is, "in hospital.")

The toilet seats in Japan often have builtin bidets. A multi-button console adorns the rightside offering options to control the spray. One toilet had these instructions:
When you sit on the seat, automatically the cold water flow. Wait for "off" the lamp to wash.
Perfectly comprehensible. Some admixture of Japanese sentence structure. Not really English.

All in all, however, an everyday Japanese has English far superior to my Japanese.
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