Nazis, Chess, and Talk of Japanese Wives

So, today I finally have a day off after my adventurous weekend in Wilmington, and the time is right for a new, full post.

This past seven days has proven to be very productive…at least in terms of my life. A while ago, I started reading “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” because of my curiosity of Hitler’s rise to power. This week, I finally made it through the background information, and on to the story. I’m crushing the book now, and really getting into it by double checking certain facts and understanding each person who was involved with the evil man. WWII has always been my favorite part of history, because there are more learning opportunities associated with it than any other part of history. It is constantly referenced, and will always remind us of how similar occurrences should never happen again. I can thank my visit to Germany this past summer and the abundance of free time for the indulgence of this great book.
The other half of my self proclaimed “productivity” is the classic game of chess. I’ve always wanted to be competitive with the game and with this free time I have finally begun to win some. I signed up for a free account on chess.com and watched a few live games to see the pros work it. I’ve been addicted to the game, and played all day today. I’ve also been playing a lot of sudoku.
Alright. Ever since I have informed everyone of my trip to Japan, it seems that at least half of the people make a joking comment about coming back from Japan with a wife. I don’t understand why. I can see why close friends who would love to imagine the situation would ask, but co-workers? Superiors? The Japanese do not sell wives, thats the Russians. I’m not even really that interested in Japanese women. They are to be considered, but I prefer American girls. Supposedly though, Japanese girls love any American or European guys, so…could be fun. I just find this hilarious that everyone is imagining that I return with a wife.
Speaking of Japanese girls, my email partner Masami who attends Mie University, has decided to pick me up from the airport, ride the ferry to the city with me, and post me up with a friend that lives near the university. I am thrilled to avoid staying in a hotel by myself for the first night and to have found a work around for the pick-up service offered by the school. They told me to purchase my flight, and then they would get me from the airport, take me to campus and immediately allow me to move into the International House. Well, I found out that they will only do this if you arrive before 2p.m. I had already booked a flight. A problem occurred and Masami came to the rescue. Now that I know what I’ll do when I arrive in Japan, the saga continues with acquiring documentation to get into Japan.
Finally, after four months of complicated, roughly translated emails from Mie University, I can go to Atlanta and get my visa. The process works as such. 1) You must apply to become eligible for and education visa. 2) You must obtain the certificate of eligibility for a visa and the acceptance letter from the Japanese university. 3) You must take these forms to an embassy or consulate to apply for a visa. After sending my information and answering what seemed like hundreds of questions regarding the “preparing of the money” as they put it, I finally received my acceptance letter and certificate of eligibility today. March 15, I will drive to ATL so I can get up and get it over with, and then we will head to Charleston, SC to see my brother graduate from his technical program. After that, off to Wilmington for a week and then I’m off to Japan! It will come very quickly, and I will try to savor all of my time with everyone. This weekend will be spent with Nick and Rimer in Chapel Hill, so I’m sure I’ll update for then and also the Wilmington trip.

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