So I finally decided to stop waiting for the right circumstances to present itself and just do it. I'm in Kyoto! I'm getting by on ohayo (roughly good morning), kinichiwa (good afternoon), hai (yes) and arrigato (thank you). The people are very friendly for the most part and try really hard to communicate and point you in the right direction. I got lost today and couldn't find my hotel and the 2 really great people walked with me until I found it! I think that rarely happens in NYC :) The bathtubs are really deep like a swimming pool which is fun. I'm pretty good with the currency which I thought I'd have a harder time with. The pics I'm taking are just things that I think of as quintessentially Japanese. Even the bars are cute and ornate! Their temperature is about on track with ours. It's really interesting to see just how much American culture gets infused into other countries. They really do watch what we do (like a younger sibling). They play our music, wear fashions similar to ours, know our catch phrases - completely bizarre! I'm trying to think what we know about them... I don't know any of their popstars or music, forget about economic status. Their prices aren't much different from ours which is to say that it's just as easy to wonder where your money goes when you've just bought basics (food and transportation). I'm hoping to run into someone who speaks English well enough to tell me a little bit about their political and economic status.