Daniel Santos

Week 10, 2024

There’s a belief related to movies that states sequels are never — ok, more like seldom — better than the first movie.

As I keep reading the second book in the first Dune trilogy, I started asking myself whether this is also true for books. That’s because while making progress with Dune Messiah, I wish it had at least half of its predecessor’s pace. The story (at least the way I’ve been feeling it) isn’t as appealing as it was in the first book. There are less chapters and pages though, and while I’m already 15 chapters in — meaning there’s only 10 to go, I do hope things wind up better.

I have taken my son to the Japanese consulate this week again. He delivered his passport and had his student visa attached to it, meaning that from now on he’s officially a Japanese government guest student.

Along with the visa procedures, my son and 19 other scholarship holders remained for the whole afternoon inside the consulate, while former scholarship holders — joined by three current students who connected remotely to a meeting session from Japan — gave out lectures explaining to the 新入生 (しんにゅうせい, or shin’nyūsei, as they call the freshmen in Japan) how their own experiences with the MEXT scholarship have been.

From the students' standpoint, a lot of practical matters were covered: how the college dormitories work, how the Japanese health insurance works, how to spend and save yens (their local currency), how to move around and many things. Now, I knew these orientations would come, but I believed only the consulate employees would speak, so I was positively surprised.

When the orientation sessions came to an end, the consulate even promoted a closing ceremony, followed by a small cocktail, meant to allow all scholarship holders to socialize with each other. During this time my son had the opportunity to talk to a chief judge, part of the Japanese consulate team of advisors. This proved to be very fruitful and interesting, as my son’s going to study Japanese Law. He got several contacts who can talk about their own experiences in college, and this has also made me very happy for my son.

Later, the results of this day trip to São Paulo made their appearance: I felt very tired and sleepy, and it took me quite some time to recover. But, all in all, the mission was accomplished.

Meanwhile, we’re all preparations at home. Clothes, bags, worksheets with estimations regarding my son’s likely expenses in Japan. Even what to do so we can properly communicate with him during his first days… as parents, my wife and I are trying to have everything covered. But there’s always one detail, always something we remember and had not thought about before… and this makes me anxious. I know it won’t be our fault in case we forget one detail, as there are so many that’s impossible to cover all situations… but we’ll try to think of everything 😅

Last week I got a pack of craft beers as the result of my winning one of my city’s radio station’s prize draw. This evening I took the pack to my parents' house so we could taste the beers together.

The cream ale proved interesting, and I just didn’t find it better than it was because it was a tiny bit bitterer than my taste. But, these beers were a prize, a gift after all, so there’s nothing to complain about in the end of the day, right? 😉

I caught a cold. At least, I believe that’s a cold. Sneezes, a running nose and that sensation of moving — and thinking — slower than I’m used to. I guess this is due to my resistance’s lowering: quite many things at work to deal with along with these personal affairs related to my son’s upcoming trip. Gotta take good care of myself… 🙏

#english #weeknotes