I invested a dollar on a little notepad to jot down spending costs and directions through the complex web of 5 different types of trains previously discussed. This little notepad has been a life saver in so many ways. I actually would have been stuck at some train station somewhere if it wasn’t for the quick note-taking of the transfers (I learned the phrase for “Do you have a map?” or “Chi-zu wa arimas ka?” the second day). It’s also good to keep up with what you spend money on. For example, $1 arcade places are at every major city, and these addictive games eat up cash like no other. I’ll write a separate entry about that later.
Besides keeping records of where I went and what I did, I also wrote a lot of random observations. I will use these observations as the titles to my journal entries for the rest of the time in Japan. I think I might continue this tradition of having a little notebook in my back pocket. It stimulates extra thought so I could fill more pages. This little oddity has actually become my trademark in the research facility. They said that they feel very important when they’re teaching me new things. You’d be surprised how much more I remember because I scribbled something on paper. The random thoughts that used to flutter around my mind are finally thought through with the extra seconds I use to take out the pen and paper. Reading back on what I’ve written for the day, I definitely learned more than one thing and retained it.
~See Lemons Take Notes