Today, I bought a language acquisition device! I'm so excited! This device will help me acquire languages. As you probably know, I am acquiring language through the TV method, so the language acquisition device of choice for me is a portable DVD player. With this little player, I'll be able to watch TV dramas while commuting on the train to work. Each episode of what I currently am watching is 45 minutes long and my train time is about 50 minutes one-way, so I figure I'll be able to watch one episode each way. That matches up pretty well! Also, my workload is pretty light on the night shifts and weekends, so I plan to make better use of my time there. The new notebook computers at work don't even have CD drives, and the old ones had disabled drives. By bringing my new portable DVD player with me, I'll be able to bring my language acquisition hours to a whole new level!
In case you would like to know, I bought a BLUEDOT 1725. Here's a picture of it from the manufacturer. It can also play DivX from a SD memory card. The monitor is 7 inches and the resolution is 480 x 234. The best thing about this and newer BLUEDOT models is the 5 hour playback battery life. I could have purchased the 2705WD which has higher resolution at 800 x 480, but I didn't think that alone is worth paying 25% more. I think most of what I'll be watching will be TV dramas which won't be widescreen and high res. I couldn't identify any other significant improvements either, so I decided to save the extra 5,000 yen so that I can purchase a new used TV drama set.
Perhaps you are wondering where I got the extra money to buy this luxury device. Well, I'll tell you. Today I was paid to be interviewed for some product research. A consulting company is doing this research for a manufacturer who will make products for overseas markets and they were looking for people to interview from certain countries to get their opinions. That probably wouldn't be too hard to find here in Tokyo, but there was also a requirement of having previously been an owner of a certain product. So with all of those stringent requirements, they offered attractive compensation which was just the right amount for me to be able to buy this portable DVD player. The whole interview lasted 2 hours and was conducted entirely in Japanese. There were 3 Japanese men interviewing me.
I received the money at the end of the interview and then I headed straight over to Akihabara. For those of you not familiar, Akihabara is an area in Tokyo with a high concentration of electronics stores and many tourists will go there to buy cool gadgets from Japan. Consequently, there are Duty Free items that can be bought there. I went there for the purpose of buying my portable DVD player because I wanted a region-free model. I ended up purchasing from Akky International. Looking at the selection, I could find no where that it stated they were actually region free, and this with everything being written in English. So I had to ask the sales clerk about it to make sure. And then when I got home, of course, I put in my only region 1 DVD to check it and it was alright. I only had to go to the second floor of that narrow building and after I got there I heard the sales clerk phone somebody and I believe he must have been talking to someone who could come to translate because he was telling the person on the other end of the phone that there was someone on another floor (I don't remember which) and there was someone on the 2nd floor. I was the only customer on the second floor so I'm pretty sure he was talking about customers since he himself could not possibly be on 2 different floors at the same time. Of course, I only spoke to him in Japanese and didn't need a translator. When I went to the counter to pay for my purchase, it was then that I could clearly see who had come. To me it was obvious that she was the person who could translate, and a person who could speak at least 3 languages, for she had a Chinese name. It ran through my mind to say hello in Chinese to her, but I successfully restrained myself. I shall be content to wait until I can actually speak Chinese. Saying hello in Chinese could be dangerous. I wouldn't want to surprise the Japanese sales clerk that I was just speaking to in Japanese! He would probably get the wrong idea and think that I can speak Chinese too. There's no reason to give someone a heart attack under false pretenses. But come 6 months from now, or maybe a year, look out!