Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going Home

(Sorry it's so late)

Going Home
I awoke about 9 am realizing I need to get up because lord only knows how messed up this day can get. So I get dressed and walk to get my bus ticket that I failed to get last night because during the first attempt the konbini worker did not know how to get the bus ticket. So I headed back to Erin’s, rested, bundled up, then headed to find the other konbini… which ended up being closed. So I went to another konbini where I was showed how to get the ticket but you can only buy it from 6 am - 11 pm or so and it was after midnight. So this morning I walk to get it to find out you cannot buy the ticket for the day you need it. FAIL!

OK time for plan B. What’s plan B? Well… good thing I had a 15 minute walk to figure it out. I decided to call a taxi and just try my luck at the trains… by myself… with 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons… GANBARIMASU! So I stood at the corner where the turn for Erin’s apartment was to try to flag down a taxi… fail… Fail… FAIL! So I decided to walk to the gas station and get some help, it worked well, I got one of the attendants to call a taxi for me and ALL BY MYSELF I got the driver to the apartment, gathered my luggage, got to the station, paid and was on my way.

I had a nice guy help me into the station… not that it was hard to do. But I won’t complain. I searched for my PASMO that had still a few hundred yen on it then realized... it was still in my jacket pocket... the brown jacket... that was packed underneath a lot of stuff and locked up... FAIL AGAIN! I took the train to Nishi-Funabashi then asked the eki-in how to get to the airport from there… I was told to get on the Sobu line to Funabashi the switch to Keisei. A young girl asked me here if I needed help… and at the moment all I needed to know was if the train coming was the one I needed to ride, which it was, so I hopped on there. At Keisei, a nice old lady helped me with my luggage all the way to the Keisei line. So nice, but I was confused about her telling “Eight… Eight” I was thinking platform eight… but the Narita Airport platform was 2. Oh well, I won’t complain. I had help every now and then from other people… I guess the more nimotsu you have the more helpless you look LOL.

I arrived to the airport on the slowest Limited Express ever. What kind of tokyuu was that anyway? It stopped at every stop from Funabashi! I got to the airport around 12, checked my luggage and HALLULAH none of it was overweight :D I proceeded to get lunch… my last Shaka Shaka Chicken… I ordered 2 ^.^ And a small fry. I talked to Ryota a lot from within the airport. Security was a breeze, and immigration stole my gaijin card ;____;

I got to the gate with 40 minutes before boarding started. I took a bathroom break, bought some drinks, forgot snacks, oh well, sorry if I eat people’s snacks LOL. I talked to Ryota more. I love my Japanese cell phone. Instant email… that’s all I really need in transit.

Currently on my long flight. Full flight. Good movie selection this time. Well, there is Harry Potter at least. I’m trying to read, rest, listen to music. I think the movie is starting soon. Had maybe dinner. Teriyaki Chicken. Pretty good compared to the food on the way here.

(Belly Button Check in the USofA)

Got to love going through security in one country just to go through it again upon entering the US. My friends and I dubbed this the belly button check. Customs was easy... where everyone seemed to be interrogated, I was asked what I was doing in Japan (studying) what I was studying (Asian studies and Japanese) and then the TSA guard next to mine started talking to mine... and mine started complaining about being sick on his stomach, feeling like he was gonna puke, wanting to go home, and shoo-ed me away.

Anyways, landing in Detroit I saw a winter wonderland… there was snow on the ground :) WOOO!! That’s something I don’t see often. I wish I could have played in it. I had about 4.5 hours layover in Detroit. I checked my gate, got over there, found it (or so I thought), went to get a drink, ate at Chili's, found some internet, listened to people sing karaoke, went back to the gate, realized it was not the right gate, found my actual gate, read, slept, then woke up within 10 minutes of take off. WOOPS LOL! I got on though. The girl next to me had her little dog on the flight. It was cute.

(One more flight: I'll be home for Christmas...maybe)
Now I’m sitting in Memphis. Short layover. I won’t bother going to look for internet though I really really want to talk to Ryota. They started to announce that our flight was overbooked and if someone volunteers to leave they get accommodation for tonight, a flight for the morning, and 300$ voucher... NO THANKS! I'm going HOME! On the plane, we found out that our landing gear was stuck and we would fly with it down which means flying lower and slower making our transit time over an hour. The lady I sat next to was nice :) We talked all the way there! I ended up being 45 minutes late.

We parked at the back gate with no breezeway to walk through. Coincidentally, it is where I departed the US from in July. As I was struggling to go down the steps, I was asked by some guy at the bottom "You got it?" and I said yes, watching the stairs... despite being in the country full of kaidan (stairs) I had yet become a stair expert... I'm clutzy lol... then he asked again if I was sure... and I looked up and it was a friend of mine :) Wow, that was amazing. I sped walked through the gate and to my family. It was nice to be home. I learned they were worried because the screen with arrivals and departures never changed from saying we were on time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Okaeri Tokyo!

Tokyo trip started at 4 pm Friday afternoon when Ryota picked me up at the dorm and I said a final goodbye to everyone in the lobby (Joel, Carly, Yuji, and Otousan... now I know who cares LOL) and after a final look back at the place I stayed at since the end of August, I climbed the dreaded hill with my many luggages... ok so maybe only half because Ryota was helping... but USK

So after making it up the dreaded hill and taking my last Keihan bus ride, we arrived at Hirakatashi Eki about 30 minutes before I was meant to meet with my speaking partner for a final goodbye. After sitting at starbucks for awhile to burn time (and let Ryota have a coffee... that boy loves his coffee) I met with her. She gave me a Hello Kitty doll :) I gave her my bunny I won at the UFO catcher... it was the first time I won since being here and I got it on my first try so I think it's lucky especially because I went to Joypolis just to get that bunny. After saying goodbye and resting up, Ryota and I headed to Kyoto station!

We arrived at Kyoto Station where we would be boarding the night bus to Tokyo hours before hand so we used the time to take pictures of the big Christmas tree which lit up in sync with Christmas songs that played and ate dinner. We ate at this place that sold giant hamburgers. I haven't had a burger since I left the US in July LOL. It was nice... even though it had mustard on it >.< I missed burgers. I ate the whole thing too and my fries. After eating and talking we walked to find where the bus would come and went to konbini for snacks. We boarded the bus and left around 10 pm.

I would definitely take the night bus again for the price. It's not like I thought. Just basically a big tour bus. Ryota and I watched videos from the dance booth then Umizaru 2: Limit of Love before crashing. We arrived in Shinjuku at 6 am. Early. Cold. Dark. We hopped on the subway and rode to Tokyo station hoping to get breakfast, but didn't happen yet. We stayed there until we located a hotel in Nihombashi and then headed that way.

Unfortunately, check in isn't until 3 which is when we were due in Disney. Luckily we could still leave our bags which we did. Then we headed back to Shinjuku to find the Love sculpture, which after awhile, we did. Some people were there... one dressed as Santa and one as a Ninja, seems like they were trying to make a movie. It was kinda entertaining but we had NO clue what the heck they were doing. We went into this on building that had a pet store. I played with a cute kitten. After eating lunch and sleeping in a McDs, we headed for Disney.

At first I didn't think it was so crowded... maybe because everyone was in line for Splash Mountain. We rode the Merry-Go-Round and the Star Jets ride. We basically walked, talked, laughed, enjoyed the company of the other. We shopped in the super crowded stores and watched the fireworks. I am glad we go the startlight passport (3 pm til close) because I was so tired even though I slept on the bus and we couldn't enter the hotel and rest so I was slept in McDs and on the trains.

While in Disney, Ryota got this giant Mickey Mouse waffle and ate it. No more than 2 hours later after we left, we were in the station when he mentioned getting dinner because we haven't had dinner yet. And I was like "What do you call that waffle?" and he gave me this look and said "Snack" which I cracked up. That boy can eat... LOL I love him. He's great.

We made it back to the hotel, grabbed dinner, and rested up. I was going through pics on the computer while Ryota was filling up the bathtub. I lay down and told him I was shutting my eyes for a minute and came be side me and we both fell asleep. He never got his bath LOL. We were SOOO exhausted.

This morning we checked out and headed to Erin's to store my luggage. We talked and laughed at her place then headed out to Odaiba. We never made it there... I was trying to meet up with Jun and Manami one more times but plans kept changing so we ended up in Akihabara for awhile before meeting with Jun and Manami at Tokyo station where we sat in Starbucks and talked.

So sleepy...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finals are OVER...

...and what am I gonna do???? I'M GOING TO TOKYO DISNEY LAND :D I bought the bus ticket and Disney ticket yesterday with Ryota :) I'm excited! And I couldn't be going with a better person ^.^

So how did I do? I believe my Reading/Writing Japanese final went fairly well. Ryota tried helping me at the dorm to study, but I think he slowly saw me get tired and not focused so we went to Hirakata-shi and sat in Starbucks which worked :) I managed to get through the review sheet and relearn all the kanji I had forgotten in 5 hours! AND with his help I managed to get the xmas presents I was wanting to buy... so jealous... I want one too. Thanks to him, I think I did really good on that final. Spoken is so-so. I always finish first or close to first which worries me. But I maybe it's not a bad thing...... I hope. I never do TERRIBLE on an exam. I can never guess how I do on Spoken though because of little things. I finished my paper for my Relationships class and turned it in today after doing my paper work and getting my 100$ deposit back.

Now, I am starting to clean and pack. I managed to get most presents in one suitcase and I think maybe I can squeeze some little things into it but it's mostly full and I have space :) Thank goodness. Now I just have to worry about weight. I think there is scale in the SH I can use though. So I am taking the night bus Friday night and going to Disney Saturday :)

Yesterday, I was in the CIE with Ashlee, Ryota, and a friend of Ashlee's when these Japanese students came up to us wanting "our time". I've done so many of their questionnaires, I could not tell you how many... but this one was totally different. This girl was studying linguistics and she had a guy with her, and she wanted Ashlee, her friend, and I to "break up with him after 2 years because we found someone else" LOL! It was so funny. Mine was pretty decent I guess. I think it is difficult because I didn't know him and had no feelings so I think if it was the real thing it would be different.

I did get pictures this week from modeling in Shinsaibashi. And the designer won and will go to London and study :) That makes me happy. I'm sure he was judged on the clothes and not my modeling... because in my opinion they aren't that good. There are a few good ones though. I also got a letter from Kimiko. Kinda sad she is in Nagoya now and I won't see her again. But I should see Manami and Jun in Tokyo. YAY!

Yesterday, Tuesday, I volunteered at Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary for the last time :( I actually got to attend both classes this time. Due to finals, I was the only exchange student in the first class. I had a lot of fun and will miss the kids. The girl who looked like my sister is named Hitomi LOL.

ok bye for now ^.^

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kimatsushiken!! FINALS!!!

Well this week went by really fast. Monday, Japanese classes, and I don't think anything particularly happened. Met with my discussion partner for relationships class. Tuesday was Japanese and Relationships class. Volunteer work has been moved to next week. Wednesday, Japanese classes and Communication class where nothing is going on anymore. Thursday Japanese classes and Relationships. Friday was the final day of class... Japanese and Communication. Friday was my Spoken Japanese Oral Final. I prepared fairly well I think... and it went well I think. The time limit was 6-7 minutes and I was done in no more than 5... when I looked at the grading though time wasn't something apart of it so hopefully it's all good. Also, I met up with my speaking partner. We hit up Karaoke, purikura, and took random pics around the station. Today I went to Umeda to do Xmas shopping and picked up 4 gifts.

This week is finals. I have Reading/Writing Japanese Monday, Spoken Japanese Tuesday, and my final paper for Relationships due Thursday. Friday I'm heading out via night bus with a friend to Tokyo where we will tour around to places and hit up... TOKYO DISNEY LAND :D I'm so excited. AND! AND!!!!! According to the weather website I use, there is a SLIGHT CHANCE OF SNOW!!!! :D!!!! That would be so awesome!

Here are some pictures from this week:


Here is the "hen" (strange) photo taken with my Spoken Japanese class and sensei. I am trying to mock my Reading/Writing Japanese sensei's angry face when she was a child LOL


Me and Joel and my Reading/Writing Japanese sensei!


KGU's hidden garden


My Speaking Partner and I :D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

1 Week Later

You know... I envy Joel, being able to write in his blog everyday. It's not that I have a boring life and can't... just have such an exciting life I have no time LOL

This week has to be one of my most relaxing weeks in awhile. I had a lot of assignments but NO tests/quizzes. In Spoken Japanese we finished watching the drama, had a conversation day with Gaidai students, did our skits, and then reviewed for a test Monday. Our skit went well :) I hate that we have to vote for the best... some people take it to heart. No, my group didn't win, but I just want a good grade... I don't care about cross-dressing people and making something funny, as long as I get a good grade. We got to eat cake :D I have it on video too. That will be some good memories.

CAKE <3 from the 99 store haha

In Reading and Writing Japanese we just continued on with kanji study. We did sing karaoke in class one day HAHA. In my relationships class we are just continuing on with lecture. In Communication we are just doing presentations. Communication class is basically over. I did my presentation Friday... nothing else to do except show up and listen to everyone else! WOOT! Relationship class I have a short paper due Tuesday then my final paper due next week. Japanese classes I have some final tests and assignments and Oral test at the end of this week and written tests next week. I'm done with classes next Tuesday.

This past Tuesday I went back to Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary school. Teaching plan was "I am". I feel like it was pretty difficult for the students to learn all the vocabulary that fast. I go again this Tuesday for the last time and there is a workshop at Komatsu Friday but I'm not sure if I am going there yet.

It was a pretty awesome week :) Sunday I watched Angel and Demons with a friend, we also watched Liar Game together and rented Eurotrip and 1 Month to Live (a Japanese movie) to watch. Have watched the 1 Month to Live yet... Excited to see it though <3 Friday was karaoke with the dance booth members.



Rocking out to lord only knows what XD

It was fun :) Saturday I went to Kuzuha to hang out and go to a pet shop to shop for my kitty and the new addition to our family... our dog Toto. Toto got a pillow and my kitty got a new toy.


I saw this puppy... I so want it <3 KAWAII!!!

I was suppose to go to Takuma's for a Nabe Party with his family but... well long story short... I was running late (blame the cute puppy!) and I got his message too late and went off to Yakitori and Karaoke instead. Shikata ga nai.

Status: not motivated to study (is that even a status???)