It’s been a while….

September 23, 2010

It’s been weeks since I’ve updated. x___X I don’t think I remember anything well enough to talk about it. So you’re getting updates in photo form.

These will be from the first Kyoto trip. =)

Enjoy~

One of the first things I saw after leaving the station.


Pretty buildings~


I wish I could show you the whole view. It was stunning.


Bridge over the river. People, people everywhere!


I love details like this~


And the colors. =3


I'm going back and buying all of these. ALL OF THEM. o----o


And what is this? I honestly could not even begin to explain. xD


The first temple we went to. If I could remember the name, I would tell you which it was...^^;;


One of the temple guardians. I spotted four of them, but I'm sure there were more.


This was just off to the left after entering the temple grounds. I'm not sure if it was there for the sake of cooling off or for purifying yourself...Ah well. Two in one. =P


Hanging directly above the water. I enjoyed everything plastered to the ceiling. =)


Inside looking out. The old mixed with the new...


The details on these temples are so beautiful~


I wish I knew what the lanterns were for...


A sign depicting where the various Buddhas were. You touch them to earn merit. I did it wrong. x) You're supposed to use your right hand, not your left...


Slope/stairs leading up to another temple...we didn't go that way. x)


As you can see, we found a Studio Ghibli store....I may or may not have bought souvenirs. I simply cannot say. ^___^


OMG GIANT TOTORO YOU MUST COME HOME WITH ME


Cute little owl beads. It was only after I snapped the picture that I saw the sign saying 'NO PHOTO.' Oops.


Ugh. Tanuki. Monsters and Ghosts has ruined them for me. I'll never be able to think they're cute again. T^T


Busy road leading up to the larger temple.


The sky was being gorgeous that day.


I think this one was Kiyomizu...don't quote me on that. It's probably wrong and I'm too lazy to look it up. ^^;;


Ahaha~ So coooooollll! ^____^


This photo is going up purely because I think it's pretty~


Oh look, it was Kiyomizu...


It was so weird. You look one way and there's nothing but green. Look the other, a whole bunch of modern buildings...


That's what's holding the temple up. And no nails used at all...scary but awesome.


Not sure what this was. Maybe sutra copied down for merit? Dunno.


Creepy little Jizou statues...


A Kanon statue, a'fink....


Sun was beginning to set.


There were three fountains here. Wealth, health, and knowledge, I think...this little kid was too cute. ^__^


We ran into Jumpei! (That's him on the left.) He goes to Eastern as a grad student and was back home for the summer. I thought he was in Tokyo...


Hehehe, Dana looks so happy~ ^___^


And for my last photo, Eraani, my roommate. =D She's full of awesome~!

There. I updated. >>;;
I’ll try to do a more thorough one this weekend…

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September 2nd, Day 8

September 8, 2010

Day seven disappeared. I don’t know where it went.

So you get day 8. ^__^

It was the day of the welcome/opening ceremony, so we were required to dress nicely. I only had my yellow sundress. So that’s what I weeerrrrr.

Before that, though, we had our Seminar House residents’ meeting, reiterating everything we’d already heard. Thanks for the info. Again.

Afterward, loan application was finished and we hung around the CIE fishbowl for a bit.

Then we had the opening ceremony.

President of the university gave a speech. Twas kinda dull, since he was reading from his notes (memorizing the English would probably be ridiculously difficult, so I don’t blame him). Then a speech from the American consul. He clearly did not prepare beforehand. Everything he said was good, solid advice, but it seemed like he was winging it.

Next was the Australian consul.

Who proceeded to blow the American consul out of the water. She was extremely well spoken and her speech was poignant. -sigh- Why can’t our representatives be like that? Seriously, ‘merica. People have a bad enough view of us as it is.

We had a reception after the ceremony was done with foooooooooood~
It was absolutely delicious. Sandwiches, sushi, yakitori, takoyaki…and a chocolate fountain.
AMAZING.

After that was all said and done, went back to the Sem. House and lazed around on the interwebs.
Fun day. =)

View of the ceremony from where I was sitting.


The people behind me. Peter was the only one paying attention. x)


FOOOOOOOOOD~


Moar fud. =3


A blurry chocolate fountain. I shoulda tried to get a better one.


Tim, Dana, Peter, and some guy from Turkey speaking to the American consul. (Asian dude on the right.)

I don’t know what day….

September 8, 2010

I missed a day.

I don’t know how it happened, but I missed one. There was a festival…we went to it. I think it was a Monday. Can’t remember now. =___= But it was fun. I shall show you photos, ’cause I don’t really remember what we did. ^^;;

Walking towards the festival~


Some of the vendors. =)


I don't know what you say...but you are colorful and going on my blog.


High school students treating everyone to music. They were pretty good. ^__^


The heat was miserable. We were given free paper fans, but even then...


Stitch! And the Pink Panther~


There was a Filipino food stand. We didn't get any, but it smelled delicious!


It was a fun day, but I was exhausted, so I'm unsurprised I have trouble remembering it. ^^;;

Um…

September 7, 2010

I’ll update eventually…I swear. >>;;

Day seis…

September 1, 2010

After leaving my papers behind only two days prior, you would think that I’d remember to bring all of them on day six.

Nope.

Left my request of payment papers at the dorm.

Damn.

That meant that my loan application was unable to be completed. Have to bring the papers back tomorrow. After that, hopefully I won’t have to worry about any more fees for a while. Besides the ones keeping me fed, that is.

Attended another pointless assembly at the multimedia hall, which pretty much reiterated everything that had been said the day before. Got a delicious katsudon lunch at the cafeteria. Then it was back to the hall to meet the Asian Studies Program staff.

And now I want to take every single class that is offered. I’m actually really disappointed we’re only allowed two electives. Well. Two, unless you want to pay extra. Which I really don’t.

We also saw a little video showing us the various clubs and circles available on campus. Totally doing flower arranging. And aikido~ Super excited. ^__^

Then watched a presentation on safety in Japan.
Pretty much, don’t do stupid things while drunk and you’ll be okay. Got it.

Came back to the Sem. House and hung around for a bit before heading off to the post office and Shimamura with Tim and Eraani. Tim got money out of the ATM and bought slippers, while Eraani bought a bath towel. Oh, the things we’ve managed to forget to bring. Fun times.

Went back to the dorms for another brief period of time, then went to dinner with Dana, Tim, and Eraani.

I’ve decided I love Gasuto. ❤ (That's Gusto, by the by, just Japanified.) It wasn't Japanese food. I'm not really sure what it was. But it was deelliiiiccciiouuussss~ Dana and I got this cheesy pasta bowl and split a dessert. SO AMAZING. I didn't want to stop eating it. ^____^

Just got back to the dorm and began to write this. I really need to start figuring out how to wire money into my Higher One account. I can't get to any other account, apparently. x__X No fun.

I hope I get into the classes I picked. There's only 30 people allowed to a class, and if they're over capacity the computer chooses who gets in randomly. They made us choose five back-ups, just in case.

For the curious, these are the classes I chose, and my back-ups.

First choices:
Monsters, Ghosts and the Making of Japan
Japanese Buddhism

Back-ups:
Onna to Otoko: Gender and Sexuality in Japan
Popular Culture as a Social Practice: Producing Pleasures, Styles, Identities
Cross-Cultural Psychology
Religion in Japan
Mind in Yoga, Buddhism, and Daoism

Oh, and I've included a photo of a Lawson 100円 (aka kyu-kyu) since I mention it so much.

Days four und five

September 1, 2010

My thoughts on being next to the kitchen have proven accurate. Very convenient. And very annoying.

If you don’t want me to be resident bitch, then STFU and don’t talk loudly outside my door for two hours after quiet hours start.
Not really. I was polite. But secretly pissed. -__-;;

Day of Language Lab Orientation, woke up bright and early so that I would have everything together…but then I managed to forget all of the papers I needed for the day. Woop-di-doo. Luckily, they had my information on hand. I think I may have cried if I had to walk back to the dorm to get the info…it was blistering hot outside, and had been since 8:00 a.m.

I’m starting to get used to being constantly sweaty. Does not mean I like it. x__X

Went to a banking session in the afternoon. 3rr0fjsdkcsdnfw93 -dies-
So freaking complicated. And I had to re-sign papers SEVERAL times. Because if your signature doesn’t look practically the same every time you write it the bank won’t accept it. I may still end up getting a note in my mailbox telling me I need to go do it again. Let’s hope not.

Stopped at the post office with Tim, Dana, and Peter on the way back to the Sem. Houses. Dana needed to cash her money orders. It took a rather long time, and by the time we got out of there storm clouds had rolled in. We managed to stop by kyu-kyu (Lawson’s 100, technically) to grab some food for later (instant noodles and some jam for my bread – tasty, tasty~), but we hadn’t gone very far before it started pouring.

And I mean pouring.

That lovely umbrella I had bought the last time it started raining? At the dorm. I surprise myself with my brilliance sometimes.

Thoroughly soaked by the time I got back to Sem. House II. My RA had to run up to my room and grab my towel for me since I was dripping everywhere. Somewhat embarrassing. But I got over it. =P

My temporary roommate was there when I got in. Her name is Ebba and she’s from Sweden. I thought she was my permanent roommate at first, since she had put all of her stuff away…and claimed the only other desk in the room…but no. She’s doing homestay, starting next week.
Still confused about why she took over the space meant for my permanent roomie. Ah well.

Fell asleep after attempting to contact peoples from home. And trying to figure out how the heck I’ma get monies a-fore I’m broke. x__X No luck thus far.

——

Day five, I woke up early again. Was able to talk to people I had been missing fiercely. That alone made my week worth it.

Went to the “Intro. to Orientation” which was pretty useless, then took the Japanese language placement test.

I went into it feeling not-too-optimistic.

I left it a broken shell of a person, disheartened by my lack of Japanese language skills.
Okay, not really. But it wasn’t good.

After that, I ate lunch with friends at the campus McDonald’s (yes, I know, I’m sorry). From there, I navigated my way to kyu-kyu. All by myself.

If you can’t tell, I’m very proud of that.

Bought some groceries (more instant foods…-sigh-) then went back to Sem. House II.
I was only there for a short while before my permanent roomie moved in~.

I like her. She’s awesome. It’s kind of creepy how much it feels like I’ve met her before, though. Because it isn’t really possible. Her name is Eraani Perez and she’s from Texas.
Reminds me (in look and manner) of my future roomie Niki, whom I miss dearly. ❤

Forced Tim to take her and I to the post office and on a mini-campus tour. Also to kyu-kyu. Again. That store is becoming a second home…

Came back and wasted some time on the computer before going to sleep early. It's been a long week.

Likes:

– I’m right next to the kitchen. Excellent for night time snacking. Or day time snacking. Or all kinds of fooding in general.

– Lots of room. Even if I’ll be sharing with someone. Make that two someones, at least for the first two weeks. They haven’t gotten here yet anyway.

– My balcony~ The view is maa-maa, but the fact that all of the rooms have balconies makes me happy. ^___^

– My dessskkkk. And chair. So much nicer than the ones at EMU.

– AIR CONDITIONING. That I can actually control. And it WORKS. Take note, EMU. This is how to make your students like you.

– I’m only on the second floor. Yay for not having to take lots of stairs.

Dislikes:

– I’m right next to the kitchen. Which means people are running back and forth past my door. All the time. At all hours of the day/night. x___X It’s going to get old, fast.

– No shoeeesss. I can’t wear them anywhere. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. But right now, I’m not liking it too much. My feet were pitch black by the end of yesterday.

– The futon/pillow. It’s not that it’s uncomfortable. Well, yes. The pillow is. The futon is fine. But I definitely need a different pillow.

– It’s not in Michigan. Miss you all~

Most of the dislikes will change over time. The kitchen thing might get annoying, though…

De trois jours

August 28, 2010

OhmyGodthetired.

Woke up super early on day three, just like the other two days. Internal clock, please fix yourself.
Got breakfast from Mr. Donut again. Custard creme = ❤

Checked out of the hostel by 11:00 am. J-Hoppers, thanks for the awesome stay in Osaka. If I ever again need a place to stay in the area, I'll be sure to go back to you. Although, maybe next time I could be on the first floor instead of the fifth? kthxbye

After dragging bags down the stairs, through the streets, past station gates and train doors, elevators and escalators, we were pretty much dead tired. Even the awesomeness of sugary donuts can only tide you over for so long when lugging bags around in this kinda weather. You know how salt leaves marks on the bottoms of your jeans in the winter?

I had that. On my shirt. From sweat. Disgusting.

But we made it to Hirakata. Flagged down taxis within ten minutes and arrived at Seminar House II.

The whole shoe thing is going to take some getting used to. As in removing them before entering the house. I forgot to bring socks, and I haven’t bought slippers yet, so I have to walk around in my bare feet. Bleh.

Roomie hasn’t moved in yet. Her name is Eraani and she’s also from the U.S. I hope she moves in soon. Alone is not a good state of being for me.

My feet are bruised and I’m worried I’m going to run out of money too quickly. But I like my room.

Still have tons of forms to fill out and my placement test is Tuesday.

Time to start cramming.

Norma Jean – Robots 3 Humans 0

Day Two…

August 28, 2010

Day two was fun.

Started with a deliciously sweet breakfast from Mr. Donut. Sugar and banana cream~ And I was hoping to get thin in Japan. Laughable.

After the sugary goodness that was breakfast, we boarded the JR train line for Kyobashi. Managed to get there in one piece. Then transfered to the Keihan train line, where Tim was waiting for us. Yay for not having to find our way on our own. ^__^;;

Since the day was going mostly smoothly, it was time to make a bad decision. That being walking from the station to Kayo’s place.

Never. Again.

At least not until it gets cooler. I thought I was going to get heat stroke.

Visited Kayo for a bit. Her apartment is adorable. She’s still got Eminem hanging on her wall. Gotta love her.
Kayo showed us around the Kansai Gaidai campus. Very neat, clean, and empty. It’ll be weird to see what it’s like when everyone is finally here.

Tim then convinced us to go shopping. As in, non-necessity shopping.

Yup. Got clothes.
Well, shoes. But it amounts to the same thing. >>;;

Started pouring rain while we were in the store, so we bought umbrellas, too. Rain did not cool the weather down at all.

Had tasty, cheap spaghetti for dinner. 500 yen between six people. A win on all counts. =)

After dinner we trekked back to the hostel. Figured out the trains, magically. There was a little block party going on when we got pack. There were vendors with food and beer, and little kids dressed in yukata and playing carnival type games. I wanted to steal one, but their parents were too close. I couldn’t even settle for taking a photo, because my camera is crap. I had to walk away empty handed. -sigh-

Got back and went to sleep almost immediately, although I talked to a few friends from home first. You know who you are. ❤

And so the jetlag continues.

At the Drive-In – Pattern Against User

Peter enjoying some melon soda from Mr. Donut.


Tim was irritated he had to help us figure out trains...not really. He always glares like that.


Hehehe...this was the only really clear picture I got of the festivities.


Block party~ Woohoo!

Day One

August 27, 2010

First full day in Japan was interesting.

Plans did not quite pan out. Misinformation was given, confusion ran rampant, and facebook chat can go suck it.

Ended up eating breakfast/lunch at a Yoshinoya. Delicious, delicious food. ❤ Even if we didn't quite get what we ordered. Or thought we ordered, I suppose.

Attempted to make our way to the Umeda Sky Building from there. Went in the complete opposite direction of where it actually was. Temperature was boiling, so we ended up stopping in about three different shops (7 and i Holdings, Lawsons, another Lawsons…) to take advantage of the air-conditioning and buy water.

The Umeda Sky Building was absolutely gorgeous. Photos were taken, but they really don’t compare to the actual view. I’ll post them anyway. ^__^ (The photo up there is not mine. I wish it was. Sadness.)

Made our way back to our hostel (J-Hoppers), running into an interesting person along the way. Cannot remember his name for the life of me. He was very nice though, and tried to speak English even though the only words he really seemed to know were “Japanese,” “America,” “study,” and “California.”

Napped for five hours, got dinner from the 7 and i Holdings, and went back to sleep for another 8 hours.

Guess I’m more jetlagged than I thought.

w00t! We's so happy to be at the Sky Building~


Don't fall out the window, Peter. You're my way back to the hostel!


From the roof...everything is so tiny...


The escalators to the roof. Quite nerve-wrecking to ride on. ^^;;


I love this view~


Somehow, they knew exactly what I wanted to do...darn.


Japan is so colorful. =)

Yeah. I’ll have to take photos of the actual building next time. ^^;;