(Sorry it's so late)
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.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
(Sorry it's so late)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
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.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
...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
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
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 ...ing". 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???)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sounds Christmas-y doesn't it??? WELL IT'S NOT! Light up is when temples light up the trees. Because it's fall now, the trees are pretty fall colors, red, orange, yellow, etc. It is very pretty. So many people go and see the light up. Today I went to Kyoto with my friend Ryota and we walk around and went to a temple at night to see a light up :) Here are some pics!
Mountain with fall colors
Crowd of people from the front and behind us going up to Kiyomizudera
LOOK KANJIS! Can you read the pictures??? ;)
Sakura tree! But no sakura right now :(
Pretty tree :)
Pretty view going up to the temple
Light up in the zen garden
Light up with some SPIRITS =ooo!!!
A bunch of fall colors :)
Note: for light up, 1) wear comfy shoes, 2) get to the temple early unless you want to stand in an uber long line!, 3) don't forget your jacket if it's cold, 4) don't forget your camera!, 5) bring a good friend ♥
We met at 11 at school, got some lunch, then headed to Kyoto. We walked around for awhile, a long while, walking to many temples, including Kiyomizu... we didn't go in, but walked back to another temple to get in line for tickets for light up. This was like Disney World if you stretched the line for Splash Mountain! At least it moved fast. My feet were killing me from my boots, I kept trying to sit, but the line kept moving. The light up was pretty. I'm glad I got to see one!
Current status: tired!!!!!
Friday, November 27, 2009
This week was filled with awesome activities... and some not so awesome activities *cough* tests, quizzes *cough*
Tuesday, I had a test in Spoken Japanese, went to my teaching meeting and received the lesson plan, went to my relationships class, then to Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary school! We taught "I like..."/"I don't like..." using mainly school subjects. Speaking of school subjects, here is a schedule of a class at Tonoyama Daiichi. Subjects include: Reading, Japanese, Social Studies, Calligraphy, Integrated Studies, Math, PE, Music, Math, Science, etc etc
Wednesday, I had permission from my Kawano-sensei to go to an intercultural exchange at a kindergarten rather than going to class. I found asking the teachers and telling me what I am doing and I why I find it important and a great opportunity etc etc works very well. So, I went with a small group to Konoike Kindergarten. Note: This seems a lot like a preschool, meaning kindergarten is in preschools here, and also I'll note here elementary schools are 1st-6th grade.
This is Konoike Kindergarten. Looks like a castle eh? Pretty cool! We played with 5-6 year old kids. When we got there, we went up to the room and the kids were playing just some indoor games (tag, jump rope... wait those don't sound indoor LOL) and I jumped in and introduced myself and played with kids until they left temporarily. Basically here we played head, shoulders, knees, and toes with them and taught them Rock Paper Scissors in English. No matter what language I play this game in, the Japanese kids always win. I'm not sure why they are so good at! Moving on, I had a test that day in Communication. While studying, I was sitting in the lounge by myself when a guy came up to me and started chatting. Then he got to why he wanted to talk... he has a friend at a fashion school who needs someone to model clothes... well been there done that, guess I'll do it again. I gave him my email to pass on.
Thursday I had a quiz in Japanese, started watching a drama called "Kekkon Simulator" (Wedding Simulation) and we did our role plays in relationships. Ours was so-so. The other groups had some great ideas. My group had an idea but when I was trying to work on the script, I was finding it too short, so I started thinking the idea was too simple and slept on it... and wrote up a rough idea and new script which we adopted. This past Monday the group put it together. I guess because it was so hastily put together, it wasn't so good. It worked. At least I'm not the only one who feels the role play didn't act the actions perfectly...
Today, Friday, I woke up early and Skype'd with my family for Thanksgiving! It was nice to see them and talk... even though it was 5:30 am >.< I have decided to buy one of those tiny fleece blankies to wrap up in. Given they are worth the price.
This morning, another quiz in Japanese and continued to watch the drama. I took my work due in Communication to my professor since I was taking another holiday to do an intercultural exchange at an elementary school. Before going, I met up with Takuma and his girlfriend in the lounge near the atrium. We talked for awhile, his girlfriend and I trying to get him to stop smoking. It's a funny conversation. She is very pretty :) I'm going to his house next weekend for a Nabe party. His girlfriend will be there too.
I went to Kasuga Elementary with a decent size group of Japanese and exchange students. It took 4 taxis, free for us, to get to the school.
There is the school. We arrived and the kids were so excited to see us... constantly saying hello... in fact some started yelling "HISASHIBURI" (long time no see) and I was thinking "Hisashiburi???? Have I met you before???" haha. We made name tags and visited two classrooms where students made various booths and taught us about various aspects of Japanese culture such as places, pop culture, sports, etc. Afterward we played dodgeball outside. Not as scary as the dodgeball game from hell that we played at Meirin.
Mai and I sitting at the tiny desks :) Oh elementary school... to be young again!
After volunteering I broke the Amber record from walking to the station from the school. Today I was meeting Junko, the design student, to model clothes in the a photo shoot. I was only a few minutes late thanks to my fast walking. I didn't realize the school was so far away so that messed me up.
The school is in Shinsaibashi and originated in Paris. A very good school, very pretty. The guy who took the photos designed the clothes and the photos are for a competition, if he wins he gets to go to London. A girl did my make up for about 15 minutes before doing my hair. I wore 3 different outfits. Took a lot of photos. Modeling is harder than it seems, but it was enjoyable :) I was paid too, a bit more than I expected... I do not mind them paying for my travel expenses and buying a drink for me... but anymore just makes me feel weird. I understand though from the previous stylist I modeled for in the fashion show that even as students they take their work seriously and it's like a business to them. I hope the guy does good! His clothes were awesome! He is going to mail me pictures as well. I'm excited to see! I kept hearing good compliments during the photo shoot, and I laughed inside when he said "STAY" and took the picture of my pose from every angle.
Tomorrow, I'm going to hang out with Ryota. Looking forward to it :) This week has been pretty good.
Current status: PooPeD!!! as in tired...
Time to layout my schedule for next week to see what to expect! Going back to Tonoyama Daiichi :)
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday my dad and I finally traveled somewhere: KYOTO! My usual Monday alarm went off, waking me during my REM sleep and my eyes were still REMing when I woke up >.< I got dressed, almost forgot the big duffel of my clothes my dad is taking back to the US for me (my suitcases were packed when I came here... and after all the things I bought... ZETTAI MURIDAYO!), and met my dad at the hotel. I had to run to catch my bus. Lately, I've been using the bus schedule to get to the bus stop just in time... and I look at it and the next bus is in 10 minutes, which is plenty of time if I go right then. And with the big heavy bag on my shoulder I had to try to run a bit faster.
I got the just when dad was trying to figure how much it would be if he didn't checkout by 10, which he didn't have to worry about after all. We planned to go meet my friends at 11 at the Fushimi Inari station so with time to spare we hit up Starbucks before hopping on a train. For the record, no express trains go to Fushimi Inari... I think the fastest train was the blue train. Which is almost no better than a local train HAHA.
So we start riding and I get off at the wrong stop... in fact I exit the station at the wrong stop! We got off at Fushimi Momoyama (I think is the name). I check my train map in my schedule book (I have the entire train map of Tokyo and Osaka and subways from all over Japan... did I mention these maps are entirely in Japanese? Kanji too), and we buy a 200 yen ticket and continue on to the correct station. Where we meet Mai (we volunteer together). Mai's friend, luckily had my email address because I forgot to write hers down, also had traveling problems. So it all worked out good. We all waited for each other.
Fushimi Inari was awesome. So many toriis!!! I wonder how many there are. We didn't climb all the way to the top though. I guess we took the weenie route down 1/3 of the way up LOL. We did run into TWO pet-able kitties :D I haven't pet a kitty since I left home! The cats here are wild and just run away :( I bought a torii (a little one) and my cell phone charm + a soft Inari cats eye charm! I mean so sooooo soft too! Super cute :) Here are some pictures!!
Inari the fox. His temple!
Seeing double? Both paths went the same way by the way.
Toriis! Feel like you are in Memoirs of a Geisha yet?
Me and the toriis
The second of two kitties I got to pet :) This one was comfortably sun bathing.
Afterward we went to Kiyomizudera. I decided to go to the Kiyomizu Gojo station... after walking to the temple I started thinking the Gion station that we went to when I went with the dance booth members was closer. Not sure if I am wrong or right... I got a little lost trying to go back the way I went with the dance booth members. I knew I saw a Family Mart and I hadn't eaten really the whole day and I wanted to find it. Anyways, at Kiyomizu we walked around... it was really crowded. I bought an omamori :) AND GOT A GOOD FORTUNE FOR ONCE!! YAY :) I drunk from the fountain... I'm not sure what kind of luck I drank though LOL. I could use some luck no matter what kind it is.
After Kiyomizu we headed back on an overly crowded limited express train. Next time, I'm just going to take sub express. It's not like we were in a hurry. Sub express wouldn't have been so crowded. I was so pooped by the time we go to back to Hirakata-shi. We sat in the atrium of the station and I tried to think of something that to do that involves sitting since we had time to spare before needing to go to the airport... come on... what did I choose to do???? Shouldn't be that hard to figure out... What is something fun to do that involves sitting? KARAOKE!!! So we hit up karaoke for an hour before heading to the airport. It was fun :)
I took dad back to the airport, an easier way that when I went to pick him up. It may not have been cheaper, and may or may not have taken as long, but it was sooo much easier. Hirakata-shi to Kyobashi on the Keihan line, Kyobashi to Tennoji on the JR Loop Line, Tennoji to Kansai Airport on the Airport express train. Then do it in reverse!! I didn't get back to the dorm til almost 11. I hate how much I have been eating McDs lately but I've been so busy. I think starting today it is back to cooking and packing bento.
I'm trying to remember what day of the week it is LOL. Holidays throw me off. Festivals too. And we just had both!
Current status: hungry, sleepy, but mostly hungry.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday kicked off the Gaidai Festival which is the festival for the Gaidai students (the Japanese ones). The clubs and circles set up booths and sold various items, majority food, majority takoyaki. I did find a booth with AWESOME yakitori for 50 yen a stick :D I think they got 500 yen out of me total. I tried all the yakitori I found. That booth happened to be the cheapest and best! Also, there was a free hug booth from my red ranger <3
That's my new black jacket by the way!! The sleeve on the one I brought from home is ripping off >.< Oh well, this one is super warm :)
Friday I helped the dance booth prep the room for Saturday, the starting of the INFES (International Festival... the International student's festival... with some Gaidai students thrown in LOL). At around 2:20 I went to town, bought a CD after losing track of time... good thing though. I started heading to the airport to pick up my dad, and luckily I lost track of time, and by the time I got the SMS from him saying "I missed my flight" I had only hopped on one train. So I went back to the school. I talked to him and he said due to the political issues in Afghan he wasn't able to leave. But we talked it out and we decided he'd come Saturday. Shortens the trip though. Shikata ga nai!!!
I wasn't expected at the final rehearsal for the dance booth but I went anyways. Because I didn't have my costume (I wasn't expecting to be going) I was asked to watch... which kinda made me sad. I ended up leaving. I could be doing some homework or finishing Bloody Monday... something that is not sitting there. So I just left.
Let the INFES begin :)
Here's the dance booth...
More like a room. ANYWAYS... I went to the first performance and left right after our show and went to the airport. Takes like an hour and half to get there the cheap way LOL. I did find until I had to switch to the line that goes to the airport. I saw the red train thinking "oh limited express!" and hopped on this nice looking train... looks almost like a shinkansen. By the time I realize that maybe I shouldn't be on this train (I was like the only one who got on it, at least from my side of the platform) the doors had shut so I sat down and proceeded to turn off my mp3 player because I was sure about to get into trouble.
I was right... sorta. I tried to play the dumb gaijin card, but that doesn't work when attendant speaks English. This train is the rapid express... certain cars are 500 yen extra, the one I was in, 700 yen. So I told her I made a mistake and I was the free train. So I get off at the next stop and switch 15 minutes to the orange train. Picked up dad, headed back, met Kanako at the station and checked in to the hotel. The hotel isn't as nice as the one I had in Tokyo. In fact in the hallway part of the ceiling dips some and dad has to duck. He also had to duck through the doorway to get into the room. And the bathroom must be fun for him too LOL. It's decent and good price too though so no complaints.
After dropping the stuff off we went to Kappa Sushi by bus. Conveyor belt sushi... dad's face was priceless when he saw it. It was also priceless seeing him figure out which restroom was the mans. HAHA it was written in kanji! I was very entertained by this conveyor food place. I couldn't stop staring at it. And I was surprised when the "shinkansen" food passed by. There was a touch screen menu so you can order specific stuff and it came out on a track above the conveyor belt on this shinkansen looking like tray. I had some inari, hamburger steak, and chocolate mousse :D It was good mousse too! We went to karaoke for an hour afterward forgetting it was the weekend and more expensive >.< DOH! Oh well..
I wasn't planning on going to the festival Sunday, but after dad missing Saturday we decided to cancel Nara and head to the festival. I'm glad we did. I danced the first performance again and then we planned to go to Osaka castle... but not after seeing the cheerleaders first!!
Belly Dance! I PR'd from the second floor window and got 6 guys to come to the performance too :D Afterward I met Ryota's parents. They started telling me if I come to their hometown they would show me around and I should come and all this sweet stuff and I'm not sure which one of us, Ryota or I, were blushing more. His dad talked to my dad as well. And did I see a picture be taken of them too???
Anyways, back to the cheerleaders. So in America, there is this whole argument whether cheerleading is a sport or not. Well, I have the answer now. In America... no. In Japan... yes, heck yes. KGU's cheerleaders make every cheerleading squad I've seen in America look like amateurs. I got video of their whole performance. I never looked forward to or enjoy a cheerleading performance so much. And these girls are so sweet too... which I cannot say the same for a lot of American cheerleaders.
These girls are true athletes. And I love their attitude. Throughout the performance they encouraged and supported each other. Also, when I watch a performance in America, I can always tell who is the head cheerleaders. In Japan, if they have one, I cannot tell who it is. They all seem to lead together. They have great communication. I was so impressed. I've watch the video twice.
AND THEY MAKE KANJI WITH THEIR POMPOMS!!!! They spelled out 2009, Gaidai <3 (above), Joy !?, and Pairu-tsu (in Katakana). It was awesome. And it was so fast when they did it and so precise. Everything they did was so precise. They are so great. And I do not talk good about cheerleaders often. Then again I've never talked about cheerleaders outside of American ones. They are so dedicate in Japan. I actually didn't plan to watch the whole performance... I have that short term attention span, especially because it was cold and I was getting hungry, and I'm not really a big fan of cheerleaders... but I could not stop watching them. My friends and I laughed about cheerleaders from America who come here and see them and then question what they learned in America. Anyways... WOW. Sorry I cannot post the video... too big.
Afterward, I planned to go to Osaka Castle but it was starting to get rainy and more cold. So we head back to the hotel and looked at pictures and watched some TV, hit up McDs for lunch, walked around book off the rested at the hotel. I headed back early to study.
Monday is a holiday... we are headed to Kyoto. Fushimi Inari. Kiyomizudera.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday I'm volunteering and some Elementary schools :)
5 quizzes/tests this week!!! And a project due! AND A ROLE PLAY!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
INFES = International Festival
This week is super busy!!! Lots of rehearsals and prep for the dance booth! Thursday is prep, and I'm hoping maybe the Belly Dancers can squeeze in a practice. Because my dad is coming in Friday I can't make it to the final rehearsal. I believe we get one rehearsal Saturday before we perform (YAY). Today was the most dancers I've ever danced with... 5 of us, only missing one person today! After learning last week I was doing the dance backwards (we are mirrored, opposites of each other, and I was learning from the girl on the other side, so I was doing it there way... woops) today wasn't half bad I think! But I do have to give speech about the history of belly dance in Japanese (of course). That shall be fun...
Here are pictures!
I am the pink poster doll LOL
Belly Dance Poster
4/6 Dancers in costume :D
So yes my dad will be here... Friday I will pick him up, and we'll eat dinner and maybe hit up karaoke that night. I dunno yet. Saturday he'll come to the festival and see me dance. Afterwards, my speaking partner and I will take him to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Possibly after hitting up Midori and hyaku en stores. Sunday is Nara. Monday is Kyoto, possibly Osaka, and he'll leave that night... so short...
And then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday I'm volunteering with kids. I just can't get enough.
Posted by Amber at 7:13 AM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today is the Uni's anniversary so no school! My plans: go to Meirin Elementary, go to Kuzuha, go to karaoke. I give this day 100 out of 10 stars :D
So I had to meet at the bus stop on campus at 8:45 am. It didn't hit me til last night that because the school is on holiday, that unless something is going on, the East gate (which is how I get to school, through the East gate) might be closed. I thought I'd leave a bit early. If it's not closed, I can get breakfast, if it's closed, I won't be late. It's funny how I actually made it early! I'm usually late for my 9am classes, but I can make it on time to meet for this.
It's raining... and yes the east gate was closed. I looked at the time and I still had 20 minutes which was enough time to get to the Main gate. Two girls are standing outside the gate, thank goodness, they are apart of the group because the campus is closed the guards are not letting people in without a good reason. So they are my good reason. We stand around waiting.... I think it was the Japanese students + 6 exchange (inc me). Only 4 (inc me) showed up. So we walk about 10 minutes to the school.
We arrive at the school, switch our shoes for slippers, and go to the boardroom where maybe the principal? speaks to us. He speaks Japanese so slow hoping we will understand LOL. I understood just fine. The school only has around 200 students, 1st-5th grade MINUS 4th grade... no 4th grade. In the boardroom we make name cards to wear and a poster where we write down a hobby we have. I put Karaoke and draw some pictures.
Next we head to the Gym where, for some reason us 4 international students go ahead with full applause. Yet another celebrity like experience. It was even more so because people were taking pictures constantly, EVEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE HIRAKATA SHINBUN! So we are going to be in the paper :D When I find out when, I will buy a bajillion copies! In the gym we introduce ourselves to the students: name, nationality, and hobby.
Afterward, the first thing we do is watch the 3rd grade perform Eisar, which is a Okinawan dance I believe. It was awesome, and I had realized I left my camera in the boardroom ;_; The other American guy got a small video though so I want to try to swipe it. That is all we see of the 3rd graders. They leave and we play with the 1st and 2nd graders.
First game is TAG! Two students were chosen as "police" and everyone else was a "thief". The police tagged people and then when tagged the person and police held hands and they became police. You hold hands until you have 4 people the split into two. I got tag quick because I wanted to run with a kid and not away from one ^.^ THEY ARE FAST LITTLE BOOGERS! The game was timed and in the end only maybe 5 boys were not tagged.
Second game was Janken... Rock Paper Scissors. The lady wanted us to explain to the kids how we play in our home countries. I was first. I told them we call it "Rock, Paper, Scissors" then call go or shoot, whatever, maybe you call nothing just go. And the lady kept saying "Scissors, Paper, Rock" o.O Well, I learned from the Australian girl, that is how it is said there. Whatever. Mai, from Vietnam, had fun teaching how to say it in her language. So we marched around to this song, when the music stops, you play Janken with whoever is near you. The loser gets behind the winner and you start forming a train. I won once... but it wasn't fair because I think I lost at first but the girl thought I was confused and we did it a few times. I lose the second time around. We trained around and finally lost in the end. But it was so much fun.
Third game is hard to explain. It's called the Hunting Game. This one male teacher said these 4 phrases... then pointed twice going "AH!" then said a word. Depending on the syllables of the word, you formed a group with that number of people. It was pretty random, I don't think there was any winning or losing. For instance, if he says "kutsushita" that is "ku-tsu-shi-ta" 4 so you make a group of 4. At one point the teacher handed me the paper to read the phrases... I don't know if I did it right. But it was fun.
That was the end of playing with the 1st and 2nd graders. We gave them comments, thanks, and they went on there way. We took a short break and went back out there to play with the 5th graders.
The first game was long rope jumping. We were in two teams and timed for 5 minutes how many jumps we can get. I amazingly could run in the spinning rope, jump, and get out... after all these years. Pretty good for an old college senior :D We got 134 jumps I believe. And won.
The second game was Dodgeball... the dodgeball game from hell. I have NEVER played dodgeball like this!!! I play dodgeball, two teams, throwing balls, you get hit, you are out, if all your members get out, you lose. This... is the worst game ever. I am standing on my time watching for balls coming from the opposite side and a ball hits me in the back... and I'm like "WTF" it came from behind. So the teachers are telling me to go over to the other side, standing behind the team... then I realize that if you get out, you go behind the other team and throw balls from behind (which is how I got hit)! So not only do you have you have to pay attention to the people in front throwing balls, but the people behind as well.
Out of all the games we get to play again, it had to be dodgeball from hell. Three times. The third time, this one girl got hit in the eye, soon after my foot got stepped on, so I went over to where she was crying and comforted her. AND HERE THEY COME WITH CAMERAS!! I'm thinking "please don't take pics of her crying!!! especially because people will think I made her cry!!"
The games ended and we said our comments, thank yous, and the 5th graders went on their way. We headed upstairs where we went into one big empty room with two doors for two separate classrooms. We peeked in on two classes. I love the set up of the schools here. It's so awesome. After peeking, we entered a similar room, for another grade level, but not empty. Kids were playing in what we call centers (different groups doing different activities). We were going to do activities with them :D
Now, I think centers in America, I think coloring, board games, play doh, fun stuff. In Japan, it's totally different. The first corner (as it is called here I think, that is what we called it) I went to was juggling. I juggled cute bean bag animals with the little kids. I felt bad because they told me to choose my two favorite animals, and I picked two and started juggling them because I know how and they wanted to teach me how! SORRY! I let them teach me how to juggle with two people.
The second center was the spinning top. I spun some regular tops first then a girl taught me how to wrap a string around a top and let it go with the string. This I never mastered. I'm not sure what was harder... wrapping the string or letting it go properly. I was bad at both.
The third center, I played with this awesome toy that I want to find a buy. You stack these round blocks and with a little hammer/mallet, you hit them really fast out from each other one by one so the one you hit shoots out like a hockey puck and the others crash down. You have to do it fast enough so the stack of blocks do not fall over. It took me awhile to actually master this but I did! I know trick :D
The fourth center, I played with the cup and ball toy that I have experience with, but still not very good at. I learned a new way of holding it so I do better and I can flip it around but I cannot catch the ball still. This one little girl could flip it on its side and upside down and catch it every time. She was really good.
I did get pictures and video... but due to privacy I cannot post them. SORRY But if you are ever curious about the schools or want to see (especially that block and mallet game) just ask me :)
After leaving the school, I returned the dorm. Carly, Joel, and I made a quick lunch then began our walk to Makino, stopping for Carly to get money, then taking the train to Kuzuha. I have never been to the mall there. Nothing really good there besides Uniqlo but there is one in Hirakata-shi station, a bookstore, a sucky HMV... I think I'll go back before I leave because there was a Loft. I bought a new sweater at Uniqlo :D 2000 yen = a steal!
After the mall we returned to Makino and hit up Karaoke. Somehow we got out of karaoke very cheap. We payed 100 yen for 2 hours plus 200 yen for a drink... so 300 yen. My roomie was wondering how that happened because it is 100 yen per hour before 6 pm. Oh well. After singing we did purikura in my favorite booth with the monkey bars. My awesome friend Erin downloaded the pic so I have in my keitai now :D
All in all, today was awesome. I hate that I cannot share pics here of the school, but I can understand. Days like today, being at the school, bring me so much joy. I cannot remember when I felt so happy. Its days like these I wish someone from the JET Program was peaking around the corner and could see how much I enjoy it and really want to be apart of the program. I did mail in my application... so I can let it go until next year.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I really do love all the friends I've made in the seminar house, I'm glad I chose this house, but I hate the disrespectful people who have no business being here. We JUST HAD A MEETING WHERE AT LEAST 5 PEOPLE SPOKE UP ABOUT CLEANING AFTER YOURSELF IN THE KITCHEN... and I heard that people went out drinking and left the kitchen a mess tonight. I hope Karma really does come and bite these people in a$$ one day. It's people like them I do not want to see make it in the JET Program. It's people like them who should not be here in the first place. If it was not already paid for, I'd be out of here.
OK, enough venting.
One more week down. I should write how difficult it is to apply for the JET Program while abroad. Not so easy. But I am almost done. I think the hardest part is the Statement of Purpose. I want this so bad, I want everything to be perfect. Thanks to all the awesome people who have read it, sometimes more than once haha.
Amazingly, I went into town the other day with Kanako and we went to reserve my dad's hotel and go to karaoke, then I asked her if she knew how to make gyudon. I bought the meat, but I did not know what else to do. She showed me in the supermarket a box, that contained a bag, that you boil in water, and WALAA you made gyudon. I was skeptic... but I made it last night. And it was GREAT! I'm bringing some home <3 I took leftovers in my plastic container today for lunch, but forgot something to eat it with, so I asked the people in the konbini for some chopsticks and they said I had to buy a bento or something to get them......... so I just bought McDs and ate my leftovers for dinner.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
So today was a holiday (don't ask me to name which one, I can't keep up with them anymore)... NO SCHOOL <3 Perfect day for no school... it was COLD OUTSIDE! So with the heater on and my cozy blanket I decided to have a pajama day :D
I went to sleep around 2 am, woke up at 9:30ish, and I made some eggs and toast for breakfast. I decided afterward I was going to have a productive day (compared to the weekend where I got half my book read, awesome accomplishment, but not so productive). So, I finally got my pen and paper and started writing Orei no Tegami (Thank you letters) to Jun, Jun's mom, and Manami and Kimiko. I printed a few extra pictures during the Umeda trip to send to them. I miss them <3
So I started writing, realizing, I need to figure out what to say and how to say it properly. We have a chapter in letter writing in the textbook and it helps but I decided to go to Yuji. I wrote, he read and corrected, and I wrote a very formal letter to Jun's mom, he read and checked, then I wrote a letter to Manami and Kimiko. I had Aki read the final drafts. Everything is perfect. So I can to my room to put them in envelopes and address them... and realized I forgot how to do that. So back to Yuji. He showed me how to address the envelopes properly. Got it done, and returned to my room to stick the pictures and letters in. Once I finished, I realized I was starting to get hungry... Lunch time?
No, not lunch time... it was 4:30 (seriously... it took me all afternoon to write 3 letters! maybe I did something else and can't remember *BLOND* possibly pokemon watching). I had gotten everything done today... except homework and lunch. Silly me. I decided to finish off my chocolate chip cookies (3 packs in 16 days... someone give me an OINK OINK :D ). That held me over. I wanted to get my JET Application out of the way by tomorrow, but it looks like now it won't happen due to so many things needed. BLAH! I can't wait for it to be done.
I walked to Sanko for the Tuesday sale with Joel. Too late, mostly everything was gone, but I should shop on Tuesdays... 100yen bread, 88 yen eggs, half price meat, 40% off frozen goods... !!!!!! I grabbed some pork chops, meat to make gyudon (yes I am going to attempt this), some veggies, and I FOUND MY ICE CREAM :D WOOO~! I made some nice curry for dinner.
In the midst of curry making, I was looking for a specific knife. It is now November and everyone in the Seminar House is getting lazy and the buckets with all the cooking ware is such a mess. People are dropping utensils in the bucks with pans and stuff and they are going to the bottom forever lost. So I finally have had it and I emptied all the cooking pan tubs and organized them (lids, bowls, pots, pans, big pots, strainers... which we have a lot of for some reason...) then later organized the utensils with Carly. I give it a week... it will be a mess again ;_; But it so much easier to find what you need (given people clean their dishes... which is what my speech is about at our house meeting Thursday *sigh* why me?)
Homework is done. Going into town with Kanako tomorrow to reserve my dad's hotel room and go to karaoke <3 YAAAAY :D
Saturday, October 31, 2009
So today started a new allowance day. Thank God because JAY'ED's new CD is out and I want it! After cooking pancakes and saying Sayonara to my roommate until late Sunday night (she is going to Nagoya to see her friend and I have the room to myself), I started my adventure.
The day when Joey and I took our little (well, not so little) night time walk to what ended up being Kuzuha, I found a Book-Off. Book-Off is used CDs, DVDs, Manga, etc, very cheap and very awesome! I remember seeing Book-Off that night (twice so on the way there and on the way back) and saying I need to come back and visit. Each Book-Off has it's own selection and some carry more stuff than others like clothes and purses (I particularly love the used purse section). It seemed to be two stories high and sitting at an intersection corner.
Today, I decided I would walk to the post office in Makino, get money, stop at Sanko on the way back and get needed groceries (Sanko has good sales Tuesdays because they are closed Wednesday so I didn't want to buy too much), drop it off at the dorm then head to Book-Off and Tsutaya (I saw a sign for Tsutaya that night too).
After accomplishing the bank and Sanko trip, I put the groceries away and headed out. I start walking pretty confident the Book-Off is no more than 20 minutes away. So I walk.... and found myself at a familiar intersection. I realized then this is an intersection I go through to go to Makino, where Joey and I were trying to go that night. We missed a turn... second intersection, turn left. ANYHOW I continue to walk... and walk............. and walk... and I find the "TSUTAYA THIS WAY" sign. I'm thinking it can't be far from the Tsutaya. So I keep walking... and walking......... and I'm at the place where Joey and I turned. I think here it can't be much further.
So I turn.... and walk......... and walk...................... after walking for some time I start thinking I imagined the Book-Off when I see "BUY SELL BOOKS DVDS CDS" (in Japanese of course) and I get excited!!! I FOUND IT!!! ....wait, this isn't Book-Off. So I decide to pass up this place and keep walking straight. By this time I have walked to Kuzuha... again. I give up on this direction and decide to hit up the Book-Off wannabe store. I go there and it's nice but I couldn't find anything used (they had new as well) that I wanted, and really wanted to go to Book-Off. So I come out and think... he we turned down this road and walked... maybe I found it down this way.
So I walk......... and walk.... and OH FAMILY MART LUNCH! I stop and get a drink and spicy chicken for lunch. At this point I'm pretty content with my food and decided to give up on the Book-Off. I'm not sure what happened to the Book-Off, so readers choose for yourself...
1) I did not go far enough
2) I imagined a Book-Off, twice, that night
3) I confused the wanna-be shop with Book-Off that night
4) I am blond and passed it, twice, today
5) It was there but was replaced with the wanna-ba store
I was actually thinking 3, but that store doesn't look like the one I remembered. I will have to look up the locations for Book-Off and see (which I coulda swore I did before).
So I walk back deciding to just hit up Tsutaya. My CD is pretty new so I'm sure it would not be in Book-Off anyways. But I really want Aoyama Thelma "LOVE" with the DVD. So I start walking back to find the Tsutaya. I think I am lost as I am walking and it has disappeared too (and I am thinking "just watch, Amber, you are going to find the Book-Off after searching for over an hour"... that didn't happen though thank goodness). I eventually do find the sign "TSUTAYA THIS WAY" and start walking that way. I feel like I'm on a road where I will find a Wal-Mart... then I think "Amber, you are silly, there is no Wal-Marts in Japan."
I DO FIND THE TSUTAYA! Good, because I wasn't walking for my health! I walk in and my jaw drops... this Tsutaya has an awesome book selection :D I've been looking for a book store so I can buy an Intermediate Japanese book and part 2 to my Kanji book from Sophia. Unfortunately, the selection wasn't THAT good ;_; BUT! I do find Angels and Demons! IN JAPANESE! AND TINY! So I am looking at it awe and see the price.... like 590 yen... so cheap. Then realize it is in 3 parts so multiply it by 3 and it's about 1800 yen for the full story. But I am still happy. I love this book. So I get part 1. I may or may not read it, and may not finish it if I try... but it is awesome to have. And I get my JAY'ED CD.
So in the end, mission accomplished. But the mystery still lingers... what happened to the Book-Off!?!?!!?
Monday, October 26, 2009
So last night I went to the Aoyama Thelma concert.
Air and I took the 4:15 purple express train to the venue. We arrive about 30 minutes later (YAY FOR PURPLE EXPRESS!) We were able to get in line early. While waiting these girls came around and told us that Thelma's birthday is in 2 days and we can write her a birthday message in a notebook they had. Because I know the singer is fluent in Japanese and English, I wrote in English because 1) I can't write happy bday in kanji and didn't want to take the time to look it up, and 2) my English would stand out amongst the Japanese messages.
Sadly, pictures and video was not aloud :( Because I was with my speaking partner's younger sister who did not want me to break the rules and we were seated in a spot that I could easily be caught, I didn't get pics... BUT AIR DID!
There is one. The concert was awesome. I dance, sang, cried, and we sang Happy Birthday to her at the end when the crew surprised her with a cake and present. They took a pic of her with the audience in the back and it is suppose to be put on her blog, so I'll try to get it and we can play Where's Waldo with me :D
Here are some youtube videos of her if anyone is interested. It is Pop/R&B. She has to be one of my favorite singers of all time.
"Soba ni Iru ne" Guinness World Record song for most downloads via Japanese Cell Phone
"Wanna Come Again" One of her newer songs
Fantastic Concert :) Happy Birthday Aoyama Thelma!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
GOOOOOING TO AOYAMA THELMA'S CONCERT TOMORROW :D
Until then, here are some pictures from Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary School. Remember, we were introducing Halloween, hint my kitty costume <3
(I removed pictures due to privacy of the children)
I'm sharing this one because it is taken in the hallway so you can see the setup of Japanese school.
This is the girl who was also the black cat in the "I am a _____. And you?" exercise.
The little girl in the middle is the girl that looks like my little sister but in Japanese girl form. Seriously, if my little sister morphed into a Japanese girl, she'd look just like that... I promise you.
Mameshiba Trivia #2
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Today, I had a crappy midterm. We won't talk about that. It is midterm week and it sucks. But that is a depressing subject...
Today was my first day volunteering at the Elementary School :D We taught kids about Halloween and taught some English grammar. When I got there (half way through with the second group) the kids learned to say "I am ______. And you?" They were given a card with a Halloween themed picture (ghost, pumpkin, etc) and had to find their match by asking others (we played too).
Then we played a Trick-or-Treat game. The kids were matched up, some with us students, and went to the Japanese students and the dialogue was like this:
Kid: Knock Knock. Trick-or-Treat.
Student: Who are you?
Kid: I am a ________.
*kid gets sticker*
Student: I have a question.
*show kid one of the English pictures, ie. wake up, eat breakfast, read book, etc*
*kid gets another sticker*
So I traveled with my little girl and encouraged her. It was so much fun! I cannot wait to go again.
Anyways, I'm starting something new on my blog...
I really love Mameshiba characters here. So I am going to introduce them one by one to my readers. Daily trivia...
Bye. Time to study!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Today was the fashion show in Umeda. The plan was to meet at 8 AM at "Phil's Gate" (main gate at campus) and the guys would drive us to Umeda. So I get there a bit early (thinking we should be on time, and thinking breakfast... mostly breakfast) and go to 7/11. I get to the main gate just a couple minutes before 8 and no one is there. In fact after 8 still no one is there. Then the other 2 girls come, and right when i start SMS'ing Rae because Phil was missing, he came. Of course the guys picking us up were 30 minutes late.
So yes, the guys (who are the designers) pick us up and we ride an hour to Umeda... me recognizing every song being played in the car. I'm not sure if it was a CD or MP3 player going... but it was all my favorite singers! Went from Shion to Aoyama Thelma to Dohzi-T <3
Anyways, we get there and us girls go to a girls room where everyone was getting into wardrobe, and getting their hair and make up done. We got dressed, got our make up (just eyes) and hair done. We all looked great. It was my first time wearing fake eye lashes.
So we went for pictures (which we do not get a copy of because they are professional and expensive I am guessing), finale rehearsal, lunch (which one of the guys tried to turn into something difficult because it may have been taboo I guess if one of the judges saw us in our clothes before the show, so we just wore jackets, ran to get food and ran back), redress, check, practice, then stood in an outside staircase for the show. We were 6 out of about 16 groups I think? We did awesome. We stood around then went on to the finale where we stood scrunched on stage, everyone, all groups, then waited til 5 for the award ceremony. Unfortunately, our stylists did not win :( But they did awesome <3 They are super sweet.
It was like being a celebrity today though... we were the only foreigners around (besides maybe 5 others who showed up, 4 friends of Phil LOL). Every time we went somewhere we had our pics taken. Everybody wanted our picture taken. By the end of the day I was tired of it. Celebrity is not for me...
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I gotta make this one a quickie because I'm tired and still have homework to do...
I knew this week wouldn't be easy...
We are stylish Native Americans with blond hair. It seems like the Japanese guys who are the designers went out without Rae, the one and only American there, to find models and thought foreign girl = blond girl. Of course, tall and skinny for modeling. Oh and Chris is the male they needed. I'm not wearing the smurf blue tights... mine will be in tomorrow. Show is Saturday. Pretty excited. The guys who are designers are super nice. I know I will come out with one picture, I'm hoping to get more and video of the show, but not sure yet.
Anyways... this week is still jammed pack with dance practices, meetings, papers to write, midterms to study for, nights out with groups... so sleepy. I have a vocab quiz tomorrow... unfortunately these aren't words I mostly know. Composition tomorrow to do... 2 speeches next week. Volunteer next week. Yeah, and I'm wasting time here on my blog. Buh-bye.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Trip to Umeda
This was suppose to be me and friends... but it ended up just me and Joey. And I'm ok with that. I wouldn't have it any other way. It was the best day ever because of him.
So we left on the bus, separating from Ash and Katie for me to get money. The plan was they go ahead to their Anime Museum show and we would meet up around lunch time. So it's just Joey and me, I get money, we go to the station, take Keihan to Kyobashi, JR to Osaka. We are using the JR Loop Line... because Joey is tired and I'm thinking Katie and Ash need time, we got on the train going the longest way(Osaka is 3 stops from Kyobashi, but we went the opposite way so it was like 10-11-12 stops??). It's a loop line, it's all the same. Still 160 yen. I get a text on this ride they they will be there for a few hours and will most likely meet up for the Umeda Sky Building at sunset.
So it's just Joey and I. We walked around some expensive malls (you know a department store is expensive when there is not one but TWO elevator attendants in one elevator LOL). We went to HEP 5 which is a pretty awesome mall, has the not so awesome Joypolis (compared to Tokyo) but we did get to play in the UFO Catchers WHERE I WON MY BUNNY :D IN.ONE.SHOT! I got so cocky i kept trying for more things and lost prolly 1000 yen. Joey, please stop me next time... I know you were trying... but try harder next time LOL. We went to this one game center that had little critters walking around! Like I guess they run off batteries and they hobble and walk around... it was so cute, I wanted one LOL.
Joey ate lunch around the time we got there. About 2-3 hours later of walking, I saw my Sukiya... I've been wanting and looking for one for awhile. And I saw it and gasped, pointed, grabbed Joey's arm and ran like it might disappear if I didn't get there fast enough... I scared him. He thought something was wrong. I got there, got my gyudon, and was a happy girl. We walked around more, went to Yodobashi camera. Then met back with Ash and Katie to go to the Umeda Sky Building for sunset viewing.
We meet at the North Central exit and walk for about 20 minutes to the building. When we get to the intersection crossing in front of the building... Joey and I notice the underground path that basically cuts our walk time in 2/3 LOL. We didn't see it on the otherside. Well we got our exercise right???
Here is the sky building
Me and the view AND MY BUNNY :D All that is missing is Joey.
3 of the 4 favorite people here. Yet again... Joey is missing. One day, Joey, I'll get you HAHA.
Beautiful sunset. I was freezing up there. I didn't have a jacket and of course it's cool here at night now. I was being held by Joey most of the time. He tried so hard to keep me warm up there. It was worth freezing for though. Watching the sunset up there was beautiful. Beautiful ending to a beautiful day. Joey didn't do anything special, but he was the one friend that stuck by me, and I appreciate that. Best friend ever. And so many good things happened and I'm going to pretend it was because he was there. I won my bunny, found a Sukiya, saw a beautiful sunset, survived cold winds without a jacket...
My feet hurt now, I'm tired, and I am on dorm arrest tomorrow. Must get work done.
Friday, October 9, 2009
It's started at 11:30 pm when I asked Joey if he wanted to go for a walk. I didn't think we'd be gone too long. So we start walking on the main road in front of the library. We think in about 20 minutes we are going to end up in Makino and we can find a 24 hour restaurant. You think after 30 minutes we would have realized we are not headed toward Makino. And after an hour and 15 minutes or so we realize we are in Kuzuha. Well, we missed Makino by a long shot. There's seriously nothing to do at 1 am, so we head back, just about forgot the way. But we made it back around 2:15ish. My feet are still pounding.
But it was a nice walk.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So last night around 7:00 pm we went under a storm warning because Typhoon Melon (aka Melor... I can't read obviously. Melon is so much cooler) was coming toward us. Well, at that time we were already getting rain and wind. It was a weeny typhoon in my opinion. Rain and Wind... I slept like a baby last night. It's strange when I go to bed before my room mate. I think that is the second time I've done it. Morning classes were canceled, classes began from 1:00.
This week was meh meh... so much rain. I'm glad the sun was out today. I went to dance practice (slowly getting better... I am using muscles I didn't know I had) and to the meeting. Forked over 1000 yen for my shirt. Meeting was ok, just started to make posters. I'll state here how much I do not like fake people. It's very annoying.
This weekend is a three day weekend :D YAY! No plans except going to Umeda on Monday.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Today was just one of those days... by the end of the day, I wasn't in a good mood. But I kept smiling because I refuse to lose to this stupid day.
So I made breakfast and semi-burned my toast (1). Got ready for school and tripped (2) out of my slippers. Walked to school not realizing while adjust my black flats, I pulled down my sock and I got a sore from walking (3). Damage was done once I noticed. So I go to the clinic with Katie after lunch to get a band-aid but the nurse insists on doctoring it up and requesting I come back tomorrow for a follow up. I leave mumbling "All I wanted was band-aid...".
I walk to town to get my alien registration card and stumble a few times (4, 5, 6). Go back to school by bus, my attitude getting worse, but trying to smile. Seriously, after the 4th incident, I just know there is more to come... I go to the bathroom and bump my head on the door (7) then go to my meeting and there are so many foreigners (the one problem I have against KGU is the amount of exchange students) and the meeting is so unorganized I just leave... I can't take it. I decide to email them my info and see how it goes from there.
I walk back to the dorm and it's super windy and I get dirt in my eye (8) and start tearing up. Stub my toe in the dorm (9). Get splashed by my hot oil (10) while cooking (not burned or anything but enough to make me jump).
Yep... one of those days... where is the hugs???
Bad Day - 10, Amber - 5 (some good things did happen)
Bad Day may have won the battle, but I'm still smiling, so I won the war :D
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday was my trip to Kiyomizudera Temple/Shrine with the INFES (International Festival) Dance Booth members. Awesome place. Been wanting to go since my roomie told me about it. Mostly because it has a love shrine LOL and I wanted to cast my love worries and get some charms <3 Anyways, it's a big place on top of a stupid big hill but has a pretty view at the top.
Me and the guys that waited for me because either 1) I cannot tell time or 2) I did not understand the meeting time and they thought I was lost. There was a girl too, she's taking a pic.
Ryo and I (and the other girl is with the guy coming down)... in front of the love shrine.
Beautiful view from the top
I found a Maiko!
Anyways, this week is classes... getting into my routine. Got most of my homework for this week done and I have a quiz tomorrow and a test on Friday. Currently...
... I am drying my clothes inside because we just had a downpour.
I'm going to begin volunteering to teach English at an Elementary school. I'm very excited!