Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yep, I`m alive.

Yes--I KNOW--I`ve been in Japan for almost a week now and haven`t said so much as a word about it on this blog!

I promised myself I`d be better than this! So, for anyone who`s reading, sorry!!

However, it`s not like I didn`t think about it. It`s just that I`ve ran into some unexpected problems with my computer, with internet, and with time. The first night I arrived in Tokyo, my computer wouldn`t turn on. After freaking out for a few minutes, I realized that I WAS IN TOKYO!!, and my computer problems weren`t what should have been on my mind. So then I didn`t even touch it until the following night, and lo and behold, it turned right on like nothing had happened. So yeah, I don`t know what was going on there, but ever since I`ve been a little afraid, and have been hesitant to turn it on unless I know I really want to. I`ve talked to both of my parents on Skype, and uploaded some pictures, but really that`s about it. I also didn`t really have any time to be online, since very little of our time in Tokyo was spent in the hotel room!

However, the Tokyo tales will have to wait, because once again, I`ve run into a blogging roadblock, and won`t be able to share my pictures on the blog quite yet. (And I figure that a post just isn`t a post without the whole shebang.) On Monday, Kayoko and I came to her house in Kyoto (that`s where I`m at now), and they don`t have wireless internet. So I figured that instead of going through the hassel of hooking my computer up and getting it all set up (and probably spending more time than I should in front of it during my stay), I`ll just put off most of the important stuff until I move into the dorms this weekend. So right now I`m using Kayoko`s laptop to check up on a few things and fire off some e-mails (related: have you ever attempted to navigate a student webmail page completely in Japanese? I have a very, very limited grasp of kanji at the moment, dammit!). And besides all of that, we`ve been in go-mode shopping, sightseeing, clubbing, eating, and just exploring almost every waking moment since I`ve gotten to Japan, and when we get back to the hotel or now Kayoko`s house I`m just too tired to do much more!

I`m planning on making several entries about what I`ve done so far, because there`s been a lot of things! (And I have a lot of thoughts!) But sadly, they will have to wait until the weekend and next week. I`m hoping I`ll have some downtime after I move in on Saturday and before orientation starts to really work on this blog!

But anyway, I will say a few things about Japan (in bullet form, just because it`s easier for me to think that way). Some things that surprise me, some things that I`m really noticing:
  • First of all, my flight was good; I really surprised myself and didn`t get lost in any of the airports, and made it on to all of my flights just fine. I also managed to get some sleep on the big leap from San Francisco to Narita.
  • The food is agreeing with me! Study Abroad programs are always warning us of all these horrible bouts of disagreement we`re going to go through with the food when first going to a new country, but so far I`ve felt fine and, also surprising, really liked nearly everything I`ve tried! I guess I just don`t have that aversion to fishy or seaweed-y tasting things that it seems like a lot of Americans have. The only thing that`s strange is that I haven`t had much of an appetite since getting here, though I never feel sick or anything. But I can go almost all day walking around and stuff without feeling hungry. The only time I`ve really felt hungry since getting here, come to think of it, was when I was incredibly hungover our second morning in Tokyo XD. (At least it wasn`t a sick-y hangover!)
  • I`m realizing now just how limited my grasp of Japanese is--and it doesn`t help that it seemed as though many shopkeepers and such in Tokyo figured that since I was with a Japanese person, I must speak Japanese, and would always approach me doing so. Many, many gomennasai, hanashimasu chotto...`s. And Kayoko`s family doesn`t speak more than a few words of English! Though, of course, this means that I am learning many phrases FAST!
  • I got a Japanese cellphone! For the students reading this who haven`t come over yet and plan on buying one--first of all, you can`t without your alien registration (at least I couldn`t signing up with Docomo or Softbank), so you will have to wait until after you get it at orientation. Or, you could do as I did, and purchase it in a Japanese friend`s name. This is of course a little difficult though, since she will be recieving all of my bills, and I will have to give her the money and she will pay the bill for me from now on. You would have to have a really good friend I would say! X). (But we`ve been friends for a long time, and I know I can trust her with everything!) ALSO, I know that everyone recommends Softbank for international students to use, but my Docomo phone was about ¥5,000 cheaper, and I think the plans are better. I signed up for a 2-year plan, and will just break the contract at the end of my stay for about $90, rather than pay a ton of money for a pay-as-you-go phone--I really think this is a better deal, as I will most likely be needing unlimited texting. I also think the phones were better quality--mine is actually a brand new model, and was only around ¥6,400 to activate and for the first month, and then I will pay ¥5,400 each month after that. Of course, if you find a better deal, go for it! But we got mine in a giant department store in Akihabara with a ton of cell phone dealers right there, and this was the best we saw with a good-quality phone. *EDIT* Ok, now I understand about the student discount and the Softbank student pre-paid plan we have here on campus! So ignore all that about not getting Softbank, lol. I'm still keeping my Akihabara phone though.
  • They weren`t joking about the vending machines.
  • The people are so fashionable! I love it. I LOVE the clothes. And the girls are so skinny! It`s giving me serious thinspiration! XD
  • If I don`t lose weight from the food and the walking, it will be from the sweating--it is insanely hot and humid here! My poor new bangs...

I intended on writing more, but I was just told that we`re going out to kaiten-zushi whenever I get done on the computer! So I need to go now! Until this weekend!


  1. Hahaha my bangs are new as well and its so hot that I just clip them back as much as I can. I am definitely not used to this heat!


  2. wahhh sounds so fun! =O I wish I had a few good Japanese friends out in Japan. Well glad that you're having a blast. See you around KGU or the dorms next week. =D

  3. I told you 'bout the vending machines, bro!
    Glad you're having fun so far :D


  4. Can't wait to hear more and see some photos!!!