Well I’m back from the good ol’ USA and ready to crack down for finals. Yesterday I had to turn in my kanji book about fashion which was super simple. Tomorrow I have final for Japanese Society and a final paper due for my Japanese topics class that has to be partially in Japanese. Friday I have a report due on a 10 page book read, don’t judge me lol! Next week I only have like 4 classes but I work 50 hours for a family visiting Japan. The following and final week of classes I have a 2 presentations, 1 book report and 3 final test. I promise I will never complain when I get back to Spelman for taking 5 classes (20 credits)!
One of the joys of studying in Japan is this 8 week spring break I’m about to have. I plan on taking an intensive Japanese course in Shibuya with ARC for the month of february, a women’s conference in Dubai, hopefully trips to India and Thailand in March. I also plan on working since as many of you know I’m trying to rid myself of student debt.
I will try to update you all more since I surely hated when following a blog and they just fall off the blogwagon. yes for the MAC lipstick
My first sumo match ever
First family picture in many, many years
Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, life has been super busy! I’m actually getting ready to head home for Christmas break. I know, I know why spend about $1000 to fly home but I had to do it for my sanity (homesickness). I’m starting to fall back in love with Japan. I joined the badminton team and I’ve had so much fun with them. They make an effort to speak English and I make an effort to speak Japanese so it all works out. I still attend gymnastics but it’s slightly boring.
This weekend I attended a MMA (mixed martial arts) match in this small crowded gym but it was really interesting and violent. I also ate the best Jamaican food of my life in Shibuya. I also received an opportunity to become a prostitute (declined!). Not sure if I mentioned this but I got a job babysitting for a Japanese-Canadian family. It’s really easy and the kids are great. I almost accepted a job working for a Japanese woman but her parenting style would have driven me up a wall. The toddler controlled her to the extreme! I also climbed Mount Takao and needless to say it wasn’t that bad!
Home bound on Friday but it’s not much of a 3 week break. I have a Kanji project, an interview in Japanese, study for grammar, prepare a 30 minute presentation about culture, and finally review for Spanish and Japanese society classes. Guess my college didn’t get the hint about no homework over break. When I return I have two weeks of finals for my 8 classes. Ick! But unlike in America I have something like a 10 week spring break where I plan on taking Japanese classes and/or working a bunch of hours to pay off student loans.
Yesterday I arrived to Tsuda College which is about 40 minutes from Tokyo but trust me, it was not easy. I arrived at Nagoya airport about 2 hours early thankfully and paid $40 for my 75lb suitcase which if you’re from America, you know is a pretty good deal. That took about 1 hour since I guess no one travels with overweight luggage so they weren’t sure what to do.
Once I arrived in Tokyo I was greeted by my 2 “big sisters” which are basically part of the foreign student exchange friendship group or something like that. I felt like death dragging my two heavy suitcases through rush hour in Tokyo, 4 transfers and 3 hours later to Kodaira, where the school is located. With my broken Japanese I tried to tell them I’d like to take the express route but obviously that was lost in translation.
After we arrived we were able to get some delicious Indian curry near the station and another 20 minute walk to the dorms. I shed a few silent tears as I was sure my arms were somehow dislocated (I know I’m dramatic). Lugging it up 2 flights of stairs I arrived to the room a hot sweaty mess only to find out that my airconditioner didn’t work and I needed a chord for internet. Needless to say I bawled my eyes and finally dragged myself into the showers. The showers are very different. You go in, get naked, step behind a curtain and sit on a 6 inch basket type chair near the ground and wash yourself. There is also a onsen type tub that you can get into AFTER you shower. It was only a little strange to see everyone talking and having conversations while completely naked only a few feet away from each other. I got in and out as quickly as possible!
Things are looking brighter today. Although I had to walk around for a few hours in attempt to find an ATM to get money out of I was able to buy the cord for internet and food for groceries. I’ve met a few of my neighbors and even had a few broken conversations in Japanese although the consist of me saying “hai” or “unnnn” since I don’t know what exactly is being said lol.
Well Im here in Okazaki, Japan right now it. It’s a small town and there isn’t much to do. I’m also the “newbie” so I haven’t made many friends yet. I miss my friends and family at home but I suppose I need to get used to not seeing them for the next year. It’s strange seeing all my friends at Spelman starting classes and preparing for the classic while I’m thousands of miles away attempting not to burn my dinner since I can’t read the recipe in Japanese. It’s also strange seeing my ex move on and do fun things with all my unresolved questions but I guess the motto to sum it all up would be, life goes on.
So…Today I will take myself out to dinner, crash on someone’s karaoke party and study study study so I can communicate with everyone here. Wish me luck!