Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sorry about that

So, if you didn't get a ton of ooey gooey emo-ey vibes off my one month update, you probably didn't read it. But for those of you who did, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. (Waits to see who to give kudos to.)

When I wrote my one month update I was going through what is known as home sickness. To top it off, my period of language fatigue was also setting in right around the same time. I don't think home sickness needs to be explained, but pretty much it's from that moment that you realize you don't like or care about what's going on around you. It could be the worlds most epic event and you wouldn't care because all you want is to go home to what you know and eat real food, you know, like Mac and Cheese. <<< That comment. That one right there. I had my head ripped off about that one with a long spew of "So you're saying Japanese food isn't real food? Well what about Japanese...." you get the point. I learned very quickly not to say that to certain people. Especially when they haven't hit home sick yet.

Second up is language fatigue. This is something no one really talks about when they tell you about what going abroad is like. It is, however, something that host families are warned about. As a proud home stay family for several students now, I had thought I would know the signs for this kind of thing. I'm sad to say it hit me upside the head like a ton of bricks. Basically what happened for me, and it differs from person to person on when and how it happens, is I found myself reverting to English a lot and shutting myself excessively in my room. At meal times I stayed as silent as possible and I used English whenever possible.

A lot of the reason for this is I found myself, not all at once, but gradually hitting this wall where I felt like I couldn't hit anything. The words were coming out of their mouths, but I just felt like I couldn't process them. Speaking too was pretty hard. All my vocab and grammar had flown the coop. So it's hard. There's no set in stone way to know when it will hit, but chances are that everyone studying abroad will eventually hit this wall. The only way to get past it I know is to wait it out. Then one day, today for me actually, Japanese just felt, well, fun and well, almost natural again. So I think I'm rounding that hump, but I'm going to take it slow and not rush into things in case I freeze up again.

So, as a special, I'm-sorry-I-was-totally-acting-emo post I'll add an updated one and two month update sometime around the beginning of March.

And speaking of March, that means spring break is almost here! While technically spring break started around the beginning of February, mine doesn't begin until March 9th due to my language intensive program. That's right. You read that correctly. Japanese students get a two month long spring break. I say all the students should riot back home upon hearing this news and demand a longer spring break. 7 days just doesn't cut it.

Moving on.

So Chelsea and I sat down and worked out most of our plan for the week we'll be traveling during spring break. While I'd love to go see everything, my budget is not, contrary to popular belief, unlimited. Here on scholarships, remember? Anyways, we'll be staying at a hotel in Osaka for 6 nights and we're looking around for a good 旅館 (ryo-kan) to stay in for our 7th night. We'll mostly be duo traveling, but Briana will be joining us the final night for the 旅館 experience. The plan is mostly to go sight seeing in, not Osaka, but Kyoto. We're told, and backed up somewhat by the internet, that Osaka is cheaper than Kyoto. So we snagged, for about $296 for 6 nights a hotel room in Kyoto. That evens out to around $148 each or about $25 a night.

Definitely planning on heading to Ise shrine, which will be a day trip and and of itself due to it's distance and we're also planning on going to Mt. Hiei. We're also planning on taking a class and doing kimono shopping in Kyoto as well as doing the rounds on some of the temples. Golden Pavilion? Heck yeah? That place with all the red tori gates that was in Memoirs of a Geisha whose name I'll forget but will tell you later? Yeah. One hundred and thirty percent definitely going.

All that's left is to figure out our transportation. We've heard the night bus, (which come on, that sounds like a horror movie all by itself doesn't it?) is the cheapest option and the shinkansen (bullet train) and airplane look to be around ¥13,000 (Roughly, very roughly $130) and ¥10,000 (~$100) respectively. Whereas we hear the night bus runs about ¥4,000-5,000.

Not the most creative trip, definitely on the beaten path, but I get to go see the places I've always wanted to see.

I'll be returning to Tokyo by the 24th for the Tokyo International Anime Fair and after that, depending on how broke and or indebted I am I may do some more traveling near Tokyo.

Then I move into the dorms on March 31st where my first ever curfew will be put in place. 10:45 pm. Yeah. Not looking forward to that.

So anyways, that's my itinerary for spring break. Before that however I have more school and a final exam. Also, tomorrow I will finally be going to the Ghibli Museum *knock on wood* and (Strike that. I guess I didn't knock hard enough. Either that or someone wished really, really hard again that I couldn't go tomorrow.) on Friday I will be taking a class trip to Kamakura!

I finally get to follow the sign tomorrow!! Strike that. I didn't knock on wood hard enough.

Also, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posting lately. As I said I've been homesick, language fatigued and also my camera broke on me! One valentines day none the less. Smack dab in the middle of homesickness. It was terrible timing. However, I was able to wrangle up a new camera and things are starting to look warm and fuzzy again! You probably won't see me every day, but I definitely want to start posting at least once a week again. So pester me and leave comments! It will help me work to post faster!! To make up for the lack of pictures above, here are some bonus pictures from the last week or so.

Oh, and have I mentioned yet, I'm becoming addicted to purikura. I'd really love to do a purikura a day project for the rest of my stay, but I don't think funds will allow for that. So I'm going to do them as often as I can and post my album when I get home.

Purikura by myself
Also, I have a heated carpet and a mini table under my bed. My life just became both convenient and amazing.

Karaoke room

Love the bathroom at Shibuya Station next to the Keio Line trains. It's so pretty.

I'm pretty sure the grudge lives here.

One Piece store. Because Chelsea wanted to go.

Resident Evil fricking cafe. I'm going there. Next month. You can count on it.

Valentines day at Outback Steakhouse! A little piece of home in Shibuya.

Meiji Shrine with the other 留学生 (ryuu-gaku-sei) - exchange students

Saturday night after Valentines day, playing catch up. Once Upon a Time followed the Walking Dead.


qwacksalot said...


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