Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bees, flowers and fees

After a run in with a Japanese bee this morning I'm obligated by my survival instinct to run screaming and flailing and to warn you all. Run. Okay, that said, seriously. If you think bees back home in the U.S. are scary, make it four times larger and then you'll be comparable to a Japan sized bee. Yeah, like I said, run. The girls I was with understandably screamed when, as bees do, it seemed intent on terrorizing our group.

Japanese bee. These things are massively scary and whoever took
this picture.... steel... they're made of steel. That's all I can say.

While we're talking about bugs, the mosquitoes here also seem about twice as large, and I've recently done battle with them. I was forced to retreat from the confrontation and am currently sporting battle wounds. Long story short, ladies, those of you looking to live in the Japan Women's University dorms, that nice looking garden area with the benches is an ambush laid out by the mosquitoes. Be warned.

Oh, and apparently mosquito season in Japan is supposed to be around the same time as rainy season. May is also apparently cold season. As in cough, cough, hack, hack. Go forth and good luck.
I'd like to proclaim, not too loudly of course, that my second ever flower arrangement was much better than the first. Granted, the first one was a normal arrangement you could buy anywhere. Yesterday's arrangement was my first ever shot at ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement.

My first ever arrangement - At JWU

My first ever arrangement - At JWU

Reminds me of a swamp, but I love it.

Next up club (have I mentioned that I joined 3?), archery. Now, there is a lot to cover with archery. By far it's my favorite club (though i love volleyball too), though that being said, it's also the most expensive.

Here is a quick lesson I learned. Don't believe anything you're told the first time you ask. Ok, that's a little harsh. Just be prepared when you come abroad that, while you may be given "all" the information up front, unlike in the U.S. (at least in my experience) where it's unlikely to change because everyone would throw hissy fits, it's liable to be wrong, to change or to be completely inaccurate. So, take everything with a grain of sand and be warned that the information you receive is likely to change.

Back to archery.

A couple weekends ago we had our big overnight outing to welcome all the first years (which is where exchange students tend to fall, regardless of academic standing). The cost for this was 6000 円 ($60). We had a big photo scavenger hunt thing, but my group decided to hang out by the Sky Tree followed by lunch at Jojoen, the best yakiniku restaurant  around I'm told. It's also a tad pricey and ran about 1, 800 円 ($18) for the lunch special. Awesome sempai (you know, I'm not actually sure about who is sempai or whatnot because I'm a fourth and thus older than almost everyone in the club, but yet I always get lumped with the freshman) picked up the tab.

Afterwards we all headed to the ryokan and, after bento dinners and ofuro, played some getting to know each other games and then had a nomikai.

So that was one (optional) fee. Next up is the club fee for the year, 10, 500円 ($105), though I might be wrong. On top of this is a 400円 fee everytime we practice.

Remember what I said about wrong information? Yeah, I was told before joining that bow and arrows, etc would run about 20, 000円, cool, two hundred dollars, I can do that. Turns out, if I pay in monthly installments the price is $1, 200, but if I pay in one lump sum it's $800. Someone out there is looking out for me however and I met a new girl in my class today who not only was part of the same club, but no longer wants to do it so she is going to self me all of her stuff for about $250. Considering the sight alone was roughly that much, I'll take it. It also cuts down what I need to buy to arrows, the wood bits on the bow and a string (because our heights and draw weight/length are different). Yay to new friend Juri! Oh, and it's pink and purple.

I think that about wraps this segment up. Sorry for any recapping (and sorry for more apologies) and see you around!

Edit: Almost forgot. It's been bought to my attention that the few of you who receive email newsletters haven't been receiving them. I'm working on difficult this problem! Sorry about this!


qwacksalot said...

Oh my the bees are huge run

qwacksalot said...

Love the ikebana great job I bet the people in the south would love to run into a swamp that looks like that

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