021

Mar. 28th, 2014 06:37 pm
Happy birthday to me… I’m really sick. LOL I just knew, as I was staring at those masks in Daiso yesterday, that I should have bought them. Sigh. And by really sick I just mean a cold; I have a badly stuffed nose and a bit of a sore throat. But really, I’m okay. Last night was the first night since I bought my bedding that I didn’t sleep through the night. :C Damn you, cold!! I’m trying to think of what may have caused it, and I think the main culprit is probably being super hot/sweaty and then super cold in a matter of moments. (Because I would be hot and sweaty from walking home uphill with bags, but it was actually cold outside, and then I would take all the sweaty clothes off and sit in my PJs by an open window… In hindsight this may not have been a good plan. LOL) I decided to have the fruits and the macaroni salad for breakfast. Maybe today I’ll buy myself a little tart or piece of strawberry cake or something. :) The market at Hankyu… I forgot to write about this yesterday. The market at Hankyu is even more amazing (by like, a landslide) than the Station Marché, which I was already impressed by. It is also more complicated. At the Station Marché, like any grocery, you just pick up what you want, go to the counter, pay for it. At the Hankyu station market (across the overpass bridge, Station Marché is on the JR side), it’s much more like a bazaar, and you order items especially from each kiosk, but you can see that the quality is utterly exceptional. Some things are even cheaper than across the way, but some are more expensive. Anyway, they have everything. Bento, sushi, desserts, all sorts of meat dishes, vegetables, they have an entire section for produce, and it is crazy busy in there. If I’m feeling bold maybe I’ll take pictures today, lol.

I was going to do laundry this morning then realized I do not have laundry soap. orz WELP. /adds three millionth thing to the list.

Since it’s my birthday, I think I’m going to go shower then watch this Umbrella DVD that came with the single I bought in Tokyo. :3

;u; That was so cute. I’m feeling a bit better since my shower. Part of me just wants to sleep more, but the other part says well, it’s already 8 am, I should get on with my day… Hm.

Well, yeah, I’m definitely sick. I laid about in bed for about an hour, then got up. I have a cough, chest congestion, sniffles, the whole works. :C It’s not making me want to get a whole lot done today, I’ll tell you that. Plus I’m really worried about the fact that I don’t have a mask. x_x

OH MY GOD THESE MINI TOMATOES ARE FUCKING DELICIOUS. ;O; I’m really hungry today for some reason… plus it’s my birthday so whatever. XD Also today I have discovered that lotus root is delicious. And I just ate some asparagus-like vegetable I have no idea what it was. LOL I have eaten sooo much this morning. :X But maybe it will help me get over my cold, lol. I took my B vitamins too!! I actually do feel quite a bit better after eating all that, so maybe I needed it. All morning I have had: a serving of roasted veg, a container of those mini tomatoes, the macaroni-egg-ham salad (which also had zucchini and carrots it’s weird I know XD), a single slice of bread with the tuna-mayo stuff on it, 3 small pork meatballs, 2 shrimp in spicy sauce, a Vietnamese-style meat spring roll with hot mustard, and a serving of fruit salad. Please come through for me, multitudes of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. lol

I have also forgotten to mention that I am the only English-speaking person in my dorm, all three floors. There are many Chinese people, several Koreans, two girls from India and one Spanish woman. That is it. LOL Honestly, it’s interesting and a little strange to be in a place where the lingua franca isn’t English. One thing Leela told me before I left Tokyo was “don’t surround yourself with English-speakers, try and listen to the language as much as possible”. That’s proving to be rather easy. XD;

Oh man, I really do feel better after eating all that. XD Maybe food is important. ROFL

So the garbage trucks around here sound like ice cream trucks back home. It blows my mind that the garbage trucks in this area not only play cute music, but are pink, too. Japan, you are weird and lovely.

018

Mar. 25th, 2014 07:55 pm
I’m going to call that a good day. I forgot to get a pillow, but half the time I don’t sleep with a pillow anyway. I did, however, get a lovely futon mat (it is so soft and fuzzy oh my god) in pink, a beautiful down futon… blanket, whatever those are called (it’s exactly like a duvet) in this gorgeous light pink even though you don’t see it, and a pink tartan cover for it. :3 In addition I also got shower slippers, house slippers, 26 hangers, and a towel. :P And I just noticed that yes, actually, everything is pink. (Yes including the shower slippers and hangers, though in varying shades.) LOL Thank god for some kind shop-staff though, but I find that if you tell them your Japanese is a little shaky and you try your best, they’re very willing to help. I don’t like looking like a fool, but really, this is the way you get better! The two ladies working with me were very kind. And if I don’t understand something that I think might be important, I just tell them so and we usually work something out. XD “Gomen nasai, wakarimasen” (I’m sorry, I don’t understand) has become a common phrase of mine for the moment. :P Sometimes charades is required.

I went out on the trains and found out that there is a major transfer station called Amagasaki (which also has a big mall, I didn’t notice until the way back) that I get off/on at in order to go to and from school. From it, Nishinomiya is only two stops. I went to Nishinomiya, but I did not have a map to the school (even though I have the address), and I couldn’t see it on the local map at the station so I didn’t try to get any further because I was really scared of getting lost. XD Tomorrow I will just take a taxi to the school from that station (since I have the address on the back of the campus map in kanji), and ask for a more detailed access map once I get there to get back. n_n I have to say, that this coming-to-Japan thing and not having any kind of phone or internet access really, really makes you rely on yourself, your interpersonal skills, your own intuition and bravery, and trusting in yourself also. This morning was kind of like… Okay! Let’s go to the station and find out how to get to school! I have no idea if there even is a Nishinomiya station but I’m going to say so! LOL (There is.) Oh yeah! And I also got an ICOCA (which I JUST realized is a clever play on words, it’s pronounced ee-koh-kah, and in Japanese, ikkou ka (same pronunciation) is an informal way to say “let’s go?” or it could also be an abbreviation of ikkou-card, which would just mean “go-card”; either way very clever). An ICOCA is the Osaka version of a Suica, which is a fund-loadable pass-card for using transit and can be used as a payment card at some locations for a huge variety of things. (Like today at lunch, the restaurant I went to took ICOCA as a form of payment.) It’s not something you want to lose because they are nameless and you literally just tap it and go. :P You can load them with up to $100 at a time. (I would never put that much, especially since I don't yet have a pass case.) So anyway, I got one of those, loaded it up and off I went, to Amagasaki and then Nishinomiya and then from there straight to Osaka. I knew I could probably get what I needed just at the station malls, and I did see some gorgeous Givenchy bedding I wanted, but I am not about to pay $500 for a bedding set ($120 was enough lol, yay sales). I probably could have gotten everything I needed, but once I had the essentials, the bags were heavy and bulky and I decided to call it a day. Tomorrow I have school stuff pretty well all day, so I’m going to have a relaxing evening and take a shower and do my hair and set up my room some more and have a good night’s rest now that I have the proper bedding for it. Holy Jesus my arms hurt though, especially after that expedition. XD One day I will stop carrying heavy things back to my dorm. (I opted not to taxi because 1) walking is free, 2) good exercise and 3) I’m trying to cement the way back to the dorm in my head so I could do it blind. lol)

SPEAKING OF! For some reason this reminded me, I’m not sure why. Takarazuka station has an AWESOME market at it called Station Marché (駅マルシェー). It has fresh fruit and vegetables, cooking supplies, AN EPIC DELI AND CHEESE COUNTER with really good cheeses and crackers for not exorbitant prices I am so impressed, its own café inside, bakery, literally whatever you could want. THE CHERRY TOMATOES. ;O; So cute and ripe and small and CHEAP oh god I need six packages. Really though, I wanted to take so many pictures. I was like; THANK THE LORD there is a legitimate supermarket (a small but very convenient supermarket) right at my home station. I am going to go grocery shop… I don’t know, sometime soon. XD Maybe on the way home from school tomorrow. What I should do tonight is make a list of questions for SOMEONE to answer, like… How do I get a Japanese bank account? The residence procedures say I need to register my residence with the police station within 14 days of landing. How do I do this? How do I get a Japanese phone? How do I apply for a scholarship? How do I pay my rent and utilities? How do I get back to the station (lol)? I think I’ll do that after I shower. But oh god I am so happy I have proper bedding. Hallelujah.

I had a shower and I feel amazing. Oh god that was so needed. AND MY NEW TOWEL IS EPIC. It is soooooo soft and absorbent! Having my ham, cheese, and lettuce sandwich for dinner now accompanied by tea. :P It gives me great happiness that Japanese sandwiches do not have crusts. XD Crust has never been something I’ve particularly minded, but it is better without. My meals have been good today. I had an egg/ham/veg sandwich and a chicken mayo onigiri for breakfast with tea, then when I got to Nishinomiya I had a single-serve bottle of jasmine tea, then after my shopping at Tokyu Hands (yes Tokyu, that is not a typo) and before I bought my bedding at Isetan, I went and had a great set meal with egg drop soup, some kind of grilled root vegetable with a spicy sauce I don’t know it was delicious lol, spicy shrimp in a sauce with sprouts and pea shoots, rice, and a set of five different Chinese-style steamed dumplings with different meat and vegetable fillings, accompanied by hot tea and water. Japanese-style, so you know, there was just a little bit of everything, and beautifully presented. It was so good. I didn’t finish all the rice or soup though. :P Leela might have been proud of me; I called over the waiter and ordered some water. XD (She was teaching me to order my own drinks back in Tokyo. In Japan, I get really, really shy. LOL I KNOW.) I picked what I did off the menu because it was the only thing that I could read in entirety (as in, say fluently also) and I felt like doing that instead of pointing. XD; It also looked really good though and just about the right amount of food, and I was right. Plus, the whole thing was just under $20! Wins all around. (Generally you do not tip in Japan, and taxes are included in most listed prices, either that or both are listed, with and without.)

I JUST REMEMBERED there was a giant purple cat pillow at the Daimaru in Osaka Station City… Depending on how much it was I might have to get that as my pillow. >_> Please don't be over ¥5,000 Murasaki Neko-chan*, because that is the most I am willing to pay. LOL I guess we’ll see soon!


* Murasaki = purple
Neko = cat
Chan = suffix used to denote something small, cute, or younger than you

016

Mar. 21st, 2014 05:42 pm
Yesterday, it rained like crazy. I spent most of the day inside at Leela's, chatting to people, relaxing, and getting over some jet lag. I slept through the night last night, completely, for the first time in like... ever. (Okay not ever, but as long as is in recent memory anyway. I don't think I did that for a couple of months while I was at work in Canada.) So... hoorah! :D/ It is now almost 9 am and I am having aloe yogurt and an acai-kiwi drink. Bless you, Japanese convenience stores, for being amazingly convenient and with delicious offerings.

Aaand now it's 10 pm, and man we have had a full day.
The short version of today: Went to Shibuya 109; which is a fashion mecca for people interested in gyaru (a fashion/lifestyle subculture) in Japan and overseas, even. Took a video of Shibuya crossing (a famous pedestrian crossing because... well if you look it up on youtube you'll see) from a cafe in the building. Ate sukiyaki and shabu shabu/shabu-nabe (lol). It was freaking delicious; I really enjoyed the pork sukiyaki dipped in the raw egg. Holy fantastic batman. Went through all the shops. Got a tour from Leela of all the Shinjuku live-houses. Talked about school/volunteer things. It was a good day.

Now I am tired and going to sleep. lol

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lisawilliamson

January 2015

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