022

Oct. 2nd, 2014 09:29 pm
It's been about six months since I arrived in Japan, and about that long since I posted here, too. lol Sorry about that, if anyone still reads this!

I've gone through a lot since I arrived here, and honestly a lot of really tough stuff, that is ongoing. School work itself is basically the least of my worries, so I suppose in some way that's good, but it would kind of be ideal if more of my difficulties were of that focus, like a normal university student.

Recently I've sort of been feeling like my life is entirely falling apart. That sounds really trite written here. I feel stupid saying it, honestly. But I truly know less about myself or what I really want or where I'm going to end up than I ever have in my life. And I feel really, utterly useless, disgusting, and stupid.

Japan is really hard on people. Moving to this country without really being able to speak and understand is hard. It's a racist country without meaning to be in the same way a gentleman tries to treat a woman well without realizing he may be acting extremely patronizing and chauvinist. Being here for four years is going to prove to be interesting and incredibly challenging: I've already lost a good group of friends from last semester that went on their way back to their own lives in their home countries and am having a hard time adjusting to making real friendships with the new ones that have arrived, if only due to the huge amount of drama at the end of last.

Furthermore I've realized I really do have to start putting myself, my goals, my desires, and my feelings first. I once heard a saying that went something like "do not put such a cheap price on yourself, for you can be sure the world will not raise it for you". More and more this seems like the truth.

People who love you when you're a child will tell you you can be and do anything. When you're a child and young adult they tell you if you're smart and you work hard you can succeed. I don't believe this in full. Firstly because you have to be dealt a very good hand no matter what to succeed in this life. Secondly, I've seen what a massive, massive advantage this baseless world gives to those who are genetically sheer lucky enough to be given what the current status quo defines as 'beauty'. So if you're given a marginally good start and you're gorgeous, yes, the world will hand itself to you. As long as you're beautiful. That's especially hard for a woman, and especially a woman who's not.

I've also had to come to the realization that I'm old. I'm getting old. I'll be frightfully old basically when I graduate. By that time what person will want me, what workplace will want me? I've fought with that. And also my health. I wasn't given such a good hand in that either, and unbeknownst to me I carried the tendency for and then developed some serious issues such as diabetes and liver disease. I've found myself wondering if I'll have 20 years after I graduate before I basically decay or have a heart attack, and wondering this seriously. Things that have happened in the last several months have not calmed these worries either, only exacerbated them.

I'm a mess right now, truly. So while I plod along and continue my studies I try not to think too hard about the future or myself or else I just become even more depressed. I try to just hope for good things to cross my path and doors to open. Good people. And I try not to think too hard. I try just to keep going.

019

Mar. 26th, 2014 07:34 pm
Much better sleep last night than the first night, holy crow. My new bedding is absolutely glorious; so soft, the perfect weight. I was so comfortable. I slept for quite a while, too. I probably fell asleep around 9-ish and I slept until 6 am. I went to bed early because today I have to be at a certain room at the school for our international student orientation, and as I went to go put the $13 pack of batteries I bought at the airport for my alarm clock (damn you airport), I realized I got the wrong size. x___x (However, they will work wonderfully for my polaroid!) So, without an alarm, I thought… I better make sure I get up in time to get ready and go. LOL It’s 6:30 now, if I leave by 8 I should have plenty of time to dawdle and be observant about things and still make it there (I also have to find that particular building and the campus is large). The meeting is at 10 am. I’m getting more comfortable with this Japanese toilet thing, too. XD; This morning has been good, for the 30 minutes I’ve been awake. n_n lol

It’s grey and rainy out today. Kinda glad I packed my umbrella. :P

I’ve been in Japan for a week proper now, and I feel that my jeans are fitting a just a little tiny bit nicer. I chalk it up to the food, not drinking anything carbonated (I pretty much have no desire for soda at all with all this delicious non-sweetened iced tea around) and water, and walking everywhere/carrying heavy bags every damn day. LOL Plus the intense walk home uphill, I’m sure that’s going to help too. Food here is freaking delicious though, ugh. I missed you, Japan. XD


It’s 7 pm, and I have had quite a day!
I did take a taxi from JR Nishinomiya station. I learned a lot today, like the fact that there are two Nishinomiya stations: the Hankyu and the JR. The Hankyu one is apparently way closer to my school, and luckily the line (which is local between Nishinomiyakitaguchi and Takarazuka) goes directly back to Takarazuka station, also. At that station, an overpass bridge connects the two lines. Going towards the school by train though, I don’t get off at Nishinomiyakitaguchi, I get off at a station called Kotoen and take a bus, getting off at the last stop which is called 関西学院前 (Kansaigakuinmae), which literally means “In front of Kwansei Gakuin (University)”. LOL Thanks to my awesome Japanese partners who helped me out with showing me the Hankyu line, and taking me to McDonald’s so I could have internet for a few minutes to tell everyone I was okay/update this! I was assigned two (Lisa and Hitomi), and one adopted me (Mio). :P I am very grateful to them. It’s really great because all of them have been overseas to study in Canada, too, at Queens! (When Mio heard I was from Canada from the other two ladies, that is the moment she adopted me. LOL)

I also found out some relatively bad news, that I somehow missed a day of orientation. The leaflet I have from the CIEC denotes that orientation was all day today, but apparently there was also a rather important session yesterday, that Kei (a lady who works in the office) was gracious enough to quickly go over with me and one other Korean gentleman (who introduced himself to me afterward as Park) who missed yesterday also. Apparently, the information about that session was in small print on the bottom of one of the packets of information we received by mail back in our home countries. X___X Nonetheless, I’ll be okay. She went over it quickly anyway.

I also have to register my residence (since I’m a foreigner) with some local office within 14 days of landing in Japan… so that deadline is April 1st, and I have absolutely no clue where to go to do that or how. Since I have no internet at all, emailing trying to ask for that information or sleuthing to find it out for myself is proving to be pretty impossible. lol I would go to the school tomorrow to do so, but the office I need to go to in order to ask about that (CIEC) is closed then for some reason, so I am going to try and go early on Friday in order to possibly get to the local office in which that needs to be done before the weekend (since I am not sure if they would be open then). I’m also getting increasingly worried about the fact that I kind of forgot to bring ALL of my paperwork from KGU from before I arrived in Japan with me. X_X; It seems a lot like I might have kind of needed it… Guh. (I am sure it is garbage now.)

Well, I’m hoping it’s a nice day tomorrow, but back when I had internet I seem to remember the forecast saying that it was going to rain for two consecutive days… Which I much prefer to snow, certainly, but it doesn’t make wandering around my area/taking pictures or going shopping for things I need to procure for studies much fun. XD I wonder where I should go tomorrow…

Well, I’m going to go over a few more school things for a couple hours and then maybe go to bed. n_n It was fun meeting some really nice ladies today… and one gentleman, Josiah. He was awesome! He was quite a character today. I think he’s a… second or third year? Ah well, you’ll probably hear more about him in future. XD

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

009

Feb. 20th, 2014 04:42 am
26 days until Japan.

Since this is one of my favourite j-rock videos ever because it makes me laugh and I can actually do their little dance (at the chorus), I will post it. :P



This song helps remind me that everyone is a little insecure and stuff. XD; The girl in it who plays Emiko is really cute though! 8D 僕の...エンジェ〜エ〜ル.

I went to the consulate yesterday and my visa should come in my passport within the next five to ten business days. :3 The lady helping said to call on Wednesday and at that time they will give me a better estimate of when it would be done. I am picking it up from the office so I will get it even faster yaaay~.

My old computer is finally ready to give to Jose. :P Thank god since I made him wait like two weeks! lol Thankfully, after many botched attempts, my dad lent me his external harddrive last night and then the transfer of my old photos was all done quickly.

I still need to mail my enrolment documents, but I'm going to do that after work today. /makes checkbox
☑ Mail enrolment documents

Also, I still need to apply for my student line of credit with my dad. e_e; Kind of dreading that. Plus he seems to continue to forget about it or doesn't see how important it is or doesn't realize that I actually need him to come with me since he needs to cosign because I'm leaving the country. :/ Either way it's a bit frustrating!

Speaking of financing, yesterday I randomly had to pay $200 to a collections agency for a ticket I got on the train in Vancouver 3 years ago. x___x; That came directly out of my Japan money. Suuuuuucked. Oh well; at least I know for certain I have nothing left owing this country. LOL

Just about 5 am now, time to leave for work! Bah :P

007

Feb. 16th, 2014 07:22 am
30 days until Japan.

Things I need to get done today:
☑ Fax Kangaku bank transfer receipts
☑ Get a Canadian passport-sized photo for my student visa
☑ Get 2 Japanese passport-sized photos for my student ID
Edit: Done!

Once I do those things I suppose I can get all my papers together and send my last packet of documents due before I arrive to the school. :P Everything else is done.
Oh, and unrelated to school, but also:

☑ Finish heidi. report for Leela
Edit: Took me until the next day but! Done!

There. :) I can do all these things today without overloading myself!

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