[2013 – I don’t think I ACTUALLY repeated that image from before. That’s what I get for writing at midnight, I suppose…]
Okay, so now that I’m BACK in Japan and am losing time, I have started feeling a LOT more pressure (I’m looking at you, dancers I know…!) to update my blog, and with good reason! It’s not every day you are good friends with someone who goes to Japan (unless you’re good friends with me, right?) just like it’s not every day you get to GO to Japan. Or anywhere else in the world! So my apologies to those who were REALLY hoping for an update or two over the break, I was just so busy doing AMERICA that I didn’t manage to squeeze in time for Japan! ^_^ Weird, huh?
Okay, so time for a long-ish blog entry, which is cool, ‘cause y’know it’s only almost midnight here, so I got time. Right? I got time?
–Back Home for a Time–
Coming home was educational, to say the least. I was initially VERY surprised at just how BIG everything felt. And it wasn’t the houses or the cars or the streets (though they were very big indeed) as these things were just as big as I’d remembered them to be. The things that surprised me were things like chairs, cups, hamburgers, proportions and the like. I’d become so used to small glasses, small hamburgers, low chairs and tables, that I didn’t really realize that I’d become used to them! The biggest surprise was when I went to go get a glass from the cupboard for the first time, I reached in and grabbed one, and it just felt HUGE in my hand, like I was seven all over again! So rather than realize that I’d just gotten used to smaller glasses, I reached for a different-colored one, thinking that perhaps while I was away Mom had purchased bigger glasses. That one felt just as big.
I still had to ask Dad or Ryan or somebody if the glasses were ACTUALLY the same size as always! Man, some people just have a hard time learning, eh?
Otherwise, things were about the same as always back in America. Church was about the same, girls were about as frustrating, life about as complicated as it should be… Oh, it did take me a week or two to get used to throwing all of my trash away in the same container, though. That was fun to come to terms with. ^_^
–Back to Japan–
Coming back to Japan was interesting, at least as much as any 15 hour flight could be. I had to fly from Denver to Chicago first, because apparently American Airlines thinks that cheaper. It probably actually is for them, rather than having international hubs all across the US. I woke up around 5 or so, grabbed my bags, went to the airport… You know the drill. About the only interesting thing that happened was I bought a bagel while waiting for my flight, and literally, I think I would have liked just a little more bagel with my cream cheese than they gave me. The amount of cream cheese was fine, I just needed a second bagel to go with it all!
Otherwise, the flight to Japan, train to Tokyo, etc… were all just dandy and relatively eventless. Once I got back to Tokyo, I dunno, apparently there’s this whole “cherry blossom” thing going on that nobody told me about*, and so all the hotels were pretty much already full. I had to walk for an hour or two to a couple of different hotels before I found one in Shinjuku that had a MAP of other nearby hotels with phone numbers that I could call instead of walking to them all in-person. And even then the only one I found was a two-room, so I sent a little more than I’d hoped, but the school reimbursed most of that cost. Well, they WILL reimburse it soon anyway. So I slept, woke, found out my host family wouldn’t be able to meet me for sure (I was already pretty sure that would be the case), so they put me up in another hotel for a second night.
*People told me about it, and I already knew… I just hadn’t realized it would affect my finding a hotel room as much as it did. There were folks in Tokyo from ALL over the world, but mostly Japan and China, I think. Maybe Taiwan…?
After that I went to Ueno Park with some friends to do a little “hana-mi,” or “cherry-blossom viewing.” We talked and played some music for an hour or two, then went to a nearby museum that had a Japanese history section (both natural history and societal history) as well as a general science section. It was wicked cool, because they had this amazing spherical room with projectors all around and a walkway in the middle on which to stand, and if you leaned over the edge you could fairly easily forget you were standing on ANYTHING, and flying along with the camera across 3D-rendered fields of dinosaurs, or through the ocean, and then get sick and throw up. (I didn’t get sick or throw up. I think nobody threw up, but I bet it’s happened once or twice. ^_^) After the movie we saw the whole museums. It got boring and two of us got pretty jet-lagged, so we just skimmed through most of one of the buildings and went back.
The next day, finally I met with my host family. I’ll try to get pictures and more information about them up a little later, but it’s a little three-member family. The parents are at oldest eleven years older than me and youngest eight years older, so it’s really a lot more like big-brother/sister or aunt and uncle than parents, which is cool. Their son is 5, and I can actually understand most of what he says! That makes me happy. My Japanese is ALMOST on par with a 5-year-old. Wouldn’t that make YOU happy? ^^;;
And finally, most recently (and the reason I’m composing this at midnight rather than, say, SOONER than midnight) I finally found a club that I wholeheartedly want to join! It’s called the “Kyougi Dansu” club, which means “Cometitive Dance.” What THIS means is that not ONLY will I be improving/learning ballroom dance (specifically Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Tango, Cha-cha-cha, Rhumba, and one other latin dance, I think… They said it all in Japanese, which is hard for me to remember, and it was fast making it hard for me to immediately translate to English and retain), but we will be focusing on getting REALLY good at it! ^_^
Furthermore, there are some awesome people in the club so far, including some really cute girls. One girl I met actually grew up between 1 and 11 in America, then came back to Japan and attended middle and high school here, so her Japanese is as good as anyones, but the English she knows she speaks fluently! It completely blows my mind. Oh, that and she’s hot. And she told me that I was hot, and that she didn’t believe I didn’t have a girlfriend.
Yeah, I totally got her number. ^_^ How long are you supposed to wait before calling a girl after getting her number, anyway? I mean in Japan, that is? Bah, the club’s meeting again tomorrow, I guess, so it’s cool. I’ll just see her then! Along this tangent, however, I may have just been suffering from “girl said you’re hot” disease and thus had an unusually large ego, but I kind of got the impression that a few of the girls there were eyeing me… If I’m right (and I refuse to allow myself to think too seriously that I am beyond “it’s possible”) then I hope oh, so very strongly, that it will not become anything awkward. My impression of Japanese dating culture is that it won’t, as it seems kind of like girls here aren’t as… catty as they are in America, even about boys.
Scott’s dating insight: Boys and Girls in Japan are just a fact of life, and some like the others, and some like each other. If one doesn’t like you but you like them, well, you can try harder or give up. And if they like one of your friends who likes them back, well good for them!
I may be completely mistaken about this, but I hope to never find out if I am!
By the way, is it COMPLETELY messed up that I think it’s attractive, this girl speaking Japanese much better than I and English at least as well as an eleven-year-old? I think probably.
And finally, to finish off this post-of-posts, I’m going to Kyoto on Saturday, and I found out shortly after taking off to Chicago that my camera’s battery is dead, I don’t have the second on me, and my charger is either at HOME, or in my extra bag which I doubt I can get back before I leave. So it’s not all wireless internet and heated toilet seats out here! >.< Man, and the sakura should be in FULL bloom up in Kyoto when we go there, too! Gotta look for a charger!!! Gyaaaaaaaaar!