Log in

Getting back on track...

I have to say, part of the reason for the lack of updates is all because so much has happened since the last time I properly did so that I just don't know where to begin. There's still my final weekend in America that I never talked about--how Brian actually came to spend his weekend in itty bitty boresville with me. There's still my sightseeing of Tokyo to share, including the gazillllllions of pictures from the excursion, ranging from scenery to engrish to cosplay. There's still amazing food to gush about. There's still my struggles with the language barrier to confess. There's still the general school experience to report on. There's still all the hilarious happenings of being a cute foreigner to recount. There's still my new friends to introduce. And so on, and so on...

When there's a lot to tell, my mind feels overwhelmed even thinking about taking on the task. (It's something that happens even when someone asks me an open-ended question. It's like my mind can't handle the myriad possible answers all at once, so I have to ask for more specific questions to feel "mentally at ease".) But I really do want to tell these things. I really do want to catch up to the present and begin updating regularly. And I don't want to simply link to my photo galleries. I want to embed photos into detailed entries of everything, you know?

One thing I'm trying to work on is embracing the philosophy that "there's no better time than now" to do something. So let's get rolling. :3

I. Last weekend in AmericaCollapse )

II. Adventures in TokyoCollapse )

III. Tomoko's hometown, AshikagaCollapse )

So that's where I'll close this recap. :3

Of course, there are many, many photos not included here, but are free for all to see in my photo albums~

[Picasa] [Flickr]

Till next time~ ☀


So I've been here for a month now.

I wish I could report that everything sorted itself out naturally and became hunky-dory, but instead all I can say is I'm torn. Don't get me wrong; I'm having loads of fun and making some great memories here. But for every good experience occurs a bad experience to counter it, it seems--and all the expectations held above me can easily have me feeling overwhelmed with only a moment's reflection.

Sometimes I just want to be back at home. Sometimes I'm really excited about all the possibilities for me here. Sometimes I really freaking miss Brian. Sometimes I think the food alone makes everything worth it. Sometimes I marvel at how much more appreciation I have for 24/7 Wal-Marts. Sometimes coming back to this drear and drab box of a bedroom makes me feel misplaced and imprisoned. Sometimes retail therapy helps. Sometimes I get stressed out just taking notice of the clutter of paper and clothes and general lack of floorspace around me. Sometimes I think back on the day and laugh about all the ridiculous attention I get for being a cute foreigner.

But most of the time I find myself sitting under a stormcloud of sighs and lack of motivation, forgetting about all of the things that I need to do.

I need to buy pots and pans, a water boiler, and a microwave. I need to buy a couple kanji-related things for the DS, and a webcam. I need to restock on paper towels, cups, and plates. I need to buy some drawer units and what such for storing some of this clutter properly. I need to do laundry. I need to send postcards. I need to be doing homework and studying in general when I have free time.

But I don't know how to find the motivation for it all. I want to believe I can improve my mood just by consciously taking on a more positive attitude about everything, but... I end up spending too much time by myself, which is always a recipe for (mental) disaster.

So, for now, I just surrender for the day and allow my heavy eyes to fall where they please, with the hope that I'll feel better in the morning with a whole new day ahead of me.

(But I do have many awesome things to share here still, so you can be sure to expect a happy, fun entry next time~)
16:00 @ Starbucks

today has been really rough. i thought being fatigued from lack of sleep was bad, but today i've learned that being completely drained of strength is worse. nevermind the mini breakdown i had last night, nevermind the mental stress from feeling like my competency with the language is at -50--no, those are nothing in comparison to the sheer hopelessness that now burdens my every bone and muscle.

which brings me to my next complaint. i miss america and its helpful, friendly strangers! :( i have been slowly lugging something like 65-70lbs. all day, when i myself weigh in at a mere 90lbs. maybe it's just because my size actually belnds in here, idk, but there's not been a single person to even ask me if i was handling everything okay. not even the "fellow foriegners" here offer me a glance of familiarity and understanding (in fact, i'd say they do their utmost to just ignore others altogether). and when your hands are riddled with blisters, your feet begging for rest after every block, your shoulders and back wanting nothing more than to double over into fetal position... let me tell you, "distressed" does not begin to cover it.

but moving on. despite the predominant troubles, i want to say i am definitely quite glad to be on the way to meeting with Tomoko and Taka. they went through a lot of trouble finding me last-minute travel accommodations to Tokyo, and i feel really grateful to have them as such awesome friends. :) ♥

also, azuki frappuccinos are, as i had hoped, made with gratuitous amounts of win. ★

07:15 @ Nami's apartment

I passed out around 8 last night right after eating some snacks from the conbini, so now I find myself having been awake since 5, with Tomoko and Nami still peacefully asleep.

I was so incredibly relieved to arrive at Nami's apartment yesterday. I don't think I'd ever wanted a shower so badly. I totally sweat like 50x more in Japan than in America. Actually, I'm not sure if it's just the humidity or the fact that I was dragging around all that weight, but... yea, definitely makes you yearn for a shower, or some rain, or a pond to jump into. =A=

Sitting here in Nami's apartment, I... don't feel as if I'm in a "foreign" land. I just feel like I'm hanging out at a friend of a friend's apartment, which... well, is exactly the case. Which brings me to really ponder what exactly IS "foreign". And as far as I can see, it's not as much as people make it out to be. The food's different, the scenery's different, the social norms are different... but underneath that, the people themselves aren't "different" in any new way than how you reading this and me writing this are different.

I think meeting Nami has helped me see this. Before meeting her, I wondered what would be "kosher" for me to do. Should I bring a gift? Are there any traditional phrases I should memorize? And will I feel awkward since we're strangers, or as if I'm imposing on her space? But the moment we did meet, the questions vanished. There was no pressure to obey any sort of traditional custom. It was just: Nami, meet Jeshika. Jeshika, meet Nami. College student A, meet college student B. HEY LET'S MOLD SOME CLAY.

And we did. We sat around the coffee table, drinking peach tea, talking and joking, molding clay, and listening to latino music.

Welcome to "Japan". Welcome to Any Other Country where tradition truly plays but a small role and the people you meet are more like those of your own country than stereotypes had ever previously let you imagine.

In short, welcome to The World.

"The world is just awesome."

things are looking up!

today i check out of my hotel, go to Osaka station, explore the awesomeness of Osaka all day, and then hop on a night bus to Tokyo so i can visit Tomoko for a few days!! :D


second thoughts.

i kind of really don't know what i'm doing here. i don't know where to go, what to do, i have no one to meet... i'm honestly wondering if i regret coming this early. i know the idea was so that i'd have people i know to travel with, but, honestly? the plane to japan was chock full of study abroad students. i think that right there would be enough to make me feel like i'm not "alone". and had i chosen to come during the actual check-in dates for my school, i'm sure i could have met others going to ritsumeikan.

idk. i'm just really lost and a bit lonely. the only people i speak to are cashiers or hotel workers, and my mind has to do a double-take to register what they've said, and then i clam up when i have to answer. urgurghrgugh. i think i'm just frustrated.

i guess i could finally watch dr. horrible, or get into a dorama, or something. and on the bright side, i have blueberry pocky and macha-frosted mr. donuts. mmm.


sleeeeeeeeep. i needs itttt.

in japan now!

i am so ridiculously exhausted, and yet i was barely able to sleep for a total of two hours during the flights.

the plan that i would stow away in renee's dorm for this week was completely foiled when we were met by a Kansai Gaidai rep with checklist of names in his hand. eep.

plan b was not something we had really established. oops.

jen offered to let me stay at her place in Nagoya, but i couldn't get a hold of her. sooo i had to book a hotel + "limousine bus" ticket through the airport, which turned out to be insanely overpriced. major ouch.

BUT, i have a lovely cityscape view, what looks to be a promising area to explore tomorrow, and, best of all, an unfathomably comfy bed. ♥! dreamland, here i come.