So all the convenience stores in Japan are called combinis. They are a little different from American ones. The 3 main chains I’ve seen are 7/11, Sunkis, and Lawson’s. They have all types of food including instant. They also sell liquor and alcohol for pretty cheap. Conveniently, they usually have copy machines and fax machines and ATMs and you can also buy tickets for things like the Ghibli museum and pick them up at the combini. Also, if you have a package coming, you can order it to come at the combini nearest to you. The combinis here are very convenient! Lol
I’ve been busy with midterms TT^TT so it’s been a sort of hell for the past week and a half, but I’ll try to update as much as possible!
So Midterms here, are a big deal. There aren’t really any exams throughout the semester (at least in the english-taught classes I’m in) so all of our grades come from participation, attendance, and the midterm and final. So it was very stressful. But, I did pretty well! I have one more (religion) tomorrow :)
Other than that, I got sick :( I got to wear the masks though so that was quite the experience. Also, I think they’re really effective! They keep the air you breathe really moist so you don’t cough as often. Also, it was really nice to sleep in them. Added bonus? They lock in your coughs so you don’t infect other people. Another note, Americans are so hopped up on meds… the meds here did not affect me at all… I had to take about twice the amount recommended for all the servings, for tylenol and cough medicine. I felt like a drug addict lol. Also, apparently I’m effing delicious to the mosquitos here so I’m being eaten alive. Thus, I drench myself in mosquito repellent every morning before leaving for school and every evening when I come back. hah
I have been here for about 2 weeks now and I’ve noticed a couple things about Japanese people. Just thought I’d share ;)
Japanese people are VERY passive aggressive! They have a lot of rules about everything and for everywhere and they enforce them upon you with a smile and polite words. It almost makes you feel guilty that you didn’t know the rules at all! It’s very interesting and leads into my next point…
…Japanese people are a proud people. They abhor all dirtiness and think cleanliness is next to godliness. They also seem to look down on foreigners or categorize us (racism). One of my friends got stopped by some police the other day because he looked “suspicious”. He’s black with corn rows and dresses sort of ghetto, but he’s one of the sweetest guys I know. They found a pair of scissors in his backpack and almost arrested him. They made him fill out all this paperwork and he might have something put on his permanent record… because of racial profiling. He was with a white friend too and he didn’t get stopped at all. RIDONKULUS.
But, I do believe that Japanese people have some reason to be proud. They’re trashing system is so complicated and I cannot believe that this whole country takes the time to separate all that trash. They even rinse bottles before recycling them! If only America could do that… we’re too lazy of a people though… They are also very efficient in all their work (A+ for being Asian!)
That is the name of the gym I am now a part of. I joined today! It was great to finally be able to work out and get back into it. I loved it. I did elliptical intervals for an hour and some abs. The gyms here are so different though! The locker rooms are suuuper nice, for one, and has it’s own “powder room” complete with vanities, a bath room, awesome lockers with hangars, and massage rooms. Plus, it has a pool, cardio machines, two studios, and weight machines. The workers there are nice, but they hover a lot. They also take secret notes on clipboards that make me feel like a lab rat haha. It’s a little strange because they make you take off your shoes when you go into the locker room and you cannot wear outside shoes inside the gym. So, you have to wear different shoes to get to the gym and then change into your gym shoes to workout then back into the outside shoes to go back to your home. Very weird, but very clean too.
Today the bulk of the exchange students came in so I found new friends at last T^T I’m so happy haha. Most of the people who were here before were all friends already because of their programs but as exchange students, we don’t really meet each other until we actually get to Japan. Anyway, we all had a meet and greet late dinner/snack thing with sake and beer and plum wine (which is godly by the way). We had yakisoba and this pancake thing that I forgot the name of (sadly) It was delicious. Tomorrow is finally orientation day and we will be riding the train for the first time! Wish us luck! We all suck at speaking Japanese LOL
Wow, after about a day in Japan, I’ve already noticed lots of differences between Japan and USA. Here are a couple…
The roads. Main thing: the cars drive on opposite sides and the drivers drive on the right side, not left. Mind-boggling, kinda freaked me out a bit. The highways are also very different, with tall walls, some with glass so you can see out into the countryside or city. There are also emergency phones every so often on the highway, just in case your car dies. Another thing, the drivers are SUPER polite. Traffic for us would be front bumper to back bumper with the occasional angry driver honking his horn. In Japan? People still leave a ton of distance between cars and traffic flows, doesn’t really stop. Amazing. These people have so much manners and patience.
Talking about manners, people are sooo respectful here. There are a billion things to say in billions of different situations and I’m afraid to open my mouth all the time in case I say something wrong. And people who work here are so efficient… sigh if only America were so.
FOOD. It’s very different here. Also, I think I’m getting used to eating a normal person’s portions (that also may be due to my budget T^T) but I really think I may lose weight! Happiness…
Face masks. Everyone is wearing one… I feel like I should get one because apparently there are tons of deadly viruses hanging around.
Slippers!! I got a pair for myself earlier today. In our dorm, we can’t wear outside shoes in any of the common areas (except like the lobby and getting to and from our dorm, etc) Which is nice, more homey actually.
Well, I can’t really think of any more, but if I do, I’ll def write it down lolz
Other than that, personal update: I am so tired. Like all the time but that’s cool with me. I’ve also ventured out into the area and gone to the local market for some food (because I had none and none is provided T^T) I’ve also blown a ton of my money because of groceries and buying things I needed like hangars and a laundry hamper LOL I’m not going out at all until tomorrow when I have to go to school. So excited for that by the way. I feel like a loner though, I can’t communicate with anyone… I just sort of mumble something and smile and bow and that usually passes haha
I have anticipated the beginning of this adventure for so long, that it feels almost unreal that I will be on a plane tomorrow heading halfway across the world to Tokyo. Unreal! I cannot believe I’m going to be spending four months in the amazing country of Japan. Of course, I will miss America and my mom’s cooking… and the lazy couch potato days of the past 3 months of vegetating. But, I’m excited to eat my weight in sushi (kidding) and scream “kawaii” at the top of my lungs. Well, better try and get some sleep… which probably won’t happen but doesn’t hurt to try. I’ll keep ya posted America. Nell out.