Japanland Part 1

Holy moly. The last THREE days in a nutshell, because apparently, I don’t know what day it is.

Sunday, August 30: The Flight(s)
– 3 flights: Boston to Minnesota, Minnesota to Honolulu, Honolulu to Kansai
– 3.5 hours to 8 hours to 8 hours, respectively.
– Boston to Minnesota wasn’t bad, except when I got to Minnesota, I realized that I should probably get something for my speaking partner. So I bought her Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish. Also, I met a girl from KG in the airport. Her name is Kaitlin and she forgot her cell phone, so when I called, her mom picked up and I was confused. Thanks, Kaitlin. But it was really awesome having a plane buddy slash hotel roomie. Then off to Honolulu!
– Minnesota to Honolulu was amazingly long. By amazingly, I mean painfully. It was a really great flight though because the plane had 80 empty seats, so we got to spread out. Kaitlin and I ended up sitting in front of Mike (“the plane guy”) who was really interesting. He works on a boat as an engineer for 6 months out of the year and then he gets 6 months off. He went to a maritime academy and graduated in 2006. Yes, he told me that. No, I didn’t find him on Facebook. If he ever sees this blog, then let me just let the world know that he hit me on the head when he woke up and stumbled to the bathroom. Thanks Mike the Plane Guy. Thanks. Oh ya. Meal number 1 was served on that flight, as well as a snack. Even though we got to sit wherever on the airplane, the flight was definitely a difficult one to get through because we weren’t even close to being done traveling. Kaitlin and I kept thinking about how awesome it was that we’re going to Japan, but how awful it was to endure another flight.
– Honolulu to KIX was pretty long and pretty packed. There were tons of people on the flight, therefore no moving seats. Before I go any further, Honolulu was SO BEAUTIFUL! I wish I could stay there. I was only in the airport, but I’m convinced that the place is amazing. Gawsh, one day I will go there. I think that it’s already on my life list.

Monday, August 31: A Night in Nikko Hoteru
Anyways, going back. There were lots of people with masks for Swine Flu, which got me really nervous. Apparently the outbreak in Japan was really terrible, and it even affected KG (Kansai Gaidai University). It made me nervous to think that I could be put into quarantine right when I got into Japan. Whew, luckily none of that happened in the airport and I was free to gather my suitcases and go through customs. The flight was very, very long. I watched 3 movies during the flight: “New in Town”, “My Life in Ruins”, and “17 Again”. Time well spent if you ask me. Then we touched down and navigated the airport for the Nikko Hotel or Hotel Nikko or something. We finally found it and rejoiced over our beds and ability to take a shower. That night’s sleep went very well considering the 13 hour jetlag.

Tuesday, September 1: Airport to KG
We woke up the next morning to find the shuttle. But before that we went scouting for other KG students and went back to the hotel room as failures. So we went to a minimart to buy a beverage/food to get change to use the internet, checked out, took pictures with a HARI POTA poster, and went to the check point for the shuttle to KG. We got there really early and the KG staff checked us in. We paid for the shuttle and waited awhile before we were whisked off into the bus and driven to KG. I felt like such a tourist though because I was trying to take lots of pictures and of course pictures of random things that really don’t have any significance, but entertained me enough to be picture-worthy. After about and hour and half, we finally arrived at KG. We actually got to Seminar House 4 first and walked to Seminar House 2 to check in. Then I walked next door to Seminar House 3 and saw the apartment (pics soon… probably not until the weekend because I don’t have internet on my laptop). It’s a pretty spacious place. Nice kitchen, I forget how many bedrooms, 2 bathroom stalls, 3 showers, and like 5 sinks. It’s pretty intense. haha I love it though. A part of my wishes I were in a dorm-like building, but I am really satisfied with the apartment so far. In every bedroom there are 2 desks, 2 closets, and 2 FUTONS! haha We sleep on futons, it’s so cool and they’re so comfy! And my roommate Jenay and I are super lucky because we don’t have to move out at the end of the week or anything. It’s wonderful. So by this time it’s already around 11 a.m., and because it’s orientation week, we hit the ground running.

Tuesday, September 1, 11 a.m.: Kansai Gaidai/ Orientation Day 1
– First there was a shopping tour that I was supposed to go on, but then I ended up registering for classes instead and one of the RA’s came into the computer lab to scout me out because she thought I was missing my Language Lab orientation. Fortunately, I wasn’t missing it, and we ended up going to campus and she showed me around. By the way, the campus is HUGE (compared to SLUMadrid… haha). It’s a really nice place though. Three cafeterias and a McDonalds (which I’m going to avoid at all cost this semester). It was so overwhelming at first and I felt like I was lost wherever I went, but luckily I met up with/ met people and they were nice enough to help me out. OH and I have a mailbox!!! HAHA I know, who would get excited over a mailbox?? It’s still super cool though. And there are tons of computer labs! And the library is BIG! And the list goes on and on and on. So I can’t really remember what happened on my first day. I feel like I accomplished a couple things… but now I’m not so sure, it could’ve been Tuesday when I got stuff done… haha

Wednesday, September 1: Orientation Day 2
– Lots of things to do today. There were a couple seminars all students had to attend: General Seminar; Language Test (which I didn’t have to take because I’ve never had any formal training in Japanese); break- during which I printed out my speech, re-registered courses, and frantically tried to reach my parents to sort out insurance papers and suches; LUNCH! Oh my goodness, my first meal since Saturday night! Yeah, the tum-tums wasn’t feeling too well the first day because of all the traveling. Today it was relatively ok, and I ate a poptart for breakfast then had onigiri, miso soup, and a a nice pineapple/peach/orange beverage that I don’t mind not being able to identify. After lunch were other seminars: Introduction of Faculty; Seminar House Meeting (with lots of questions about recycling, introduction of RAs, and house rules); Rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony where I practiced my speech for the first time since I wrote it (errr, sorry…). That should be a lot of fun though. I have to bow and everything. See? I’m learning something new about the culture each and every day; break; Health (STD) seminar (where a condum sang a song, staff talked about safe sex, and college students turned into high schoolers again); Female Safety seminar (where a professor talked about important, but awkward topics). After that I went to an Indian food restaurant near campus with my roommate and Lacey, someone I met on the way to dinner. It was pretty good. I got something mild and ate rice and such. THIRD MEAL OF THE DAY! That doesn’t even happen back home! hahaha! After was ate, I realized that I left my orientation binder in the bathroom back on campus, so we had to jet back and see if it was still there. It was a good trip, because luckily no one took the binder and I swiped it from the bathroom stall. I mean, really, who would steal an orientation binder? So today was coming to an end and I made it back to the apartment ok. We were all watching a Japanese game show which was pretty funny, because it seems like that’s all that’s on TV… I don’t understand a bit of it, but I can recognize the Hiragana an some Katakana, and their actions basically give away what they are doing. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day. In the morning, I’m hoping to get some breakfast then go bike shopping because I need a bike real bad. after that there’s another seminar that I have to attend to take care of a bank account here in Japan to receive scholarship money and what not. Then after there is a break, during which I will be practicing my speech and getting ready for the opening ceremony. At 2 p.m. there is a rehearsal and at 2:30 p.m. students are permitted to be seated. The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. and there will be a banquet afterwards, which should be nice. I hope that Hiro (the student representing KG who is also doing a speech) and I do well tomorrow! 😀

Well, that’s it for now, readers. Like I said before, pictures will be posted soon (hopefully)! Mata ne!


September 2, 2009. Uncategorized.

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