Apr 30, 2011

Losing steam

Losing bogging steam that is.  I don't know if it's that i just don't feel like writing, or if i just feel like there's too much to write about and i don't know how to put it all down.  I feel like writing diary-style is kinda boring and not creative but it's also the best way for me to get down all the details so i can look back and remember it all later.  But anyway.. 

Well first off, i finally- FINALLY- heard back from Amity about the job.  Took them over a month, but i finally got an email from them the other day, the day we got in to Tokyo.
They frickin' want me to work for them.  *cue confusion from me*  Seriously, i left that second, personal-interview feeling rather embarrassed with my inarticulate-ness and general ummm... lack of amazing responses to their questions.  When they were taking forever to get back to me i called just to check and make sure i didn't somehow miss a call or something from them, and they told me they were still confirming my references and whatnot, i had a feeling that the outcome would be good, but it still coulda gone either way really, so the email was a bit of a surprise.  And relief.  Because frickin' FINALLY.  Damn!
I will still be applying to other places while i'm here though, just to give me the maximum amount of options.  I still have my reservations about Amity, and about my ability to be a teacher in the first place.  I guess they wouldn't hire me if they didn't think i could do it, and if they didn't like my mini-lessons that i gave at the interviews.  But i have extreme performance anxiety.  For example, before the first interview when we had to prepare and present a little 5-minute English lesson to our interview groups, i was so nervous for the whole 1-hour break before the group interviews that i could hardly eat my lunch, i had a horribly upset stomach, was jittery and hot and sweaty... And then while i was actually giving my lesson i could feel all the heat in my body rising to my face and i was horribly sweaty afterwards.  I can suck it up and gaman (endure? persevere?) through it but i'm just afraid that the whole full-time teaching thing might be a bit overwhelming.  If only i could go into professional translating straight from college, but no, everybody wants experienced people..  Just gotta work my way through the stepping stones i guess.

Well this has turned into a bit of a long-winded post already.  I'll get to yesterday's adventures now..  Met up with some old friends from UW to hang out for the day.  S and i got horribly lost trying to find the station to get to Ueno where we were to meet, but luckily the rest of the day wasn't so rocky.  Had quite a good time, went to the Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa, then went and took the water bus (?  a boat, essentially) to Odaiba and explored the Fuji TV building.  Then we headed to Shibuya for dinner at a really nice restaurant and ended up having a lot of fun with the table of drunk guys next to us there after a wedding.

 Large lantern of Kaminarimon, up close
 Lots of stalls and booths inside the temple grounds

 In front of Sensō-ji

 Sushi-kins, E-chan (our "Sweetest Giiirl!") and S on the water bus

 View of Tokyo Tower in the background from the water bus

 The dinosaur cranes in the background reminded me of Seattle!

 Escalator up in to the Fuji TV building

 ..not sure what to say about this one!  Lovely reporters with a basket of fake fruit?

 Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station

 Chopstick Cafe, where we had dinner in Shibuya

 One of our dishes.. fondue-like and delicious!

 Some of the awesome drunk guys at the table next to us!  The guy on the left wearing the banner had just gotten married (I got to wear that banner later, lol. See below).  Omedetou to him!

 Yeah!  Sushi-kins on the left, and guy in the middle is totally rocking the Asian glow.

 The newly-wed, and the guy that sat next to me and was super friendly and shared his pitcher of beer and chatted with us in English (albeit quite broken English!)  We shared my birthday cake (see next picture) with him (Sushi-kins had the great idea that i should feed him a bite of it.. which got a lot of cheers from his friends.. lol, awkward!)  It was all good fun though.

 And yes, i got another surprise birthday dessert plate!  All the lights in the restaurant went off and some music started going and my table and the wedding table next to us were echoing each line.  I thought it was for their table, seeing as it was that guy's wedding day and all, but as the song progressed i realized it was a birthday song.. the same frickin' crazy one from the last restaurant!  ♪Very special~! Very special~!♪  So i was expecting it this time when they brought the plate of deliciousness with candles over to our table.  There was a little 'Welcome' note for S at the bottom of the plate too, although they spelled her name wrong in Japanese (they wrote it as チャーリー, which i assume would translate into Charlie, lol!)  There were lots of cheers and clapping from the tables around us, especially our wedding-party guys.  They gave me the little "main man" banner to wear that the newly-wed guy was wearing and congratulated me many times.

So it was a pretty awesome end to the night.  I love encounters like that.  You'll get people here who will be stand-offish towards you or will be afraid to talk to you for fear of language barriers or whatever (i think maybe because of the large amount of tourists that come here people assume that any non-Japanese person doesn't speak Japanese.. at least not well enough to have a decent conversation with.  This was quite the opposite case in Kyoto though), but then you get awesome moments of connection like, where differences are forgotten and inhibitions are lost- probably thanks in part to alcohol!- and you're able to chat and laugh and share a drink with each other, as people.  It's awesome! 

Apr 27, 2011

Leeeet's see

Been a couple days since i've done an in-depth update with pictures and everything, but we're here now in Tokyo!  No plans for today.. just going to chill in our room, do some laundry, etc..

But we've done lots over the past couple of days!

 We went to Kinkakuji with some friends!

The cool tickets to get in to Kinkakuji

Pretty view from the top of the hill by Kinkakuji

Then we went for ramen!
The next day, Tuesday (my birthday omg!) we spent the first half of trying to figure out money business.. since i'm apparently clueless about money orders and whatnot, i got international money orders to take with me, instead of international postal money orders.  So, there wasn't anyplace that could exchange my money orders into yen, and hardly any place that where i could use my card.. i hadn't even called my bank anyway to let them know i was going out of the country so using my card probably would've ended up with them putting a hold on my account for suspicious activity.  Anyway, spent some time in the morning on the payphone with my bank (they have a collect-number to call for those of us stranded money-less overseas! lol) to let them know i am in fact in Japan and will probably be making large withdrawals/purchases.  Then in a last-ditch effort we headed over to Kawaramachi, the big downtown/shopping district, to try and find a "large bank" (quote the lady at the post office- "ookii banku") that would give me money.  Came close, i thought Mitsui Bank was going to be able to.. well, the lady did say they could but only if i was a member/had an account (at least, that's what i gathered.. she was speaking a bit fast but that's the gist of it i think).
So back to the payphone, going through the whole automated bit in order to talk to someone from my bank again to try and see if there was some address i could send the money orders to to be deposited back into my account.. No, sir, i don't want/need money wire-transfered to me.  I have money, just in money order form, and i want it back in my account!  Finally got that address, then off to the post office to buy an envelope and send my useless money orders to my bank.  Somehow i have a feeling there will be some sort of issue getting them deposited still, but we'll see..
Oh, on the way home from the banks we stopped by a park we found along the way:

THEN!  After all that business was taken care of, we went to enjoy the day.  Took a trip up to Ginkakuji.  The temple itself isn't as impressive as Kinkakuji, but the grounds around Ginkakuji were a lot prettier and it was a more enjoyable visit.
 Map of the Ginkakuji grounds

 Pretty Zen sand gardens

 And theeeeeere's Ginkakuji temple!
 The sand cone in front of Ginkakuji.  It had a name, but i don't remember..

 More sand garden

 Lots of really pretty scenery all around

お茶の井(ocha no i), Tea Well.. i'm assuming this is the water they gather for tea ceremonies

After walking around and taking tons of pictures of all the gorgeous scenery (they're all on my Facebook if you're interested), we stopped for some tasty treats before meeting up with some friends to go drinking~

S's delicious dango, and my mostly-eaten matcha-cream-filled pastry

We found this sign at the end of our street.  Just a bit of history..

Met up with R again, and our friend M for tabe- and nomihoudai (all-you-can-eat-and-drink) birthday dinner!


Just some of the deliciousness

Mmm, potato-mayo pizza

Ended up leaving my camera at that place.  I didn't realize until the next day when we were getting some takoyaki from our cool, super-nice takoyaki guy.  I wanted to get a picture of him with his stand but then realized my camera wasn't in my bag.  I went back to the guesthouse and tore apart all of my other luggage trying to find it, then figured i must have just left it at the restaurant.  If that was the case i wasn't too worried, things that get lost here are almost always turned in.  We let R know that i'd lost my camera and he said he'd check the restaurant, which he did, the good boy, and got my camera back!

We were going to meet with R and some other friends, then stop by the restaurant and see if they had my camera, but R went by himself before meeting up with us.  We were waiting for him when he approached us and was all, "Hey, lemme take a picture first!" then pulled out my camera to take a picture with it, lol.  I was super excited it was found!  I woulda lost all of my awesome Kinkakuji/Ginkakuji/birthday pictures.

We went and sang karaoke for hours~ 

Then we went and had dinner.  The Super Jankara is the karaoke place we were at, seen from the restaurant next door where we ate!

After dinner, we said our goodbyes, then went to gather our luggage from the guesthouse and finally got a cab to the station and boarded the overnight bus to Tokyo.

Like i said, i quite enjoy Tokyo.  It's a fun, exciting city, but i am definitely more a Kansai-person.  I miss our little area in Kyoto, and all the friendly people!  Our awesome takoyaki-guy who we'd say hi to every time we passed.  He chatted with us a bit the second time we got some takoyaki from him, and even offered us an umbrella both times that day too, since it was raining and we were without one.  And also the random construction guy who waved and gave us the peace sign, and the guys in the van who honked and waved at us as we dragged our luggage around trying to get a cab, etc...
Well, we'll be back soon enough (in Osaka at least) for a whole 2 months!


Made it to Tokyo!  Lots of good memories here, and it's a crazy fun city, but i do find myself missing Kyoto already!

Pics and update soon~

Apr 26, 2011

Letters from last night

Wrote these last night in the midst of a bit of turmoil.  I didn't post them right when i wrote them because i didn't want the 'rents being all worried.  Got everything taken care of like the good grown-up that i am.  (OMG, so much older now!)  :O

Dear Me,
Next time, do a little more research first.  Apparently there are different types of money orders.  An international money order is (somehow) different from an international postal money order.  That'll save you a lot of grief next time.

Dear Japan,
Could you please be a little more credit card friendly?  I mean come on, even frickin' McDonald's is cash-only?  Not cool.  I just wanted something other than the oranges and half-eaten chocolate bunny in my room.
Lots of love,

Dear Stomach,
Shut up, you ate enough today.  You'll just have to content yourself with these oranges and chocolate for now.  Don't be so greedy. 

Dear Head,
You have a very large playlist up in there.  You played いぬのおまわりさん nearly 24 hours yesterday, you don't need to play it again now.

Apr 24, 2011

How I spent my Easter

Yesterday i did... nothing!
I was sick.  Drowning and suffocating in mucus. Yum.  Got back to our room around 8:30 Saturday night and i was passed out by around 9.  Slept through til about 9am yesterday, woke up for about an hour, then went back to sleep for a few more hours.  S went to go meet her friends, but i just couldn't get myself up so i stayed home.  Got up eventually and showered and walked down to Seven-Eleven for some food.  I told the guy as he was ringing me up, "Fukuro irimasen (I don't need a bag)" but i was so congested, nasally, and hoarse, he had to ask me 3 times whether i had said 'irimasu (I need)' or 'irimasen (I don't need)'.  Blegh.
I tried to be somewhat productive though.  Updated my profile and resume on Gaijinpot.com.  Did a little studying.  But aside from that trip to Seven-Eleven (and then again later for dinner), i stayed wrapped up in my futon with tissues shoved up my nose.
Feeling much better today though!

And now some pics from Saturday, S and i met up with K and Miss A!  Went to a really delicious healthy all-you-can-eat bar, went to the Manga Museum, then had some okonomiyaki for dinner!

 The remnants of my first plate. I was so hungry i forgot to take a picture before i ate it all.  But that plate was overflowing with food.  So good!

 My second round/dessert plate.  Some salad, tomatoes, broccoli, and tofu on the left.  Sweet potato with apples, red-bean mochi, matcha gummy square, cheesecake-ish square, and wine 'jelly' (jell-o)

 Me and the lovely Miss A!

 S, K with her beloved ochazuke, and Miss A

 We spent a good couple hours at the Manga Museum coloring!

 My finished coloring project, cut out and posing in the diorama boxes they had set up just for this purpose

 At the okonomiyaki place! Me dying from the fever that started kicking in around then, and Miss A looking so excited about the prospect of deliciousness!


Apr 22, 2011


I have to start this post first by saying that i somehow seriously ended up with some of the sweetest, most awesome friends in the world.  All of you.  Seriously!
 Yesterday was pretty lazy for the most part.  S and i woke up early but spent most of our time on Facebook.  It was drizzling outside when we went to the conbini to get lunch, and walking around sight-seeing or whatever in the rain probably wouldn't have been much fun anyway.  I took a nap mid-afternoon too, since i hadn't been feeling too well the past few days.  Sore throat mostly, but yesterday my head and ears started getting achy too.  
So then around 6, our friends that we met at UW last year came to pick us up.
 The wonderful K-chan driving!

 Cute little C-chan!

  S and i in the back

We drove around for a long time trying to decide what to do.  Go see some shrines?  Naw, it's getting kinda late.  Go to Kyoto Tower?  Kinda similar to the Space Needle though.  Oh, well, we should still go!  Oh wait!  We should go to this place and drink some good matcha!  We drove around for an hour i think, in a huge loop around the city i guess, before we ended up at the Aeon Mall, which is only like, 10 minutes from our guesthouse, haha.  We walked around looking at some of the clothing stores, i had to stop at one of the arcades to play Taiko no Tatsujin.  One of our other friends from UW met up with us after a bit, and we took some purikura together. 

 Trying on some glasses in Uniqlo
  K-chan and i playing Taiko no Tatsujin, he was super good!

 Our purikura! You can get one sent to your phone, so C-chan had this one sent to hers then forwarded it to us.  There are a few other pics but i'll have to scan those.  This one says Nakayoshi! which would be the English equivalent of 'Best Friends!'  :)  I also added the car, since we drove around so much that night.  xD

Then we went to some really nice restaurant that was way up on the 8th floor of a building.  They do this whole all-you-can-eat-and-drink thing and we ordered a TON of food, and each had about 3 drinks, except for for K-chan sadly, since he had to drive.  :-/  But everything was super delicious.

 S's picture of the view from the restaurant

 Blurry picture of the inside of the restaurant.  It was super loud in there, everyone was having a great time drinking.  And smoking, since it's still allowed indoors here!

 Our first round of food- there's some wasabi-octopus in the little bowl in front of the fries, then some chicken, and some mayo-shrimp salad in the back there.  There's my melon sour in the front there, and C-chan's pomegranate Chu-hi.


 Me and cute little C-chan!  *qhomp!*
 Crazy faces!

 The Grinch face!  Haha, we missed this~

 C-chan with our drawing of J!  But you can't see J at all here..

 Haha, you can see him a little bit here.

We were about done eating, when suddenly the lights started dimming and this crazy weird birthday music started playing.  I remember looking across the table at S and singing part of the song and dancing all weird to it, "♪Very special~! Very special~!♪"  But then there was our waiter next to me with a plate of really pretty desserts with candles all in it and "Happy Birthday" written on it, and it suddenly hit me.  Haha, i'm terrible with surprises- my friends threw a surprise party for my 20th birthday and i cried then, so of course this time i cried too!  I had to keep my face covered too because of all the attention, lol.  People from the other tables clapped and cheered too, which was nice.

 Haha, S took a picture of me in shock!  xD  I was shaking so much too as i was trying to eat some of the delicious desserts on the plate.

 Soooo good!  And look at that pretty writing!  On the right it says, "To メイガン" (my name)

 Present from K-chan, a bracelet with my 'stone of birth', lol!  S got one too with her birth stone, as a belated birthday gift.  <3

 The waiter took a Polaroid pic of everyone, and C-chan wrote on the top and bottom- Congrats M <3 <3  And K-chan wrote 'very special', lol.

Group shot with S's camera

It was awesome!  Like, this was the first time in over a year i'd seen these guys, and they went and did all that.  Seriously love these guys! <3
That's enough mush for now though!  It's raining again today, and i guess it's supposed to rain through until Sunday.  Bleh.  Going to meet Miss A soon, and another friend too for lunch and maybe some sightseeing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...