First thing I ordered was ramen. Kinda stereotypical, but whatever. I ordered in Japanese. It wasn’t that hard. It turns out understanding the formal style of speech all of the people in the service industry use is what’s hard for me.
Let’s see, funny squishy things, kodomo sos (watch your children, I’m talking to Ewei and Andrea here), some random train tracks out the window, a Japanese stop sign and crosswalk sign, and my first random vending machine purchase on the table cause I was bored.
Being stuck in the station for two and a half days was beyond boring. There is only so much you can do in a small area with so much time on your hands. So yeah. Lonely and boring. These are my boredom pictures from walking around the station area for two days straight. On the plus side, when I finally left for AIU I wasn’t jetlagged at all. Next time, the real adventure begins.
Okay, the first leg of the journey. I wasn’t really sad until I passed through security in SFO. That was the saddest moment of my trip. I titled this post departures for obvious reasons. I was departing from my life in the US, my family, my friends, and my culture. It wasn’t until that moment that all of that kind of hit me. The only thing I wasn’t leaving behind was myself, but I’m no hermit despite how I may act at times. I know full well that I by myself I am nothing more than a walking ball of purpose. This allows for accomplishments to be made, but it’s the people you share those accomplishments with that make everything worth it. So this is my branching out moment to find more reasons for the things that I do.
(On a side note, there is a good Japanese movie titled “Departures.” Watch it if you want.)
These pictures represent an extremely shortened version of my trip. The long plane ride, the pretty much all-nighter at Haneda airport, the arrival in Akita, the ride to the train station where my hotel was, and my arrival at the hotel. I was so glad when I could finally sleep. And that wasn’t until a full day had passed at the station because I arrived in early in the morning. Damn…
So here we go. September has ended which means that I have officially been here for one month. I don’t wanna type absurdly long paragraphs about everything I’ve done while I’m here, so I’ll give you the quick version first (don’t worry, I’ll play it out with more posts and picturey thingies and whatnot after). I landed in Japan late August, had orientation at Akita International University (aka 国際教養大学, and will henceforth be referred to as AIU), had icebreaking parties with fellow international students and Japanese students, went on some fieldtrips to various places, joined clubs, went out with friends, and started classes. That’s the general overview.
I have yet to travel outside of Akita prefecture, so I don’t have anything big to document travel wise. The weather here started moderately humid and somewhat warm. There were lots of rainy days too, and there still are. The days are getting colder though since we’re entering into the fall season. AIU is in a very rural area, so the amount of things to do in the immediate area are fairly limited. However, the mountains and forests make for some nice scenery.
The school itself is also a fairly interesting place. It’s a very small school, so meeting most of the students isn’t particularly difficult. I’ve met many people from the icebreakers, clubs and just general hanging out. Apparently it’s quite hard to get into this school from a Japanese perspective. Since one of the main points of AIU for Japanese students is foreign language competency it is a very unique place to learn. I like my language classes. They seem very useful and since I can immediately use what I learn practical usage isn’t as big an issue either. In short, it’s a good school, I like it here.
So that’s my intro. I can’t really think of anything else to say. I’ll try to update this blog more often after this first big push. This is only the beginning of my trip. It’s like a big adventure to me and I look forward to everything coming up. Game… start!! (that’s what it says up top if you didn’t guess =P)
Do what you want and never be jaded.
Don’t worry, don’t look back, charge ahead.
Believe in the unbelievable.
Don’t just reach for the sky, grab it!