Friday, September 3, 2010

Going back!!

This month long exchange to Japan was so amazing and life changing, that I have decided to go back! I want to experience more things that Japan has to offer, and I am also doing this for my health as well. I will be going back September-November. Here is the link to my new blog:

and here is a slideshow of all my pictures:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two Family Marts? Well thats unfortunate...

This morning I was quite tired, as I didn't sleep well for some reason last night. So by the time I was in the non women’s only train (Aka: the dude train) it was too late. I was trapped...between a bunch of men. No wonder they make only women’s train carts!!! I felt totally violated haha as I was crushed between these 2 old guys, this really tall, tan, and handsome otokonoko (man) steps in and I'm like "...whoa ()" it made the ride a whole lot better xD

I walked to school with Kana and her tomodachi (friend)/Mei and her host sister and I told them the dramatic Kokurin story from yesterday xD but I'm not really mad at him, I haven't actually really gotten mad at anybody here because no one has done anything against me per say, or if they have I was totally expecting it so it didn't really matter. Most times I'm not angry, just disappointed. But because this is just such an amazing experience in itself, nobody can really hurt me =) there are too many amazing people here for just one person to ruin my day.

Japanese classics: I slept/made a going away gift for my Chinese friend Hiro (he's going to china for the summer)

Break: Kokurin was acting quite...crazy (-_-;)I was attempting to talk to Hiro but Kokurin kept saying all this strange stuff. Oh and he did this really cool fan trick and refused to teach me (;_;)but I will practice on my own!! (`へ´) oh and I gave hiro his going away present and he loved it :)) it was some starburst (American candy), a Scooby doo comic book, and one of those Japanese animal paper machete things that you blow up.

Understanding of English: I just doodled and talked to Hiro. The teachers are getting a lot more lax because it's the last week of school before summer vacation. They basically just leave you there to talk and socialize xD
I saw the Germans today and attempted to help them and horribly, horribly failed (;)

Suspein go (Spanish):
We watched the movie "spirited away" in Spanish. It was...interesting xD Oh and I got back my Spanish test, I passed it =)

After Spanish Yanagida sensei found me and said that me, Mei, and Steffie could go to cooking and make the meal with them =D my friend Kenta was there too so I talked and laughed with him. He's really good at eigo (English)!! I met Tai-chan, he's really sweet, and pulled out a chair for me to sit on and said "layyydias firstu (*^◯^*)" hahahaha so cute xD

The food was...AMAZING!! Much more deluxe then the food we make in class back home. It was cold somen noodles and pork salad.

Me, mei, and steffie started up this "happy birthday" song for a girl in class too :)

I talked to one of the German boys, but he doesn't seem to like his host brother >_<

After school Kokurin was being a total jerk!!! >:O Hiro said "I think Kokurin is jealous of me hehehe" but whatever haha xD

Shota taught me and Mei at kendo. But he was a lot stricter than the other sempai (upperclassmen). We missed the other funny sempai ;( Mei hates Shota with a burning passion, but I don't mind him, I think he's nice xD

I bought Shota a banana juice, and everybody smiled at me really creepily, it's just juice though...haha xD

After kendo I gave Shota a hug but I was like "that wasn't a very good hug! >:/" so he gave me another and said, "was that better?? ;)" and Mei was in a corner gagging and saying "Ewwwww >XO" hahahaha xD

I tried to walk to Rafa’s house alone and in the rain, but I got horribly horribly lost....

But Vicky came to find me thank god (>_<) but there is quite a funny story...I was at a Family Mart, but Vicky was at another Family Mart, so when this boy walked by:

Me: uhmmm gomen nasai (excuse me)!!??
Boy: oh...oh!! Herro herro (hello)!!
Me: hai hai (yes yes) mmm Family Mart wa doko?? (where is the family mart)
Boy: *looks at Family mart behind me* *looks back at me*
Me: oh uhmm wait no!! The other one!! >.<
Boy: *totally confused*

Hahahaha because I had been talking about the other store, but he was just like "What the''s right behind you (o;; hahaha xD

I got home at around 7:50 and okaasan fed me some really good food :DD it was like a pork chop, fried shrimp, rice, and salad. It was super oishii (delicious) (^o^)b

Her and Shiori told me about their spaz attack when they saw my room though (;) I need to clean it tomorrow xD

I emailed Peter some back and forth and then I went to sleep.

We're going to a festival in Kyoto on Thursday!! I'm super excited! ♪(v^_^)v

Me with seat mate
Class zzzzz
Purikura I did with Hiro, Yingfan, and Vicky

Spirited away in spanish class

Kenta, me, and Tai-chan

Chef vicky xD

Somen noodles and pork rice, YUMMM

Cooking group :)

Rafa's room

Temple near Rafa's house

Monday, July 12, 2010


Well, today started out a little...rough, and involved a few tears, but after talking to Vicky (serious the most amazing person I have ever met, I have only known her for a few weeks but it feels like I've known her for my whole life), one of the other exchangers, I felt instantly better and got back into the groove of things.

It had been decided that me, Vicky, and all the Chinese kids would go bowling after school today, but of course Kokurin and Jun had to ruin it (T^T) Jun all of a sudden is like "my computer...she's broken" and then Kokurin just haaaad to go with her to get it fixed!! Those meanies!!!!!
Everybody was acting strange today though, even takoyaki guy. We kept saying "takoyaki!!" but he was just like "...hey". Does everybody hate us now or something??? It was a very random day.

Anyways, Yingfan was getting really angry so we just decided to go without Jun and Kokurin. But me, Vicky, Yingfan, and Hiro did have an amazing time :))

First we went to sushi and then we all did purikura together. And finally, JAPANESE BOWLING!!! It was quite the experience, but I didn't get to bring my camera today so no pictures =(((((

6 games of bowling = hilarious fun :) I lost of course, but I got 6 strikes so I was quite happy ♪( ´▽`)

I got home about 9 pm, and had a little...moment, with okaasan but we made up later so everything is alright :) I'm really glad Shiori is here! I wish she was my real sister, she's so cool (>.<)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tigger...Why on earth are you on top of Pooh?

Me and Vicky woke up late so we had to rush like crazy to meet my host sister at Osaka station. There were a bunch of mix ups and confusion today regarding different plans, I won't go into too much detail....but what ended up happening was a pretty fun time with my host sister, Vicky, and Rafa :)

When me and Vicky first met with Shiori we went to the cinema to see about movie times, but the line was wayyyy too long, so we went to look for a 7/11 to get food. That search for the 7/11 lasted for about 30 minutes because everybody kept giving us different directions.

Once we finally did find the 7/11, we got our snacks and went to eat at a bench (which was another long journey because I guess the Japanese don't believe in stopping to sit?).

We ate while sitting at a bench and then I went to practice my Japanese on a nearby store clerk. Me, Vicky, and Shiori rehearsed my lines, basically I'm looking for a gift for my 54 year old husband. The look on the store clerk's face was priceless xD but I was happy because he actually understood me ^-^
We met Rafa and then went to this food café; we were supposed to go to Subway but...

Me: oh look there's Subway! Let's eat there
Everybody: ok!
Me: *rushes into subway* OH MY GOD *falls out onto sidewalk
Host sister: eh?? Are you ok??
Me: OH MY GOD smells like DIARRHREA IN THERE!!!!
Host sister, Rafa and Vicky: *on the ground laughing*
Hahahaha it was funny but I was being dead serious!! How could those people be in there eating so happily when it smelled SO BAD??? and it wasn't just me either, rafa and everybody else tried going in and they couldn't get more than 2 steps in there xD

And of course you can't have a group outing without doing a little singing ;) so on to karaoke we went! ♪(v^_^)v we had to pay $2 to only go 1 stop on the subway, but karaoke was super fun(ny)!!

I sung," and I am telling you" by Jennifer Hudson. If you have ever heard the song I think you would know how hilarious it would when someone like me sings it. Vicky was mad because she didn't record it xD they were all like on the floor laughing xDD

Now, last time our karaoke room was bob Marley/shady/cigarette themed but this time it was a really cute "Winnie the pooh" theme ^^ although the diorama made it look like Tigger was doing inappropriate things to Pooh (;)

After karaoke we all went to Mos burger, and I got another toy ;) and then a random Portuguese song came on, I swear these Japanese people are trying to cater to Vicky xDD


Saturday, July 10, 2010

New kids on the block

4 new German kids (3 boys and one girl) so me and Shiori went to their welcome party at school. It was pretty elaborate, they love their Europeans, us Americans didn't get a welcome party when we came T^T but all of the Germans were pretty nice. 2 were kind of aloof/shady but I'm guessing that's because they were tired (they arrived in Japan last night).

The party was fun! There were a bunch of free goodies and I love free ;) oh and we made takoyaki!! Double win \(^o^)/

After the party (so I guess it would be an "after party", get it? :D) me, Rafa, Vicky, all of the Germans, and their Japanese host siblings went to Umeda. It was lots of fun, and I did purikura with my favorite classmates so I was happy (^-^)b

I went with Misato and her German host sister (I think her name is "Madja" know how bad I am with names xD) to find her a skirt for school.

Yuuki called me and said he wanted to hang out, so he met us there and we met his Chinese girl friends. They were so nice!! And they said my hair was beautiful hehe (*^o^*)

After Umeda I went back to Vicky's house for our....
SUPER AWESOME AMAZING SLEEPOVER!!!!!!! I was super excited!!!!!! And I had right to be, it was amaaaazing :)))

Vicky's host family is so kind! We all made takoyaki together (takoyaki twice in one day = pure awesomeness :))

Vicky's host family lives in the mountains, I thought it was awesome! But she doesn't think so because it always takes her so long to get to school (about 2 and a half hours).

I was super confused because Vicky's host mom kept getting up and coming back, but it turns out she was "feeding" her brother. Well more like her brother's spirit. He died about 7 years ago, but they have his shrine in his house. I don't remember what she did exactly, but supposed she has to wait 15 minutes to eat, then put offering on the shrine ledge, then go back and get it, then wait 15 more minutes, and then save rice. And then clean up again. Every meal/snack. Every day for the rest of her was intense. It was kind of eerie though because Vicky stays in his room...and uses the desk he died at *shudder*. But I thought it was cool going to her house because I experienced a different side of Japan, and I love it when I do something culturally different without even having to travel more than 2 hours.

On a lighter note, I (well technically both me and Vicky, but he didn't know xD) talked to Kokurin on the phone for like an hour. And we've made one conclusion: He. Is. CRAZY.
Hahaha. I still like him regardless though because I'm a bit "zany" myself, but Vicky was really shocked because she thought he was quiet/normal xDD

I joked around with him and said he was a "pretty boy" in American standards and he said "oh...I'm a pretty boy pretty boy pretty boy teeheeteeheeteehee pretty boy. I'm prettyyyyyy" It was awkward. And then:

Kokurin: Jojo, do you think I am kakkoih (handsome/cool)?
Me: uh...yeah, you're kakkoih
Kokurin: really?
Me: hahahaha yeah I guess...
Kokurin: heheheheh I'm kakkoih
Me: you're not very...modest xD
Kokurin: *quickly types "modest" into his translator*
Kokurin: I do not understand...
Me: uhm...well I guess the polite thing is to deny it? Haha
Kokurin: Jojo, NO. YOU said I was kakkoih and I said "REALLY?" and YOU said "yeah I guess". Therefore, I am allowed to say I AM.
Me: ......sound reasoning.

Hahahahaha it was quite a "riveting" conversation xD

After talking/killing off all the country bugs in Vicky’s room, I had the best sleep since I have been in Japan :)

Takoyaki :D
All the exchangers with new german girlMe, my cotton candy, and chibi :)
Vicky trying to win the toss ring game and she did! :O

hahahahah our own japanese star xD

Me and favorite japanese teacher :)

Vendin machine that takes all my money (ToT)

Chibi and her new German host brother Nimar


Me and Vicky making Takoyaki! \(^0^)/

Me and Vicky's host parents :)

Vicky's room xD

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chiisu Kaikii ^^

After school all of us exchangers went to our Japanese sensei’s house for homemade cheesecake. It was really good and I thought it was very sweet of her to invite us over. Did you catch my pun? While we were eating she told us some (actually VERY) scary stories, and at the end of one of her stories she reached out really fast to grab us and we all freaked out xD

We then went to our usual sushi place, and then to do karaoke with Rafa’s friend Yuuki. I’ve realized that singing “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne will only result in a severely sore throat and two broken eardrums J

After everybody else left, me, Rafa, and Vicky went to Mos Burger. It was cool because this was my first time going. Everything tasted pretty similar to Makudo (McDonald’s), and I got the kid’s meal so I also got a toy ^0^

Steffie with Sensei's totally adorable doggie =)

Mei, Sensei, and Peter

oishii chiisu kaikii :D
Me with cutest dog ever ^0^
Peter and Steffie and cutest dog ever :)
Sensei telling scary story O_o
Exchange besties :)
All of us exchangers and sensei
HAHAHA this sums up our whole relationship xDD
Vicky, Mei, and Rafa
Mei, Steffie, and Yuuki
Me and Vicky :)
Yuuki singing
Mei and Yuuki
Me and rafa at Karaoke (Note: all the karaoke rooms are themed, our theme was...bob marley?)
Rafa violating my kids toy >=/
Mos Burger kids meal toy :D

USJ!!!!!! \(^0^)/

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!!!!!!!!! Today was the coolest day ever!! I went to Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan with Mei, Haruka, and my oneesan (sister) Shiori! On the way to USJ me and Shiori took this awesome train, but it was like all decked out with USJ type stuff on the outside, it was awesome and excited me even more xD

Like the Universal Studios here in America, we had to go through CityWalk first to get to the actual park. We took pictures with the woodpeckers at the entrance and then all of a sudden me and Mei both look up and there it is… a GIANT TAKOYAKI!!!!!! We started freaking out/getting really excited and I think Haruka and Shiori were scared xD

I’ll make a list of all the awesome-y rides me rode:

Spiderman- SUGOIII (cool)!!!! It was actually really intense. For some reason me and Mei had this mindset that all the rides here would be less intense then the ones back in America, but boy were we wrong, they were VERY (if not more) intense!!! Throughout this whole ride though I was laughing and crying at the same time because Mei’s scream was so funny. I thought it would be like this high pitched screech, but it was more like a low pitched baritone roar xD hahaha.

Back to the future- This one was a lot of fun too; it was pretty much the same as the one back home except there was a lot more smoke/the car jerked a WHOLE lot more. I couldn’t feel my neck and Shiori said she felt car sick. We all kind of wobbled out of the ride after it was over xD

We took a little break from the rides and got turkey legs (OIIISHIII [delicious]). They were twice as expensive (and twice at small) as the ones in America but they were like 94230482304830 x delicious so it was ok (^0^)b


Hollywood Dream- This roller coaster was pretty cool (and it’s not in America) . You could pick what music you wanted to play while riding it. I wanted to pick this Eminem song but I was too slow and it automatically chose what sounded like the Japanese version of “Barbie girl”. It was intense haha

After that we took a picture with the Pink Panther!! I always love character pictures so I was super excited :D But it’s kind of funny because after I put my arm around him I was like “Wait a second…” and then I realized there was probably a really awkward/shy Japanese guy inside of the costume, so I hope I didn’t scar him. Because when everyone else took a picture of him they never touched him, just stood politely next to him with their peace signs up, I’ll have to remember that for next time…

Snoopy indoor roller coaster- IT HURT!!!!! And it was so narrow that me and Mei kind of just…fell inside of the cart xD The whole time I was like “AHHHH ITTAI!!! (it hurts)” haha

Waterworld- This was actually a show. First they splashed excess amounts of water on the crowd (me and Mei were in the no splash zone ;)) but it seemed like a bit of a waste, all those perfectly made up Japanese girls with full on make up and nice expensive clothes being dumped by gallons of water. It didn’t seem…right xD Oh and me and Mei noticed (actually around the whole park), that all of the non Japanese people working there were…blond. Japan is obsessed, it’s scary (;-__-) The show was actually about this lady who gets kidnapped, there was a lot fire/special effects too. It’s funny because in America when there is suspense or lots of action people are quiet but here the Japanese were all “OOH” and “AAH” ing and gasping, it was quite amusing/cute seeing all of their reactions xD Oh and at the end this random plane crashed in onto the set….they didn’t really explain how it was a part of the show, it was just a random plane. Random..

Space Adventure- AWESOME!!!!!! We actually rode this twice. It was that much fun!!! It was this really intense indoor roller coaster (if you’ve ever been to Disney world, it’s like space mountain on Japanese ecstasy). The first time we rode it me and Mei rode it backwards (which is why is was probably so intense) and bit spun around like a gazillion times in pitch darkness. It was pure awesomeness J

After all of these intense rides/long walking, we decided to get ice cream J At the Baskin Robbins in Japan they have this thing called “Challenge the Triple” where you can get a triple scoop ice cream cone. However, at USJ they turned it into “Catch the Dream”, pronounced , “Katchu ze durimu”. The ice cream was reaaaally good though.

After USJ we went on a bathroom adventure (it was my first time using a public bathroom so there was a lot of yelling between stalls at Mei:

Me: Meeeiiiiii

Mei: WHAT??

Me: how do you fluuush??

Mei: *sigh* do you see the little squiggly line??

Me: nooo…..


Me: oh ok I see it!!

Mei: press that one!

Me: okaaay…..


Me and Mei: *sigh of relief*

Hahahaha), then went to the takoyaki “museum” (wasn’t much though, just a bunch of takoyaki shops…), the jump store (pretty awesome, a whole store filled with shonen jump stuff ^0^), and then of course, Purikura!!!! ^^

Cool Universal Studios Train :D City Walk
GIANT (and very adorable) TAKOYAKI!!!
USJ entrance
Snoopy :)
Hello Kitty themed tickets...oh japan xD
Guy with giant Spiderman hand These sesame street hair bands xD
They were obsessed with sesame street there...don't ask me why xD

JAWS puppets (a lot less scary than the ride)
Me and the pink panther
Hello kitty of course :)
Frozen pineapple!! oishii~~

Waterworld show
Katchu-ing ze derimu!!! ^o^

Space mountain character hats. sugoi ne? ;)
All non-universal studios characters xD
Jumping picture!! It worked!!! and I look like a spaz...but it worked!! xD
Me and my sister
Shonen Jump Store
Entrance of takoyaki "musuem"
Takoyaki boat!
Scary purikura lady O_o
Jurassic park