Saturday, January 15, 2011

Half Year Anniversary

I felt that I left this blog "hanging" in a sense, and since it is the most popular of my two (I'll list my other exchange blog at the end of this post), I felt that it would be best to sum up how I felt when I got back from Japan.

To say that Japan changed my life would be a major understatement; it changed my life, it changed me, it changed everything. I had always wanted to go to Japan, ever since I was 10 years old. I had a major appreciation for this very different culture.

Before I left for Japan, I had a lot of pent-up stress and frustrations. However, after being 7000 miles away from home, I realized that those problems I had were small, solvable, or not worth my time at all. Now back in America, I feel that nothing has changed, yet everything has changed. I see the world as a bigger place, and I want to explore it all.

In Japan I made lasting friendships, a lifelong bond with fellow exchangers (from Brazil, California, Virginia, and Ecuador), have a bigger view of the world, and now have the confidence to do anything. After going to Japan I realize that ANYTHING is possible.

When I got back from Japan, in a sense, I died inside. It was the happiest/calmest time in my entire life. However, I know that I will be back again, and I know that I still have all of the world to explore and fall in love with.

So what's next? Well, I am graduating from high school in June, and going to university.

My advice for future exchangers is that if you even have the opportunity to go abroad: do it. It will CHANGE your life for the better. If you are ready to jump into the unknown and experience a world of opportunities, then do it. I can guarantee that you will not regret it.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

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: http://jordanbacktojapan.blogspot.com

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 heck....it's...it'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

JAPANESE BOWLING!!!

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 It....it 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

Karaoke!