BUSY

Recently, I have been busy enough to forget to write entries. Today I have time, but I’m tired. Instead, I will show you a few pictures of the last couple of weeks. Although, I keep forgetting/not charging my camera, so there aren’t many. Enjoy!

A week in the life…

OMG SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. I’m no longer as concerned with food, so that’s good, but I have much to tell. This month is a busy one for me. Well, relative to last month. First of all, I’ve done some major shopping. I’ve had a little more money this month than I thought I would, and I also found places that sell things that I actually want to buy, like zoo socks!

I’m a sock person.

I have also purchased many a phone accessory, so my iPhone is now more Japanese/fun. Speaking of zoos, this past weekend I went to the Kagoshima Aquarium (かごしま水族館) with my host family. I stayed with them one weekend last month, but they treat me like a real family member. Grandma came with us and she seriously bought me, like, four presents without my knowledge. And lunch. And ice cream. She, and my host mom, are so nice, as are most people here. If you show even mild interest in something, it will probably be given to/bought for you. Try it. Anyway, I mostly spent the day babysitting a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, so maybe it was deserved, but…no, no it wasn’t. SO NICE.

I stayed in the city after that and actually enjoyed normal night-time activities with fellow Americans for the first time in Japan. These of course included eating Baskin Robbin’s and walking around, but also drinking in the street and foreignizing a Japanese “club.” Foreignizing isn’t a word, so if it’s misspelled, I’m sorry.

I made it home somehow and slept for approximately 3 hours before I went to a 運動会 (undoukai-sports festival) for preschoolers/kindergartners. Background info: kindergarten isn’t compulsory in Japan, but kids age 3-6 (or something like that), can all go to 幼稚園 (youchien-essentially kindergarten) to learn stuff before they go to real school. Anyway, though I was running low on energy from not sleeping and what not, I had a great time. Watching small children dance and race and play with their parents is really cute. I also saw a lot of people I know around town there, so it was a nice way to socialize. I guess what I mean is that it made me feel somewhat part of the community. It was really nice. Thanks for inviting me, Kana!

It came at a price though. I don’t know if it was my general lack of sleep this weekend or the exposure to so many snotty-nosed kids, but I AM SICK. It is cold season though. Just so you know, being sick in Japan is less fun than being sick in America. I’m so tired and groggy that I don’t want to talk to anyone, especially the teachers, and it just makes me look like a huge bi…mean person (IDK who’s reading this!) for not wanting to try to speak Japanese. I just kept saying “hello. goodbye” to the kids and I feel terrible! Not to mention I have to walk to the bathroom on the other side of the school every time I need to blow my nose, which is a lot. Good thing it’s test week.

This week I can blame being sick, but I really need to stop being so afraid to talk to people in Japanese. I know that the biggest part of learning a language is making mistakes and then mentally correcting them, but I hate messing up! I’m getting a little better at talking to people that I’ve spoken to before, but limited vocabulary/sucky attitude is really starting to depress me. And it’s all my fault. If you have any ideas on how to get better at Japanese and stop being a wimp, let me know!

Now for pictures!

So there you have it, a week it my life in Japan. Not super exciting, but I do live in the middle of nowhere.

Why I’m getting fat

I knew Japanese food was good, but I didn’t think I’d be this obsessed with it. I kid you not, I probably gained 10 pounds in the first few weeks of being here. But everything is so good! Also, I was kind of in vacation mode, and I had to try everything I came in contact with at restaurants, grocery stores, and especially the ever-popular Japanese コンビニ (convenient store). Here are a few pictures of the things I have consumed here.

Okay, so not a lot of pictures. Usually when I sit down for a meal, I’m more concerned with eating it than taking a picture of it. Sorry! I would like to talk about a few of my new favorite foods though!

First of all, I never would have thought that curry bread (カレーパン)would be appetizing, much less freakin’ awesome. Seriously, this stuff is good, and there was a week when I ate it everyday. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: bread filled with curry. Japanese-style curry…which, in my honest opinion, is better than Indian curry. It’s beefy, but sweet. Curry rice is also delicious.

I’m also a huge fan of more traditional Japanese foods like sashimi and onigiri and natto. Yea, that’s right, natto (納豆). It’s also kind of sweet to me. But I think I might have messed up taste buds, because apparently, foreigners are supposed to hate natto. For those of you that don’t know, natto is fermented soy beans, and it looks like this:

納豆:sticky, fermented goodness

Probably more appealing to Westerns are Japanese sweets. Pocky is really tasty and comes in many different flavors like Cookies and Cream and my favorite Milk Chocolate Salty Pocky. I’m also slightly in love with きのこの山 (kinoko no yama), these cute little mushroom-shaped cookies with flavored chocolate tops! Mmm. Also delicious are Japanese breads, especially the sweet ones. These you can buy at French style bakeries, the grocery store (usually), and of course convenience stores. I blame my weight gain on convenience stores, by the way. They are so so good, but so so evil. Also, there’s one literally attached to my apartment. You can’t get more convenient/dangerous than that.

There are so many more foods that I could talk about, but I’ve got things to do! Perhaps I will make food posts a mini-series (I need to devote an entire post to school lunch eventually). Let me know what you think! Also, what Japanese foods do you like?