Mads: “I like sports so much that I often do it. I love tennis, bicycles, basketball, all games with ball in general. And I am watching sport when I am not doing it. I’m sorry, it may be a bit boring (laugh). That is how I spend my time off.”
[’Doctor Strange’ fan meeting in Japan, 27.01.2017]
A quick doodle before work. That annoying thing where you think you’re just trying to help out a cute little fox stuck in a trap but then you get stuck with a not cute idiot shapeshifter. At least you finally got him to wear pants.
So I guess my original video didn’t post so I never told you guys that I made it but here I am!
In studying abroad there are stages (like the stages of grief) and one of them is the Honeymoon stage, which is probably what I’m in right now, but it’s really nice here! Don’t get me wrong, there are downsides and upsides to those downsides and downsides to those upsides etc., but overall it’s a really nice place (Hirakata).
(As an aside, I’m still bitter about not getting into the apartment dorm, but my friend from Ottowa is staying there and has a roommate who is likely moving out so I may request a change!) I have an eight-tatami room with one roommate and also a desk space. This is the most organized space I’ve ever had in my life (although typical Ivey has already made a mess, see picture below).
There’s a dog park right up the street (fluffy boy!!! I love him so much)
There’s a store called Avail that sells pretty much all Japanese clothing Americans try to buy online for outrageous prices really really cheap. I bought two pairs of earrings, two dresses, and a skirt for ¥3,200. Here’s me jet lagged and disoriented in them:
(Notice the tatami? Pretty nice, eh?)
I’m just slightly bitter that my shoe size is LL and there was nothing over medium. Relevant pic from the men’s section:
(Okay, I know I’m only posting clothing pics and you’re probably wondering, where’s all the cool scenery? About that–)
I have a ton of videos I can’t upload because the internet is pretty slow. I thought Japan was really high tech and stuff because that’s how it’s portrayed in America but most families don’t even have wifi (a staple in any American household). I’m pretty sure the GAIDAI network is also by ethernet cord (since it’s LAN) and the computers we use to log on to our portal is a really clunky Windows Vista. Not complaining tho bc it’s nice to have wifi at all.
There are these things called pocket wifi which is basically a phone plan. No calls or texting, but in 2017 nobody really needs that anyway. It’s the only way we can get wifi or internet for our phones. It’s also only like $57/mo for unlimited which is better than any regular phone plan. So basically it’s a mini wifi modem/router that you carry around and it gives you LTE/data wherever you are.
Also, everyone rides bikes. I love it. There are bicycle racks at every store and girls in skirts and heels ride bikes (which I thought would be impossible?). I’m definitely getting one (even though I haven’t ridden a bike in years). Such a cute aesthetic: スクバ in the basket, biking down the tiny streets.
Also, it’s extremely safe here. I walk alone to the grocery store at night with no worries. The police’s biggest concern here is stolen bikes.
It’s so hard to give an idea of what the streets look like without video! Here’s a screenshot with two kids riding their bikes home:
Tomorrow is my placement test, which luckily is on the computer (and not handwritten, something I’m really bad at because I can’t remember kanji strokes well). Wish me luck! :-)
Lastly, I give you a picture of a nice and pure sleeping kitty.