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so

I'm going home tomorrow. I didn't do a very good job updating in here did I? It doesn't help that broke my computer and it's really hard to post in an internet journal when I have no computer. now i have to cancell my phone, bye bye

私のスクリプト

アマンダクイン

スクリプト

私:(エリカの話)というと、私も (エリカの話みたいを話す)

私:春休みの初めに、私と私の友達箱根へ行った。2日の間、一日中いろんな所を歩いて、あんまり寝たかったので、その休みの終わりには全員すごく疲れた。帰る電車を待っている間に、いっしょにイタリアンのレストランで食べることに決めた。私が食べている間に、知らないおばあちゃんが急に私に話しかけてきた。

おばあちゃん:あっ!外国人でしょう?どこから来た?

私:ああ、アメリカから来ました。

おばあちゃん:あ、すごい!富士山を見たいの?

私:はい、そうです。おんせんにも入りたいんです。

おばあちゃん:あっ、すてき!おんせんはすごく気持ちがいいですよね?私もおんせんが好きです。もちろん、富士山も大好きですよ。日本人にとって、富士山はとても大切です。私は子供のとき。。。

わたし:(クラスメートと)このおばあちゃんはすごくやさしそうな人だ。本当は、おばあちゃんと話したいんだ。いい日本語の練習のチャンスだと思うけど、今すごく疲れていて、とてもおなかがすいていて、だれとも話たくない。でもどうしようかな?

おばあちゃん:。。。それは大変だね。

私:そうですね。

おばあちゃん:それに、来週の月曜日に、私の夫は。。。

私:(クラスメートと)イヤ! おばあちゃんは何について話そうとしているんだろう?実は、私じゃあまり聞いていない。

おばあちゃん:。。。さらに、そのとき、私の息子はスペインに引っ越した。(まじめの顔と)

私:ワアー!おばあちゃん!おしゃべりな人だね。なぜ私とペラペラしゃべらなきゃならないの?食べたいだけなのに。。。話したくない!もういい!

おばあちゃん:ハハハハハハハハ!(ジョウクを話したから。でもクラスメートを聞かなかった)

わたし:(クラスメートと)でも、急に、「もう、だめだ」と思ったとき、私の友達が助けてくれた。

友達:あのう、すみません。(おばあちゃんの話を切った。)私たちわ今電車に乗らなくてはいけないんですが。。。

私:(自分で)よかった!
(おばあちゃんと)あっ、そうですか?すみません。それは楽しんで下さいね。

(次のシーンを始める)
My classes are very hard this term, especially Japanese. I'm also taking Japanese politics and Language and Gender. I'll have to go into details later, cuz I'm really too tired now. I hate mondays, mondays are my full course load. I have all my classes today. From the time I wake up at 7 until I return home at 7:30-8:00, I'm in school mode. i spend my whole day straining my brain to pay attention and process all that I hear, and I'm constantly writing. It really wears me out so that by the time I come home, I don't even have to will to cram for my vocab test tomorrow. But I really do need to go into details about my classes, my teachers are very interesting.

On a good note too, my floor, except for a few dirty clothes I still need to wash, is completely clean. Whoever thought this day would come.

another dumb quizz

<div align=center><form name="quizform" target="_new" action="http://www.kwiz.biz/showquiz.php?quizid=334" method="post">
<table border=1 bordercolor=#000000 bgcolor="#90BED5" cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2>
<tr><td colspan=2 align=center bgcolor='083360'><a href='http://www.kwiz.biz/showquiz.php?quizid=334' target='_new' style='text-decoration: none;'><font style='color : #ffffff; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;' color= '#ffffff'><b>Does he really love you?</b></a></font></td></tr>
<tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Your Name </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in0' size='32' maxlength='64' value='Amanda Quinn'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>His Name </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in1' size='32' maxlength='64' value='Tristan Doremus'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Your Age </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in2' size='2' maxlength='2' value='21'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>His Age </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in3' size='2' maxlength='2' value='21'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'><b>Does he love you?</b> </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><font style='color : #009933; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'><b>TRUE</font></b></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=D8F3F3 colspan=2 align=center><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>If true, how much? - <b>99%</b></font><br><table align='center' width='250px' cellspacing='0' cellpadding='0' border='0'><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td></tr><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td colspan=2 align=center bgcolor=#083360><input type="submit" name="submit" value="Try Your Answers!"></td></tr>
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Quizz

<div align=center><form name="quizform" target="_new" action="http://www.kwiz.biz/showquiz.php?quizid=2123" method="post">
<table border=1 bordercolor=#000000 bgcolor="#90BED5" cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2>
<tr><td colspan=2 align=center bgcolor='083360'><a href='http://www.kwiz.biz/showquiz.php?quizid=2123' target='_new' style='text-decoration: none;'><font style='color : #ffffff; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;' color= '#ffffff'><b>What Is Your Best Sexual Skill?</b></a></font></td></tr>
<tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Name: </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in0' size='32' maxlength='64' value='Amanda Quinn'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Age: </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><input type='text' name='in1' size='02' maxlength='02' value='21'></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Sex: </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><select name='in2' size='1'><option value='Male' >Male</option><option value='Female' selected>Female</option></select></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Sexuality: </td><td bgcolor='#D8F3F3'><select name='in3' size='1'><option value='Straight' selected>Straight</option><option value='Gay' >Gay</option><option value='Bisexual' >Bisexual</option></select></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=D8F3F3 colspan=2 align=center><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Flirting Skill Level - <b>85%</b></font><br><table align='center' width='250px' cellspacing='0' cellpadding='0' border='0'><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=D8F3F3 colspan=2 align=center><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Kissing Skill Level - <b>53%</b></font><br><table align='center' width='250px' cellspacing='0' cellpadding='0' border='0'><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=D8F3F3 colspan=2 align=center><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Cudding Skill Level - <b>4%</b></font><br><table align='center' width='250px' cellspacing='0' cellpadding='0' border='0'><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=D8F3F3 colspan=2 align=center><font style='color : #000000; font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;'>Sex Skill Level - <b>50%</b></font><br><table align='center' width='250px' cellspacing='0' cellpadding='0' border='0'><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=black></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='10px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr><tr><td height='5px' bgcolor=#006600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#00cc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=Lime></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#99ff66></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ccff99></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffff33></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ffcc00></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff9900></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff6600></td><td height='5px' bgcolor=#ff3300></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td><font style='color : #000000; 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To the movies!

I met up with Chelsea today in Kichijouji to watch Golden Compass with her. We met up at around three fifteen or twenty or so. It was supposed to be 2:30 but it takes me an hour to get to kichijouji from my dorm so I was late. So we decided to wait a while to watch the 4:20 movie and wasted time in book-off. I bought a final fantasy advent children character book and Bust a grove 2 for the playstation b/c now I have decided that I am going to buy a  Japanese play station. It will be a good way to study Japanese, but mostly I just want to play Katamari Damashi in Japanese. So, I have to look at my budget again. They're pretty cheap here, I'm just wondering how I'm going to ship it back. But, I'll figure it out.

So I enjoyed the movie. It was in English of course with Japanese subtitles. But the subtitles were written in a really cool text. Sometimes I would get distracted by looking at the kanji and then realize that I'm not actually paying attention to the film. I actually got really into the movie. I would gasp and shake my head and my hands, it was actually a stressful movie. And since chelsea read all the books, she filled me in on a few things, and the sequels should be fun b/c it gets even more stressful.

the only thing that completely ruined the movie, was the ending theme song by Kate Bush. When chelsea and I heard the words, we couldn't stop cracking up laughing. I was laughing to the point of tears. And of course, the japanese people weren't laughing. the Japanese translations were actually kind of pretty since it didn't idiotically rhyme. I really couldn't help but laugh though. That has got to be the worst song I have ever heard in my entire life. Chelsea and I both agree that that song, or rather, those lyrics would only have been acceptable if it had been done in heavy metal, or deaf metal, or something just as loud. And the only thing that could have made it funnier, was if it was a rap.

What suddenly made the movie good again, was the Danny Elfman like orchestral piece that came right after Kate Bush's terrible song. Chelsea explained it as, "Oh shit! Now we have to fix it." So they needed something cool at the end.

So of course, japaense movie theaters are totally different, at least this one was. We bought the tickets in a booth adjacent to the pachinko parlor that the movie theater is next to, walked up three flights of stairs to get to our movie because at this movie theater, each different theater (and therefore each different movie), was on a different floor. And when you walk onto the floor, there's a guy to take your ticket, a booth to buy the movie book, Vending machines offering bigger drinks at 2 dollars instead of 1 or a buck 50, and a stand filled with booster seats for kids or really short people. But what chelsea and I loved the most was that there was a popcorn vending machine. It cost two dollars for a small thing of popcorn. And no, there was no seperate butter dispenser. Chelsea and I were total gaijin and took photos of it.

We also took photos of the theater in its own room on the floor. This one was set up just like an actual theater. You know, one where you watch real life plays. The seats set back in zig zag like rows on a slight incline to the back, and the movie screen was set up on a stage behind curtains. These curtains were great, They opened obviously to play the trailers (which were all english movies, I suppose b/c this one was an english movie), and widdened a bit when the movie played, and after the credits it slowly drew back as it got to the end and turned dark. But since this was the golden compass and there's a polar bear in it, right at the end when they show the company's logo and before it goes dark, the polar bear character roars right at the moment when the curtains completely close. It was pretty freakin' cool. The seats too were really comfy and I felt I was leaning back slightly so that even though I was towards the front, I didn't strain my neck to see the screen.

the theater was pretty empty, sine we saw an early movie on a wednesday afternoon (just so you know, here women get a discount on wednesdays. so my movie was 10 dollars instead of 20). Even so, I imagine that japaense people are normally quiet during movies. So they were probably really annoyed when chelsea and I kept laughing at the ending theme song. there were also a few sarcastic jokes that we giggled at the obviously no one else did. But they probably figured 1). we're stupid, annoying gaijin, and all gaijin are loud and annoying and 2). we obviously speak the language and they don't, so they should expect that we'll understand it more than them. B/c whether you're aware of it or not, english does have its nuances and hidden meanings behind words, phrases, and tone, it's just not at imperitive as it is in Japanese.

Chelsea and I were also surprised to find that every single Japanese person stayed until the very end of the credits. They stayed until the curtains closed and until the lights came one. And no personel dared entered the theater to clean it before we all left. Though I am normally the type to stay until all the credits are done, had this been america, I would have been the only one left in the theater still watching the film as the workers proceeded to sweep the floors.

And yes, I should add that even though that theater was empty, the floors were clean and I expect that they would still be even if it were a full house. America, you're so rude.

Then after that we went to this amazing curry place that sells indian style curry. But besides the sauce being a little different, they grill their vegetables before they add in the sauce. It's not boiled in the sauce at all. So they're crispy from being grilled and retain more of their origional flavor. It was the most delicious vegetable curry I've every had. I also had rasshii, which is a fruit yogurt drink. Denise would know better than I, I don't know how to spell it not in katakana, but I've definately heard that name before. It was yummy. If you hate yogurt, don't drink it. Especially cuz it was japanese yogurt, which tastes different anyway. And no, I can't explain the taste. I don't think it's as sweet as american yogurt. But i don't really like american yogurt. The best yogurt I've ever had is a kind they sell here by the company megmilk. I've only seen it in individual containers and yes it's pretty small and a bit expensive but it's the best. They have little cows on the cups! it tastes the best with fruit granola cereal smooshed in there (all really cheap at don quixote!)

anyway, I got off track. We sat in that resturant for a while just talking about life, we mostly reminiesed about our old friends and high school dramas. She told me all about the stereotype that exists in Texas about women being stepford wives and wanting to wear pearls, do things "for the boy," have a white picket fence and all that. I thought that was interesting. And she told me interesting things about her family. She seems to have quite the interesting life.

I of course told her about my life, the same stories I tell every one. Thankfully, Chelsea is a talker, so conversations aren't lacking. It's nice to have someone to listen to instead of having to do all the talking all the time. I don't mind talking about myself so much, b/c people seem to enjoy my stories, but it's nice to know there's someone out there with a life as crazy, or maybe crazier than mine. Makes things more interesting. We seem to agree on a lot of things too. All in all, I'm glad I met chelsea.

With full stomaches, rain comming down and it being 8 o'clock, we decided to just roam for a bit, and chealsea took me to this store that she frequents to look for a plushie of a certain type of dog that is sugoku popular here and not at all in american and I already forgot what it was called. So even though the stuffed animal was 40 bucks, she really wanted it and she'll never find it in america. I bought a rare stuffed animal for my mom, not b/c it's cute or pretty, but b/c you'll never find it in America. And I won't say it here in case someone reads this and blabs.

japan, a land for loving cute, has some really adorable toys. Like the fattest stuffed bunny I've ever seen. and a hole punch made for making cute faces out of nori. It's adorable.

So anyway, it came to be 9 o'clock and I took the express trains home. We went our seprate ways b/c she rides the JR and I ride the Keio. So on the train from medaimae to chofu, there was an insanely tall black man standing next to me on the train, he was seriously a foot and a half taller than me. The japanese men tried not to stare, but it was hard not to notice. Even I looked up in surprise. Seems like he's been in Japan for a while b/c he was unphased by it and just went about his merry business silently, while listening to very loud english songs though. And true to sterotypical form, he wore sweatpants, and hoodie, and new looking black and white pumas. It felt nostalgic.

So, that was my fun day, I'll take a break from writing for now.

Vending machines

Though I can never remember this word in Japanese, and in fact, I can legitimately say it in katakana, "bendingu mashiin," i have come to like them very much, take them for granted, and realize that I will miss them greatly when I return to America.

They're everywhere. On every corner, in every town, in every building of my college, in every train station, and even in my dorm. They even have various stores in the bigger cities (like Akihabara) that just have vending machines in them. I go out and realize that I'm thursty and forgot to bring my water bottle, but I never return b/c I know I will always be able to find water, no matter where I go.

There are also combini's everywhere (convinience stores). They're all open 24/7, on every holiday, and on sundays too. They're easier to find than a starbucks in New York. I have come to be a big fan of their niku man, which are steamed meat buns. I actually hated them at first when Lily first introduced me to them (I'll have to explain who she is later), but now I have come to like them quite a bit. My favorite thus far are those from 7-11, even if that store is more expensive than the others. there are three along the same major road that you take to get to my dorm. the circle, square, triangle one (who knows the name of it? I sure as shit don't), is right by the eki and most convinient when I'm going there and not so badly priced. But they normally don't carry the kinds of food I"m looking for. Lawsons is noticibly cheaper and only a little bit closer, and normally has something I could want, but everything they sell smells like friend food and it kinda grosses me out. Then 7-11. It's the expensive, along the same lines with surplus or whatever that store is (i never go there and therefore don't know the name of it), and I don't like their sushi as much, but the normally have what I want. It is also the closest to my dorm. But I still try not to go there.
So as I sit here wasting my life away yet again, many girls in the dorm have graduated and are packing their things to move out. I thought I saw my neighbor wearing her graduation robe today, so congrats to her. And it was probably she who was picked up by the blue car outside that was just blasting Celin Dion loud as day. She had a concert here recently and is amazingly popular here, so I'm not that surprised. Still, I find it hilarious. My room and my window just happens to be right outside the front door, so I hear everyone's conversations. It's a good thing that I don't understand this language, otherwise I would know more about what goes on with the girls when the boys drop them back off here on saturday nights.

gaijin friends

So have made various foreign friends here and have had some interesting classmates. So I'll start with dorm people:

Ursinus Peoples

Amy, Tyska, Stone, and until recently Wynne who are all in my class in America live here with me. Wynne is in a different japanese class with Julia, who also goes to Ursinus. And Justin, a boy and therefore not allowed to live in this dorm, lives in his own appartment but is in my japanese class. There's not much to say about them since I have known them for a while already.

other dorm girls

Jeena
lived in kuwait during her childhood and now lives and goes to school in Washington state. She identifies herself more with kuwait it seems. At least in class when we do examples, she always talks about kuwait. We were often paired up with people from different countries, so she identified with kuwait, not america, since there are so many americans in my class. Jeena is into ero guro (erotic grotesque) but isn't obessed with it like some other ero people here. She has an intersting fashion sense, there's really no way to discribe it. She dressed like a pirate, but then when Amy did ninja darts with her brother when he visited at a night club, Jeena decided that pirates and ninjas can't be friends, but bounty hunters can be friends with ninjas. So, her style changed a bit accordingly. Less black and more brown in her wordrob. She also has short japanese spiky styled hair and had it died a funky red color with stripes on the side. But I think she wants to change it again. i just don't know what. She's in the frisbe club which has all the other crazy ero people at ICU in it. They often play competitions in Fuji. I find it ironic that she loves frisbe so much but hates running. We often make fun of her b/c the frisbe people are into para para and jeena might be involved in another para perfomance with them for the new students comming in April. It should be intersting. Jeena is just hilarious.

Merita
Is from new zealand and has very good japanese b/c she went to high school in japan for a year. She stayed in Nagoya then and was forced to learn japanese. she's doing a homestay in kyushu right now and I will be meeting up with her in osaka later this month. Usually when i travel, its with her. Not only b/c she speaks japanese and can read the maps, but also b/c she's just a lot of fun and pretty much up for anything. She's taller than me, has long, dark curly hair, and has an english accent (b/c technically they are still a colony like thing to england, but no one seems to care anymore) she's actually half maudi, half english, which has caused her some interesting problems in her life. She went to a maudi school, so her first language is actually maudi, english is her second, and Japaense is her third. I forget this sometimes and get confused whens he doesn't understand the english explanations of Japanese in her text book. her sister went to an english school though, so merita says that she and her sisters don't understand each other at all. There's a lot of racial issues there still. She's hillarious and a lot of fun. And we're planning to get her to visit america after Japan. It's actually cheaper for her to buy a plan ticket to the states than it is a ticket to go to new zealand from japan. More people travel that way so it makes sense. Also, since there are so many americans living in the same area, we talk about it alot. Mostly, we talk about the food. So merita really wants to go now to hang out with us and eat all of our food. There seems to big a big chance of this happening, so I'm really excited about it. We tell her to just move to America and she says it's a good idea since a lot of ausie and new zealand guys are moving to america to find wives. Economically, it's becoming a real problem. So now all the crappy guys are left in new zealand.

Denise
Is from Trinidad but is currently living and studying medicine in Michigan where her sister and brother also live. She wants to switch to radiation theropy instead of nursing like she was origionally doing, but aparently the michigan nursing section is amazing while their radiation department sucks major butt. She'll also have to volunteer at an american hospital for a while before she works in an american hospital and starts paying off her debts. Her ultimate goal is to help people in africa. Gambatte! But she's sick of school already. Don't give up! her goals are hard to reach, but she's smart and knows what she has to do. She was origionally studying in Japan just for fun. But the ICU lanuage program is very demanding, as we both learned the hard way, so now she's just stressed. So I should try harder to make sure she has fun while she's still here. She's going to be comming with me when we meet up with merita in osaka later this month. it should be fun. Anyway, my point is that she hasn't been home to trinidad in a long time b/c her program is consecutive and she has to study for winter, spring, and summer. Also, since she'll have to work in america for a long time aftgerwards, she probably wont' go home for a while. It's kinda a shame too, trinidad seems really interesting. They have carnival and billions of mangos. She says that every christmas they import apples and berries just for the holidays and her family stocks up on them in huge amounts (tons of boxes worth) and eats nothing but this fruit for the next two months since it's so rare there to have such fruit. So she was delighted to find that you can buy apples and grapes at any time of the year and they're really cheap too. She said she was amazed to see just a bowl of fruit on the table for her to eat whenever she wanted. And living here in this expensive country, she feels our pain in missing american fruit.

Zoey
her chinese name is pronounced "when-shu" but I don't know the kanji or the pinyin for it. She lives up north closer to beijing. She's studying communications in Canada, so she speaks english enough to communicate with us, although her english is rather interesting. My favorite thing she says is "that is so sucks!" or at halloween, "What the hell that crab thing!" I love you zoey. Her accademic papers are also rather interesting. And tyska and I frequently help her rewrite them. Since she's chinese and has lived in canada for a few years, she's more comfortable with the foreigners and more "touchy-feely" than the japaense girls are. She she gives us hugs and pat us on the head in the shokudou and will sit close to us. She's also really funny, understands sarcasm, and is also outgoing and fun. I'm jealous of her english, I wish I spoke like her. It would be great. Right now, she's spending haruyasumi in china visiting her parents. although she visits them during her sumer vacations in canada, she still hasn't seen them in a while. she has two "sisters," and I say it like this b/c one isn't her real sister, but a close friend she considers a sister. That sister just recently graduated from Waseda (which means she's insanely smart) and zoey spent many saturdays shopping with her. Her other sister (whom i think is blood related, but then I'm not sure) has visited before and they went shopping together a lot too. So, even though I love zoey, i hardly got to see her when I happened to be going anywhere since she was always already out.

From zoey and denise I learned something interesting about study abroad in other countries. In china, according to zoey, it's the rich people that get to do that. And usually, it's the rich spoiled brats who go and who do nothing except play and essetially get "fake diplomas" before they enter again into society. So zoey, who is actually trying hard, is looked down upon a bit. And the other Europeans that I've met, all seem to be rich and come from money. And Denise told me that this is because it's a social thing to be able to study abroad. Higher class gets to do luxurious things like this. So the only poor people at ICU are the Americans. And most of us aren't poor anyway. I'm probably the poorest person going to ICU right now. Or at least in the top 10.

I know that in America we like to pretend that we have no class system, when this is obviously untrue. But now i think that those social lines are much blurier than I thought they were. If someone as poor as me is able to go study in japan for 10 months, then that must really be saying something. America sucks on so many levels, but after living here for so long and meeting so many other foreigners, I'm beginning to believe in "the American Dream." I"m starting to see now that it really is true that you can do what you want to do in America if you try hard enough. You wouldn't get such opportunities in other countries. So America, you're egotistical but you're a life saver, or at least have the potential to be.

I'll continue with my other friends later.

Dorm Life

So I realize that I'm far overdue for updates. I have in fact missed a lot  of writing opportunities and have forgotten a great deal of what has happened and I am angry at myself, but, I for whatever reason don't feel motivated to write ever. I wonder what happened to the old me in middle school who used to love to write stories. I think I just realized how bad I am at it.

So it's haruyasumi (spring break) and I have done absolutely nothing, lately. When spring first started I was off to a good start. I went to Hakone (which I will have to tell about later) and that exhausted me. I bought a LOT of books with the intension of studying and learning and then I felt to tired during the day to feel motivated to read. I love to read to. I think I just have to force myself to start doing it. I also had the intension to get up and exercise every day. I don't know what happened to that plan either. I am too lazy to clean my room and therefore have no space to stretch and do crunches. BUT! The weather is turning absolutely lovely so I want to start jogging in the park again before the rainy season comes. Also, they've been shooting a drama in the park right by my dorm and although the show is over, there were fan girls congregating in the park b/c apparently someone famous was going to be there. I have no idea who though. So, my park is actually quite famous and one of the prettier ones in Tokyo so I might see some interesting things there; you know, besides what I have already seen.

I really wish my mother would believe me when I say that Japan is a thousand times safer than the united states. The houses here are small, close together. You can hear us laughing while walking outside. When I walk I hear the girl on the next block playing the piano. I can perfectly hear people's conversations outside my window. I actually hear my neighbors open and close their windows. I can almost hear their phone conversations. You can hear everything. So, to get to my point, in the park by my dorm, I see people not only jogging and practicing sports in the tennis courts or soccer fields, I see people practicing their various arts too. At all hours of the day. I have seen a girl practice some sort of salsa or somba dancing at 10 pm, I've hear a drum troop practicing at 4 pm, I heard a guy practice his saxaphone in the middle of the field at 7. I like going out in the evening, b/c the athletes aren't around to make me feel badly about how slowly I run and b/c the artists tend to come out after dinner. But I don't like going late at night b/c that's when you see the young couples (and sometimes old) making out on the park benches.

Anyway, my dorm father told me not to go out at night b/c it's dangerous and tried to tell him that America is more so, especially in the Philly area where I'm from, but he didn't believe me. I guess parents are just inclined to not believe young people.

There are good things and bad things about living in a Japanese dorm. I have a room all to myself. I rent a fridge, a tv, and bedsheets for a a really cheap price. I have unlimited internet, phone, and heating/air conditioning. There are also washers and a dryer (that really is inefficient, it's faster to hang your clothes). And I get feed twice a day except for sundays and holidays. And all of this is about 700 dollars a month. I would have spent more if I rented my own apartment and had to not only buy the fernishings, internet, etc., but the food too. It's really the food that costs the most. food here is redicuously expensive. But, it's Tokyo. Everything is rediculously expensive. And I still buy a lot of food b/c...

I don't get fed lunch. so on haruyasumi time and at school, I get kinda hungry. But I'm trying not to eat as much lately. the food here also isn't the best. I'm starting to get fairly tired of it. So I find I'm not eatting it and then wondering why I'm hungry at 10. But the number one bad thing about living in this gakuseikaikan is that there is a mongen, or curview. I have to be inside the dorm at midnight sharp or else I'll be locked out. And the dorm won't be unlocked again until 6:30 am. And it is insanely hard to have a social life and still make it back in time. This dorm lives out in suburbia (or as close to a suburbia as a giant city gets). This neighborhood doesn't show up on any tourist map and in fact, a vast majority of Japanese don't know Higashi Fuchu or even bigger stations nearby like Fuchu or even Chofu. In retrospect for those who know Japan, It takes me a half an hour to an hour to get to shinjuku, which is the biggest train station in japan, Tokyo station then is an hour and a half or even two (this all depends on the express or local trains). Kichijouji takes me an hour. Harajuku i think also takes something like an hour (if I take the express from chofu to shinjuku. so it'll take longer if I take the local for whatever stupid reason). Ueno takes I guess an hour and a half. Yokohama takes I suppose and hour and a half too. Maybe two. To get to my college, ICU, if I ride my bike, it takes 20 minutes to a half an hour and if I take the train and bus it takes an hour sometimes more.

So, case in point, another bad thing is that it's out of the way for traveling to the hot spots (aka, all those places I've mentioned above).

But, there are also a lot of great things about living in the dorm. And I think I only think this way b/c I am very lucky and have all my closest friends living with me here too. I was also lucky enough to make two new and very cool friends from other countries who live here too. When I first got here, since I had no internet access over summer vacation, I wasn't able to properly do the research on how to move through the airport, use the trains, or even find out where my dorm was. I followed Wynne and Amy the entire time. And since wynne and Amy have been here before, I had them to turn to for advice on what the hell to do. I have to admit, this made me feel very useless for a long time. I felt stupid for not knowing what to do. But, After meeting Merita, the girl from new Zealand who speaks almost fluently, she really helped me alot. She and amy taught me how to read the train schedules and where certain stores were. It was very useful.

Throughout the year, as we all got to know each other, we became close friends and started having accidental "hallway parties." Most of the white people living here lived on the second floor so we would see each other in the halls and start taking. and since the walls were so thin, other people would hear and come out and talk too. I frequently opened more door and poked my head out saying, "eigo?" (english) and join in the convo. Then we'd all get into conversations and joke and we'd become hungry and get food or drink and come back out in the hall and continue to talk. Some Japanese girls were amused. so stayed for a moment or two. Most were annoyed, but all just ignored us and stepped over us. It's the Japanese way after all. We'd hear otousan comming up the stairs, grab our snacks and run back to our rooms. But there were times when he'd sneak up on us and just laugh at us. He'd joke and tell us to shut up cuz it's late at night and we're loud, but all the while he would laugh.

He would actually frequently laugh at us. He seemed most amused when towards the end of winter semester, we would all go to the shokudou after dinner and study together. he liked to come in and see what we were doing. There was one time when I was studying the chapter's selected reading which happened to be about computers and he read it over my shoulder then told  another girl in the room that I'm reading something that has kanji that even he can't read. He thought that was funny. Then there was another time when we were all studying at the same table and we all had out books open and our dictionaries and were all helping each other out, except for jeena. Jeena had her books but they were closed, and instead she was peeling an orange. So otousan picked on her and asked why she's such a bad student. Jeena's only response was that she was hungry. She offered him then a slice of her orange and he thanked her and left, but then soon after returned and gave her an apple. We all thought that was really cool and very funny.

The other japanese girls now tend to avoid us. We all go to dinner at around the same time so we can eat together, and now there are fewer people at that time. Also in ofurou (bath) we started going earlier at night, so now the japanese girls are going later than they were before. I find it very interesting.

But there are some japanese girls that are really cool. Mika and saiya are the two who actually enjoy talking with us. Well, more specifically, Amy and Jeen. Amy cuz she's half japanese and b/c she has fairly good japanese (at least better than mine) and jeena b/c she's just really freakin' cool. They always talk about boys and ask to compare american and japan. I think they ignore asking me b/c they already know that I have a boyfriend and that we're "rabu rabu" as they say. (this is literally "love love" and it means that we're very romantic and cutsy together. not a common thing in Tokyo society). THen there's Tou-san who's chinese but has lived here for a long time and speaks fluent japaense and very little english. But she and saiya are insanely outgoing and funny as hell. Tou-san always jokes that she's "hentai" and she's just crazy and funny. I wish my japaense didn't suck so bad so that I could talk to her. Saiya speaks a little english too. But mika is actually going to college to learn the language and will be leaving later this month to go study abroad in california. I believe she said she wants to be a flight attendent when she gets out of school. So, good luck to her.  She's also really cool.

So as I said, the walls in the dorm are very thin. a few months ago he told me that when I sing in my room, I'm very loud and he can hear me on the other side of the dorm. He can hear me on the first floor kitchen and Jeena said she can hear me outside down the block. Otousan said he asked the other girls in the dorm "hey, what do you think about the girl who's singing (or what do you think of her singing it was a bit vague)?" and he told me that the other girls agree that although I'm really loud, they think I"m really good so they don't want to tell me stop. Friends have told me that I interupt their naps but they don't really mind. Merita says she hates when I only sing part of the song. "I want to hear all of it damnit!" He said that if he thought I was bad, or if the other girls complained, he'd force me to stop, or even move out. But Otousan too though that I was very loud but really good, even though I sing in english and he has no idea what I'm saying. He made fun of me and said he should build me a stage. He said in fact he'd build one in the park and have me perform in front of everyone. So now I don't sing as much.

There were a few times when I was going out on the weekend, pretty dressed up, or returning home that way, and i happened to have gone to karaoke. So for a while, every time I left the dorm or returned, he asked if I went to karaoke. He liked to joke with me as though that was the only thing I did. But a little while after, when I would go jogging after school, before school b/c too hard and I had no time, he would always ask if I was jogging or what music I was listening to on my ipod. So then, every time I went out, he would ask if I was going to karaoke or if I was going jogging, then proceeded to not believe me when I said I was doing something different. it makes me laugh.

After watching Totoro in class, I realized that I don't understand old men and women at all. I don't understand okaasan b/c she speaks too fast (dorm mother). and otousan slurs his words funny so he's harder to understand, even when he speaks slowly and uses words that I actually know. On sunday he said "sake" (salmon, not the alcoholic beverage) like "shyake" So, I don't understand old men at all. Their japanese is very strange.

I have to appologize if my english is weird. I've been playing Perfect world lately and the english translations are terrible. I am also just writing whatever pops into my head.

the whole point of this blog entry to was explain that even though mongen sucks and so does the food, I'm glad I live in a dorm b/c all my friends are here. If they weren't, I'd hate it and would have moved out a while ago if I had the chance. Earlier today, i was making plans to go to asakusa with xiao and johnny on thursday and proceeded to inform other friends in the dorm who are also bored and might be interested in going. I was also a bit of a messanger for the movies that may or may not happen tomorrow afternoon. So it was very convinient for me to just walk down the hall and knock on everyone's doors. I also like it when people stop over to say hi or borrow something. I cut my finger yesterday and didn't have any bandaids. So I just bangged on doors until I found some. Bandaids are expansive here.

ok, my mind has gone a bit blank, so I'll stop here fore now.