Long Time no See

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I haven’t been posting lately out of a general feeling that I don’t have much to say. In the past while, my life has fallen into a pattern. Three months into my time in Japan I’m finding that my days have an established rhythm and routine. Not that this is anything to complain about, I’ve been comfortable, but it makes me feel as though I don’t have anything particularly interesting to ramble on about here.

Work is as usual, though I now moonlight as a private English tutor, meeting students in coffee shops after work and on weekends. It’s been giving me spending money and has allowed me to leave my bank account relatively untouched, for which I am grateful.



A Weekend of Firsts

Sorry about delay with the Kanazawa report, everybody, things have been a little psycho here lately.

As most of you probably remember, I was headed to Kanazawa, Ishikawa on the 3rd to stay with my friend Allie for the long weekend. It was really quite the trip and a lot more eventful than I had imagined it would be!

So, where to start? Friday night was mostly just a dizzying attempt to find my bus. They really need to give better directions to the meeting places for those things (like specifying that the meeting place wasn’t actually AT Shinjuku Station, although the ticket said the departure was from Shinjuku Station =____=). But a woman looking to work on her English came to me like an angel and helped me find my bus. The bus that I then sat on overnight to get to Kanazawa…  I do think that I managed to get some sleep, since it didn’t feel like an eight-hour bus ride.

And then I was in Kanazawa!


Kanazawa and a Potential Absence

Hello, loyal readers who are undoubtedly my friends and family as nobody else cares about my exploits! How are you all?

The past week has pretty much been the same old same old. Went to Akiba again (got that webcam this time, so now I can video chat!), shopping in Shibuya with a woman from the embassy (who reminded me of my aunt Janet [which is a good thing, in case anybody was trying to read too deeply into that]), shopped around Ikebukuro on a whim (so many more girls than there are in Akihabara @_@), and basically had a grand old time! I’ve met up with two people so far for language exchanges and had a lot of fun with both of them. Even though I had been a little concerned that they were both men, they were really nice guys and I had a great time on both outings. And no, they weren’t dates, I paid for myself and one of them even has a fiancée XD

But I am really excited for this weekend!


How Cruel I am

Nearly 10 days without a new entry? Surely I’ve neglected you all. I’m kidding, I doubt any of you missed me on here XD

Hmm… So what’s happened in the last 9 days? I’ve finally gotten bold enough to venture out on my own on the weekends. On the 14th, it was Harajuku, where I did plenty of shopping and trying stuff on, but made no purchases other than  a sweet crepe, which are possibly one of the greatest gifts to mankind EVER. The stalls are everywhere in Tokyo, but they’re especially prominent in Harajuku. The product is basically just a rolled up crepe with your choice of filling (pretty much what would happen if a pancake, fajita, and ice cream come had a love child) but the options are astounding. You can fill them with fruits, eggs, veggies, meat, sauces, jellies, ice cream, whole slices of cake, anything you can think of and the Japanese in Harajuku will roll it up into a crepe for you. And the smell as you pass these places is to die for. My crepe was filled with chocolate ice cream, banana slices, and strawberries. You can imagine the awesomeness.


Milk and Ueno Zoo

So today was the trip to Ueno Zoo and although it was a great day with the kids, I’m utterly exhausted and felt kind of sorry for a lot of the animals there (well, more sorry than I usually feel for zoo animals). Cages at Ueno are very small because they don’t really have a huge area to work with and at this time of the season, many animals have young so the males need to stay separate from the females and babies, so the cages are even smaller than usual. And it’s kind of sad to see certain animals be given obvious preference. For example, the tigers, lions, gorillas, and Japanese macaques has huge enclosures, while the rhinos, hippos, and elephants were in much smaller ones. While we’re on the topic of elephants, though… I saw some “elephant courtship” today, which was rather… disturbing. We quickly moved to the over side of the exhibit to see where the other elephants were being kept, only to hear a loud trumpet a few minutes later from where the  other two had been. EW. I did, however, get to see baby sealions, rhinos, macaques, and leopard cats, which were all absolutely adorable. XD I didn’t get to take any pictures, unfortunately, as Lily was in my arms for the majority of the day.


Forgive me, Mother, for I have Sinned

I did a bad thing today XD Deciding that I could not eat another round of tofu chilli for dinner (same thing I struggled getting down last night), I ventured out on my own to find sustenance for the evening. After walking down Aoyamadori for well over 45 minutes, checking every restaurant I passed, even those down back alleys, I was starting to think I should just give up and go to a Subway. A great thing about Japan is that the restaurants are so small that just by walking past you can smell the food rather intensely. This, combined with menus are price lists posted outside most eateries, makes the process of finding somewhere to eat a little less dicey. I really love the system. However, nothing had yet appealed to my palate and wallet, so I continued walking, until I ventured down a certain side street that looked no more promising than the others. Yet there is was, a second floor cafe that finally appealed to me; J.S Pancake Cafe. Yes, people, I had pancakes for dinner (sorry, mom and dad!). This place is actually a pancake cafe which serves real meals like BLTs, currys, chicken tomato dishes, all on pancakes. Whoever thought of this was brilliant. But I was weak. My sweetooth had been unsatisfied for a week, as the last junk food I ate was on the plane. So I got three pancakes with strawberries, strawberry drizzle, and a huge dollop of some kind of ice cream/whipped cream combination and it made me so happy XD I had been feeling really awful all day; dizzy, tired, low energy, and very weak, but since eating those pancakes, I feel awesome. I guess I was going through sugar withdrawal, as I’ve been eating nothing but fruits, veggies, eggs, and bread for the last week, so it couldn’t have been my blood sugar being low. The pancakes themselves weren’t the best (I should give the chef my recipe) but it strikes me as a place that’s all about the toppings. I really do think I’ll go back there, was really lovely. And don’t accuse me of being un-Japanese! I had sushi and onigiri for lunch ^^


Pidgeons, Crows, and Sparrows are Universal

Welcome to day… 4 in Tokyo (had to think about that one).

Days have really been flying by. I haven’t really been up to much, though. Maybe it’s the weather. The heat is absolutely overwhelming when you go outside. I never used to sweat much in Canada, but here my shirts are drenched after a few hours outdoors. 100 people died last month alone from heat stroke, several of them in their forties. I bring water bottles with me everywhere, though, so heat stroke isn’t a concern. There are also vending machines on absolutely every street corner XD It’s quite funny to see Tommy Lee Jones in coffee ads on the sides of them.

My feet are really feeling the effects of the amount of walking that you do here in Tokyo, though. I’ve got two blisters per foot from my shoes rubbing me wrong and they just ache all over. It’ll take me a bit of time to get used to it.


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