Trip Start Sep 14, 2005
9Trip End Feb 04, 2006
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Well, despite all the necessary and many unnecessary papers, Ive had a great time so far. I live in a very spacious dormitory and seriously have the most gigantic bathroom with everything, even a bathtub with four paws - something Ive always dreamed of having. There are six of us JAS, Japanese and Asian Studies students; me, Josefine (Sweden), Daniel (Sweden), Jimmy (yeah, thats right, Sweden), Tofu (Malesia) and William (Australia). The schedule has been loose, and so far I havent studied a single day. The university classes start next week. So far weve been getting the everyday life rolling - finding where the nearesta ATMs are, where is the post office, where the hell was that station and by the way, where on earth is our dormitory??
The locals seem helpful and polite, but the cold truth is that you cant get too far with English. Ive been streching by one year worth of Japanese to its absolute limits. When you go to a shop to buy food you dont actually know what the hell yourwe buying, you just make sophisticated guesses. Luckily almost all Japanese food is very good. I also had to learn how to eat with chopsticks in a matter of minutes when no forks were available - its not as hard as it seems!
Groceries are a bit cheaper here than for example in Finland, but the prices of fruit and vegetable are sky-high. Luckily eating out is fairly cheap, which is a good thing, since even though the dormitory apartments are very nice and all, theyre seriously lacking things in the "kitchen area". The oven is so tiny that actually it was only today when we discovered we had an oven.
Me, Josefine and Yoko went to Kyoto for shopping, and ended up spending the whole day there. We also took some purikura - you go to a photo booth with your friends, pose for the cameras, then choose four pictures, decorate them with a computer and then get them printed out as stickers. It was a lot of fun, and very cheap - only 100 yen per photo shoot per person. Purikura seems to be a way of self-expression for many Japanese teenagers.
Anyways, I do miss home at times, but when home-sickness hits theres always someone around =) I think Im gonna have a wonderful time here! See ya!