One month

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Today marks one month since I left Japan. After living in Japan, especially my dorm, I’ve come to consider it my second home and definitely my home away from home.
The video above is what my friends surprised Natasha and I with. A touching video documenting our time in Japan and some heartwarming videos in the second half of the video. What a surprise! I had literally no idea that my friend was planning this at all. But I was so thankful to him, and to everyone that I have met in Japan. We’ve made plenty of memories and had so many fun times. The drinking parties (I’m proud to say I managed to make it through most of my exchange without drinking), going to the fireworks, traveling, hanging out in the lobby (all the cool kids hang there :P), movie nights, the list is endless. I feel so grateful having met these people from far and wide, and I believe they’ve made me a better person and I hope I’ve had an impact on their lives too.

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The farewell card I received from my dormmates and the scrapbook I got from my circle ♥

We’ll meet again one day. I don’t know where or when that may be but I’m determined to make it happen.

Coming back to Australia was like being thrown back into the deep end. Non-stop running around, trying to catch up with friends and then BAM! It’s back to class already. I’ve been back at uni for 3 weeks now. It definitely feels like being in first year all over again, not knowing anybody and all. Except now I’m feeling the age gap.

Typical first time conversations go like this:

“So is everyone here in their second or third year??”

“Nope…..”

I tell them I’m in my fifth year and the conversation splits into any of the following:

“Oh are you part-time?”
“Did you fail something?”

“Oh….well then…”

“Did you take time off?”

Then I tell them my course is five years long and I’m in my final year and the world somewhat goes back into order. It’s especially trip-y because I have a group assignment for Game Design and I’m in a group with the only other girl in the lab and she’s graduated from my high school 3 years after me. Well then.

It’s the same when I go back to clubs as well. But now I don’t feel that connection anymore so I’m honestly less inclined to attend.

Putting that aside, it’s a strange feeling being back. I did miss my friends, there are some I do not wish to see, and my surrounding….sometimes I feel like it’s changed so much but then again I feel like nothing has changed at all. It’s difficult to explain, it’s just what it is.

Well I need to trudge along again and get back to my mountain of things to do. I’m currently procrastinating from drawing character designs for 3D animation. I guess some things don’t change.

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One week

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One week and I’ll be on a plane back to Sydney. Well the second leg of my journey back to the Straya. I still can’t believe how quick it’s been. Especially since time felt pretty slow when I first got here. And now here I am, nearing the end of my exchange.

I’ve had a blast and I really wish this wouldn’t end so abruptly as it should. I’ve taken so many risks, done so many things outside of my comfort zone, maybe had a couple of regrets but besides from those setbacks I’ve had the time of my life. I honestly think I’ve done more in the 10 months I’ve been in Japan than I have in the entire 21.5 years of my life, which I believe is quite the achievement for me.

Countless photos taken, so many photos taken, all the people that I’ve met and reconnected with I will treasure forever. In fact I had just come back from my last trip to the Sapporo Snow Festival (heaps of fun!).Well at least while I can. Not to mention all the things I’ve accumulated during my time here.

Now my room is a bomb site – it’s been pretty messy for a while but it’s only about to get worse as I try and figure out what to keep or ditch. And then there’s the cleaning. So much cleaning. Hopefully all this madness should me over in a week.

One week left. One week left to squeeze in the remaining time I have with all the lovely people I’ve met and connected with and just to have fun.

It’s going to be a whirlwind journey to the end.

Countdown

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Hey everyone.

I’ve recently been hit by a sad revelation from the 16th of this month that I have exactly one month left before the end of the experience of my life thus far. From today it’ll be exactly 4 weeks before I’m off on a plane back to Sydney. Sad thoughts are certainly sad but what can I do?

I’ve recently come back from my circle’s ski trip to Nagano. Clearly skiing isn’t an activity for me, I’m hurting all over because I spent most of the time rolling down the slope instead of actual skiing. But nevertheless I enjoyed it a lot and spent some awesome time with awesome people! Not to mention it was nice to actual BE AROUND SNOW. Why Gifu, why??? I have the worst luck.

Back to the topic at hand, unfortunately the last month is going to be a crazy one. Full of stress and deadlines and basically running around blind. I wish my final International Studies research can burn in Hell and that my last exams and assessments can go with it. I swear I’m going to end up with a breakdown during the last week of January.

After all of that is out of the way I’ve only really got 2 weeks left in Japan. More running around, going on a final trip up north to Sapporo for the Snow Festival (I’m going to turn into a popsicle) and trying to squeeze in what little time I have left with friends.

Time is ticking away, it’s time for the end.

Flashback to 2013

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Happy New Year everyone!

I’ll just keep this short, I’m sure the majority of the things I want to say will be in my last post before I leave Japan at the end of my exchange.

Looking back, 2013 was a great year for me. I spent 66% of the year living independantly and becoming more self-sufficient than I ever was in my last 21 years of my life. Speaking of which I turned 21, a legal adult in all countries now! Hooray!
I travelled *heaps*, experienced new things and discovered things I never knew about before.

New friends coming and going in my dorm but I won’t forget them. We’ve had a blast together! That includes all the friends I’ve made at uni and the bonds have strengthened.

This is the first NYE I’ve spent away from my comfort zone but I’m sure after 8 and a half months this is almost like home to me. I spent NYE the Japanese way, watching Kohaku on TV (well not very much of it) and going shrine/temple hopping thanks to our lovely dorm caretaker.
We came back at 1:30am, I decided to get some shut eye before waking up early to see what we thought was going to be the first sunrise of the year but nope! Thank you Gifu weather, it was all clouds and rain. Damnit. There’s always next year.

I’ve had no regrets last year and I hope this year will be the same. I don’t make new year resolutions because personally I can’t ever keep them but I’ll take everything one day at a time and live life to the fullest.

So long 2013, and hello 2014!

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First snowfall

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First snowfall

初雪だ!!

My friends and I were fortunate enough to see the first snowfall around our dorm tonight! It was exciting….but of course my Australian body can’t handle the freezing temperatures quite yet.

Snow…it was definitely snow but most of the time it looked like a flurry of raindrops. With this and all the lights going up everywhere for once it feels like the Christmas I’d longed for (well for the second time around. Christmas in Canada was, after all, ten years ago).

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[Video Blog] Osaka Arietta Hotel Room Tour

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I’ve just come back from Osaka and Kobe! Yay!

There was virtually no affordable accommodation left in Kobe due to the Luminarie (it was fantastic by the way) so my next option was to stay in Osaka, which is about 30 mins away by train. Very convenient.

I stayed at the Osaka Arietta Hotel located about 1-2 mins away from Exit 1 of Honmachi subway station.

A couple of things I forgot to talk about in video:
– The rooms don’t have free wifi! Needless to say I was a bit disappointed. There’s wifi in the lobby but that’s just a pain.
– But instead I did get complimentary breakfast. Every morning from 6:30am-9:30am they set up a selection of breads, cold and hot drinks, yogurt and either cereal or salad for you to eat in the lobby or take back to your room. Delicious! I experienced this both in the last 20 minutes of the day and the first 20 minutes today, heh.

Ehon no Kuni no Alice – A trip to Alice in Wonderland

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Always terrible on the blogging side, aren’t I? My apologies! It’s time for more procrastination as I attempt to study for the JLPT…..which is tomorrow. Whoops. I’ve barely studied and have kind of succumbed to just winging it. At least I know it’s multiple choice!!

Natasha and I “recently” came back from our trip to, wait for it….the Disney Resort in Chiba! More to come about that later, however today I’d like to blog about one of the many themed restaurants you can find in Tokyo.

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Word of the day: Edage

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It’s gloomy and raining cats and dogs outside so of course this calls for a pointless blog post!

This is probably the longest I’ve ever had my hair grow out. My hair has a tendency to go through some rapid death at the end when my hair starts to get past my shoulders. Saying that my friends recently taught me some new vocabulary.

Friend: ‘Edage’

Me: ‘???’ *looks it up on my phone*

Ohhhh. It makes sense now.

枝毛 literally means split ends.

What do you know, you learn something new everyday. Now for Tash to cut my hair sometime this week before we got to Disneyland and Disneysea!

Word of the day: Ichigo pantsu

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Long time, no post. I’m so sorry that I haven’t been blogging but so much has happened and it’s going to get even busier from here on! (However when procrastination and stress kicks in start expecting something fro yours truly).

So why ichigo pantsu? Strawberry underwear? I’m not talking about the manga and anime Ichigo 100% either. Let me explain.

In the circle/club I’m currently part of, we’re making a mikoshi or a traditional Japanese palanquin for the upcoming university festival (exciting!!). We had some visual references on my friend’s iPad mini but of course the screen turns off and we don’t know what the passcode is. We ask him.

‘Ichigo pantsu’ he says.

See where I’m going yet?

Ichi-go-pa(n)-tsu

1-5-8-2

Thanks to kun-yomi, on-yomi and English pronunciation there are several ways to say numbers in Japanese and they can be put together to make words e.g. yoroshiku = 4649

My other Japanese friend proceeds to call him a pervert whilst I cracked up. Hey, I thought it was pretty smart.

Until then!