I HAVE INTERNET!! YAY! I will be adding some photos later and you can tell I got lazy near the end of this post ^^. The earlier parts of this post was written when I had no internet lol.
Anyway I’ve been settling in my dorm in Gifu and it’s still so surreal. Almost everything is new and I’m a little but homesick, but I think that was attributed to having no contact to the “outside world”. Nah, I’m over exaggerating but it does feel a bit like it. A very nice girl who lives in the floor above me let me use her laptop and the Wi-Fi down in the lobby to check some things from time to time. She’s so nice. Actually, most of the people living here in the International House are really nice, from the residents to the caretaker (Matsuoka-san) to the person in charge of the International House (Iinuma-san). The girls living on my floor and the one above me are so kind ^^ There’s some new guy from the USA whom I don’t particularly like much because he’s so surly and unfriendly to talk to. But he’s been to Japan before and his Japanese seems pretty good, argh I hope he’s not in my class Apparently he’s just going to move out soon, I can’t really imagine how much that would really cost ._.
I should be able to get a phone soon. And everything else lol
So many things to observe and take in but I’ll get used to it. Same with Natasha, the other girl from Sydney who is with me. People keep telling me that my Japanese is pretty good but I beg to differ. I’ve been restudying some things before my placement test on Monday O_O”
Also! I CAN’T COOK. Sigh XD I’m trying, I promise D: for the time being I’m kinda living off convenience store food and the like. And sometimes other girls offer to cook for a few of us…. ^^;; I should repay them one day. Convenience food is cheap and not so bad but I know I can’t eat it forever XD My fridge has food and ingredients in it, hooray. I need to try all of the soy milk or move back to normal cow’s milk. I tried the soy milk I had this morning and blergh….very watery and I realised there is barely any calcium in it D: Damnit! Oh well, I will learn.
Anyway, I just give a timeline of what happened over the past week or so.
April 1 (Monday)
Said goodbye to my mum at Sydney International Airport. Went through customs with no problems and then just waited to board my flight. Accessed the wifi for a little while on my tablet and Natasha came a little while later. Boarded the plane bounded for Singapore. I was fine on the plane for a while until I think the altitude set in @___@ so bad. I didn’t feel sick but I felt really tired. Furthermore my legs were DYING. I thought blood was going to clot or something. So uncomfortable. Not to mention neither of us could sleep on the plane. Natasha kept micro-sleeping on the second flight, whilst I first propped the pillow on my left hand, then woke up and my whole arm was really stiff, then just ended up placing the pillow on the pull-out tray in front of me and CRASHED. I wish I was a better flyer.
April 2 (Tuesday)
Finally made it to Chubu Centair International Airport. Very tired but we were okay. Had to go through Immigration but it took a while because the line was really long. Got my Residence Card (omg why did they have to use my COE photo!? D:) got fingerprinted and photo taken as well. People already started to talk to us in Japanese ahaha. We got out after about half an hour and 2 women were looking for us because our suitcases were still in the collection area! Very nice of them to try and find us. Made it through customs in 5 seconds because neither of us has nothing to declare. Took a train then a taxi and finally got to the International House. We were a bit lost finding the lobby but we did it. Received our keys and settled in.
April 3 (Wednesday)
Woke up and realised I’m not in Sydney anymore, still was running on Sydney time. Got a bike but had to pay some insurance for it first and got to ride it the next day. I went to the supermarket with Natasha. What we didn’t know was that most supermarkets don’t provide plastic bags so we had to figure out how to get our groceries home. Luckily there was a pile of boxes for free use so we carried our stuff home in there.
April 4 (Thursday)
Rode the bike to the 100 yen store! It is….MAGICAL. So many things for only 105 yen each! (extra 5 yen from GST). Then when we were going to go back a Japanese lady stopped and started talking to us, I talked back for a bit. All I could really get was that there was a beauty clinic that had opened up nearby and wondered if we could work (of course not) and then asked us to come in someday and, literal translation here, “lend our faces”. All I can really think of was because we were foreign, we have different facial structures to Japanese people ^^;; THEN! We decided go to back to the same general area again to the shopping mall! Oh god we were so tired but it was really the first time I felt “civilization” in this quiet town. Did I tell you I tried to cook? Yeah that didn’t go well….
April 5 (Friday)
Went with all the new students to City Hall near the station to register our address on our Residence card and enrol in the National Health Plan. For those of us who don’t have inkan (seal) we went to a nearby shop to get them made. 300yen for 3 letters or 1000yen for 4 or more letters. Luckily my last name only consists of 2 katakana letters! We had lunch at an olden style noodle house during the time our seals were being made and then we went back to the uni. Sometime in the evening I was invited by my Croatian friend Silvija to hanami (cherry blossom viewing) with her friends who had a car. About ½ hour later we ended up in a place I don’t know the name of BUT the sakura were absolutely breathtaking. I believe a separate post is in order for that.
April 6 (Saturday)
Official hanami occurred today as hosted by a neighbourhood association that supports international students. But sadly it was cut short due to rain and I had to ride home in the rain. I should try and master the whole holding your umbrella in one hand whilst riding on a bike skill but it doesn’t seem safe to me, honestly XD.
April 7 (Sunday)
Exploring the shopping mall for a little while. FREAKING STUDYING FOR MY PLACEMENT EXAM OMG. More cooking adventures. Met a guy from Australia and girl from San Diego, they’re super nice hehe. I stayed downstairs in the lobby to talk to them until late and gave up on studying. I figured there wasn’t really a *need* to study when I don’t even know what’s in there but I did try and refresh some grammar points and what not.
April 8 (Monday)
TEST DAY~ it was actually too bad. Two different sheets and honestly I thought the first sheet was harder mainly because it was all in HIRAGANA. Dude, I’m used to seeing kanji so the hiragana was off-putting. But I thought I did alright (as I found out the next day).
April 9 (Tuesday)
Got into C class. The classes go from A to D; A being the beginners and D being the highest. I wanted to be in C so I was pretty please with myself. My class consists of 7 other people, and half of them are already Chinese (2 being siblings lol). We’ll see how this goes and how much time it’s going to take because I’ve already heard that C class gets a lot of homework….
April 10 (Wednesday)
Went to the bank with Natasha and Freddy! Even with our limited Japanese skills we managed to open accounts. A more comprehensive blog post will come later about that experience! I then had lunch with Ryugaku LOVE club outside and got to see some familiar faces. Good times to be had. An opening ceremony for Japanese language students was also on today, very formal but short. Around 20 mins or so, not a lot happened then but one of my friends made a speech (I suspect she got the highest in the test, she did pass JLPT N1 after all XD).
Until then, my friends!