Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Update

Well I know it's been awhile again. Sorry.

Any ways, in my last post I mentioned I would be dancing to Gee by Girls Generation but it got changed and we are now doing Nobody by Wonder Girls
Wo we will have practice on sunday for the new song!

I don't think much has really happened since my last update. Last week sometime I went to eat with some friends at this little gyoza(dumplings) shop that was in some lady's house.  When we go there she was closing but she recognized one of our friends that has been there before and let us in.  For 550 yen ($6)  we got a set which was 8 gyoza, miso soup, and rice.  

She was so thankful that more and more APU students were coming and she was getting more she also gave us some free food. We each got 8 more gyoza, chips, dango (flour, dough desert thingy) for free!! Her 7 year old son came out of the house and at first was very shy and would hide when ever we looked at him, but finally he got up the courage and talked a little to us.  I told him my name and he asked where I was from and I told him America. He was very shy and adorable. 

Two types of dango.

After wards we went to karaoke and sang for a about 2 hours, it was fun but  a little rushed because we had to make it to the bus stop before the last bus left for APU.

Last week I cooked with some of my friends in a different building. One is a full time student here who is American, one is Korean and one Japanese! it was good food! My korean friend Angelina and korean curry so she made that for us and it was good!

I also had dinner with some other korean friends some time last week and they made this delicious soup that was kinda spicy!! I liked it so much that I tried making it the other night and actually succeeded. It wasn't as good as theirs but it was still delicious!

Last weekend I went to Oita with some friends and Josh and I got our hair cut. It was a little difficult telling them what I wanted since they didn't speak english and I only speak a little japanese, but some how I got the point across. Josh doesn't speak any Japanese so I tried explaining to them what he wanted and it came out good. The only thing that came out a little different was the length of my hair and color. When she originally cut it it was the right length but then she kept trimming it and it got shorter and shorter. Also the color I chose ended up being lighter and browner then I thought, but its growing on me and everyone says it looks good. 
At the hair salon they gave us coffee, candy and a shoulder  massage, it was awesome. I would go back there again because I really like how they did my hair. 
Funny thing was they kept asking me if I wanted to get my hair permed again and I kept telling them I didn't have a perm then tried saying in English "Its natural", they didn't understand. After she cut my hair she told me oh your perm is mostly gone now haha.
and after.
They curled my hair because they thought i had a perm but I straighten it everyday (looks better that way)

After getting our hair done we went to eat at the same place we went to last time which we now dubbed "That Place". I got a fried chicken set but its not like fried chicken back home, its different, not as bad for you haha. 

Yesterday was my friend Annas, from Sweden, 25 birthday so we went downtown and had okonomiyaki for dinner. It was delicious!!!!!!!

Birthday girl!
Carlos flipping the okonomiyaki.

My piece with the sauce on top.

We ordered 4 of these and  split them between the 8 of us. We had to chocolate and two coffee. We thought the ice cream would be coffee flavored but no.... on the bottom there were these jello like pieces that tasted like coffee, it was weird. 

Ok thats really it guys.
If anyone is reading this please leave a comment, you don't have to be a member to do so. But if no one is reading this then I'm going to stop because it's for you guys not me!!

Ok  till next time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Long Time No See

WOW!!! ごめんね!!

Well obviously everyone can tell its been along time since I've updated. I didn't even realize how long. Well a lot has happened since then, but me being me, I don't remember everything. I can give you a recap though.

Well classes are going fine. A little boring but thats fine haha. Japanese class has a lot of home work every day and also a quiz everyday. I have a paper due on monday for my economics class but i haven't even started it yet... so like me.

Last weekend, I think it was, Michelle, Josh and I went to Fukuoka. It's a city about 2 hours away from here. We took a but from near APU after climbing a ridiculous amount of stairs to get to it.

 We left APU on friday after first period since Michelle and I didn't have any others and Josh skipped his. We got to Fukuoka around 2ish and checked into the hotel. Mine and Michelle's room was small and so was Josh's. The hotels here are meant usually for guys who are traveling on business trips and stuff like that.

The first day we went to Canal City which is a mall. But not any mall, it's like 5 stories tall and about 4 buildings connected together. If you know lakeside mall its about 3 times as big.
This is inside the mall, between the buildings.
 It also has a movie theater in it, the basement is restaurants, arcade, ramen history room and soooooo much more!!! Connected to it also a hotel. we shopped there until late and we ate dinner there at a omurice restaurant. Omurice is an omelet filled with rice and different ingredients. Mine was an Italian version and had pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese on it.

The next day, Saturday, we walked all around town. we went to two temples, an art museum and shopping district. Every thing was amazing.

 On our way back from the second temple to the hotel for a short nap we saw a pastry shop so we stopped and each bought a dessert.... soooo goooodddd.

Then we went back and ate it and took a short nap haha. That night we went back to the mall, again, after we ate ramen in a Yatai (ramen stand that sets up on the side of road). It was delicious!!!
Yatai stands
 Then we were searching the mall for the movie theater and came across an arcade. we played Silent hill then mario cart. It was so fun!!!!!! We also had cold stone ice cream which was also delicious!! That night we played some cards in the room.

Me playing silent hill.
On sunday we got up and came home, after waiting at the bus stop for an hour because we weren't sure how to read the bus schedule. Then we ate lunch at the bus station before climbing down the stairs.

This past Wednesday I went on a tour of Beppu with APU graduate who wants to improve his english before going to the States in July. It was setup by the exchange coordinator. I went went Josh, Jacob, John and the guide Yuki-san.  He drove us in his car so there was only room for 4 people.

First he took us to lunch, we had pay our own way though, at a very popular traditional Japanese restaurant. we had to take our shoes off before entering and we had to sit on pillow on the ground, on tatami mats. We had chicken tempura, which is like battered chicken. It came with Miso soup, some salad, rice, and some sort of egg/pudding concoction. It was delicious though.
What they served the rice in.
The restaurant.
Afterwards we went to the aquarium called Umitamago, which means Sea Egg. We got to see a walrus show.
Walrus painting with his whiskers. 
 We were going to watch the dolphin show but apparently the dolphins fought that morning and wouldn't  work together. We saw all sorts of fish and got to hold a starfish.
Jellyfish that had lights of different colors on them. Very cool.

After the aquarium we had coffee, canned coffee, which is very tasty and popular here. They sell them in vending machines, hot and cold.  Then we went to Monkey Mountain, which is just across the street from the Aquarium. The monkeys roam freely around you. They walk right by u and fight and its amazing. We got to see feeding time. They knew it was feeding time and were howling and then swarmed the feeding cart. It was a little scary. haha
Here are also two links to videos I took at Monkey Mountain. Monkey MountainFeeding Time.

After wards he took as to the beach and we walked around the beach and park. It was very pretty there and he told us that when it opens in June it is very popular place to go and swim.
Josh decided to climb the pirate play ship.

Then we went to dinner at a buffet. But it was BBQ buffet. There are grills in every table and you cook your meat right on it. For 90min all you can eat meat, sushi, veggies, beverage, soup, rice and dessert cost about $20.  I tried sushi here, and it was kind good!!! I had the salmon sushi, but nothing else haha. Taking it slow.
 My two plates and bowl on the bottom. 
Josh's stack. At least he got his moneys worth. 

After dinner he took us to Marushoku, which is a grocery store, but it also sells clothes and shoes, so we could get some groceries. He also showed us which alcohol was the best haha. Then he took us back to campus. He said he would love to take us out again to somewhere else, just to let him know where. It was fun to get to see the city differently and the aquarium and monkey mountain.

I don't know if I already told you guys or not but I think 2 weeks ago Michelle and I had dinner with our Korean friends. They made korean food for us and it was delicious. We need to make dinner for them but its hard because we don't have ovens here and most things i cook use an over. If any one has any idea what Michelle and I can make for them in return let me know!

Tonight I went over to my friend Elyse and Angelinas floor. We cooked and ate together then just hung out and talked. I made chicken veggie pasta with an alfredo sauce. Angelina brought these curry packages from Korea(she's Korean, Angelina is her english name, her korean name is Hyun Min) so we had that. Mao, Angelinas Japanese roommate, brought rice, and Elyse made miso soup. It was very delicious. We also watched a japanese guy bleach his hair and a girl dye her hair  a brown pinkish color.

Yesterday Michelle and I went shopping downtown and I bought a pair of heels, because everyone here wears them. They are not big heels though or I would kill myself. I also bought some clothes here. JUst a couple shirts. Oh yesterday I also got a Japanese phone. The phone only cost about $70 and the prepaid card cost $30 for 2 months. I have unlimited e-mail and texting on it then call cost about .90$ a min. So i just tell everyone to SMS me. Not a bad price for a phone.

The phones and plans here are very different. What they do is spend a couple hundred dollars on a phone, like up to $1000 for some. Then the plans only cost about $15 a month for minutes, internet, SMS, and TV. But the phone are awesome. They have bluetooth and infrared on every phone and you use that to "zap" your contact information to other people. No need to manually input it. They also can use some phones as a credit card kinda.  Some places (I think more so in Korea than Japan) you can scan your phone on a pad and it charges your phone the cost of what you want to buy.

Also when you shop and use a credit card they ask how many times you want your card swiped. Not really sure why they do this, I'll have to ask. But Michelle and I always just tell them to do it once... hope thats right.

AHHH!! I almost forgot to tell everyone!! We have something called world festival  here on campus in June. every floor has to participate and you can do one of three things. Performance, cook, or free category. Free category is like a nail salon or cafe with a theme and is obviously free. Well my floor picked performance, so I will be dancing. It's a korean song called Gee by SNSD or Girls Generation, either name works.
Here is a link to the music video dance version, which I believe is what we will be doing.   Gee- SNSD

I don't really know what else has happened. Obviously it wasn't important or i would have remembered.... hopefully.

Well I think thats it for today. I will try to keep up better. At least once a week.


Friday, April 16, 2010

First Week of Classes Done

Konnichiwa mina-san (hello everyone)

Well the first week of classes is finally over. It really wasn't that bad. I mean I'm only taking 4 classes.
After I posted on tuesday I just studied in the lobby with some friends.

Wednesday I had Multiculturalism and Society with Michelle. It seems like it will be very interesting but its 2 periods long, so over 3 hours, and It's hard to focus. Oh did i mention it start at 8:45! After class I went to gym orientation which you had to go to if you ever want to use the gym. Before I can use it though i need to get indoor shoes because the gym requires indoor shoes for inside....
and again studied
Young Kyung Studying

Thursday was the same as monday. Japanese, tea ceremony and economics. After words I had dinner with a friend because we got out of class early enough to make it to the cafeteria. Then we had a floor meeting that lasted two hours, they pretty much told us everything we already knew. Then they gave us ice cream.  Oh they also made us pay 1,000 en which is about $10 for kitchen sponges and soap, floor events and stuff like that. then of course afterwards I studied!!!

Today I had Japanese, lunch, nap and shower in that order too haha. Tonight I just plan to hang out with some friends since we don't see each other during the week because of classes.

Tomorrow I have a building event for my dorm. It's called Clean! Clean! Clean! feat. BBQ. haha i figured it would be a good way to meet people in my building.

Every night we study we meet new people. Usually Japanese people who are doing their English homework while we do our Japanese. Luckily everyone is nice enough to help each other out. Most of them speak English pretty well but they don't think they do. I had one girl on my floor ask me about the difference between "L" and "R". So I tried to to help her some by saying them and she was trying to repeat but it was a difficult process haha.

Oh the other day Michelle and I went to Pacific cafe instead of the cafeteria for lunch. It's just a little cafe on campus. I ordered a cheeseburger set (seen above). It came with a cheeseburger, fries, drink and salad. The burger... not so good. The fries were DELICIOUS! The salad was good but I was having difficulties eating it with that little fork haha.

I think thats really it.
OHH sorry about that lack of updated pictures. I've been trying for days now but every time it says "upload failed" so I've got to keep trying different way to upload them. I mean i have about 200 pics to put up!!

Ja (Later)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First day of Classes

First off let me explain how my school here works. They are quarter based, not semester. So there is 2 quarters to our 1 semester. Also most of their classes are offered only 1 or 2 times for every 2 quarters. They also have a set schedule like in high school, 1st period, 2nd etc. up until 6th period. Each period is 1 1/2 hours and there is a 15 min break between each one. And on wednesday there are no classes after either 2nd or 3rd period. How we usually do MW together or T TH, here they to MTH, TF, or W. On top of that the language class is 4 days a week, not wed, but on MTH its a different period then TF. haha I know a lot to keep up with.  

Anyways, yesterday was my first day and the classes do not seem bad so far. Yesterday I didn't start class until 3rd period which starts at 1225 and goes until 2. They I had 4th free then had a 5th and 6th period, which means i was in class until 730. 

My 3rd period class was japanese. My teacher is very nice unless you're late, then she's not so nice. Late to her is one second past the time class starts. Literally someone was 37 seconds late and she marked them absent, because if you're late she marks you absent!!! 

My 5th period class is Tea Ceremony. It seems like it will be lots of fun since I get to have a sweet and tea everyday I have class. But there are also a lot of little details you need to remember. For example, when kneeling your knees need to be 16 lines back from the front of the tatami matt (tatami matt is made of bamboo i think and its a traditional japanese thing and you're not allowed to wear shoes on them). Also you need to have your knees a certain distance apart. When drinking the tea you have to pick it up, hold it, turn it, drink it and look at it a certain way. If you don't do it right its very rude. So its not as easy as it sounds, but its not going to be too bad I hope too.

My 6th period was Development Economics. It seems like it will be interesting, hopefully. My professor scared me pretty bad though. he told us we had a 15-20 page paper due next month. Then he went on to explain that it was 15-20 pgs per group so only 2-3 pgs a person. Thank god!

After class I just came back and made dinner with some friends and then worked on my japanese homework with some other friends. 

Today i only had one class, but its 1st period so 845-1020. At least its a language class and you are always doing exercises so it goes by fast. after wards michelle and i grabbed a bite to eat at the cafeteria and now im here writing this and doing wash. 
Don't really have any plans for tonight except to do my Japanese homework. 

Thats it for today. Nothing else really left to say : )


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

Well first of all last night we really didn't end up doing anything last night. We just watched a movie called Smoking Aces 2... It was weird.

Today we had hanami which i guess is like a picnic in the park and you sit under the cherry blossom trees and eat and talk and admire them. well it was raining so we had it in doors haha. It was only for exchange students so there wasn't a lot of people. we played games from around the world and had a bento (prepared lunch box).
Some Japanese students giving a performance.

After wards a group of about 19, including the exchange student coordinator Funaki san came. We sang for 2 hours in one room and it only cost about $10!!!!! Funaki san has an amazing voice! I sang some songs, not very well. Funaki san paid for it too which was really nice of him.
Funaki san has been at APU for 10 years he actually graduated from here then worked here ever since. He is from Tonga. Tommorw he is getting promoted so he will no longer be in charge of us exchange students.
Some friends at karaoke.

Then afterwards we went to dinner at a place called Joyfull. Its a chain restaurant and it was delicious. I had something called cheese in hamburger. It was a hamburger with cheese in it, no bun, with a demi glaze (sp) sauce. It came with like 10 fries, rice, a lil salad and a soup, that i didn't eat.

Then I came back and there was a takoyaki party on my floor. Google it! But there was no octopus is this takoyaki. at first i didnt go so my roommate brought me a piece. Then about 5 min later a group of girls came and asked me to come so i went for about 10min.

Tomorrow I start classes and I took some interesting classes such as:
Japanese on M TH from 1225-2, T F 845-1020
Tea ceremony M TH 405-540
Developmental economics M TH 555-730
Multiculturalism and society W 845-1210

Im a little nervous i've forgotten how to go to class since I haven't been in class since mid december. Im also nervous about how long the classes are. Anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to stay focused that long and not have to pee. haha maybe they will give a 10 min break?
Well im off to bed now so that i can have a good nights sleep!

Oyasuminasai (Goodnight)

Here is my address in case anyone loves me enough to send me something!!
ok my mom made me take it out so if you want it you can ask me for it. or if you want it to be a surprise ask michelle she can tell you.

ALSO: on facebook i am posting some pictures of what my dorm building and room look like tonight or tomorrow so keep an eye out for them!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Update of past 5 days

Ok im here to tell you about the last few days.
Im not going to go into to much depth because then this would take forever to write.

So on the 3rd. we went grocery shopping then i honestly don't remember what we did. Probably just hung out downstairs lol

On the 4th, sunday. i think thats the night we went into town and had okonomiyaki. which is a delicious pancake like thing that you cook on the grill in front of you. I suggest you google it. Then you will understand lol.

On monday the 5th we had a mandatory health checkup. They took our blood, tested us fro TB, needed a urine sample, took our height and weight then gave us a eye exam. it was at 8 am. funfun. After wards we went into Beppu again. Some of us wanted a normal sized pillow, they only gave us this small one filled with beans or something. When we got downtown there was a festival celebrating the onsens in the area. really interesting. Check out my pics on facebook!
I got a pillow and we looked around the mall and i think thats the night we made dinner in the dorms... or maybe when we had curry at CoCo ichibanya. My curry was delicious! it had cheese and a chicken cutlet on top.

On the 6th is when we went to the different onsens i think. they were so beautiful and I posted alot of pics on facebook so check them out. We had to travel to 6 different parks i think. Each one having a onsen and some sort of attraction like alligators or zoo animals. Ha i just remembered this is actually the night we had curry and the night before we cooked i think! haha

On the 7th we had a bunch of different guidances that were very boring.  And i honestly dont remember what we did that day either.

The 8th we signed up for classes and i got a bit screwed over because i couldn't really take business classes which is why i came here. But oh well! I know that night we went to the karaoke bar and had a lot of fun. It was about $25 per person for 3 hours with unlimited beer.

Yesterday I went into Oita with michelle and carlos. We walked around for a bit then ate a very traditional Japanese style restaurant. we counldnt read the menu and there was no pictures so i pointed at a item and asked "sakana desu ka?" meaning is this fish, she said no so i ordered it. And the result was DELICIOUS

We also ordered nassu gyoza which was eggplant dumplings. But it was the eggplant stuffed with the dumpling stuffing then deep fried! AMAZING!

Afterwards we did a little more grocery shopping. We run out of food very easily here.  Then i had kitchen duty for my floor so i had to clean. It wasn't too bad.

Today I woke up and michelle and i made fried potatoes and eggs just like we used to back at home! Then i went and looked at this little market they had on campus and tried some korean food and deep friend bananas covered in chocolate and nuts. And im not really sure what the plans are for tonight. 

I dont remeber what day we did this but we went to the mall with some more friends and looked around then and after wards we went to a sushi bar, i think. I didnt eat real sushi but i ate egg sushi i guess you can call it. It was egg on top of rice wrapped in a piece of seaweed. At the mall there was an arcade too.

i think thats everything but just to make sure I would read my roommates blog too. We may fill in some of each others blanks spots!

Well Ill try to keep up better for now on but i start classes on monday and hopefully will join a circle (club) so it may be difficult.

Love you,