So far one of the best weeks I have had so far with lots of mishappening and the exact type of spontaneity I had been craving.
To start off I got placed with the sightseeing group for the international week and one of my tasks help guide some people through Chiyoda which is the city that has the Imperial Palace. It’ll be fun to learn about that stuff since after all I am also an international. I also found out that one of my neuroscience professors is gonna be one of the participants. After work, I joined Henry with the swim club and they started to teach me how to swim since all I can really do right now is float. I made some progress and now I can take breaths while swimming which is something I could never get the hang of. A very nice teacher who was a former Olympian and the club was very encouraging. After that, we hit up a Chinese restaurant since I had been desperately craving spicy food.
Today I got invited by some students to do some karaoke. It is something I had never done before, so I was a little scared but I was also sure I would have a good time. Today was also another meeting for international week mainly about the logistics of the Chiyoda trip. I found out that there are a couple guests who follow a vegan diet and some that must abide by halal practices. Neither students nor teachers had experience with these sorts of restrictions, so I taught them what I could about the term halal and did some googling. I then found them a couple options near Tokyo station, but the best I could get was a halal bento place and vegetarian restaurant.
After that me and Henry walked to Fuchu station and I got a spicy ramen recommended by some students which was sadly not that spicy. The place was called Sio Ramen and they specialized in salt ramen and it was a decent restaurant. After that we got some hello kitty taiyaki cause why not
Craziest day so far since I finally got the bike I have been asking for, but not the way I expected it. To give some context the college has some bikes they give to faculty which I tried to request, but about after I did that they informed me that I can’t since I’m not under the school’s insurance plan.
That was a couple days ago, so when I went on my lunch break I thought nothing special would happen. I spent about half an hour wandering around until I came across a dingy-looking restaurant. Nothing else seemed to be open, so I walked and there was this old lady watching tv on one of the stools. I asked her if the place was open and she said yes then I asked what was good and she asked if I liked fish or meat. I said fish since I’m in Japan and wanna try as much seafood as I can. It was about a fifteen-minute wait as she cooked and just watched what was on tv and she was apparently just watching the news. I got the meal which was a full set of fish, rice, tofu, soup, and pickled fruit.
We started talking for the next 20 minutes about where I was from, what I’m doing in Japan, and what the food even was. I told her I was loving the pickles and she even handed me an extra plate of them for free. Apparently, her nephew spent about a year studying abroad. We then moved on to the topic of where I was living which is a town about 40 minutes from the school by bus. I told her I missed riding my bike, and then she told me to keep eating and to wait. Then about ten minutes later I see her bring a couple bikes out to the front of the restaurant. She explained that it was her old friend’s bike and that she was giving it to me. I obviously tried to refuse multiple times, but she kept handing me the keys and saying daijoubu ageru (it’s fine I’m giving it to you) after like 5 minutes of this I came out of the restaurant like she said and we went on a ride for about half an hour through a bunch of side streets. Turns out she was taking me to her friend’s bike shop and paid for it to be registered for me. Apparently, laws are pretty strict around here when it comes to bikes, and they needed my address and name which was hard to do since both of them could only read and speak Japanese. I tried to get them to take a picture with me, but they refused and she rode with me back to the school which she lives right next to. Now I guess I have a bike which I am very happy about especially since it’ll be saving me about 800 yen a day on commuting from the sharehouse to the school. I just wish I had the vocabulary to express my thanks to her cause all I could say was Arigatou gozaimasu, hountou Arigatou gozaimasu, and when it came to saying bye I just said jane since that’s what she said to me. Overall an amazing person since all the meals she makes are 500 yen (about 3 dollars).
Nothing that eventful besides my gopro camera battery breaking. I do have a portion of my morning commute. I also got a group picture of dinner at a donburi restaurant with one of the students who ran after me and Henry on our way back home
was feeling a little homesick and had a lot of logistical stuff to get done for the solar panel project I’m a part of back in the states. For breakfast I decided to try a spaghetti and hamburger sando which tasted like a meaty uncrustable and would not recommend
The only interesting thing I had was going to a Mexican restaurant in Japan which was kind of a let down with stuff like a Cobb salad taco.
today was the day of the Peru lunch trip with the Spanish club. Before getting to the restaurant me and Henry stopped by a Uniqlo where I bought some gifts for people back home. The restaurant itself was pretty interesting with an interior design that I loved. Food was reminiscent of things I grew up with but obviously different in many. Many of the spices were different and I even had a corn-based drink called chicha morada.
Henry took me to Ueno this day which is where you go if you want to go to a park museum or anything like that since this place is packed with them. We went to the Ueno Zoo and a shrine for most of the day. The big draw of the zoo is the pandas which we made sure to see along with many other animals. Afterward we went to Akihabara where we visited a maid Cafe. I was limited in the pictures I could take due to the policies but it was definitely an experience. I didn’t really have money to spend and Henry had a panic attack over eating a cherry so it could have been better. Finally, we went to Chinatown in Yokohama and ate some food and did some walking around. Very cool architecture but we got home at like 2 am and had work in the morning at 9 which was terrible.