Title of this post means "sorry." Madonna features it in her song "Sorry", with crippling pronunciation. I almost couldn't recognize it. </japanese snob>

So I've decided that as a person who blogs, I am definitely not corny enough, so every post from now on is going to feature a new word in Japanese! So you can ~expand~ your ~cultural awareness~. yeaaahhhhhh buddyyy

It's been a while. ごめんなさい. The day after my super long lesson plan / 秋葉原 post, I took old lappy to the Kindergarten to format my lesson plan into a Powerpoint (fun fact; I LOVE MAKING POWERPOINTS. Fei commented that she's never seen someone so obsessed with animations and transitions before. The pride, y'all...I felt it.). It worked fine, was all happy and didn't freeze and shit, and then I took it back home to eagerly await the Pottermore announcement (timezone WIN! didn't have to stay up, nyan nyan) aaaaand plugged it into the converter, put the converter into the wall, pressed the on button and....nothing. The light on the charger didn't go on. And lappy no longer has a battery, since it no longer recognizes that it's a battery (lol, gotta love lappy.) so she runs on A/C power...THUPER.

Anywhoodle, Fei heard about this and flipped about 14 shits (fun fact: Japanese people, for being so shy and calm, can get rull emotional when faced with someone else's problems) and kindly offered to take it to the Sony repair shop, and in the meantime lending me her adorable little lappy (IT'S HOT PINK) so I can Skype my parents. Yeahhhh, my parents aren't usually awake at 4am. Whomp. But the dudes at Sony just laughed at my old plug and said that that was all that was wrong, so I get lappy back tomorrow for proper use.

Jumping around ('cause that's what I do,) I'm actually writing this post as I wait for True Blood to buffer on Megavideo. w (ANOTHER fun fact; 'w' is the equivalent to 'lol' in Japanese. It's short for 笑 (wa, which means 'laugh'). I now finally understand the prevalence of wwww randomly interspersed in Japanese online conversations on message boards. Is my nerd showing? Oh right, it always does...

So I'm gonna blog about my first adventure I took in Japan, which was of course with the wonderful Fei. Me and her friend Gen went to Takao (高尾山) to visit the Trick Art Museum! Basically it's a whole place that's filled with optial ollusions. Unfortunately the majority of the pictures were taken on Fei's camera (still can't find her on Facebook, whomp), So I only have a few of the fun ones to share (note: the museum is full of ordinary rooms with flat walls and all that; these artists are bamfs):

Gen balancing precariously

Me getting smashed by boulders
Ironic because this is exactly the opposite of how I feel in Japan. 
The only thing real in this photo is the dark black bench. It's sitting against a wall, painted to look like cushions, and no that cat isn't real, either. It should be, though. OMGSOCUTE

Short post is short. Will post the pretty pictures of Takao on FB as an album, since I'm all blogged out for now. Plenty more to share, though! May have 2 or 3 rapid fire posts this weekend before you're all caught up on my shenanigans.

Now time for me to go and attempt to clean my room. And by "attempt to clean" I mean "sprawl across" and by "room" I mean "bed" www




The title of this post means "awesome/cool/wicked" etc. in Japanese. I first heard it from a little boy who exclaimed it after playing with my hair. By the tone of his voice I assumed he either meant "whoa!" or "damn, that must have taken you a long ass time to braid!!!" (jk but not really.)

Anywhoodle, this entire day I've heard pretty much everyone use it. I told myself to not google translate it, and just try and infer what it meant. Teachers would utter "すごい!" whenever the babies would show them a picture they drew/origami they folded/etc, and watching TV while eating dinner tonight the girls at my table kept going "すごい!!!!!" when these dudes on this game show were break dancing while jumping rope simultaneously. I think I got the meaning down.


I'm really bad at this, I have pictures sitting in my camera waiting to be blog'd/facebook'd but I really am just...tired. All the time. Now that my jetlag is successfully behind me (10 POINTS FOR THE CHOCOLATE ONE.), I'm now more mentally tired than ever. I'm trying my best to first construct a cohesive lesson plan for my English class, figuring out how to explain it in Japanese, then hoping the kids catch on. Right now I have a template that goes a lil' something like this:

Opener: songs!
I racked my head for corny yet somewhat traditional songs that kids learn in America (as well as sheepishly asking the fb world). I hope that after I leave they'll still sing them and explain to future kiddies where they learned them from, and get all excited that they can sound like American kids now :) :
  • Bingo (there's a Japanese version that I didn't quite understand, mostly because the kids, again, have a habit of thinking that screaming = singing. I'll figure it out eventually.)
  • Rock-a-bye-baby (as I was singing this in my head, I realized how REALLY VIOLENT AND HORRIBLE this song is. A baby rocking on the top of a really unstable tree that rocks the cradle its in, the bought that the cradle is resting on breaks, then the baby FALLS OUT OF THE FUCKING TREE WTF. I hope the kids don't read too much into the lyrics...but yeah. I was mildly horrified.)
  • Hokey Pokey (I tried this out on my 2nd day, and got my left mixed with my right. why. also, they were confused as to why I was shaking things all about. They liked the part where they got to turn around and clap, though. #precious)
  • Itsy-bitsy spider (tried this out on the preschool English teacher and she thought it was adorable. Didn't know what itsy-bitsy meant, though...lol)
  • Twinkle twinkle little star (the tune that I think every child on this planet knows, but I'm pretty sure they don't know the English lyrics yet.)
  • Row, row, row your boat (should I mess with my babies and try and teach them how to do a round? Heehee)
  • Ring around the rosie (also tried this out with the after school class. They're kinda like my guinea pigs. They seemed to like it, but were a little slow on the "all fall down" part. I'll give them a day or two to figure out what "fall down" means.)
  • Freeze-tag (pure energy drainer. ehehehehehe. I mean...um...)
After songs, a game/roleplay. Purpose of this is to make learning conversational English a little clearer. Can't tell you how many times I've asked a kid "how are you!" to only get  a "how are you!!!!!" in return. Or, a game just to show the kiddies how Americans like to have fun.
  • duck, duck goose (How to make this educational? Maybe replace the duck and the goose with other animals that the kiddies are learning, like...cow and rooster. Since they have to pay attention to the difference between the two animals to determine if they have to get up and run around, it'll help reinforce the names. Or, they can just run around in circles. you know.)
  • red light/green light (even though this only involves 3 colors, they probably won't forget them after playing a few rounds. I freaking loved red light/green light as a kid.)
  • the "crazy letter game" that me and Fei made up (literally after we thought of it, I asked her what we should call it, and she said; CRAZY LETTER GAME. OKAY. rules: 
    • I'm going to have the kids learn the alphabet, 3 letters at a time. So the game will involve whatever 3 letters they're working on
    • The game will be played in a room, with 3 different teachers standing in 3 different corners. Each teacher will be holding up one of the 3 letters that the babies are learning. We'll go with A,B,C, for now.
    • In the middle, 1 teacher (probs me) will hold up a picture of an object/fruit/animal that starts with either A, B, or C. The kids will then have to run to the teacher who's holding up the letter that corresponds with the letter that starts the object/fruit/animal in the picture yes/yes? YOU GET ME?
    • Then, after I confirm that they're all correct, they run back to the middle of the room and it all starts again. Oh, and before each letter, some music will be playing, and the kids will dance around until the music stops and a picture is held up. I'll promise to play something really kitschy. Like ABBA or something.
    • +47557 internets, Engrish's, and curly-q cloudz.
  • Find something ____! (made up by Fei; pretty simple, and will help reinforce colors. There will be a bunch of things strewn all over a classroom of various colors (or whatever colors the kids are learning at the time) and the teacher (feels weird to think of that as me...) will shout out "Find something...blue!" and then set a timer and have the kids run around collecting things that are blue, green, yellow, w/e, and the kid that gets the most wins and then the game starts again. simple yet educational!)
  • The Happy Birthday!! Game (this will not only help the kids know how to sing happy birthday, it will also teach them how to say how (howhowhowhowhow) old they are in English!) basically, 2 kids will stand across from each other with their hands clasped, making a bridge (think of....okay, I will really regret making this comparison, but think of the eiffel tower. Okay now get that thought out of your head. cool). The other kids will walk through this little bridge, singing happy birthday. when the song gets to the "Happy birthday dear ___" part, the two kids will bring their arms down and entrap 2 kids in the process, and say their names. Those kids will have to say how old they are, giggling/squealing ensues, the cycle repeats, etc.
  • Shopping happy fun time game (Made that name up just now, it seemed fitting.) This will probably be played once they're familiar with foods, fruits, veggies etc. AND it will reinforce whether they remember numbers, and will have them practice random phrases that they probably wouldn't know.  I'll put the "shopping list" on the whiteboard; for example, 3 apples, 2 bananas, 4 potatoes, and a chicken (really craving chicken rn.) around the room will be 4 "stations" where kids will rotate being the "cashier". The kids who are shopping will each be given baskets and will go around to the stations and ask for the number of items that they need. The cashier, however, will also need to correctly engage the conversation, starting off with "Hi how may I help you?", etc. the baby shopping will then politely ask for whatever they need; "Good morning, I need 1 chicken please!" then the transaction will take place (this will all be play food, obviously) and the cashier will say "Thank you, have a nice day!" or whatever. Baby who completes the shopping list first wins. Then roles are rotated, and kids who shopped can be cashiers and vice versa. OKAY COOL.
  • Puppets/animals - I'll bring in a stuffed animal and have them introduce themselves to the class, and then later ask questions about said animal to see if the kids were paying attention/understand. then call on someone to introduce themselves in English and offer something about themselves that the animal did; for example, if my sheep talked about her favorite animal (which would of course be herself) then that's what would also be discussed by the wee one.
Okay...there's more, but I realize that I've probably thoroughly bored you so; I WENT ON AN ADVENTURE TODAY, GUYS. (yes, I know, I've yet to document my other adventure which was just as awesome; still waiting on FB friend requests/I'm a really lazy person)

Well, it started off as awkward business, what with signing contracts and security deposits for my dorm and whatnot, but when all that was taken care of me and Kenta (AIESECer in Japan and co-ordinator of my internship, hey Kenta I'm e-waving to you as you read this) went to 昭葉原  (Akihabara, aka おたく heaven, aka A PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HUGE NERDS WHEN IT COMES TO KITSCHY JAPANESE STUFF AKA ME AND PROBABLY YOU)

Me and Kenta basically discussed that when we get our first salary, that we're coming here and blowing it all. I seriously kid you not. I wanted to buy everything.

The streets in 昭葉原 were absolutely insane. I got really camera-happy. Oh! And I figured out how to turn off the shutter noise, which came quite in handy later on...ehehe you'll see whyyy. :)




I played a little mini-game in my head of "Spot the fashionista, make it look like you're taking a picture of a building, then cunningly zoom in." Similar to the whole "Omg Becky look at that hot guy okay pretend like you're taking a picture of me but then zoom in on him heehee"

Aww, yeahhhhhh.

In lieu of this post becoming ridiculously long, I'm gonna shove most of my pictures in Facebook, but I MUST tell you about ドンキホーテ (Don Quixote). Basically, it's like...a megamega superstore that was the mental equivalent to shaking hands with Japan and then having it HIT ME IN THE FACE. There are 8 floors, each filled with...literally everything you could possibly imagine. There were 3 floors dedicated to video games. And I'm talking about really intense video games. Think DDR but...like...super concentrated. 


I took this from an escalator, sorry for the lack of D

Snapshot of Kenta's back! And PANDAZ

21st Halloween/Birthday costume ideas? check.



...I feel like Japan just answered a question that EVERYONE WAS ASKING.
That adorable squishy thing that I took a picture with at the start of this little blurb is called ショボーン (Shoboun) which Kenta kindly explained to me: "You know...when you like, make a mistake, it's *insert sad face* Shoboun." . 

 To conclude, plastered all throughout this haven of crazy that I will most definitely return to to buy all the things, were photographs of this girl mega-super group called AKB48

What is this, I don't even.

But really.

There are 39 of them (lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll) and on the top floor of the ドンキホーテ is a concert hall where you can see them SING AND DANCE LIVE. Kenta told me that getting tickets was difficult, since they're so popular.


So, with the promise to return here MANY TIMES to get various nick knacks for myself (and for many of you gorgeous people reading this thing-a-majig), Kenta and I took the train home.


So the train was pretty crowded. We bypassed one that was SRSLY JAM-PACKED and Kenta's face literally went O__________O so we waited for the next one.

Harumph. Crowded.

Wait a second...is...is that....

PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES?!?????!?!!!!

I was beyond tickled. I almost just tapped him on the shoulder and compared techniques. Restraining myself is a skill that I am definitely learning here.

So aaaanywhoodle, I had to ride the train from 池袋 (Ikebukuro) to 大泉学園駅 (Oizumigakuen, whurr I live) all by myself since Kenta had to go home. He clearly explained to me how to not get lost, and even though he looked thoroughly freaked out, I think I did a pretty good job! After a while I even got comfortable enough to fiddle on my cell phone, which is pretty much what 99% of Japanese people do on trains. Just sit, and stare at their phones. I felt like I fit in  :D

 Oh! And Kenta bought me a mini ショボーン charm for my celly.

Okay; now I really fit in! :D

And this concludes what is probably my longest blog post so far. Is it crazy that I have about 3 more in my head that I have to jot down?? I LOVE MY NEW HOME, THINGS SHALL ONLY GET BETTER.

As usual, I hope you are all doing well. Let me know if I haven't given you my address yet! Let's be pen pals. <3


You think you know cute?! (hint: you don't.)


Y'all. Literally, I fall more in love with these children as the days go by. I'm a female, so I already have a cute quota that needs to be constantly filled to maintain functioning (fewer than 2 'awwww's a day? Cannot compute), and these precious darlings do not disappoint.

This post is going to be a little snippet of the kids' daily life at Mizuho. Perchance tomorrow when all the kids leave for the day and before I get accosted to do anything useful, I'll take quick snapshots of the building itself. It's absolutely gorgeous; woodfloors, bright walls, and windows everywhere. Just like a place that inhabits tiny humans should be. のぶこ先生 along with some of the other head teachers recently took a trip to the Boston area to see how Kindergartens are run in America, and see how Mizuho can be improved. But I sincerely tell you now that...honestly, the reverse trip should be made. I think American Kindergartens could learn a lot from how things go down in Japan.

For one, I know that this may be a bit of a culture gap, but regardless; the day starts off with the kids (impeccably dressed, you'll see this in a moment) looking the teacher in the eye and one by one, saying, "先生おはようございます。" (Good morning, teacher.) It's so simple, yet not only are the kids learning to be polite, but by taking the time to say good morning to their teacher, their relationship is a little more intimate. I can remember when I was a wee lass and having my teacher (Ms. Spies was her name, if I remember) give a general "Good morning boys and girls!" and then moving along. It would have been nice to get a special one-on-one greeting. WHY WASN'T I SPECIAL ENOUGH. WHY.

Anyway. I'll try not to get all...you know. Preachy. Really, I'll try. Hard. Very hard.

Anyway. Daily life in Mizuho. So after the kids are done greeting the teachers, they change from their formal wear into their play-clothes, complete with little hats that are color-coded according to class-(see; はるかちゃんHaruka-chan, on the left)

and are let loose to either run around in circles outside (children in general love this), or play with toys inside. I really can't figure out how all this energy can fit into these little bodies. On my first day, after the teachers explained that I came ALLLLLLLLLL THE WAY FROM AMERICA!!!!! ... : D : D (lol) to the kids, they sort of just paused, stared at me, then ran up to me, squealing and grabbing hold of my hands, begging me to play with them.

All together now:


They love playing with my hair. They're definitely not shy about tugging on my ponytail and feeling the braids. Things get awkward when they ask what it's made out of, so I usually just smile, put my hair in a higher ponytail, and proceed to tickle them. Crisis averted.

I can understand pretty much everything they say, until they venture into baby talk. Now, I'm used to American baby talk; lots of onomatopoetic noises and sentences that start borderline normal then end up in hilarious places. Japanese baby talk? There's nothing like it. I do a lot of smiling and patting on heads when the kids get really into it. But otherwise we're good. They try and teach me vocab that I'm lacking, and in return I offer whatever English I can. I'm not an official teacher yet until sometime in July, so for now I'm taking notes on how I'll run my class. I'll probably use a lot of songs, because these kids.are.musical.


Yeah. That's a mini marching band. I died all kinds of death when I saw the color guard.

The kids love to sing, too. Mizuho has 3 special songs (that I'm going to try and learn all the lyrics to, but it's hard since the kids's version of singing involves screaming on the top of their little lungs. adorable.): a song in the morning, which is about being excited for the school day, seeing all your friends again, and being happy. (wtf awwwww.) a song before lunch time, singing about the joys of food and being thankful (once again. w.t.f. so much happiness.) and a song at the end of the day, which is about saying goodbye to everyone, and excitement about doing this all again tomorrow. Oh, and all these songs are accompanied by a little dance. I'm gonna need to make a Youtube channel, because you really need to see this in action.

Oh oh oh! also, before the kids eat, to encourage patience, they have to wait a little bit before they can unwrap their precious bento boxes. But instead of just sitting and waiting, they all have to pretend like they're resting (read: sleeping, explanation for the first ridiculously cute photo of this post) and the teachers play this cutest lullaby tune as this is happening. Love it. Love all of it. There's always a little cheeky one that peeks while everyone else has their eyes closed. it's really a shame that my camera makes the most obnoxious noise when it takes pictures, because this is hilarious to spot if they don't know what I'm doing. Oh, and they also change into cute little yellow smocks so they don't get food everywhere (spoiler alert; it happens anyway.)

Peppered in with all the cute is, of course, learning (what?). The kids practice writing ひらがな(hiragana) and カタカナ (katakana), two versions of the same Japanese alphabet. The difference between the two is that  カタカナ is used to mimic words that aren't Japanese in origin, but have been adopted into the language. Also, to describe onomatopoetic (you have no idea how grateful I am for spellcheck for that word. Goodness.) sounds. After completing a writing practice, the kids raise their hands and random teachers will mill about and check to see how they're doing. You know how in America, we give stars to kids when they do things well? Yeah, in Japan they get curly-q clouds. JEALOUS.

The day ends with the kids dressing back up in their adora-garb (seen here)
 and then one-by-one saying goodbye to their 先生 (teacher), and running off. The kids also say goodbye to me, which is really cute. I normally say goodbye to them in both Japanese and English, but with some of the older kids (5, 6) we just go ahead with a "Bye-bye, see you!" and a hug. :)


In closing; today at Mizho, it was the birthday celebration for all the kids with June birthdays. The teeny tiny chairs in all the classrooms were set in a circle, with the birthday boy/girls having seats in the middle, with big chairs next to them for their mothers to sit. I didn't take pictures of this, however adorable, because I had a feeling my creeper-ness, which is at a pretty impressive level when I'm in possession of a camera around the babies, would have alarmed the mothers. Understandable.

What I was able to capture was the little ceremony in the ホール (hall; auditorium if you will.) All the birthday  boys/girls from the various classes introduced themselves to the whole Kindergarten (and to camcorder-wielding mommies in the back) and shared what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Lots of aspirations to be doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. One sweetieface wanted to be big. Don't worry; you'll be huge. HUGE.

In the future I'll have mini spotlights for the kids; what we did together that day, their likes/dislikes, and a picture of them doing something hilarious. (these are easy to take.)

:) Hope you're all well. Once I get paid, postcards shall be divvied! \o/



Hometown Glory

So I'm gonna jump around (because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want to, thank you very much) and make a little post about where I live ^_^

First off, I'm in 練馬区 (Nerima-ku), one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. Oh, right. Guess where the birthplace of Anime is?! No, really. Guess. GUESS.


*hem.* Anywhoodle, here's the view of my dorm from the outside.

Isn't it cute? Everything here is pretty much adorable. I live about a 5-10 minute walk from the Kindergarten, and it's pretty quiet here. のぶこ先生 (Nobuko-Sensei), the amazingly kind woman that owns みずほ幼稚園 (Mizuho Kindergarten, where I work) and the nearby preschool, lives about 3 doors down from me calls me each morning and we walk to the Kindergarten together. During the week when the weather's nice, I can use one of the bikes that the Kindergarten owns, so I'll be biking! Oh my goodness, how I've missed biking. So I'm excited about that. But raining season is still upon us, and while I really wouldn't mind just biking in the rain with my new umbrella (more on umbrellas and Japan a little later), for now I'm walking. So yeah, anyway. A little more about my dorm!

I live with a bunch of girls that are studying nearby, some at Keio, Some at Waseda, and some at Tokyo University. I'm the only American here (surprise, surprise...) and speak very little English here. It's been kind of cool getting to test out my Japanese. I'm able to understand pretty much everything, but am still nervous about the whole speaking Japanese in Japan thing. I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'll be fine :)

So, when you enter the dorm, you take off your outside shoes, put them in locker, and exchange them for slippers! Here are the ones they gave me, they are seriously adorable.

I get served breakfast and dinner daily, and eat lunch with the babies everyday at school. Big shocker on the menu; rice, fish, veggies, etc. Guys, I love this. If you're looking for a foolproof weight-loss plan, just move to Japan, I kid you not. Since the portions are pretty small and the food is light, I actually get hungry during the day (gasp) and eat only when necessary. Genius, right? What will they think of next?

There's a shower room, and also a 銭湯 (public bath). I've yet to muster up the courage to try the 銭湯, even though it's part of the culture here and I need to DEVOUR ALL THE CULTURE I CAN, etc. Yeah, stickign with showers for now. Anywhoodle, I live on the second floor! Now for the obligatory room pics...

It truly wouldn't be my room without some Robert Pattinson. Let's be real.

Desk area! I've somehow managed to keep it from being a complete mess (so far.) I'll have it crazy-decorated in a couple of weeks, no worries y'all.
I get my own balcony! Fun stuff. There's a clothesline where I'll hang my clothes to dry; the washer is for free, and the dryer costs 100(about $1) for 30 minutes, so yeah. Free laundry > not free laundry. I think it's pretty awesome, though. I've always liked seeing clothes outside. Plus now I'll smell like nature! Yay?

Note the adorable umbrella that I bought :) my first item purchase in jp. It's the neatest thing, because literally everyone in Japan owns an umbrella. But really, though. They don't play. There is not a single instance that it's rained since I've been here that I've seen anyone unprepared. And the umbrellas here are super efficient; just one button and they're up in about a second, and the same button is pressed and they're closed. Legit. Also on the inside of buildings and restaurants, there are always umbrella drying stands. Everything here just makes so much sense!

Balcony view pics!

So pretty and calm :)


So the other day as I was preparing to walk to 大泉学園駅 (Oizumi Gakuen Station) to meet Fei, the preschool English teacher for our adventure around Tokyo (contents of next blog post methinks?), I took some pictures of my cute little mini-neighborhood for your enjoyment. Mind you, I got lost about 3 times (I somehow ended up finding the station tho) partly because there are no street names in Japan; the buildings are numbered, but you literally just have to memorize where to turn. Lovely, huh?

 How gorgeous are the homes? A lot of the houses look like this; everything is all nice and compact. Check out the cute little garage-area! Just perfect.
The streets are rather narrow...to solve this issue of having 2 way traffic somehow fitting here, these badass cars are everywhere:

The whole time I was walking, I almost repeatedly got run over because I forgot that they drive on the left side here. It was partly funny, partly terrifying. Mostly terrifying. But it's ok, I survived.
Little mirrors so you can see if cars are rounding these REALLY tight corners.


I have pics of the station, but I'll smoosh those in with my post about my adventure to 高尾山 トリックアート美術館  (Trick Art Museum in Takao) and 新宿  (Shinjuku).

Hopefully next time I sit down to write this my jetlag will be fully eradicated. One can only hope.



TokyOMG (yeah, that just happened.)

There's something about taking two 8+ hour flights within the span of 24 hours that renders your brain into useless mush. I don't remember much about the flight to Tokyo, except that I somehow watched 2 movies, unbuckled my seatbelt and laid length-wise along my seat and the empty one next to me, and did a lot of smiling and nodding, which apparently freaked out the flight attendants. Cool.

Anywhoodle, as we were making the descent into my new home for the next 3 months (still cannot get over this btw), I quite literally had my nose pressed against the glass and drank in all the nighttime city lights. I would have taken pictures, but my camera is an electronic device and if you have those on while you're in the air the plane explodes. Or something.

First off: Everything here is so...CLEAN. And bright...and really shiny.
I kept looking around to see if I could spot some really innovative, crazy, useful contraption like a button that transports you straight to your luggage or something. My mind couldn't really piece together what was happening. Was I really...finally there? Was I still on planet earth? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

So I was surprised at how easy the whole customs/immigration thing was. I literally filled out a form, showed them my passport and Visa (it was so cute, the immigration dude's face lit up when I told him that I would be here for 3 months), got my luggage, then walked away. There was this really cool body temperature measuring...thing that I guess was there to make sure that you weren't a walking bomb...? Or something? Noo idea.

So I walk to the reception-looking area, and see 3 peeps holding up a colorful AIESEC sign (yayyyyy!). They, of course, were all incredibly adorably dressed and were all smiles. At this point I'm still incredibly (how many times can I say incredibly...) awkward because I'm nervous about speaking Japanese in Japan. Does...that make any sense? No? Okay, I figured. But yeah, I was terrified at the prospect that these last 2 years studying Japanese at Northwestern was actually leading up to me in Japan, speaking the language. But at the same time, I got a little frustrated when they spoke English because I wanted to practice, dammit!

I did one very exciting thing, which was have my very first currency exchange, yay yay yay yayyyy. The exchange rate is...kind of ridiculous. 5,000 Yen is only about $50, which is all I had on me at the time (whooooooo.) Still, seeing 5,000 anything was kind of a shocker. Never held that much money in my hand EVER, even if its worth was entirely different. It was a little trippy to have Kenta (the dude that coordinated my internship, aka one of my very first friends in Japan yayyyy) look at all the bills in my hand and go "....that's it?" /FAIL.

So, one drawback about being in the very center of Tokyo; literally, in order to get anywhere, you have to navigate this ridiculously confusing train system. But for real though, if I hear anyone complain about the CTA, I'll smack them (jk but not really.) I think in the span of 30 minutes we transferred trains about 5 times, went down one escalator in one station to a train, went up an escalator at another station to get on ANOTHER train, went up an elevator, waited 10 minutes, got on another train only to go DOWN an elevator onto another train...the first Japanese I spoke to my little reception party was "もう一度電車に乗っていますか??" which means "We're riding a train again?" (at least in my head that's what I meant to say, but I probably butchered it in my nervous-ness. Fail.) to which they laughed and explained that, yeah. Tokyo's train system is rull dumb.



I did the really nerdy thing and started reading every sign I came across. It still blew my mind that I was able to understand some of it!

And so concludes post #2. Up next in #3; Holly meets the childrens / Marching bands in Japan?