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31 May 2014 @ 05:35 pm
May: part 1  
I'm truly sorry for the delay of this post and I seriously don't have any good excuse.. Anyhow since it's been so long I thought I'd make the whole month of May into two posts. Which means this super long post will contain three weeks..

Monday (cinema):
まり-chan and I had decided to go see "the Amazing Spider-man 2” as it premiered here last Friday and neither of us had been to the cinema to see it yet. We left the house for Shinjuku around 10:30, what a place! As huge and amazing the cinemas were in SoCal I got to say I like this place. It’s like you stepped into a different world.



We saw the movie in 2D and it was a bit surprising yet I have to say I liked the first one better.
Then we had lunch at an Italian restaurant.



At home Mariko-san had started preparing for her karaoke party. She had invited some of her friends for some food and karaoke (though they only wanted to hear one guy and us “young” girls sing). Before me and あや-chan headed up for bed (まり-chan had left earlier since she had part-time in the morning), まり-chan had sung 2 English songs, あや-chan sang one K-Pop (Japanese version) and one fun Japanese song, I had been kinda forced in to singing about 5-7 Arashi songs as well as Ichibu to Zenbu by B’z and Eternally by Utada Hikaru. Now, I like Arashi and their songs but I’m absolutely rubbish at singing (them as well), so when they want me to sing songs I just kinda know the vers of without furigana (there were only hiragana over the kanji's normal Japanese people don’t know how to pronounce) it makes it really hard for me to tag along even during those small parts. There’s a difference in being able to read and being able to read so fast you can sing along to it.

But I had fun and that’s the main part. Also glad I left when I did because after that it seems to have going a bit over-board and the last person didn’t leave until 6am.

Tuesday (last day):
It’s the last day for my Russian friends, アナ-san and I had decided to meet up at 1pm, I don’t know why but in my head it was at noon, so when I was standing in the station at 12:10 had been waiting for about 40 minutes (yeah I was kinda early too..) I looked through the messages and realised I’ll have a lot of time to go by the post office before meeting her and save some time.

As I should have expected the post office was closed (it’s Golden Week for crying out loud!!) which meant I was back really early and decided to look for phone straps on the internet instead (since the good old fashioned looking with your eyes everywhere else didn’t seem to work for me). Found a couple on auction.. No way I’m doing an auction (nothing wrong with it I just don't see the point for me), so I’ll just have to keep on looking. I also got a glimpse of Keikarou’s straps, now I really got to get back there. Maybe I should call and ask if they’ve got some straps in the store before I go =P

アナ-san and I decided on an easy McDonalds lunch (that way we didn’t have to look for a place for an eternity..) before heading to the karaoke place. This time for アナ-san’s sake which meant I let her choose almost every song. No surprise here all we got was NEWS and Arashi (yes she’s a fan of Johnny’s West too, as of about a week ago, but since their single is so new it wasn’t in the system yet), and in the beginning we were both rubbish!

This machine had full furigana but remember when I said I couldn’t read fast enough to sing along.. Still a problem! Eventually we figured out we could kinda cheat and bring out our own romaji versions.. A HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who do those because it finally sounded like we were singing the songs we should and not just “na na na na na”-ing along.

As the place we went to the other day had called us about 10 minutes before our time was up we thought they’d do the same here, but no such luck. When we looked at the clock we’d already been there for about 2 hours and 20 minutes (our time was 2 hours) and I was running deeply late!
I was supposed to meet ヴィカ-san, セツ-san and ショウ-san (I think that’s the name I don’t seem to remember it at all.. I’m really sorry) at the time I left the karaoke place.

I had already told them beforehand I might be late because I was running it a bit close (not my choice though), on the train I talked to セツ-san and found out ヴィカ-san was late too and we had no way of contacting her. Though we both arrived kinda at the same time and we headed on over to Inokashira Kohen (no picnic today).



We walked around the park for some time (maybe an hour) before we though it got kind of boring and cold and wanted to do something else. When we walked out of the park we passed Niche (the hair salon in Last Friend), we kinda just stumbled upon it, I was looking around on the streets and found a sign that said Niche. Ehhh??!!! Really?? Then I remembered a map by pockysiana and figured it should be around here somewhere.



We walked along the tracks to Nishi-Ogikubo where we passed some interesting looking buildings. Then it was time for me to leave as I had to be home for dinner (and this time I wasn’t going to be late). And so I’ve said goodbye to my Russian friends I really hope they have a safe flight home tomorrow.




Wednesday (nothing but relax day):
I thought I’d get some homework done but that one kinda crashed as it took me a half day to organised and post my latest now up to date blog post. After that I just didn’t feel like start studying and so the time just ran away and I did absolutely nothing!!

It was a nice day =D
I even got my Cash Card..



Thursday (explore):
Since I’d been staying in all day yesterday it was time to do something. I went to Akihabara exited the exit towards the electric district, but as I’m absolutely rubbish at (I'm rubbish at a lot of things including) shopping, I kinda just followed the streets up and down for a few times and then started walking towards Ueno Park.



As I got to the park the heat had now arrived in Tokyo and it was hot. Kinda nice if you walked around the pools though since there was a wind breeze, small but yet..



In one of the tents on sight I picked up a small pack of yakisoba and then had to walk around the Zoo on the outside because I made a wrong turn.. (I was looking for another pond) Although I did pass a vending machine with Fanta pear and thought I’d try it out. But since I never really look and just push, my finger ended up on the button for Fanta Grape instead.



Eventually I found a nice spot in the sun near the ponds to eat my lunch (the grape wasn’t too bad actually). And then I continued my walk of the park. Got to the alley way and fountain (though the fountain wasn’t running) and now it was so hot I didn’t feel like staying there.



I originally thought I’d hop off the train at Iidabashi or the station before to not only visit the Canal Café but also Tokyo Dome City and the Moomin café but I was too tired to exit the train at the moment so I just went back home.


Friday (cocca):
My host mother is not only crazy about fabrics and patterns she also liked Shitsuren Chocolatier when it aired, so she asked me if I wanted to join her to Choco La Vie and buy some fabric. Hello!! Of course I was it was another drama sight on my list (also the sights in Yokohama is getting more and more).



We made our way to Ebisu Station (mainly because Mariko-san had the wrong address) and we started walking, as we get to the sight none of us can’t see anything at all so I pick up my phone too double check the location (I thought it’d be further away from the station.. and I was right). Mariko-san had managed to switch the two last numbers in address from 31-13 to 13-31, but not to worry it wasn’t far.



However since I wasn’t alone and we were kinda lost for a moment there, I don’t have a “how to get here” for you just yet.



After the Mariko-san had bought some fabric from the shop we decided to walk around a little bit and ended up in a café with huge open windows and was served a huge lunch!



Also found my free portable charger from SoftBank in the mail when we got back.




Saturday (Odaiba):
As the heat struck Tokyo I seem to have caught a terrible cold. But not to worry I’m still out in the sun trying to get my immune system back (we'll see how that one works out). And today しげ-san, Mariko-san and I made a trip to Odaiba.



Starting out, taking the monorail to the FujiTV building. Walk up to the roof (not much going on up here, though they were having concerts down on the ground (none of us had hear of any of the band that were playing though), on our way down we stopped in the middle of the building to look at their exhibition..



In this heat (measured up to 27 degrees Celsius at most during the day) we walked down to the Statue of Liberty copy to take some photos of it and the Rainbow Bridge before lunch (in the sun of course).



After lunch we headed down to the beach. Since it was Golden Week there was a lot going on, like shellfish fishing, a beach tennis competition, which had some horrible singers as intermission entertainment. We didn’t see them but we got to hear them all too well when we ate a soft cream just outside the competition area.



Sunday (Tokyo Tower):
My cold only seems to be getting worse and I guess for that reason my plans for the day would be incredibly stupid but the weather was great almost no clouds at all. That's rare at the moment so I decided to head on to Tokyo tower today. (Also because the couple is out playing tennis till late so I could stay there watching the city lights.)

My day started with me heading over to the Suginami Head Post office, apparently open 24/7, since my phone strap had arrived when we weren't home to sign the papers. Made a complete fool out of myself. I had two orders of business at the post office. One, pick up a package and, sign up for Johnny's Fan Club. And since I knew from the beginning I wouldn't be able to work the ATM out for the JFC payment I decided to head on over to the cashiers (like I usually do when I'm sending letters) but he just shook his head and told me I had to go to "0" for my package. I looked like a huge questionmark: "Zero?" and that I had to use the ATM for the sign up. "Ah, ATM.."

Haha, I guess the look on my face when he said ATM and my realisation I don't know enough Japanese made him come out and help me with everything. With a laugh he joined me at the ATM and pressed on all of the buttons telling me what to do (spoken Japanese I have barely no problem with and if I do they see it and use simpler words and sign language, which always works..). And then he followed me too the "Zero" both and told the guy I'm picking up a package and then left me. I thanked him the best I could and got my strap.



After this I definitely needed lunch, so I headed over to Le Petit Tonneau Café (as seen in Ryuusei No Kizuna (流星の絆) and Yamada Taro Monogatari (山田太郎物語)) but the lunch were pretty expensive so I made the weird decision to go to one of the Hard Rock Cafe restaurants instead (like that'd be less expensive.. guess again..). Since I'm one of those freaks (as well as the rest of my family) who just has to visit the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant in the city I'm visiting.



On my way I also passed the building used for JC Headquarters and Naoki’s proposal (as well as where they held their party) in Buzzer Beat.



After my lunch at Hard Rock I slowly walked to Tokyo Tower and inspired by yesterday morning's "news" coverage of the Love Expo (e.i. they run up the stairs instead of taking the elevator) and Soukon I decided to walk the 600 steps to the main observatory. I know what you're thinking, "is she really this crazy?? With a cold which makes her eye cry involuntarily??" Yes!



I even got a certificate for doing in it. I also had to pay the same price as if I had taken the elevator.. Now I felt like I was dead after the first 100 steps but then I guess I thought it was going to be like 1000 (even though I knew it was only 600) steps, so when I arrived I had the feeling of "already?".



Seeing as I was alone I didn't want to pay the extra money to go even further and it was still 2,5 hours till sunset. I walked around the observatory about 3 times before I sat down in the cafe (I had to buy a cheesecake and then stuff myself with it even though I was still full after my Hard Rock lunch). Wondering if I should go back home or not, I mean I couldn't sit in the café for another 1 hour and a half.



Then I found out the main observatory is split in two floors. I still had one more floor to explore!



Upstairs they had a souvenir shop and so one hours was gone. Kinda, it was a small shop with a great lot of people in it so took longer than it should have but still not an hour. I walked around the observatory a few laps and then sat down on one of the chairs. I could wait for about half an hour for the sunset and city lights.



So beautiful!!




Monday (cure this cold?):
After yesterday’s walk I stayed at home watching movies and dramas today.
And for some reason (not a weird one) my cold is now slowly disappearing.

Tuesday (Ebisu Garden Place):
As the last day of our Golden Week break あや-chan came back really early (like 5am or something) and we decided to see what all the tents and stuff at Yoyogi National Stadium was about. Unfortunately though they had taken it all down (they were putting it all up during Thursday and Friday last week when I passed with アナ-san and I saw they were still there when we passed on our way to Odaiba on Saturday.. But no.. We walked around the premises and found a bazaar before we decided to walk to Ebisu Garden Place, and pass Choco La Vie on the way.



As あや-chan hadn’t been there yet I took the detour to Choco La Vie (or as the name really is: Cocca) on our way to Ebisu Garden place. Now I wanted to see the stone in-front, as used for the meeting point in Hana Yori Dango. Unfortunately for me it’s Easter and they’d built an outdoor café around it, we went in taking a few picks, and I made a promise to come back during the winter time (afternoon and evening because that's when they’re lighting it up too..). #Except for my misfortune the place was absolutely radiant! So beautiful!



For “lunch” we stopped at a place called Mango Three Café in the Ebisu Station building. And we met a new friend in the line to the toilet. It’s nice when people come up asking if you want to be their friend because they hear you talk English and they want to learn.




Wednesday (school and hospital):
And so reality come crashing down and we found out we’ll have a test of the first 8 chapters (what we’ve studied since we got here) next week. We also got a new student from Bangladesh entering our class. I’m guessing he was put in our class since we’re beginners but he seems to be having trouble reading hiragana. Even イゴール-san and アレクサンドル-san who had trouble with Katakana when we first got here knew hiragana. (as イゴール-san, イリーナ-san and ビカ-san now left Japan our classroom seems to have gotten a lot bigger, think three people can do so much, well really just two with the new student).

After classes I followed セツ-san to the hospital to see how her boyfriend were doing. Seems he got it worse than me and caught TB during the break and were now doing tests. He had to wait for the blood results so we headed towards a SoftBank store for セツ-san to buy a phone (the SoftBank stores have Chinese speaking personnel).


Thursday (more new students):
I’m really sorry for what I’m about to say but I need to get it out or it’ll just grow a bigger irritation within me. So we got yet another set of two Bangladesh students (they all seem to be friends) and we’re now in two levels. One, is those who’ve been in this class since the beginning about a month ago who knows everything (or at least almost) in the book as well as the Kanji studied. Hiragana and Katakana is obvious for us, we may not be good at it or read them fast but we know how to. And then we have the Bangladesh students which doesn’t even seem to be able to read hiragana (I’m gonna get to their Kanji skills later on).


Friday (Ren-chan the cute and weird cat):
Got home pretty early which usually means Ren-chan wants to cuddle. This week he’s been really cuddly and weird as he’s waiting for me to follow him down to the couple’s bedroom and enter (the only room in the house I refuse to enter due to respect). Today when I turned around I found Ren-chan sitting in my door opening looking out. He wasn’t looking at me he was looking out onto the balcony. On the outside there’s a Korean Elementary School but you can’t see it if you’re as short as he is..



I’ve got no clue as for what he was doing..


Saturday (Handbag?? Yukie!):
Made up my mind, I’m buying the Apple Store Michael Kors wallet/handbag. So headed on towards the Apple Store in Shibuya to see if they had it in black.



They didn’t which meant I had to go to Ginza and why not walk to Harajuku and NHK while you’re at it.. So passed NHK and the huge bazaar and food market they had today on my way to Harajuku Station where I found posters of not only Ohno’s Kirin but also Johnny’s WEST and Dandy House poster with SMAP’s Kimura Takuya (very rare on the Sobu Line).



Unfortunately though the Ginza store didn’t have the bag in black either, so I’ll just have to order it online.. At least I got to see what it looks like and how well my phone would fit. On my way back home I passed a Hello Kitty store which also had a nail corner, I didn’t feel like looking for a place which could do cheap Disney nails so I booked a time for the next day.

Headed over to Walda9 (big cinema in Shinjuku) to check what movies they’d show on Wednesday so me and セツ-san could choose what we wanted to see. As I was in Shinjuku and I’m riding free from Okubo I decided to walk that short distance and also pass the 100円 shop on the way (to see if that had any chargers for my SoftBank phone). On my way to the store I just happened to pass Christon Café (used for Elena’s confession to Kurashina in Shitsuren Chocolatier).



If the weather allows it the couple will play tennis on Saturdays so my dinner was already on the table when I got back (they weren’t anticipating on coming back until after 11pm).

After dinner I went to Tachikawa to meet my friend Yukie (that’s where she live at the moment). We walked to IKEA and walked through it, not as many people now it’s not so newly opened any more. I bought some candy and we had a 50円 soft cream each. Yukie then dragged me to this Takoyaki stand she’s been wanting to try since she moved here (about the same time I came to Tokyo) but hadn’t had the courage to do so.




Sunday (new nails and Mother’s Day):
As I now had an appointment to make new nails I headed to Ginza (I was a little early so I had to walk around the mall for about half an hour to 45 minutes, I even had time to buy my mom a Mother’s Day card), on my way there I saw some kind of event. There was a lot of people dressed up like anime figures acting out some scene or something. I’m sorry I didn’t get any good pics of it.



I knew from the beginning this was going to be expensive, I mean it’s in Ginza, it’s a specialised shop and they seemed to be good. The starting price was 8000円 so I settled for two special fingers (one on each hand) and the nail artist told me it was going to be around 11 000円 (I say around because I can’t remember the exact price) but when we were finished she wrote down 19 800円. “Say what??” So the price we agreed on was only for the two fingers? And then I had to pay the ground as well?? Since it was different people who took the money and who did the nails all she could do was looking at the slip and see it was the same amount. So I paid.



As I got home Mariko-san was just as shocked as me and she decided to call the store and ask why they didn’t tell me everything and why they were so expensive. Turns out someone made a mistake and they would send me the money.

Mothers’s Day calls for celebration so Mariko-san’s son visited, he brought his fiancé and they made us dinner. Italian homemade pasta, very delicious!


Monday (nothing fun at all):
So a week ends and another begins. This is going to be one of those long boring study weeks starting today!



Tuesday (bag!):
Only interesting thing happening today was my bag arriving in the mail. And I made a pact with myself, not to open the package until I’d studied a hell of a lot.
Seems like I managed to do so =P




Wednesday (Cinema):
Had Kanji test today (not so special as we have them all the time at least once a week, it’s the Kanjis we’ve studied during the week), I did really good on both parts (writing the hiragana to the kanji and writing the kanji for the hiragana). The Bangladesh students however weren’t as lucky. We all studied these kanjis on Monday, learned them and were told we’re having a test on these on Wednesday but they didn’t seem to know them.

Their excuse for not knowing them was: “I’ve never studied kanji before”
So what?! Neither have I and I did fairly well today. We did go through it all, not so hard. All you need to do is remembering about 16 kanji.

Originally we had planned to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier but as it was only showing once a day and that was at 11pm and we have a test tomorrow we went with Frozen instead (セツ-san didn’t want to see a Japanese movie).

On my way home I found out they've changed the Kirin commercial on the trains. We can now see Sakurai Sho instead of Ohno Satoshi..



Thursday (money):
Have I ever told you guys when it comes to tests, I’m no good? Seriously, I’m not kidding, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more than a 90 on a test that really matters and to top it all of this time I had no clue what time the test would end so I didn’t have time to finish it.

Let’s just say I was completely rubbish!

At least I got one good thing out of today and that would be my money. Though I did have to work for that one as well.

When I got home the slip for pickup was in mailbox. So I headed on over to Post office to pick it up (almost walked in to the guard standing at the begging of the road as he wasn’t there when I got home. He was there because they were working further down the road so it was blocked off for cars and other motor vehicles, bikes and walking people would be able to pass as they can turn before the blockage. I also had trouble when I got back, just as I’m about to pass the guard there’s a delivery man trying to see the board behind the guard telling him if he should go there or not).

As I get to the post office (the right place this time) they tell me they don’t have the package since the delivery man is still out so I have to pick a time for delivery. Now this whole conversation is in Japanese except for when he confirms the time “5 o’clock to 7 o’clock” and looks as me for approval.




Friday (badminton):
And we’re back to normal again, セツ-san and I bought Chinese food bentos (we found the place earlier in the week when we didn’t know what to eat) and went to find a nice park to eat them in. We even found one! As we walked a different way back to school we found another park we have to visit, it was beautiful with all the green and flowers as well as a basketball court. As there were no wind in Okubo we picked ショウ-san up at school and headed back to their place (Asakadai).



Bought maccha cream puffs and tried to play badminton. Not so easy since in Asakadai it was very windy! Tried for a little bit inside their apartment complex entrance (in spite my complaints about not doing it inside).



Oh almost forgot we got yet another new student today. アンドレイ-san from Latvia, he switched from the afternoon classes (which means he’s been here just as long as the rest of the original class, I still don’t know about the Bangladesh people).


Saturday (Tokyo Disneyland):
あや-chan, まり-chan and I had planned this for ages (almost as soon as I got here). So at 8 am we made our way to the station to go to Tokyo Disneyland!!



This day is filled with standing in line and waiting. So we got there kinda late for some of the fast passes, and if someone would like to have our full day of what we did, ate and how long we waited just let me know.




Sunday (Sanja Matsuri):
As I got my "walking dinner" all over my clothes yesterday, my morning mission was to get the fried chicken stains off them. And I think I succeeded, LUCKY!!

I was then a bit late but managed to get about an hour at the Sanja Masturi.



Took the Subway/Metro to Asakusa and stepped out, followed the arcade and ended up in the middle of a mikoshi (portable shrine) carrying.



Continued to Asakusa shrine and bought myself a “snowcup” (shaved ice) and heard a lot of Swedish people, I guess they gather around shrines and festivals.



There you go: the first three weeks of May. As the month is coming to an end today I'm currently working on the next post but as my phone refuses to co-operate and synchronise with the computer (or the opposite way around I'm not so sure which one of them is the reluctant one to make the relationship to work is..). I now have a double amount of work to do just to get the pics in to the phone..

Anyhow hope you're all doing great in the heat.. We're measuring around 30 degrees Celsius today with almost no wind.. And I'm about to go out and enjoy it =D
 
 
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