Tag Archives: foreigners

Confused

11 Aug

I have been back in America for a week now.

There are many things that I find much different from when I was home in December.

Here are some more things that I am noticing this time around.

1. Every time I go to sit on the toilet… I feel like I am going to fall down. It just seems way lower than the toilets in Japan. Also… I always feel like I slam the toilet seat cover when I put it down because the one in my apartment is S.L.O.W.

2. Sometimes I get really nervous when I am in the car and I see a car make a left turn. I always think that they are going to smash another car head on. SCARY.

3. I confused people even when I talk in English. I forget words. I then end up rambling on and on about something because it is so exciting to be able to talk about whatever I want with whoever.

4. At church on Sunday, I was having a hard time singing the songs. I wasn’t moving my mouth fast enough and I wasn’t opening my mouth. I guess I have gotten used to singing songs in Japanese and English… but the English is slower.

5. I was watching television with my sister the other day and she was wanting to skip through all of the commercials. I told her to stop. I haven’t seen them so it was fun to watch them. WHO AM I? I always hated commercials.

This weekend I get to hang out with my bff and my two other bffs come into town next week.

I need to start taking some pictures. :/

 

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Tokyo Trains

31 May

This weekend I went to Tokyo to visit with my Japanese family. It was great.

I have known Yukari since I was 10 years old. She has seen me grow up and I always talked about how I would someday live in Japan and here I am! I love spending time with her and her family. She has 2 little boys, Rui who is 4 and Riku who is 1. Rui loves to talk to me in English and run around the house being silly.

She cooked me some great food and it was good for me to just be away for a weekend. It was very refreshing.

I also got to hang out with my dear friend Hiroko. She is awesome as well. We met up and ate at Hard Rock Cafe and chatted about life. That was also good. :]

But… before and after all of that happened, there was some train drama.

Train drama #1

I decided that I would get off of my Shinkansen at Omiya, the first stop in the Tokyo area, and get on another train that would take me to Yukari’s station. Well… that was just the beginning. I found out that I was able to get off and get onto the right line. I was sitting reading a book about Gladys Alyward. She was a missionary to China from England.

Anyway… I’m reading in the book about how she gets lost on the train and they kick her off of the train and she has to spend the night on the platform.

Well, as I’m reading that, the train that I am on stops. I look around and an announcement is made on the train. Everyone looks around and gets off. I stay seated with all of my stuff. Then a train official comes up to me, points at his watch then to me and then out of the door. I understood that he wanted me off of the train. So, I grab all of my stuff and get off and there I am on the platform. I have no idea where I am or when another train was to come. Finally the man came over to me and told me in Japanese that it would be 14 minutes. So, I sat down with all of my stuff and continued reading my book.

Thankfully another train came. So, I get back on the train. I look at my map and it shows that this line will take me all the way to Yukari’s station. Wrong once again. I get to Kashiwa station and everyone gets off once again. So, I sat there and no one came up to me. Then people get on and we continue on. THEN we end up back at the same station and we are moving in the opposite direction of where I want to be headed. Finally I get off of the train and think that I will go back to Kashiwa and figure out what is wrong. I sent Yukari an email saying that I was lost and she told me that I had to get off at Kashiwa and go up the stairs and back down on the other side of the platform. So… I do just that. sigh of relief.

Train drama #2

I meet my friend Hiroko at Ueno station. I am confident that my train will stop at Ueno and I can get on it to go back to Sendai. Well when it comes time for me to leave, we look at the time schedule and my train is not on it. We go to the station help and they tell us that my train does not stop at Ueno. UGH. So I have to get a new ticket and get a new train. Thankfully Hiroko was there to help me because I would have no idea how to do it. And Japan is just awesome because they gave me my money back because of the price difference even though it was my fault. ^.^ Happy!

So now, I know 2 new things.. 1. get off of the train at Kashiwa 2. check to make sure your train stops at the station you are at. :]

がいこくじん

1 Oct

Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I normally try to adapt to the culture.

Today was NOT that day.

It is October 1st and 71 degrees.

Oh and there is NO wind. :/ So all of that means that I will be sweating.

If you know me, you know that I am one of the warmest people to walk on the planet. I am usually ALWAYS hot. ugh.

Well today I ventured out to the post office. We all know how that experience went the first time.

Today I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. NO one else was wearing this. They all of course were wearing pants, long sleeve shirts, arm covers, hats and so on. AKA none of their skin was showing.

Since I was going to the post office I was carrying not one but TWO ginormous packages.

I cannot tell you how many people stared at me.

Once I got to the post office it was another round of stares and charades. I had to try to communicate to the girl that the two packages would be paid for separately.

Finally after spending uh… too much money, I left. Then I decided that I should treat myself to some Starbucks.

Let me tell you, I know how to order my Starbucks in Japanese. I am a pro at this now.

Once I left Starbucks I had my beverage in my hand. Here in Japan people don’t walk around and drink food or eat food. So, once again I am getting stared at. I am carrying my drink in my hand and wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

So I’m walking, walking, walking, sweating, walking, sweating and then I come to a group of children that are maybe 3 years old. They all of course are so precious and I make the weird faces at them and say “Konichiwa”. They are staring. The teachers are staring.

To sum this adventure up we will use 3 s’s.

1. Sweating

2. Starbucks

3. Staring

This is my life in Japan.

Swimming Pool

1 Aug

My friends found a swimming pool.

Today we ventured there.

Here is the rundown of what happened:

* Everyone must wear a swimming cap. It is like a uh… do rag. It doesn’t keep your hair from getting wet it just keeps your hair, well kinda, from not getting in the pool.

* I bought said swimming cap out of a vending machine. In this machine you could also purchase goggles.

* I bought my ticket to go into the pool out of a vending machine.

* The women’s locker room is on the left… in America it would be on the right. Oh and you have to take your shoes off once you enter the locker room.

* You put all of your stuff in a locker and take your swimming cap and towel out with you. When you are leaving the locker room there is a uh… “pool” that you can walk through to get wet. It looks more like a baptismal.

* Lifeguards… no they are Swimming Staff. They don’t have whistles or life rescue things either. There was actually only 1 Swimming Staff person out to watch the 3 Olympic size pools the entire time we were there.

* There was one slide… it was an elephant and it was only for kids. There was no diving board. The water was only about 4 feet deep.

* There was only 1, yes 1, beach chair.

The staff was very nice and helpful. There was one girl who knew English so she would always be sent to come tell us to get out of the pool for the 10 minute break that was actually only about 3 minutes. The Swimming Staff also would stand around and talk about us. We were quite the sight and I’m sure the talk of the day.

Thank you Japan for a marvelous swimming pool experience. I will be returning on Friday.

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