I had a lot of fun this weekend. I had to wake up really early Saturday morning to meet Mei-Lien at Sendai Station. She was kind of late, but that was okay because she bought us breakfast from Mister Donuts. From there, we got on a train to... Fukunachi, I think. I spelled it wrong on the directions Grace gave to me, but we managed to make it anyway, with the help of the train conductor.
From there, we went to a local high school`s festival. It was a LOT of fun. We walked around and watched students perform in a court yard, in the hall ways, and listened to student bands in the auditorium. The best part by far, however, was the Male Synchronized Swimming Team. When I showed Abe-san some of what I had filmed, she told me that Male Synchro is really popular now because of a movie called Waterboys. In the California orientation, Mei-Lien, the rest of the YFU students, and I watched the beginning, but we never got to finish it. It was a really good movie, though, and I told her I wanted to watch the end, so she said we`ll rent it sometime.
Here`s a picture of the team:
They were absolutely hilarious. If I could upload the film, I would.
After the festival, we took a train to Ichibancho and met Astrid, where we went to karaoke and purikura again. Honestly, it NEVER gets old... just a little expensive, is all. When I went to music class the other day, Astrid said that she once asked her Japanese friend, "Why can all Japanese sing so well?" and the friend replied seriously, "Because we always go to karaoke."
It makes sense, actually. In fact, I think my voice is improving as well.
Mei-Lien had to leave so that she could go to a soccer game. Astrid, Grace, and I went back to Grace`s house in time for her host father`s birthday party. We had miniature grills on each table, and ate wonderful food. A girl named Maiko and her friend Rika were there as well.
Grace`s host family is very rich and very nice. The Japanese, supposedly, are very conservative - and yet, several times that night, I was hugged because I was "cute." The grandmother also gave me what seemed to be green lipstick, though it turns red when you put it on. (Why she had lipstick like that, I`m not sure.) She also gave Astrid and I kokeshi doll keychains.
(If you don`t like history, just skip this part. Kokeshi dolls, according to Grace, are dolls that were made in the days of ancient Japan. When there were famines, the village people would have to kill the children so that there would be enough food for others. Eventually, they supposedly went as far as actually eating the children as well. The dolls were created as little memoirs for the children who died to save others. Kind of creepy, yeah? But nowadays, the Japanese government has supposedly covered the story up so that the dolls can merely symbolize Japanese culture but not the Japanese history.)
The next day, Grace, Astrid, and I dressed up in lolita fashion - just for fun. Lolita is a serious fashion here in Japan and is extremely popular with teenagers... I guess being forced to a have a strict dress code 6 out of 7 days for so long has made a section of the teenagers silently rebel. I like the elaborate style, but I don`t think it really fits my personality. The blonde wig was hilarious, though!
Anyway, that day we basically did... you guessed it! Karaoke and purikura. It was especially fun since we were all dressed up, and Kaori and Ryoko from our class came as well.
Abe-san has been stressed, lately. Because Astrid is having such problems with her mother, I`m paranoid that Abe-san is having problems with me as well, but - because it`s Japanese culture - she simply isn`t telling me anything. I`ve been carefully reading all suggestions and clues, but the most she`s suggested lately is that I eat a chocolate with strawberry cheesecake filling. Maybe she`s truly stressed because of Yuzuru. After all, he`s leaving for America in the beginning of August, and he`s been having some... issues. He won`t study English, for example, because he always comes home so late.
Well, I`ve said a lot. Until next time!