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Jul. 28th, 2006

(no subject)

So, I left Sendai today. Or, rather, yesterday, I suppose. For the first half of the trip, I was REALLY depressed. I kept thinking I would never see anyone ever again. But I refused to cry in front of Abe-san, Rika, and Yuzuru because I really look pathetic when I cry. I'm going to call them when I get home tomorrow.

But, anyway, I felt a lot better because I met everyone from the orientation on the airplane to San Francisco. I also met this adorable girl named Wendy from the Concordia program. She was wearing wonderful lolita clothes. I'll get a picture up later. I also got a one-day boyfriend, as immature as that sounds. He was probably one of the most amazing people I've ever met. Who knows? Maybe I'll have to dump Teppei-kun and track Joseph down to marry him.

I told my mother about Rotary over the phone, and she didn't oppose the idea... So Josh, Alex, and I might all go back within the next two years or so.

Okay, really tired. 24 hours of travelling... ugh. Bye and stuff.

Jul. 25th, 2006

(no subject)

Okay, so today I spent my morning with Astrid, Grace, Alex, and Mei-Lien. I basically bought some stuff. I felt REALLY bad because I selfishly got Grace and Astrid to take me ALL the way to the back of the shady streets just to see this Chinese store so that I could get Abe-san a present.

Anyway, after that, I went to a pool with Rika, Yuzuru, and two of his friends - who were, by the way, a complete drag because they didn`t say a single word to me. At ALL. I said, "はじめまして!" and they stared at me. A few minutes ago, they left and I said, "さようなら!たのしかった!" and they nodded to me. They avoided me the entire time, and Yuzuru ignored me too. Japanese guys are so bloody confusing. One second, they`re GREAT - and the next, they`re assholes. Still, I had a LOT of fun with Rika. We`ve grown really close these last few days.

I found out today that Abe-san is pretty upset at me because I`m always going out to karaoke and purikura with my friends. She kept saying that it`s bad for someone from the long-stay program to be doing that, but it was okay for me because I`m only here for six weeks... But Rika told me this afternoon that she`s a little angry. A little could really mean a LOT. I don`t know. I mean, I LOVE Japan... but I`m just not used to the part of the culture where you have to figure things out for yourself. I`m used to people telling me when they`re upset, and what I should do to fix it... I mean, I`ve been going out for SO long! That frustration must`ve been building up. I want to apologize, but not in front of Rika and Yuzuru who are - of course - always around, since this house is really small.

But anyway, I only have one day left, which will be dedicated to spending time with my family to make up to Abe-san, and also to show how grateful I am. I`ll be spending time with my friends also.

Okay, so right now, Yuzuru is sitting on his bed, staring at me blankly, which I guess is a sign that I ought to leave. But right now, I feel like being mean, so I`m going to waste time by writing everything I`m writing now.


Okay, that`s enough time, I guess. じゃね!

Jul. 24th, 2006


Yeah... there are going to be some spoilers.

デスノートを見た。大好きけど、エンヂングは好きじゃない。I mean, it was just like Pirates of the Caribbean! It just ended with me on the edge of my bloody seat! It was AFTERWARDS that Grace said, "Oh, didn`t I tell you guys? There`s a Part II..." ... that I won`t be able to see, because I`m going to be in damned America.

The guy was a complete asshole, though. I liked him, at first, because he was like a... vigilante, I think is the word? He was killing only the bad guys. But after a while, he started to kill off anyone who got in his way, and then after that, killing just became a game. I mean, he killed Shiroi! Just because he wanted to! I thought that L was going to be the bad guy, but in the end, everyone liked him more than the other guy... if only because he was so damned cute.

I`m really surprised I understood so much on my own, though. It was like with Nana and LoveCom... I only understood a few words here and there, and yet... I understood what was happening. Grace only had to explain two times, in fact. (I`m so proud of myself.)

After that, we went off to purikura, but Astrid had to go home early.

And then... off to karaoke! I`m such a horrible singer, but I really can`t help but love karaoke... even if I do torture everyone else. XDD

I was really sad, though, that I had to say goodbye to Nina - but maybe I`ll see her again when I come back to Japan. She noticed the same thing I did about Japanese guys, though: they`re really mysterious, and hard to read.

Okay, bye!

(no subject)

Yesterday, I went with Abe-san, Rika, and Yuzuru to a YFU orientation. Astrid, Alex, Mei-Lien, Nina, Kelly, Rebecca, and other people we didn`t know (but who are VERY nice) were there. It was a lot of fun! We did Taiko drumming, listened to talented people on the violin, trumpet, and flute-like-thing that is quite mysterious and - well - scary... And we watched two girls named Nichole and Daniela do a traditional Japanese dance.

We also helped to cook food. The yakisoba noodles were the best, but I was - once again - too chicken to try out the other food. I didn`t really know what they were, though. One of the dishes looked like fried coleslaw; another was fried rice on a stick with soy bean coating, I think.

Anyway, everyone loved everyone, so we wanted to go out to karaoke - ESPECIALLY me, since I wanted to show Kelly a good time... she seemed like she didn`t really have as much fun as the rest of us... but the mothers got worried, so we`ll just do that today.

After that, I went with Abe-san, Rika, Yuzuru, and Abe-san`s brother to a shopping mall in Izumi-Chuo. It was REALLY busy. So many people! But anyway, we went for some food for dinner, and I said I wanted meat, so they took me to that section... and what should Abe-san point at and say, "ゆずるとりかーだいすきですよ!"?

You guessed it. Cow tongue.

So I ate it. Half-way through, I realized that the only reason we Americans always wince at the thought of eating it is because we find it inhumane and disgusting to cut out and eat a tongue... But hey, it`s still just a part of the cow. Like another limb... or something.

I still didn`t really like it, though. I think it was the sauce.

What else? OH! I WATCHED NANA!

(Didn`t understand a single word.)

IT WAS SO COOL! I really liked... Nobu? Was that his name? He got drunk, in the beginning, and staggered around... And Christ, it looked just like the manga - I`m telling you. Some of the shots looked exactly like the covers. I loved it. Especially the songs. Glamorous Sky was the best by far, but hey - Trapnest was pretty good, too.

But the end was creepy. I don`t care if Hachi loved Trapnest, especially the long-haired guy, and always wanted to meet him. It`s just plain scary to have a man lean over you and whisper, "Welcome home," in a deep voice.

Anyway, picture time!

While we were driving to the orientation, I got a picture of this creepy fellow. The taxi driver, Abe-san, Rika, and Yuzuru thought I was strange for thinking the statue was scary... but it is! Especially since I can see it all the way from my school!

More pictures...
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Jul. 22nd, 2006

(no subject)

Today, I went out with Yuzuru and four of his friends. I don`t remember any of their names, though. (None of them was Yousuke, though, thank God.)

Anyway, they were all really nice... even though they were as shy as Yuzuru, at first. It was kind of funny because I think one of them might`ve asked, "Yuzuru, why is a gaijin following us?" before Yuzuru introduced me.

We went to a band concert where I THINK I might`ve seen Maiko play! I`m not sure, though, because I couldn`t hang around to see if it was her. We went to a lot of game centers, too. I`m really pissed off at myself, though, because - while they were all really nice - I couldn`t talk to them.


Because I don`t know Japanese!

Damn it, I should`ve studied more.

Anyway, I`m going to research CIEE and AFS as possible programs for me to return to Japan with next year.

Also: if Grace or Astrid or Mei-Lien happen to be reading this, do you guys know when we could possibly go out to buy gifts for our host families? I don`t want to go alone, but I don`t know if there will be any time on Monday.

Okay, バイバイ!

Jul. 20th, 2006


Today was my last day of school.

My class decided that they wanted to sing Let it Be as a good-bye present. After that, they gave me a present they had bought from the Loft. I decided not to open it until everyone had left, because I knew I would start crying.

The present was a really pretty wind chime and those cloths you tie around your head. Everyone from the class wrote a message for me. After that, Astrid gave me a yaoi manga she bought with a really cute keychain.

I know I`m not supposed to be counting the days until I`m leaving because that doesn`t help at all, but I`m really depressed that I only have 7 days left. I literally had the best time of my life here, and now I have to leave so soon. The only thought that helps, I guess, is the thought that I might be able to come back after high school (if my mom allows it.)

Well, it also helps to remember ラブーコン... which was one of THE funniest movies I`ve ever seen. I saw it today with the same girls who gave all of us gaijin a soumen party (I think that`s what it`s called.) They`re all really nice, so I`m excited that I get to see them again on Monday... we`ll hopefully be seeing Deathnote.

Anyway, Yuzuru has been a "naughty boy" and - as punishment - Abe-san made him shave his head. It`s actually kind of funny. But the point is that he`s trying to wallow in his depression in solitude (he really loved his hair), and I`m intruding by being on the computer in his room.


P.S.: If ANYONE makes a Toshi reference, I`ll grab your boobs! (Namely you, Grace... if you happen to be reading this.)


Jul. 17th, 2006

(no subject)

Yesterday, I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 with Nanami and Yuzuru. I think that Nanami was a little bit angry at me because I didn`t recognize her a week or so ago from the bus stop, but she warmed up again pretty quickly. She`s absolutely adorable! I need to take a picture of her.

As for the movie, I got PISSED OFF at the ending. Capitalistic bastards. Do the makers not care that they left over 5 million people worldwide on the edge of their goddamned seats?! I didn`t know how to express this to Yuzuru and Nanami, though, so I just said, "おわりエンヂング."

Anyway, after that, we went to the Shiogawa...Shiogama...? festival. The fireworks were AMAZING. Nanami kept calling me cute - I`m not sure why. I guess because I loved them so much. I`m upset at myself, though, because I forgot my camera.

Today, Yuzuru was supposed to take me out again, but he ditched me. He was also supposed to pick me up at 6:00 PM, but he didn`t do that, either. I wouldn`t care if it wasn`t for the fact that I was supposed to take pictures of the festival today, since I`ll definitely have my camera. But whatever. I shouldn`t assume that, just because I`m an exchange student, I should be the center of my host family`s lives. I hope he didn`t ditch me because of something I did, though. I have a hard time telling if I`ve done something wrong.

(Maybe I shouldn`t have pinched his ass. JOKE!)

Anyway, yeah... I`m a bit depressed because I`m leaving in about one week. Damn it all. I should`ve done the year program. I`m really going to miss everyone.

Kanako and her best friend (I can`t remember her name, whoops!) Kanako likes to grab Mei-Lien`s boobs. Mine too, sometimes. I don`t really mind anymore, though. In fact, I think I like it. (Yes, that was a joke too.)

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Jul. 13th, 2006

Really Short Update

I bought this, just because I think it`s so adorable.

Jul. 11th, 2006

(no subject)

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!

Jul. 6th, 2006

(no subject)

I finally took a buttload of pictures of my school. It`s REALLY beautiful.

Of course, I`m not the best photographer, but I tried to get a piece of the ginko forest and the man-made lake thing and the buildings.

Yesterday was Astrid`s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASTRID!), but her mom`s a bitch, so she couldn`t stay out very long. I managed to wave at a group of cute guys that were checking us out, though. =D

People say that there aren`t many foreigners in Sendai, but everytime I go out to Ichibancho, I see a group of black guys and other foreign exchange students. I guess they mean there aren`t as many foreigners as in, say, Tokyo.

The Japanese like to use foreigners in their commercials to sell products. They try to make the product seem more interesting and unique that way, I guess... but then, at the same time, they`ll also use the foreigners and have a Japanese person overcome the foreigner in some way. For example, there`s a commercial where a foreign blonde is playing chess (she`s white) against a Japanese girl (she`s black.) Black wins, of course. I`ve never seen a foreigner "win." So, I guess it`s a love-hate relationship when it comes to gaijin. Even my host mother, who absolutely LOVES Taipei and is learning Chinese, has a thing against the Chinese and the Koreans... though, I guess it`s more because in the news there has been a lot of stuff about kidnappings. She also explained to me that China was very dangerous.

Hmm... What else is there? Oh, well, I bought the Asian Kung-Fu Generation CD yesterday and absolutely LOVE it. I noticed that Yuzuru was eyeing it, but he never said anything. Later that night, he was playing some Asian Kung music on his cell phone - to lure me into his bedroom, I guess - and I asked him if he liked them, then lent him the CD for the night. We spoke for a while... rather, I asked a bunch of random questions and he either grunted with a nod or shook his head. Earlier that night, I watched Abe-san have a one-sided conversation with him (though he was definitely listening, because he nodded and smiled a lot.) It makes me wonder if that`s Yuzuru`s personality or if Japanese guys aren`t really supposed to talk to women openly. That`s why I asked Abe-san if Mei-Lien and I can go to Yuzuru`s school for a day... I also explained to her that school was boring because it was an all girl`s school, and she laughed. XD

Everyone else is talking about problems they`re having with their host parents, but I absolutely love her. Except for coming home late a couple of times, not eating all of my food, and always forgetting to wash my hands when I come home, she`s never had any problems, really. In fact, this morning, there was an earthquake - scared the crap out of me - and when she woke up, she made me feel safe. I guess it was the way she just kind of smiled, like it was no big deal.

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