And so it all begins, for I have finally arrived in Japan and have very nearly finished orientation.
This week began with some insanity at the airport, namely that Cole and I would have to stay overnight in a hotel near the airport in order to make the flight to Japan that would depart from San Fransisco. This actually turned into our advantage, for we met up with several other study abroad participants while bumming around the airport looking as fabulous as we can at 5 am. After a scare with a plane delay out of O'Hare, it was relatively smooth sailing, minus my ADD on these long flights. And also the flight steward thinking that Cole and I were married and creating a joke that will last the duration of this study abroad.
We had free time when we got to the hotel, and since I had spotted my favorite restaurant chain, Saizeria, in the hotel lobby, I gathered a group to go and eat for cheap there. The program gave us about 65 dollars worth of yen to get us through the week, and that it did. I still have some left over on this fine, fine, insanely hot and humid Saturday. That night I collapsed in a heap in my hotel room, and decided to stay up and meet the other two girls that I would be rooming with for the next few days. One was a British girl from Leeds, Yorkshire, and the other a Buffalo native that happens to be studying in Hawaii at Manoa. They were both nice, and so we eventually fell asleep since jetlag was overwhelming us at that time.
The next day, according to our schedule, we were to have breakfast at 6:30am. An insanely early hour, you say? Nay, for jetlag wakes us up at 5am and then left us with nothing to do for an hour and a half. Wednesday was to be the campus orientation, and with that comes hours of lectures and seemingly needless information thrust upon us. However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, we just didn't know it at the time...
After the boring orientations, we were placed into groups of 3 ryugakusei (study abroad students) and 3 regular Konan students for the campus tour. My group really sucked, to be honest. They didn't talk and didn't seem to understand the point of taking the dumb ass gaijin around their precious campus. After this horrible showing, we, the dumb ass gaijin, were to witness a showing of 3 clubs the school offered. First was Kendo, pretty cool. Second was the Kenpo club, and I really paid attention to this one because the guy talking about his club was really cute and he knew English. Hayley has since tagged him as my Baby's Daddy, which is a lie, but she was right in that I have 9 months here and that is just enough time to make one. But little does she know I, unlike Japanese women, have birth control! Bwahaha. After this was the rock n roll club, which was insane in that they tried to mosh pit with only 5 people. After this, there was a dance off between these same rockers and the ryugakusei males. At first, it was merely a who is more macho pose off, but it slowly degraded into a pants off dance off of epic porportions. I daresay I saw a bit too much of the bassist at one point. There was also some epic, Braveheart-esque mooning going on, which always leads to a good time.
Second day was much better than the first, mostly because I was starting to get over my jetlag by this point. We scared several kiddies in the train station with our bizarrely blonde hair and pale skins. Today was the day we would get a downtown tour of Kobe with a DIFFERENT group of Konan students. I was pretty lucky, one member of my group was actually a penpal the school assigned me before I arrived here. Her name is Saya, and she is chill in my book. I also hung out with a guy named Hiroshi (also a chill guy), and a girl named Atsuko (so adroable!). They were without a doubt the chillest people I have met thus far here (besides stripper band, of couse). Of course I got their numbers, and I may go to a concert with Hiroshi soon, since we like the same bands.
Friday was the day we met our host families. As if to make us even more nervous than before, they made us wait several hours before they arrived in addition to a ceremony where we were all announced to the group. After this was a luncheon, at which some interesting things happened. One was that I met my friend's dorm support, who promptly threw my friend out of the way to come over and talk to me. I was laughing pretty hard by this point, only to have it happen 3 more times with three entirely different people. Oh well, I guess I walked into that one.
My host family is....much more preppy than I, though quite rich. I have my own floor in the house to myself, my own shower and everything, in addition to being about 20 minutes from the school by foot. Thus far they have been nice to me, but I am sure in some ways I drive them crazy since I am a bit picky and also desperately needed a cellphone, only to have immense confusion when they drove me out to the store and not buy one... Ooops. I met their nephew today, whose name is unfortunately the same as my ex. How ironic.
That is my life in a nutshell thus far, I will post some pictures later!