Saturday, January 19

January 18th

I forgot to blog yesterday! I thought about it, decided to leave it until later, then forgot. My Japanese bath was a success…but short. It’s like a hottub with no chlorine. I couldn’t say in too long without feeling like I was boiling for miso soup. I wish I had a bathtub that big, though! Yesterday went okay – they tell you when you enter the program that six weeks in you’ll be homesick and tired of it and want to go home. I think that I was there the first week, and I’m starting to get over it. I still am homesick and kind of want to go home, but I feel less inclined to hop on a train to the airport. Hopefully once I learn more Japanese, get a phone and internet, and meet some other coops students, I’ll feel more at home. It strange, though, because usually I feel at home within a couple days when I move somewhere new. Although this is a bit more of an adjustment than Kelowna-Vancouver or Vancouver-Sparwood. A lady at work offered to teach me Japanese, once a week, for an hour. I think that will make a huge difference. Right now, I do a lot of smiling, bowing, bobbing my head, and tilting my head. It’s automatic now though, so I must be getting used to something. . It’s difficult to feel a part of the conversation when you don’t understand what’s being said – especially when it seems they’re talking about you! I have to give a presentation at the end of the month at work. There has to be a 3 minute introduction to myself in Japanese, then twelve minutes of discussing the research I will be doing while I’m here. Theoretically, I give a fully-Japanese presentation at the end of my term. My goal is to be able to do that. I have to head off to work…bye!

Are my blog posts sounding cheerier? Because I am definitely feeling more positive! I had an epiphany today. I was on a train on my way to work, sitting beside two guys who live in the dormitory and work at the same place I do. We were having a wonderful time trying to talk about music and where I could buy an iPod. They were laughing at me, and I was laughing at me, and they were laughing at themselves. It was a lot of fun! That’s when the epiphany occurred. I realized that this week, the best parts of every day have been at lunch – when I’m having half or eighth conversations with people. The rest of my week has been practically devoid of human interaction. Lightbulb!! I am a people person. I need human interaction. That’s why my week has been so crappy – I’ve been alone, doing everything alone, and having no one to talk to, all week. The rest of my day was very good – all because it started out with a half an hour of hanging out with some friends. The six people in my dormitory that I know all get home much later than me. Usually, when I get home at 7:30 ish, I’m starving, so I eat dinner right away (alone). Based on my epiphany, I am going to wait tonight and see if I can catch someone I know at dinner. So I’m killing time until 9pm. Dinner at 9pm. Wow.
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I got my bank card in the mail today and I will be getting a cellphone on Sunday. Hicky (I told him that his name was very funny in Canada) is going to help me on Sunday. Once I have a cellphone, I will be capable of contacting the other coop students in Osaka and in Japan. Yay for more friends…more interaction…more English!! The bad news is that to get internet, I need to have my alien registration card. My alien registration card will be ready on February 14th. Eww. A month without internet? When I heard that, I partially panicked. I’ve been so set on getting it this weekend. I have been emailing randomly from work, and I am going to ask Takemori-san on Monday if I can use the computer for internet before or after work until I get my own internet. I also might ask how much it would be to get internet on my phone, even just for the month. Then I could at least msn to people back in Canada. Can you Skype on a cellphone? I’d think so. Fyi…none of my posts will be edited after the day they’re written, so I’m sure when I actually get internet and get to post them, some of what I wrote will be very redundant or seem silly. So here I am, waiting for an hour to have dinner. At 9pm. Strange. In general, I’m feeling a lot more confident in my ability to survive 7 months in Japan, and overall feeling a lot more capable. My goal right now is to learn as much Japanese as I can. The people I interact with are practicing their limited English a lot, which means I don’t practice my limited Japanese as much as I should. On that note, I’m signing off to learn some Nihongo! :) Oo look at that. A smiley face. It just came out of my fingers – I must be feeling happier!!

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