Sunday, January 20

January 19th

The only reason I’m blogging right now is because I promised at the beginning of my blog that I would do my best to be honest, and it would be dishonest to leave this part out. I had such a good day (more about it later), but right now, I’m sitting on my bed, crying and thinking that I’d give the world to be home right now. I’m alone, I rarely see any of the friends I made on the first day, I haven’t had a real English conversation in a week, and I want my bed and my internet and my phone and my room and my stuff and my friends and my family. I was so excited about the great opportunity to go on an adventure to Japan. I always say that nothing ever really scares me or deters me, and that I can do anything. I’m not sure I can do this. I’m sure that I’ll meet more people, I’ll learn more Japanese, and things will get better, but right now, I just want to go home. I want a hug from my Mommy. I want someone, anyone, to put their arms around me and tell me (in perfect English) that it’s okay to cry and everything’s going to be okay because we’re going to be home in a couple hours. I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate it, because I act like/tell myself that I can handle anything. But right now, I’m not handling. I don’t want to be a grownup anymore, I want to be two years old – I want my only cares to be which candy I pick and whether I want to have apple or orange juice. I can’t give up – I won’t give up, I will not give up. But I really really really want to. I want to change my mind and go home. I don’t want anymore adventures or challenges or opportunities to grow as a person. I’m done travelling the world and seeing new things and experiencing new things. I’ve had my fill, I’ve had enough. I’ve seen Japan, now I want to go home. I’m not confident, I’m not brave, I’m not strong. I thought I was, but I’m not.

I was going to watch a movie - well, my movie didn’t work, but I did manage to stop the never-ending flow of despair. I am now an expert at Minesweeper and Pinball and Spider Solitaire. I also have some hope because I asked one of the girls if her or the other girls had internet at the dormitory, and she said, ‘Yes’. Her English is minimal and she seemed like she was in a hurry, so I’m going to ask another one of the girls tomorrow, hopefully. They’re never home! I’m not surprised, I was rarely home in Canada. Now I’m always ‘home’ if I’m not at work. That’s not entirely true, I do some exploring on my own. Today I ventured onto the train and to Yao Station. I explored Seibu and Ario – malls. Whoever told me that I wouldn’t be able to buy anything I was used to in Japan was definitely wrong. Anything you could ever hope to find in Canada, I found in both these malls. The clothes are styled a little differently, and I tried on a pair of ‘Large’ boots that were too small, but other than that, it’s basically the same. Oh, and the Japanese characters everywhere accompanied by a definite lack of English characters. The first store I saw when I walked in was….The Body Shop! I was so thrilled, I almost jumped. I may have been a little bouncy. I also managed to find a craft store that seemed like it did lessons or some kind of group (maybe I’ll join it, if I can figure out what it is). The store had beads and yarn and cross stiching and buttons and fabric – everything! I’m trying to figure out what project I’d like to start with, and if as soon as I do, I’ll suddenly become too busy to work on it (too busy seems pretty unimaginable, at this point). I found McDonalds, KFC, even a Denny’s! McDonalds was definitely not worth it. The burger was even smaller than Canada’s (imagine that), and it had some kind of weird sauce on it that gave it a decisively Asian flavor. However, finding where McDonalds was is an interesting story. Having finished exploring Seibu, I was wandering somewhat aimlessly to try to find Ario or McDonalds. A random guy stopped me, and I thought he was talking English, but wasn’t sure. He was, and he wanted to know if he could talk to me for a few minutes….okay….I was thinking, “Maybe this is a survey? He certainly picked the wrong person for it.” Turns out, he just wanted to talk. He actually wanted me to go to a coffee shop with him and talk…hm…sketchy. So I told him that I was looking for McDonalds, and maybe he could tell me where it was. He started to, then said he would take me there. I know what you’re thinking. Going with a strange person = not a very good idea. Going with a strange person in a strange city = bad idea. Going with a strange person in a strange country = very bad idea. But the area was very public and I made up my mind not to go anywhere without lots of people, and I did want McDonalds. He spoke decent English and asked me where I was from and what I was doing in Japan. I told him I was from Vancouver in Canada (he said he had two friends there and had heard it was a nice city). I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell him that I was from Kelowna – I know, it’s literally half-a-world away, but why not play it super safe. I also told him I was working in Japan, and he asked if I was teaching English. I told him I was doing engineering (he said I was a smart woman), but when he asked what company I worked for, I was definitely sure that I didn’t want to tell him that. So I lied (I felt bad) and told him I couldn’t remember the name because it was a Japanese name which is hard to remember (it’s true that Japanese names are hard to remember). He asked if I missed my friends and family, etc, and then we saw McDonalds. He shook my hand and told me that it was nice to meet met and maybe he would see me again. And I went for lunch. It was very strange…I wasn’t sure why he wanted to talk to me. His English was strange, even for Japanese English, and he was kind of…not creepy or sketchy, just…weird. It was definitely an adventure for the books. Or the blog. After lunch, I explored Ario and bought groceries, then went home. Buying groceries is very difficult. I ended up buying spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, apples, bread, tomatoes, and yoghurt. It’s hard to figure out what to buy that I can actually use for cooking (my Asian cooking skills are limited) and that won’t cost me a fortune. The remainder of my day has been spent sitting in my room listening to music and playing games. Hopefully after tomorrow, when I get a phone, I can find a life, too. I hope whoever reads these blog posts isn’t bored by the end of them, I’ve realized how long some of them are. Oh well. I always was a wordy person. I’m going to go to bed so I don’t go to the corner store and buy the chocolate that I’m craving. G’nite!

PS - In the photos with this post, notice all the bicycles, outside the mall! This is outside Ario - a shopping center. There's rows and rows and rows of them, everywhere! The other photo is a train map in one of the stations.

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