Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quickie Announcement

I forgot to mention, this Friday I'll be leaving for Singapore and Shanghai and won't be back until August 4th. I'm not sure if I'll have internet access while I'm away, but if I manage to steal someone's WiFi, I'll try to update with something.

And to end this super short post on a funny note, I had a funny conversation with my friend (whom I'm visiting in Singapore and will be going to Shanghai with) about what to bring to Singapore:

me: so what things should i bring?
M: sunblock, sunglasses, an AC unit
 me: hahah
  is it really bad right now?
 M: it was better today
  you never know uh. bring your tissues
  did you want to go clubbing?
  if so, bring a set of clothes for that
 me: hahah
have you gone clubbing?
 M: wednesdays are ladies night so it's free entry for girls, which blows
  you can buy me drinks that night
bring something to keep yourself entertained when i have to work don't bring drugs cuz they'll hang youbring me toothpaste please
  cuz airport security took mine
 M: i was so pissed offme: what have you been using til now??
 Michael: it just got taken a couple days ago
 i have like a 4 day supply of toothpaste the plane gave me on my flight into asia a month ago
Made in only...what?

Day 114: Gion Matsuri

Last Saturday (the one after the Saturday mentioned in the last post, it's all very confusing I know), I went to the Gion Festival, one of the most famous festivals in Kyoto. I think the festival runs for most of the month of July, but the day I went was its peak day as it was holding its parade that day. Being peak day, I think it's safe to assume that that day would also be the most crowded. It also peaked 95 degrees that day and I was wearing a yukata. I should've just wore a sign, "Death, take me now."

Not long after we arrived, we made the mistake of trying to follow the parade. What followed was the craziest experience I never want to experience again. We ended up in a gargantuan crowd of people trying to bottleneck through this small street corner. I was smushed on all sides. It was like that scene in Star Wars when Luke & Co. were stuck in that garbage compactor and were about to be flattened into pancakes. Except, instead of shushing through unidentifiable waste fluid (which had to had that garbage monster's #1's and #2's swirling around in there), I was shushing around in the sweat of 40+ people. I haven't decided which one's worst yet. And my hair, which I had taken the time to curl in the morning, was reduced into swiggles. Boo.

A crapload of people.


This was placed in front of a cemetery. No joke.

Look Mommy, I took a nice picture for you.
...'Cos otherwise, I would never do this. 

While we were walking around, we happened upon this place and went inside (I needed air conditioning). And then I got free admission because I was wearing a yukata. Nyahaha,
And there, I bought this! :

Whee!~ Actually, the little guy on the left I bought separately at a Jump! Store at USJ, But the other two were the last ones in the vending machine inside the museum, so I decided to buy both. However, I thought the plastic container had Ichigo which was why I decided to buy both, but I was extremely disappointed when I opened it. Blargh, I really want Ichigo. 

Yeah, I'm a nerd, what's your point?

Since I touched on it earlier, I thought I'd take a quick moment to talk about the difference between a yukata and a kimono. People tend to mix the two and just assume that a yukata is also a kimono, but there's actually a significant difference between the two. 

A yukata

The yukata is the casual summer equivalent of the kimono. It only has one layer and is typically made of a lightweight cotton. You usually see people wearing them during festivals, firework displays, or any other kind of summer events. 

A kimono.

A kimono usually consists of multiple layers and is significantly heavier (and more expensive) and fancier than the yukata. I'm not sure what they're usually made of, but I wanna say silk. You rarely ever see young women wear kimonos during the year. I believe the only time a young person would be seen wearing a kimono is when they've turned 20 and it's January, which is when the Coming of Age ceremony is held. I think I've only seen one or two young people wear kimonos, and everyone else are usually in their 40s or 50s

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 112

Last Saturday, my host mom bought tickets to a kabuki play for me, my host sister, and the French exchange student, who at the time was staying with us for two weeks. It was the weekend right before my finals week and I agreed to go to it because I thought it would be an interesting experience and my host mom told me it'd be only two hours. Then, the day before the play, she told me it would be about five hours, starting from 4pm to 9pm.


And I fell asleep for the majority of it as well. It was time well spent.

Outside the theater.

Last Thursday was my last day of school and at night we had a graduation ceremony/good-bye party for the exchange students who were leaving. After class, E and I walked back to her place to get ready and it wasn't long before her desk was covered with makeup, makeup brushes, and curling irons. It reminded me of how back in the States, whenever I went out with my friends, our rooms would explode into a mess of makeup, clothes, and hair products with the music blasting. 


Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 105: Online Shopping

Last night while I was busy not studying, I started looking at Western clothing shopping sites and it made me sad seeing all these cute clothes that I wanted but couldn't buy. Oh, and, how you torture me so (yes I still shop at American Eagle shut up). When I went on the Aldo website, I started wondering if I was subconsciously masochistic because of the pain I was putting myself through looking at all the purtyy shooessss!

Who would like to prove their love for me and in return win my undying adoration?

Look! Look how pretty! :(
Price: my liver. 

Looking at these shoes convinces me that the nerves in my feet are unnecessary.
Price: a kidney and a half.

Still in the midst of finals. I would also like to mention that today's weather was ridiculous. I'm still annoyed about it so I shall divulge no further.

Phone Pic: At USJ while I was waiting in line to get on a roller coaster, a staff member handed me rubber bands to strap my flip flops to my feet. I realized why when I climbed into my seat and saw my feet dangling a good four inches from the ground. I wonder who got smacked in the head by a stray shoe for them to come up with this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 104: Universal Studios Japan

On Sunday, I went to Universal Studios Japan with some friends. The weather forecasts had been saying for days that it was going to rain but our youthful stubbornness made us wait until Sunday morning to decide if we would cancel or not. Sunday morning was pretty cloudy which I was glad to see because I hoping that would keep people from going to USJ that day (as Sundays are usually USJ's busiest days). And I was kind of right because it wasn't as crowded as it might have been if it was sunny, but there was still a good amount of people.

Then around midday, the clouds high tailed it out of there and then the sun smacked us around with its death rays. I have multicolored tans.

My favorite ride was their newest ride, Space Fantasy. Although I think its biggest advantage was its novelty as I had no idea what to expect when getting on (which was why I enjoyed it so much). 

Sponsored by docomo.


* I posted the rest of my USJ photos on facebook for those who are interested.

At the end of the day, I bought a Cookie Monster plushie. So now Bob has a friend.


Given the direction of his gaze (or one of his eyes), 
I think Cookie Monster's intentions have ulterior motives.

I haven't been to a theme park in a while so that day was a lot of fun. It made me really want to go to Tokyo Disneyland and/or Tokyo Sea. The problem right now is finding the time and money to do so. However, I think I will go to USJ again in October because I hear that they have a Halloween themed event. Although I don't really  know why I want to go since I hate horror movies and can easily get the shit scared out of me. 

In other news, this week is the last week of spring semester as well as finals week, so there's a possibility of a surge of updates as I try to find ways not to study and procrastinate. 

And I think I have a cold. -_-

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 96: Okashi

Last Saturday I went to Kyoto on a class trip. It was humid, rainy, and uncomfortable. But at the end of the trip, we went into an okashi (お菓子) shop (where the air conditioning was blasting, yay) and made our own okashi. Okashi are Japanese sweets that you usually eat with tea. Since the tea is usually bitter, the sweets are very...well, sweet to balance out the bitterness of the tea.


Turned into...

And then this turns into...

The final product:

Today I met up with my friend, N, who's here in Japan on an internship, and we went around Umeda and Namba. We also took a quick look in Amerikamura, which translates to "American Village". There's even a small scale version of the Statue of Liberty. Anyways, by the time we started walking through there, the rain started pouring and I remembered to snap a picture. 

And I would like to end this post with a photo of one of Japan's most unnecessary products:

If you can't tell, that's a spritzer inside.