Thursday, November 28, 2002

I passed the reading portion of the exam, I failed the writing portion by 5 points....ugh! But apparently Hidaka sensei said we can take the next higher level test next month, so that`s kewl.

On an even brighter note, my 23rd birthday is tomorrow....I still can`t believe that I will be spending a birthday here in Japan. I can believe even less that today is Thanksgiving....my first thanksgiving away from home....and it will be my first Christmas away from home. However, we are forming preliminary plans for Christmas...skiing in Nagano....perhaps, perhaps...it sounds good....but I don`t know if I will ski....last time I went it was about eight years ago and I did nothing but fall on my ass....well, we will see...I may give it another change. Anywayz, tomorrow I was planning to invite some people to dinner at Kitchinto...a cool looking restaurant with a great atmosphere and relatively cheap prices....but I hope we can all sit together. Afterwards, I was thinking about going to the Irish Pub in Hachioji....I`m really glad because I won`t have to work tomorrow....I had Tom substitute for me tomorrow (Thanks Tom!) so I wouldn`t have to work on my birthday. Anywayz, I am really tired if you haven`t guessed already from my writing....oyasumi....

Sunday, November 24, 2002

"Half of what I say is meaningless....but I say it just to reach you..."
-John Lennon

Today I took my first kanji test and it went much better than I thought, considering that I didn`t study very thoroughly for it. But I still don`t know whether I passed or not. Either way, it is such a relief that the test is done and over with.

Last week, I bought my first article of clothing in Japan: a pair of pajamas. Still fuming over the 2900 yen price, but it could be worse. And this weekend, I actually bought myself a sweater and a turtleneck...and this was while going shopping with three other guys! Ironic isn`t it? The thing was, that in spite of the studying I had to do, I joined Tomi, Brian, and Jojit at the eki on Saturday while they looked for winter coats. The store, Casual House 306, has mostly clothes for men, but it is so cheap, that I couldn`t pass up the opportunity to get something from the women`s section, so I got a brown sweater. They didn`t have white turtlenecks there so we went to Uniqlo, where I got my turtleneck and Tomi got a down jacket. Later, we went to dinner at a restaurant called Skylark and we had a pretty good time just talking about all sorts of things.

Last Thursday, I went with the other foreign exchange students to see a kabuki play. It was quite an interesting experience....it is something that is very different from what I (and probably the other foreign students) am used to. The play lasted 5 hours and it was only the second half of the complete play!! Most people left either after the first or second act, but I was fascinated by the scenery, the costumes, the music...bascially how strange and different kabuki is from the Western theater. But still, it was rather tiring since it lasted so long. Afterwards Don and I joined Tsveti, Tomi, Jojit, and Brian, who had all left after the first act, in a place called Omote-sando. God, Mariana, how I wish you were here....you would have gone into spasms seeing all those stores! We walked down this avenue that had all these posh stores like Chanel, Gucci, United Colors of Bennetton....I almost want to say that that area was ritzier than the Champs-d`Elysees, which is kinda touristy in comparison. The buildings on one side of the street reminded me so much of New York. We all had dinner at this American-style restaurant called Shakeys, which was very good. Then we walked to Harajuku and browsed the stores there. Later, we (except for Tomi) went to Roppongi, where we were gonna go clubbing all night. I was hesitant about it, but the others kept saying "It`ll be fun!" and I figured I would have fun once I relaxed so I went. Still, I kept dreading the fact that I would have to stay up all night. We went to a club called Lexington Queen, which seemed all right, but there were mostly girls there because it was ladies night (but I only had to pay 1000 yen for cover charge). But I kept thinking whether I could make the last train to Hachioji if I left right away. Apparently, Tsveti felt the same way so we decided to make a run for it. We were so afraid that we weren`t going to make the last train and would be forced to wander around Shinjuku all night. We barely made the last train, and that was with us running as fast as we could through the Shinkjuku train station. You cannot imagine our relief. We were so glad that we were going to make it back to our dorm. I emailed Tomi, "Tomi, I`m coming home!" in reference to Ozzy`s "Mama I`m Coming Home". The next day, Jojit and Brian told us that after Tsveti and I left, Leonardo DiCaprio actually went to the club, along with some assorted male models. I wasn`t very heartbroken about it because I`ve never cared much for Leonardo DiCaprio. And according to J and B, he looked kinda fat anyway. Not that it should matter whether someone is fat or not--it`s just that he`s supposed to be some sort of sex symbol--or was supposed to be. :-P

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