Thursday, January 16, 2003

Ugh...not again...(Don and Tsveti know what I`m talkin` about!!)

"When you feel it in your body

You found somebody who makes you change your ways

Like hanging with your crew

Said you act like you're ready

But you don't really know

And everything in your past - you wanna let it go

I've been there, done it, f**ked around

After all that - this is what I found

Nobody wants to be alone

If you're touched by the words in this song

Then baby...

You got it, you got it bad

When you're on the phone

Hang up and you call right back

You got it, you got it bad

If you miss a day without your friend

Your whole life's off track

You know you got it bad when you're stuck in the house

You don't wanna have fun

It's all you think about

You got it bad when you're out with someone

But you keep on thinkin' bout somebody else

You got it bad"

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

It`s been a while since I last wrote....

Even though New Year`s Eve was dissapointing, New Year`s Day was a lot better. Soka University held a New Year`s dinner at Honbuto`s 13th floor (lucky floor, eh?). When we got there, traditional Japanese food was laid out on nicely decorated tables. The cafeteria itself was decorated with colorful kites, which I guess is traditional New Year`s decoration, but I`m just guessing. The dinner itself was simply delicious. We had sushi, nabemono (basically, a stew made by putting stuff like udon, mushrooms, vegetables, shrimp, and fish into a heated pot that`s placed on the table), and a variety of fish, chicken, squid, and pickled vegetables placed on a traditional laquered box. We also had mochi which is rice paste eaten on New Year`s Day. I really liked it but the stuff is really chewy so you had to be careful when eating it. I heard later on that there were three senior citizens in the Tokyo area who choked to death on mochi. It just seems so absurd... Anyways, it was really nice, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate New Year`s the traditional Japanese way. Unfortunately, contrary to the rumors, we did not receive otoshidama or a New Year`s gift of cash. I don`t mean to sound ungrateful, but we think it`s because even the university is being affected by the troubled Japanese economy. Who knows? But we did get some really delicious chocolate chip cookies made with Hershey`s chocolate and some Hershey kisses.

The next few days after New Year`s were spent pretty much doing nothing. I would get up on the average at 1pm (but interrupting my sleep at 10:30 am to take a shower before shower hours ended) and pretty much stay in my room for most of the day and night. However, I was able to catch up on writing Christmas cards to people at home. Tsveti and I finally gave in and got a video rental card and watched "Vanilla Sky" and "Ever After".

The 8th was Tsveti`s birthday. She had wanted to go to Yokohama for her birthday but decided instead to go to nearby Mt. Takao. So it was her, Tomi, Don, Tom, and I that ended up going. We took a short but leisurely train ride to Mt. Takao and then, after getting slightly lost, we took a cable car full of ojiisans and obaasans halfway up the mountain. Then we pretty much walked around and looked at the shrines and temples that were there. We walked on a mountain trail for a bit and stopped at a clearing with wooden benches and had lunch there. There was a nice view from the mountain of the nearby hills and of the suburban area. Tom declared it "ugly" but I cannot disagree, especially with the view of the urban sprawl`s ugly-looking buildings. But I don`t know....I like having a bird`s eye view even when the view isn`t the prettiest. Afterwards, we walked back down and took a chairlift to the bottom of the mountain. It was a little scary because you had no chairguard and you were high above the ground, but there was a wonderful view of the trees and land directly below Mt. Takao. We took a leisurely ride back to Hachioji, where Tsveti took us to a tea house on the second floor of the Keio station department store. It was not a traditional Japanese teahouse but a western style teahouse where they served tea, desserts, and light meals. I had, of course, peach tea with apple pie. We relaxed and had nice conversation. Over all, I had such a great time.

What else....oh yeah, classes started again on the 9th. On the 10th was the anxiously awaited for speech contest. Actually, it was just the E1 and E2 classes that gave speeches. The E4 class read the story of Kaguyahime (The Bamboo Princess) out loud and my class, the E3 class, did a voice over of one of our favorite Yan-san episodes. We were nervous because we kept messing up during practice runs, but we did well and we ended up being a hit. The speeches themselves were very good, but I wish I could have understood more of them :-( Our dear Tsveti ended up winning third place for her speech! Go Tsveti!

Also, Brian who was away for about three weeks visiting the US, came back on the 9th. As I had requested, he got me, not only the V05 shampoo I wanted, but the matching conditioner. And not only did he get me the Secret deodorant, but he got me two sticks of Secret Platinum Protection (which will be great for the sweltering Hachioji summer). I gotta have my American toiletries! hehe. He ended up getting something for everyone, which was very nice of him. But above all, we`re glad to have him back in Japan! It seems like it was a good trip for him and he got to visit many places.

Last but not least, I finally got my new student ID and dorm room key at the International Affairs office today. The other day I was able to go to City Hall and request a replacement Alien Registration card all by myself. And I have my new ATM card (which I was able to request all by myself). So it seems like I am getting my "life" (or at least my wallet affairs) back in order...

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