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イマノ 
10th-Jun-2006 04:42 pm - Safely arrived~~
Thirty three hours later, I made it. (Of course, there's the time difference to factor in...)

I'm back in Japan, probably quicker than most people were expecting, least of all myself. Now that I'm here, I'm at a loss as to what to do. My friends are in school or busy, and my exchanger friends are all obviously gone home; even the Aussies and Brazilians have left.

Today my host mother and I went to a temple called Mandara-ji (some pictures and short (Japanese) description here), which is apparently the most popular temple in Konan, which I guess doesn't really say much, does it? But it is quite pretty, and apparently I missed both the cherry blossoms and the wisteria blooming. (Konan is apparently famous for wisteria, but I honestly wouldn't never have known if someone didn't tell me...) It is actually a small complex of different temples, the biggest being Mandara-ji itself. We stopped by a smaller temple, where the priests who tend to the dead live/have their temple. I don't know how to describe it really; basically these priests deal with the rites to do with dead people, not only praying but offering comfort to the living. I get the feeling that it is a monthly thing, not weekly like Christian church or whatever. At least with the Nakashimas, a Buddhist priest comes once a month, and my host mother is currently cleaning the washitsu (Japanese style room, where the altar is) in preparation for tomorrow.
Anyway, we went inside and okurisan came in, and subsequently offered tea. As random as this may appear, it happens quite often, especially when people know each other like my host mother and okurisan do. (I dont't know how to properly translate "okurisan", so I'm not going to bother. She basically tends to the temple) Thirty to forty minutes later we leave, after a conversation that I don't entirely follow but catch enough to wonder just how safe Japan really is. And the obligatory short talk on Canada, of course. It was good 抹茶, though. Yum.


So I'm back, and I'm not really sure what I feel right now. I think I should have gone with someone else, since it's much easier to decide things and cheaper to boot. And safer, of course. I'm a little nervous about travelling alone, but I'm definitely not going to mention that.
I have a cell phone again; I bought a pre-paid phone, so I can use when I come back later on. It's bright yellow, but it was the only flip phone they had for pre-paid. It's still nicer than Canadian phones, though. I just wish I could use it back home. 残念~
6th-Jun-2006 02:38 pm - Arashi...
Apparently Arashi 嵐 are filmin gin Kounan (my city in Japan).
Hmm. I wonder if they'll still be there in two days?
18th-Jan-2006 04:40 pm - À la claire fontaine; Traditionnel
À la claire fontaine
M'en allant promener
J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle
Que je m'y suis baigné

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle
Que je m'y suis baigné
Sous les feuilles d'un chêne
Je me suis fait sécher

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Sous les feuilles de chêne
Je me suis fait sécher
Sur la plus haute branche
Le rossignol chantait

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Sur la plus haute branche
Le rossignol chantait
Chante, rossignol, chante
Toi quias le coeur gai

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Chante, rossignol, chante
Toi quias le coeur gai
Tu as le coeur à rire
Moi je l'ai à pleurer

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Tu as le coeur à rire
Moi je l'ai à pleurer
J'ai perdu ma maîtresse
Sans l'avoir mérité

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

J'ai perdu ma maîtresse
Sans l'avoir mérité
Pour un bouquet de roses
Que je lui refusai

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Pour un bouquet de roses
Que je lui refusai
Je voudrais que la rose
Fût encore au rosier

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Je voudrais que la rose
Fût encore au rosier
Et moi et ma maîtresse
Dans les même amitiés

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai
28th-Dec-2005 09:09 pm
I've knocked my stapler off of its chair at least five times now. So, it's going to stay on the floor.
6th-Oct-2005 12:06 pm - Looking back on JAPAN
JAPAN: looking back...

I spent a year in a country that I never really knew anything about. When I chose Japan as my first choice for countries I didn’t know anything about it. I chose France for the opportunity to speak French, and same for Switzerland, even though there was such a small chance I’d even go to a French speaking part of the country.
But I chose Japan, and I got my first choice. I don’t know why I got it, when so few people apparently get their first choice. I wasn’t even all that eager for Japan, per say, and I know that there was a number of people who chose Japan. But I suppose France was so much more popular, there wasn’t much chance I’d get my second choice. When I got that call, only a few days after the December 4 interview, I was absolutely stunned. I wasn’t expecting to hear back for weeks, maybe not even until the new year. But they called me three days later, offering me the chance to go to Japan for a year.
To say I was stunned is a n understatement. I was floored, slack jawed, and oh so excited. This was something no one I knew had done. I’d never been off the continent, for that matter, and now I being given the chance to cross an entire ocean, go all the way around the world. By myself, of course. This was something I could do that no one else had, something special and different and just for me. Maybe that’s why I have such mixed feelings about all my friends going abroad now. Because Jen’s in Italy and Rachel’s in England and Marnie’s in Japan too. I did that, but now I’m stuck here. I know what they’re all doing, what they’re going through, how happy they can be. I want that happiness back, I guess. I guess I’m jealous of them. But I don’t think I’d go back and do it over. I’d do it, or something similar, again, but never over. The bad times and the good are what made it so memorable, so wonderful, that I wouldn’t change any of it, even if I could go back and know how it’d end. Maybe I could make myself like the first few months, appreciate them more at the very least. But in a way, all that homesickness and sadness I felt meant that I really came of it, and really appreciated the experience more when I got over it. I was honestly happy, even when it was just day to day school or whatever. I didn’t need to be going on trips or anything all the time, I was still happy to be in Japan, gong to Bihoku, living with my families, hanging out with my friends.
I guess because I can’t do any of that anymore is why it’s hit me so hard. Just like when I went over int eh first place, last Auguest, so am I redoing the “nothing’s the same” situation again. Only this time I’m not in Japan, I haven’t got newly made friends, or anything like that. I have a boring city that I cannot stand, and a school like that is pathetic at best. I do nothing in my free time, I don’t speak to anyone or go out with anyone or do anything interesting. Even if it was just going to Nagoya to meet up with Allison and Morgan and Sarah, it was still something that I truly enjoyed. For some reason I couldn’t get tired of walking around Sakae and Oosu. I could go shopping in the fourth largest city in Japan essentially whenever I wanted. I could got to concerts when I wanted, to bands I truly loved (like GLAY!). I could speak Japanese, I had to, everyday with everyone I knew because they didn’t speak my own language. I enjoyed getting praise on my Japanese, even if it was only “Well, you’re not as bad as when you first got here...”(true story, that). It still meant something, that so many people cared about how I was doing. Like Diane said, it’s like instant celebrity. Everyone knew me. Now I walk the halls of my school and never see anyone who knows me, who cares enough to say hi. I’m just an outsider, and while I don’t care how these people think of me, it’s lonely. It’s boring and a difference from Japan. In Bihoku even beyond my classmates there were so many people who knew me at least decently well, even if it was from one class a week (Hiromi, anyone??), and most of the rest of the school’s population at least knew me on sight, and most of them knew my name and what class I was in too (2-1 forever!)

Would I do it again? In a second. Would I change anything? Never.
15th-Aug-2005 07:45 pm
Well... I am back from our "rebound orientation". And it was bittersweet. Great to see everyone, but shit, it felt like just another rotary trip in Japan... But Japan's over, you know? Bittersweet.
Also found out a great percentage of said rebounds (Canadian ones, anywho) will be/already do live in Victoria. And I found that kids book, "Rainbow Fish(??????)", in a bookstore in Port Angeles, Washington... in JAPANESE!! How cool is that?? So, of course, I bought it. Mhhmmm.
See here...Collapse )


...I got a letter today from Japan, and at first I was... WTF?? Because I didn't recognize the last name. Turns out it's from Mayu, my classmate who was in Vancouver for four months. And from her mother. Mayu's mom sent me a three page letter... saying not much at all. But mostly thanking me (how I had anything directly to do with this, I'm not psitive, though I assume Cherry's family and Morgan would have also received letters...) for Mayu having made good memories in Canada(not sure how to translate that so it makes sense but still keeps what she actually said in Japanese??). But it was definitely a pleasant surprise.


And I'm tired, which isn't suprising because I got... four hours? of sleep. Am going to sleep early...
19th-Jul-2005 09:35 pm
Whee! I have an ipod now!! I'm so excited!! It's all pretty and shiny!

ALLISON!!! Guess what! Apparently there are a total of 7 overseas Book Off stores- and one of them is in Vancouver! How perfect is that? So yeah. I bought L'arc~en~ciel and hide for 5$(canadian!) each. Nyaha.
27th-May-2005 09:51 pm - I just like the way it sounds
Unmovable object, meet irresistable force. *giggle*


...I think it says something for how long I've been here that I see the word "ozone" and immediately think 大曽根, and not "hole in the ozone layer" ozone. (For you non-exchangies, at the train stations the name is written in kanji, hiragana and romaji, so 大曽根 = ozone.)
27th-May-2005 06:35 pm
Right so, I thought I had a luggage problem before, did I?

HA, I say. HAHAAHA. *is verging on hysterical*

TEH LIST of things I have received, not even bought, in the last TWO freaking days:
1. Wall scroll thingy(traditional Japanese paper)
2. Loli shoes, though I did buy them (only so Ozeki san could give them to me last night.. >.<)
3. Mirror
4. An authentic thai silk scarf
5. A hanging ball (don't know what it's called, but they're a traditional Japanese decoration, don't know how to describe it)
And the kicker: 6. A purple yukata with geta to go with it. The rotarian who gave it to me asked me yesterday if I wanted one. o.O

Right. Now I go scream.


Not that I don't appreciate the gifts. I do. Amazingly do. But, ummm...
Most of these were gifted to me yesterday, at my rotary going away party. Where my host club president was honestly talking about sending/taking me to Okinawa before I leave. Which is in a week.
1st-May-2005 08:18 pm
...
I'm amusing myself by saying(well, thinking really, wouldn't want to freak out my host family. Or the dog) the English lines to Lord of the Rings along with the Japanese dub voices. God, I'm such a freak.

Japanese people cannot pronounced Fangorn. At all.
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