A whole week to tell – No, make that two

A warm hello to everyone again!
So far I still haven’t experienced something bad, my life here is wonderful, there is nothing I could complain about (except for work, but I think that’s something everyone would like to do). Up until now I’ve learned a lot and I’ve already grown familiar with most things here, I really feel at home. Either way, Some things have happened again since you last heard from me, so I will gladly tell, what exactly happened during the past week.

Wednesday was just as uneventful as the day before, just the daily routine of going to work early and coming home late. Thursday on the other hand was of course filled with work, I still had some research to do, but in the evening I couldn’t hold out for any longer. I had read that one blogpost of Shin Okubo, a part of Tokyo near Shinjuku and that is where I found my infinite heaven – Shin Okubo is know as the K-Town of Tokyo. Many koreans live there and for me as a crazy K-Pop-fangirl there couldn’t be anything better than this. Originally I planned on going the sunday before but the snow and Agustin came in my way so I had to save it up for another day. Thursday my patience ran thin so I just got off my usual subway in Shinjuku on my way home and took the JR train to Ikebukuro and got off just the next Station. At first I was a  little lost, not that much korean stuff, korean pop even less, but the best way to get familiar with an area is to just stroll around and that’s exactly what I did. Crosing the street and going down it again the way I came from I went by the station and passed under a bridge and the first thing that greeted me on the other side was a K-Pop store, blasting various TV-programs, lots of calenders and musicalbum, uncountable merchandise in different variations. And that was only the first store, far away from the other, even bigger ones. Anyways, you can’t pay with credit card, nowhere and that I learned in the first store already after having picked lots of stuff, I just couldn’t resist. So after spending around 45min in that one store I left, kind of hurt, because I couldn’t buy anything, but either way, just continued along the way. Some shops sold clothes and jewelry worn buy K-Idols, the other ones had cellphone straps, all kind of merch and all CD’s you could think of, actually everything you could think of, then there were lots of cosmetics shops, because korean people are addicted to make up, and to top it all of, of course, every single shop blasted full out K-Pop, and with every shop I passed, my heart exploded anew. I started dancing (or more like dancing for myself, just hinting at the dancesteps), singing, ogling at all the screens showing my lovely idols. And besides that I didn’t even do much in Shin Okubo, I just walked around and still my heart felt so at ease (actually in pain from all the heartfluttering), though I actually went groceryshopping in a hyakuen conbini before I went home.  My bed was waiting for me at home and I was happy I could just fall ontop of it and cuddle in to my sheets.

When I woke up on friday, it was the same as always, getting up for work early and I’ve actually started improving my sickness of coming late. Anyways, since it was friday, I was especially eager to get work done  to finally start into my weekend. I left my workplace and originally I wanted to go home and then meet up with a guy I met on New Year’s day at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, but since we had placed our meeting in Oshiage, a part I had never been to before which is located in east Tokyo, I thought it wouldn’t really be efficient to go home and so I started my way to Ueno, one of the bigger districts here in Tokyo, on my way t to Oshiage.  It was my first time in Ueno and I didn’t think it was that big and impressive but when I arrived there, it indeed was, but still had this cozy feeling about it. Strolling around for some time, I just passed the time, taking in the beautfiul sight and atmosphere of a friday evening in Ueno. Somewhere along the lines I found myself in that really crazy shop and even bought some presents, I’m going to send a package soon again! After I left that shop I realized it was time for me to head back to the station to set off Oshiage, and so far it was ok. Getting on the train to Asakusa I drove there, to change trains so I would reach Oshiage, but then it hit me. I had mistakenly gotten on the wrong train – a limited express train to Narita at that. When I realized what had happened, I was already late by 10minutes and had been on the train for 20minutes by that time. I got off the following station and took the next train back, but sadly I couldn’t go back to Asakusa, but only back to Ueno. Arriving in Ueno it was already 21:15 and it would take me 15more minutes to arrive in Oshiage, and another trainticke. Considering I hadn’t much money left and the fact that by the time I would arrive at our meeting I would be 1hour late and wasn’t even sure he would still be there, I decided to take the next train home and contact him as fast as I could. So I did, went home, contacted him and layed in bed for about 1-2hours before I remembered that I still had the pictures at gamuso I had to pick up. That led me to take up a new journey at 12am for gamuso and some shopping. It was the same as always, awesome. Everytime I go there I meet so many new and super kind people, sit there for hours sipping my beer and talking talking talking, making new friends. First I got hit on by an elderly man, but thanks to P, a girl from new zealand, and her cockiness we kind of shooed him away. P is such a cool girl and really fun, she was a little drunk that night but nevertheless still so cute, asking me if she could consider herself my ‘bigger sister’ here in Japan to take care of me in times of need and help. Since she had to work the day after she left about 1-2 hours after I had arrived and not even 10minutes later I found a new guy sitting beside me, this time a 45year old business man (how many different kinds of people suddenly show up at gamuso) and gosh was he funny. First he had a long talk with the bartender PV and since the people on the other side were talking japanese I just listened to their conversation and later was left alone with him, so we started a nice chat.  Getting to know each other better, we talked on and on, occassionally slipping in compliments (which is the most common thing here, at least if you’re not japanese) we gave each other high five and high ten all the time, laughing like a mad man, later Aya, the japanese girl sitting next to me joined in and so many things happened. It was just so fun with all the people around. The night went on, until suddenly all realized that it was already 4:30 and it would be time to finally close up. I just sprinted upstairs and grabbed my pictures and left together with Aya and Daisuke, her friend and not the one I’ve met there before. I went straight home with my groceries and pictures and went to bed, falling asleep after another hour of reading or so, it was late enough anyways.

Since the night before had been a tad bit long I slept until 12pm (quite early for me actually), but I still stayed in bed, reading reading and some more reading, until I finally had enough and moved downstairs to put my laundry into the washing machine. I prepared some food, went cleaning in my room while waiting for the food to get ready and after about 30-45minutes I went downstairs again, put my laundry into the dryer and took my food upstairs. Sitting down on my bed I slowly ate away at my rice while reading, until it was time for me to finally start getting ready for the evening. Last weekend we had agreed on going out to party some because Saza and Flora each had their friends and wanted to celebrate that. We agreed on meeting up at 9pm in Shibuya, though Keigo asked me if I wanted to join him for his stage at ‘the pink cow’ in Roppongi at 8pm and so I did. Leaving the house around 18:50 to meet up with him at 19o’clock. First we took the subway to Nakano-Sakaue, a bigger district between Asagaya and Shinjuku, where we then changed trains to Roppongi. We came there around 7:45pm and searched for the bar, hosting a party where Adam, one of our friends, did the organization. Going up to him we said our hello’s and he was standing in a crowd of japanese guys and a girl (which I had already met at gamuso, yeah the world is a village haha). I introduced myself to the other 3 guys and one of them could even speak very good english, so we ended up in a somehow very weird, sweet and funny conversation, while Keigo was DJ’ing. Sento, the englishspeaker was asking me things and everything I said was translated by him so the others could understand, too, they even asked him how to say some things in english so they could ask me themselves and they were just so cute, but the first thing they did, was actually ask me if they could get a picture with me. Mami, the girl asked first and then one by one they each got one and in return I wanted to take a picture of the 4 of them. Later they even told and demonstrated me that they were beatboxers – and very talented ones at that! I was sooo so awestruck, they were amazing! Sento was a cool dancer at that, and Adam, too! Hell, all the people here are so talented and impressing, really inspiring for me! But soon after it was time for Keigo and me to go, since we had promised to meet with the others later. Keigo payed for our taxi to Shibuya and we went to izakaya (it actually just means ‘bar/comfortable bar’ and you often use that word to say that you go out with your friends, nice word!) and he had to put up with my hyperactiv persona, because for some reason I was so bouncy and happy and just full with positiv feelings. Running around and up and down, we found the others soon enough and not even 5minutes later our first beer arrived. The table was surrounded by Flora and her best friend, Kaname, Jimmi, Saza, Francois and Saza’s friend and Jimmi’s friend and of course, Keigo and me. We sat there and slowly zipped our beer, talking and laughing until our reservation time was up and we continued our little party at a very, very stuffed, small bar only a 5minutes walk away. There we had some delicious sake, met more people, made new friends, shot lots of pictures and just had a huge amount of fun. After that small preparty we started heading to the club – but not without taking a purikura before. Saza, one of my friends, is obsessed with puri’s and I’ve actually grown to love them too. Finishing with the puri’s, we finally went to a club, a really extraordinary club decorated with mirrows all over the walls and fashionistas running around. To explain that, there were guys walking around on high heels, girls with all possible haircolours and people wearing costumes, many foreigners at that. As drunk as we were, we had a lot of fun, but that rapidly became very tiring so I took the first train home with lauraand got home around 6am or something. Ugh, coming home I only knew how to fall into bed and sleep. It didn’t even take me five minutes to get off my clothes.
As expected, I only laid in bed the following day since I was a little bit… sick, you could say.

On monday I went back to work, having an english lesson in the morning. For lunch the whole class including me went out, I had requested ‘Ton Katsu’. And it was so delicious! Actually the whole japanese cuisine is great and healthy, though it takes some time to get used to the completely different taste and cooking style, but once you have got used to and figured out your favourite dishes it’s amazingly delicious! Other than that there wasn’t much happening at work. At home on the other side, I had a nice evening together with Yuya-san, Eri-san and Agustin. We sat there and watched TV, ate dinner and had some ice-cream. But the evening had to turn for the worse, unfortunately. I had somehow come across a post regarding k-pop and it devastated me to no end, what fans could do to their loved ones, their idols, I can’t understand and will never. It was just plainly gross. Somewhere along the post we all bid our goodnights, all wanting their privacy for once after a hard day of work, so I went up to my room and tried to somehow comprehend the information that had just flooded my mind, going to bed with an uneasy feeling.

Tuesday, as usual, I went to work, quite an uneventful day for me, the only good thing was my gyudon dinner, so good!
Wednesdaywas a lot more fun! Going to work, I had my first lunch-english-lesson where everyone told me what they had done the past days and what they had for plans. After we finished, we all went back to work and soon it was time for me to go home again. When I came home, Agustin was sitting in the livingroom playing with his computer and since I was hungry I cooked some noodles for dinner for myself. Yuya-san came home just a little later, ate and then went upstairs again and somehow Agustin got the idea to order pizza – which is freaking expensive. There was this ‘buy 1 get 2’ offer, but without ordering, so we all – Agustin, me and Yuya-san since we asked him to order for us – went to get the pizza. Total cost for 1 pizza + 1 free: around 40-45€, it was a large one but it still leaves you gawking at the price. Here in Japan you actually go to Pizza Hut or Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate something, the latter is especially popular for christmasdinner and costs about the same. Anyways, we went back home and had some awesome second dinner: delicious pizza! The first pizza I’ve had for 3 months now and I was actually craving for it the last weeks. That night didn’t go on so much longer since it was already late when we came back home. I went to bed around 12am.

The following day was another uneventful day of work until went home. I had appointed a meeting with Agustin at 7o’clock to go shopping, we had thought of making gnocki and it was actually my first time eating them. We went to the hyakuen conbini on our way home and bought all the necessarry items for our cooking session that was to follow. It was indeed a very fun night, we prepared the gnocki and Agustin prepared a simple yet delicious sauce, heating it in a pan and adding some chicken I had left in the freezer. Yuya-san came home later on and we invited him for some gnocki and he happily joined us. Time passed and Yuya-san went upstairs for bed, as I did, going to sleep soon after.

Friday came around pretty fast, going to work, only to hope that the day would pass fast and it did after some long hours in the morning. I left work on time, because I had made up with Kilin, or Yu-chan a guy I had met 2 weekends ago, to meet up with me at 6pm at the Ochanomizu Subaywaystation. Since some birthdays are to come around soon I wanted to go presentshopping in Shibuya and Harajaku with Yu-chan before meeting up with Saza and the others later in Harajuku. Saza had asked us out for some Okonomiyaki, better known as ‘japanese pizza’ which is actually more of an omelett than pizza, but very tasty nevertheless. The place he took us to was amazing, kind of hidden in the darker streets of Harajuku, but lovely to no end. The small passage down to the actual restaurant was decorated by crazy, colourful paintings, only to continue in the restaurant itself. For Okonomiyaki you sit at a table with cookingplate intigrated into the table. So there we sat, Saza, Flora, Estelle, Christofer, Kaname, Yu-chan and me, ordering an ‘all-you-can-eat-and-drink’ menu. The dish itself consists of cabbage, flour, water, an egg as a base, you can add everything else like mushrooms, cheese, meat, just what you want. Our buffet only left us with one additional ingredient, but since we could order more it wasn’t so bad. The oOkonomiyaki we got, was served in a metalbowl, the ingredients in layers in it. We had to mix it thoroughly before putting the mixture onto the cookingplate in front of us, waiting, drinking, talking, before turning the ‘pizza’ around and steaking it on the other side, while putting on a special sauce with a brush, then adding fish- and noripulver. Last but not least to finish it off, you put on mayonaisse (japanese people are ibsessed with mayo!). This all takes quite some time, but it pays off, definitely, because it’s so tasty, not fatty at all and very healthy! Am definitely trying to make some when I get back home, an easy vegetarian dish if you don’t add meat. Somehow time flew by and we had to pay, drinking the last bit of our drinks and then leaving for the trainstation, but before we even arrived there, Saza somehow found a Purikurastore and of course we had to take some! They turned out pretty well and they are just so fun everytime. After that we went to the train, driving to Shibuya for one more hour, going to a game arcade together before taking the last train home. That night I just fell into my bed again and slept.

When I woke up on Saturday I took it slowly, taking a shower and getting my laundry done before leaving for Shin Okubo to do some more presentshopping, which took me about at least 3 hours and I really couldn’t resist buying some things for my own, MY FIRST THREE KPOPCD’S! Yes, finally. But besides walking around Shin Okubo, I didn’t do a thing, just went home and started writing this, reading some fanfics occasionally, but nothing out of the ordinary. That night I got message from Christofer, asking me if I wanted to join him for the final day of the season’s Sumofight in Ryogoku, just before I went to sleep.

Since I went to bed early I woke up in time and overnight I had decided I would want to join Christofer, so I wrote him and we made up a time and place we could meet at, so far so good, I got ready on time, left my home in time and was there on time until it hit me that the Station had 5 exits – which was the one he took? Surely not the first time this had happened and learning from earlier experiences I just got going, hoping I would find him somewhere along the way. Half an hour later I actually did, after I had rounded the whole place – which was huuuuge, like the sumowrestler, hehehe – twice and went back to the only place I hadn’t looked at yet, I ran into him, or more like he ran into me. Either way, being late already we decided to just head for the place already to buy tickets. When we actually arrived there, we saw that the tickets were already sold out, unlucky us. It was kind of sad, since I had mentally prepared myself and built up a little anticipation to watch the Youkuzuna (Champion) win that last final day and get praised, but we couldn’t do anything to get in so went to eat something, we were nearly starved to death! We found a nice little place which sold soups and gyouza, so we each bought one, a huge one we learned later on and sat there, talked and ate. Thinking of what to do with the day since it was only 3pm, we decided to go for Hamatsucho, a popular place in the harbour area of Tokyo, not so crowded and not so many shops, but a very amazing scenery and we luckily came there just as the sun began to set. We walked around watching the eastsky turning from lightblue to pink and purple until it was darkblue and at some point we stopped and looked at the water lined with skyscrapers at the other side of the coast, an especially bright, orange-ish rooftop grabbing my attention and guess what? It was the moon, huge and orange, only half visible and he looked like a round rooftop of a modern building, but standing there at that spot, we quickly noticed how he slowly rose, growing smaller in size and less colourful, yet still so breathtakingly beautiful. Due to the coldness creeping into our close quite fast, we reluctantly continued our little stroll to the next trainstation and took the next train to the next bigger station, where we both parted ways, Christofer was on his way to Yokohama to visit some friends and I drove to Shinjuku then continued to Harajuku for a quick look around, still some minor presents missing. Not wanting to stay for too long, I just rushed through the streets, occasionally taking a look into a store. This really saved me some time and I got home quite early, considering it was a sunday out for me. After coming home I just continued writing this blogupdate and read some more before going to bed.

Monday was once again just a normal day at work, except for the japanese english entranceexam for university from 2012 that i got from Tetuo-san to solve, so he could test my knowledge. My score? 94%! And I got praised by Tetsuo-san, a good pluspoint! After that I went home, actually I was already due, so going home seemed more than just appealing, even more so since I was deadtired and I always get grumpy, unsocial and unmotivated when I am. Agustin had to feel it yesterday night, but nevermind.
Today is tuesday and I just sat at work, doing some minor jobs for the others and studying some more, I feel it getting very difficult. I should maybe start revising, would be a start at least. Maybe I should stay in this weekend and study.

 

Anyway, I think now you got a good insight into what I’ve been up to the last 2 weeks, savour it. (haha) Considering I took so long for this update, I don’t want to make any promises, because I hate to break them, I’ll just go with see you, but don’t expect any update from me too soon, it all depends on what I’ll do and how busy I’ll be. I’m a busy buddy ya’know? ;D

See you sooon~ (hopefully!)

image

Idol Park in Shin Okubo

image

Nightview from the Ochanomizu bridge

image

Ueno

image

The view through the hallwindow in my sharehouse

image

Hoku, Tsuzumimaru, Sento and Mami in the middle

image

The club

image

Typical japanese sweet bread filled with sweet potato or bean paste

image

My friends at the Okonomiyakiplace

image

The table

image

Okonomiyaki

image

The painted walls

image

The nearly full moon before going to Shin Okubo

image

Shin Okubo (not the korean part)

image
image

The sumoplace in Ryogoku

image

The huge bowl of soup and gyouza

image

Sunset in Hamamatsucho

image

Opposite coast

image

Buildings bathed in sunsetlight

image

The fullmoon (it was A LOT more impressive in reality...)

image

Huge bridge

image

My first Ramen

Advertisements

First week of work in the new year

So yeah, it’s the second week of january. It’s scary to see how fast time flies by. This week has been no different, it went by in lightspeed.
Starting monday, I had my first workday. I arrived there around 10o’clock and did did some labelling samples and stuff, stamped some kind of checks or something and actually just some minor paperwork. We had lunch in that seafoodrestaurant i went to with Micchan and Suzuki-san some time ago. It was really good but just too much. After work I went home straight and still came home late, but I had to eat something so I did some quick ready-meal and cooked some curry rice. Going to bed early and getting up the next day, I was feeling rather sick due to my New Years sickness which only got worse. Either way, I came to work and got some kind of research thing to do, had to copy a cd, nothing big. For lunch I had brought an Obento I had made at home, a simple one, just rice and some meat and then the whole afternoon I continued my research and occassionally doind some stamps work. After leaving work I cobtenplated about searching for that danceschool I had found on the internet or not and somehow I did. I landed in Shinjuku and strolled through Kabukicho which was stuffed with young, hip looking guys, illuminated by thousands of lights. It actually did seem a bit scary and dubious but I didn’t mind, I just wandered the streets to my destination. When I arrived I found that there was no danceschool but a hospital – googlemaps had lied to me! A little disappointed I went back and searched for some food, I had actually planned to go to pizza hut that day and the internet said there was one not that far away – once again disappointment washed over me when I hadn’t found any pizza. (I was soooo so hungry for pizza!) So instead I went to Burger King – I get reminded every time I’m there why I like McDonalds better. Ugh. Everything hadn’t gone according to plan but i didn’t mind because I had the chance to wander the streets and grow accostumed and familiar with that area. Still, to give that evining a special flair I thought I really should try a ‘cat cafe’ – a cafe where cats live. You can pet them and buy them small snacks, play with them and also buy yourself a drink or read a manga, actually a nice idea amd the cats were cute too, but you had no chance to pet them if you didn’t have anything to eat, that made me sad. Anyways, after approximately an hour I left, they were closing anyways, and went downstairs onto the streets, magically drawn into that game arcade at the crossway, so I took my rounds and left with a one piece towel – great! When I came out, most shops had already closed or were just closing so I opted to get home as soon as possible, and so I did. I came home and got ready for my bed.
The next morning I felt like shit, a dry throat and a completely snottystuffed nose, disabling me from getting oxygen. Still i dragged myself to work, but i was so sleepy that I always dozed off, so i just took my lunchpause to sleep. After that I regained a lot of strength to continue my research work. That evening I stayed longer at work so I could finally have a much needed talk to my mom and when I finished after 1h 15min my coworkers just laughed and wondered how I could talk to my mother for this long (and we could’ve actually continued for hours I believe). It was already 19:25 when i left work and I had barely eaten that day, luckily I was longing for some gyu don sooo badly so I just rushed across the street and ate ate ate, it was sooooo delicious! But afterwards I had such a full tummy it actually hurt to even walk. I just wanted to get home and into my bed, which I did.
And even though I got to bed early yesterday I still overslept and got to work late today, but it didn’t matter so much since I had no work today. I just sat at my desk for 6h and studied, studied, studied. My head really hurt after all the input, but I learned a lot. I also always write down new vocabulary, now I should just kick myself to actually review that stuff sometime. Still I felt a huge wave of pride hitting me today when I realised I had gotten better at reading and understanding, it’s getting easier to see and understand the meanings and grammar of a sentence, so some more practice and I can actually start building up a little stock of important vocabs I need to converse. A little progress, that’s all I need for now.
When I came home after work today, and even though I left early early I still managed to cime home late – it’s a vicious circle! – but either way, I came home and was greeted by Yuya-san. We had a fun evening, cooking and eating together, he tought me new words and amswered all of my questions. He really is a nice guy and very understanding. Later Agustin joined us, but it was already so late that Yuya-san and me went to bed some time later.

So that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll go out again, closing party at gamuso, I’ll meet my friends, Eric, Laura, PV and Keigo and some from New Years eve even, and some of my cohabitants will join us, it sounds like tons of fun! Other than that it’s going to be quite, but I’ll tell you more during the upcoming days, SEE Y’ALL DEARS~~~

image

What a cat cafe looks like