Sunday, October 31, 2010

time goes by...


"so slowly"?!  Madonna is so wrong.

(by the way, just for context, I'm supposed to be writing a paper for my Japan-China class right now... maybe we can say this is warm-up?  I've discovered this excellent trick with coffee for people, like myself, with low caffeine tolerance: drink a little coffee at a time and then a lot of water; sure, you end up going to the restroom quite a bit, but this way the caffeine gives you a boost while the water keeps you hydrated and refreshed☆)

Just for masochistic pleasure and general procrastination, I've put a little countdown-thingy on the right-hand side of my main blog page, underneath the little "about me" blurb.  Shouldn't be too easy to miss.  Those awaiting my glorious return to the Bay (SF Bay, the only one that matters of couuuuurse) can clap in delight as the number spirals down.  For me, I shall be mildly panicked every time I see it and how much more reduced it is compared to the last time I looked.

In other news, I've booked a rather last-minute trip to Tokyo for the next weekend (Nov. 5-8).  And yes, I will be skipping a couple days of class, hahahahahaha~   As for how much money I'll be spending............we can address that later, when I've taken some pretty pictures to prove that it was worth however-much-it-is. 8D

Okay, there are lots of topics I want to write about here, but first, that midterm paper.....

Ah, priorities...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Object Permanence

Last night while we were hanging out in the lounge, "studying" (aka, sharing stupid YouTube videos, updating Facebook/blogs, maybe doing homework) as usual, someone mentioned,

"We're already halfway done."

My gut reaction was to let out an anguished yell, so I did.  I also requested, in a slightly panicked, manic manner, that they please, please not talk about it anymore.

Anyway, the general idea I'm trying to convey is: My time here is short, and hitting a milestone (like midterms) is a brutal awakening to that fact.

I've visited some pretty cool places, like Kyoto's Kiyomizudera, Shinsaibashi and Peace Osaka, Hiroshima, and Kanazawa...but there are still tons of other cities and sights I wanna see.
I've been doing okay in Japanese class, covering the material, and using Japanese every day...but I'm still far from comfortably conversing and conveying my ideas satisfactorily.  Not to mention, my kanji = crap.
I fall asleep exhausted every night, spend plenty of time with people instead of hermit-ing in my room (like right now, hahahaha)...but it still seems like there's so much more I should be doing.

In a way, here and now is all there is--at least, that's how part of me wants it to be.  Just live in the moment, laugh and have your fun while can, don't worry about tomorrow.

Another part recognizes, very practically, that there's a lot waiting for me when I fly home--family, friends, fellowship.  Every moment spent on things-not-here-and-now is a moment invested in the future.  Those things don't cease to exist because I'm not there, obviously, but when they're so far's almost easier if they don't.  Like a baby playing peek-a-boo, if I cover my eyes, they're gone.  If they aren't there, it's easier not to miss them, easier not to keep in contact, easier to live in the now..

But that kind of thinking is meaningless and immature.

I do miss everybody back home, want to know what's going on in their lives, even as I am thousands of miles away, occupied in far too many ways.  It's hard, truly difficult for me to stay in touch with people over long distances--it's a serious character flaw, or something.  But I'll do best I can....and when I alone am not enough, pray to God for the strength to go on.  Remembering that as a Christian, my life is centered on God and lived within the context of eternity, there is much, much more than just here and now.

I will treasure everything that happens here, that I learn here, that I find here, but I must also continue to keep close to my heart those that sometimes seem so far away.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life in Japan II

a pretty spot around campus, on a pretty nice day
snacktime!...happens every night, not always this crazy.
separating garbage is important! (though, it varies from city to city.)  my roomie and I divide between plastics and burnables.
our room in an unusually neat (yeah, this counts as neat) state.
my new keitai strap (phone charm) ♥
it's a momiji (maple) leaf~ to commemorate this fall semester.
Thursday, October 14, 2010 @ 3:05 AM

GO TO 金沢!

Vacation #1!

Destination: 金沢 Kanazawa, Ishikawa-ken (prefecture)
Date: Sep. 18-20 (Sat-Mon)
Cost: ¥22,000 - ¥24,000

5-hour train ride!
View of (not the ocean, but) Lake Biwako
it's humongous O_O
Kanazawa JR (Japan Railways) Station
Local streets
random art :)
cool building in the shopping district~
Late Summer in Shirakawa~
Light Festival & other special events
we watched dance performances by local college groups at this festival.. めっちゃ楽しかった~ (meccha tanoshikatta, very enjoyable)
(all reserved through, all heartily recommended, especially Pongyi and Namaste~)
Guest House Pongyi
Guesthouse Namaste
Ryokan Shibaya

I wouldn't consider Kanazawa an "essential" stop if your time in Japan is short, but for a last-minute planned trip (don't wanna waste those 3-day weekends...), it was nice~  Shirakawa-go (about an hour-long bus ride from Kanazawa, round trip¥3200) is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!  The sights can be seen, in a fairly relaxed manner, in about 3-4 hours...but if you want to spend longer there (which you might, it's really lovely~), it's not hard at all. :)