experiences / Japan / places

First Two Weeks…

General overview of my first two weeks in Hiroshima…

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Here’s a little something I wrote on the 1.5 hour plane ride from Tokyo to Hiroshima,

Imagine catching your breath and holding it. Hold it and imagine the energy of the oxygen building up in your chest the way pop does when you drop a mentos in it. Capture that feeling and compress it, like a firework your heart is booming with excitement, yet you are strapped to a chair and told not to move an inch. Out the thick, foggy window, thousands of feet in the sky, I see millions of little lights. A city- no not any city- the city I would call home for the next six months.

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Unlike in India when I was certain I would soon dread the cilantro infested curry, I can actually see myself continuing to like Japanese food. There are a lot of fruits and veggies, which is great because the produce is quite fresh from what I have tried. Breakfast is normally yogurt with fruit and one (or three) cups of joe. For other meals I have been eating a good amount of veggies and tofu. With the help of John, Cami and I found this great noodle place down the street that is perfect for a quick bite before Aikido on Saturdays or late lunch on Sundays. I haven’t actually tried sushi yet (maybe thats odd) but I intend to within my time here for sure.

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After dinner on Fridays and Saturdays I have been meeting up at the arcade with some friends to laugh at how unskillful we all are at the claw machine and how anime the photo booths make us appear. However, we may need to find a new place to congregate soon because we have just been informed that the arcade is reserved for those over the age of 18 once the sun sets. Unlike the game stops back home, these arcades are actually quite popular for adults and most even have a casino floor.

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Another great way to spend the weekend is at the Karaoke bar. Divided into our four houses, we sang (yelled) for a good 2.5 hours last Saturday; leaving our voices completely destroyed till Monday afternoon. At one part of the night as I was walking through the hall back to Southland’s karaoke room, I ran into a rather enthusiastic Japanese man who encouraged me to help him sing some song that I have never heard, but must be quite popular in this neck of the woods. So, of course I had to sing with him; well, try to. Since the lyrics were in Japanese, and the extent of my Japanese is basic greetings, I did all that I could. Sounding something like, “la la la konichiwa!”

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The following day (last Sunday), Cami and I found the best snack ever; little koala crackers filled with chocolate. Although, I think I may just have gotten a kick out of them since the adorable animal, that is koala, is my favorite animal ever! Nonetheless, we ate them up with more laughing than chewing.

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This past Thursday night, Joann took all of TGS students out dinner at this restaurant in the city. It was an amazing time to spend with friends, laughing, grilling meat, and talking about meaningless yet hilarious topics. I love it when TGS gets into these environments when we all sit together and socialize and catch up. The laughing never stops and good vibes are swirling and surrounding us, just as the oxygen we are breathing. Even afterwards was great, because waking up the next morning and realizing it was Friday was a great feeling. Speaking of Friday, student council organized a social event for TGS kids to build relationships with HIS kids (our host school). It was a great night and we saw some unexpected, super cool dancing.

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So far, this semester is the beginning of the best one yet. 🙂

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