Sunday, October 13, 2002

How do you decribe Japan? The fact is that you can't, it is impossible. This is a world that had been turned inside out and upside down and then shaken, yet not stirred. Sounds like a James Bond movie, doesn't it? Well, it is pretty close. You have to play the part of the secret agent, every man for himself, to survive life here.

I get up at 5:45am mainichi (everyday) to go to school. My commute is a whopping two hours each way and by the time I get home, I eat, take a bath, and die from exhaustion in bed by ten.�@Weekends are not much better, with cleaning and sightseeing and studiying. Thank god for national holidays (today!) or I would never survive.
God... it's been a long time. 2 weeks zipped by in a flash and I don't know where to start. Summarize? No. How can you summarize so much in so little time?

Start from scratch? That's pushing it. I think it is just best to talk about the quirks, things that are so amazing here because it is so different. But where to start? Karaoke, trains, school? I suppose I'll just have to pick one and start.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Well, how do I explain my emotions right now? Nervous, anticipation, yes, but it is mostly fear. I am so scared that I've been shaking all day. I'm scared of leaving Canada, my family, everything. Yet I am being drawn towards my goal with every passing second. I have to wait, my hands are shaking as I type. Couldn't touch type even if I wanted to. It's not just my hands, it's me in general.

Will have steak tonight. Funny, because I don't really care for it right now, even though I love this meal, and I most likely will not see a decent peice of beef that size until I return.

It takes me a while to think up stuff. Mindless activities, preferably ones that prevent me from thinking too much :p keep me occupied even though I should be paking some more. I wish I could just shove my room as is into my bag to save me the trouble, but that's not possible at the time. And where would I put it? I hope my week of intrusion before Kanako comes here doesn't both my host family too much.

Another worry of mine is how I will address my host family, I imagine I will be calling Yumiko "Yumiko-chan", but would it be "Kondo-san" or "Masayo-san", "Shintaro-san". I don't know which is better. I suppose I will see when I arrive. I am also looking forward to meeting the grandparents, although I will be so afriad of insulting them. I worry like that.

16 hours. wow. I am so mortified from fear of leaving. It's not like camp, where I leave for three weeks to a place that keeps me so busy that I don't have time to worry. It's a whole new country to me, that's my adventure. I'll become a Japanese school girl, but will many less renditions of "lucky" and other english nonsense. If I want to talk in English, I'll speak English, not just random words. Ok, so that's a slight chance, but I can try :p

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

All's well that ends well. I don't know why, but this little quote really does explain the past month. It's really scary for me to be thinking of how long until my departure in hours. As of right now: 32 and 2/3rd hours. *laughing* I love to be precise.

I might as well explain just why I named my journal "Pulling Strings" now. My father has said many times throughout this experience that I must of had been pulling strings (I think he implies that it is the "strings of fate") to get this to work out the way I wanted it. Not to mention the horseshoes stuffed up my.... er, wrong turn.

Anyways, I think that pulling strings of fate is a neat idea. How true, that we as people, do things in order to get events to occur in a way that pleases us. We are influencing, and changing our futures constantly. That's maybe why time travel to the future would never be possible. Your actions now may change what happens later, so you can never know how it would be affected.

I'm going off to bed now, and I'll try to think more of this.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Well, I am now done CALM. Yea! I still have to do a wuick quiz, and a test, but that should take little time, so I am happy. This has been a long month for me, and I leave for the adventure of my life in.... 3 days! I am so nervous that it is bugging me constantly, yet so excited in many more ways.

Tami & Meagan, who are my mother's co-worker and her doughter/co-techie, gave me a card yesterday. Much to my surprise, there was 2000 yen in it! That's around 25$ (Canadian) and I can't believe that they did that.... and it isn't as if I can exactly just give it back. I really appreciate the gesture, but they really didn't need to do this for me.

So after I was horrified last night, I started writing up the million and a half thank you & goodbye cards for friends, family, etc.... I just hope they don't decide to all flood my mailbox in return!

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Well, I went to tech today. I didn't really do much except help with a few projects. I also took a big box of rice krispie squares with me, and once again, saw it being devoured in front of me. Atleast people enjoyed them, so I'm not mad.

My bags are starting to get packed... and this makes me think of all the things I'm leaving behind. I hardly ever go anywhere without my many books. Reading is really my passion, and it annoys me how I am leaving so many of my favorites behind. I suppose I can always buy a whole load of manga (I hope to collect many of my favorite titles - and anything that CALMP has put out, that is always good) that can help make me feel better.

I will miss my English reading though :p

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Well... I'm back.

Ok, I should of been arriving around 10-11pm last night, but we had the wrong bus times. In other words, I missed my bus. Fortunetly, I had met up with my aunt and uncle from Sherwood Park (a suburb) for supper, and ended up staying the night. Netherless, my parents were not all that happy (more angry at themselves than anything). Well, I had a nice visit with my relatives, but I still didn't get what I went to Edmonton for.

I had visited the Japanese Consulate and applied for my visa, but they couldn't get it to me in 24 hours. So, now I may have to return to Edmonton for another visit (with the right bus times) to pick it up before Thursday.

I'm really tired (I only got back six hours ago...) so I'm not really going to rant on and on about this... just not worth my time, or your's. Just remember: check travel times! Ok?

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Good news! I am heading down to Edmonton tommorow to get my student visa made. I have to take the bus though... so it will be a long trip.

Anyhow, I'll finally meet my co-ordinator face-to-face, so it will be interesting. And, it means Downtown Edmonton by myself. Woohoo! I know I am going to Japan on my own, but my parents are still scared of me going to the safe, clean, and 100% navigationble (spelling?) Edmonton.... atleast it doesn't use the chome system.... I still don't understand it.

Oh! And I got my kanji dictionary! It is really nice, and I know how to use it's SKIP System. It uses kanji layout and stroke counts to classify characters in a way that I can easily look up a character without knowing the On or Kun reading, nor do I need to know radicals (although radicals are part of the dictionary lookup) so this is a methos that's really quick. But you can also look up characters through other methods so even my future Japanese classmates can use it (I think). It even has stroke order diagrams.

So, now I get to study more kanji!
Well..... I don't have much to say, to be honest. I didn't have much to say yesterday either. I haven't been doing much, but I have cadets tonight. This should be fun. I hope that I get to sit into a class, maybe level 2 or 3. I don't really want to start the tedious task of level four this year unless my CO insists. Netherless, it will be a whole week from now that I'll be gone.

I am nervous, to say the least. I've started to doubt my choice a long time ago, but how do I tell me parents that? I don't, that is the simple answer. I've never been really comfortble eating fish - I think I have been in Alberta for too long!