Kelsey: in a bit of a slump

April 21, 2010

After the initial glamour and excitement of being here wore off (and after classes started, bleh), I finally had to face the reality that I’m not going to be home for a while. Which has been kind of tough.

I have been going out and doing some cool things, at least. Last weekend I went out with Yuki and some of her friends. We had conveyor-belt sushi, then stopped at a coffee shop to hang out, then played billiards and darts at a pool hall. That was really fun, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with them again! Yuki and her friends are all English majors, but they talk to me in Japanese a lot too, which is nice.

The trains stop running completely by 12:30, which is strange because even in the Twin Cities the buses run all night. It sucks to have to cut your night short sometimes, but it’s also nice to come home at a decent time. Jeez, I’m such an obaasan (grandma, lol). If you miss the train, there are 24 hour karaoke bars/internet cafes that you can crash at. For about 1000 yen you get unlimited drinks (juice/pop/etc.) and a private computer area for the night. It’s a nice alternative to wandering around in the streets all night or trying to walk home, but I still don’t want to take my chances.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to get out of this slump I’ve been in. Two of the things that have been hard are dealing with the lack of personal space and my constant self-consciousness of being a gaijin (foreigner, literally- outside person). However, I had to realize that yeah, I’m an outsider, and yeah, it’s going to be a while until I’m back home, but this is my one chance to experience life here, so why waste it? If someone looks down on me for being a foreigner, there are 12,789,999 more people who might not mind me being here. So, I’ve made some plans for the next couple of days, and I’m really going to try hard to make the most of my time!

My schedule for school kind of rocks in that I don’t have class on Wednesdays, and I only have one on Mondays and Thursdays. So, today was my day off, my mini-weekend! I took advantage of the beautiful weather (mid-70’s and sunny) and took the JR to Ueno Park. I went to the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, which was a great museum with a lot of really cool exhibits! I hadn’t been to a science museum in a long time, so it was neat to look at the exhibits relating to my area of study for the past 4 years…

After the museum, I bought some ice cream and took a stroll through Ueno Park. It is a really beautiful place, I will definitely have to go back again! There is a zoo, a lot of museums, and a shrine, so there’s definitely a lot to see!

Here are some pictures via Facebook.

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