Hey Hey Hey
Sorry about the lack of attention to the blog, school has been rather draining, as well as some other situations that I won't bore you with.
Last week was pretty much dedicated to exploring my classes and struggling to remember the first seven chapters of my Japanese textbook. My Japanese class is by far the most demanding and the most challenging of all my classes. There is at least two hours of homework assigned every day for Japanese, including studying and reviewing for the next day's quiz/lesson. We have a test everyday on vocabulary and kanji, as well as pages and handouts and essays. Its tough, but I know that my Japanese could become so much better if I stick with the intensive studying I've been doing.
Every night the Beppu Crew and I head down to the lobby where there is an old fashion tatami room with low tables and tatami floors for studying. Sometimes we get distracted and just end up hanging out together, which is still a good thing. It is also the easiest way to meet people, especially other domestic Japanese students. We are always asking for their help, and they are always willing to give it. Its a good trade between their Japanese fluency and our English fluency. Some communication can be very rocky and awkward, but its good practice, and we are getting much better and just trying to say something, rather than worrying about saying it wrong. We've been studying there every night until about 1 a.m. before heading back to our rooms.
I will try and take pictures of the room tonight.
Last week, a group of my Korean friends were kind enough to cook Steph and I a Korean dinner! They are all very good cooks, and made it look really easy. They even tried teaching me a little Korean, but they laughed and told me that my pronunciation is really bad. Oh well. I should try to master Japanese first, then Korean. We had miso soup, okonomiyaki (thin pancake with various ingredients), some vegetable concoction, some chicken concoction, and rice. It was very flavorful and very delicious. They are so talented and nice, I can't decide how I should repay them!
From left to right is Soohyun, Me, Ahra, Stephanie, Seung-Woo, and Sebitna.
Other than the work and study and more work, nothing much has been happening. I think the group is trying to figure out if we want to go anywhere this weekend. There's been some planning to go to Kyoto, but I think that's a trip that should be for a longer period of time considering the time and money for transportation. Another plan is to head to Hiroshima for the weekend which is a little closer, and probably cheaper. I would honestly be content with heading to Fukuoka (two hours away) which is the closest.
I know I have to be careful when planning my trips because I need to make sure I have enough money for the nine days when Steph and I get out of school and head over to Tokyo, but its hard to be money conscious when all I want to do is travel! Plus, APU is not quite being immersed into the true Japanese culture. Everyone speaks a decent amount of English, and I know that we all want to really be culture-shocked.
Staying in the AP House kind of makes one go crazy, only because we are stuck on top of a huge mountain with only one pool table and one foosball table. Trust me, it gets old really, really fast. Studying makes me go crazy as well, so we have all agreed that the best way to avoid going insane and getting homesick is to travel. I guess I will try to be conscious of my money, but I will also try not to be stingy. This is my opportunity to travel Japan, and I should just suck it up and do it!
As for the weather, well, I've been rather annoyed with it. I hear that its gorgeous and sunny back at home, while here on the island, its a measly 50 degrees with tons of rain and mist and creepy fog. I know it will be hotter than hell in a few weeks, but I can't wait! Then its off to the beach!
Well, I should get back to studying. More pictures will come soon!