forever_wandering: (Candy Girl)
First, congratulations to my sister on finally giving birth to a beautiful baby girl! My parents are really excited about finally having a grandchild, though they are not so excited about being considered "grand-" in this case, hehe. Our almost non-existant relationship aside, I wish my sister and her new family all the luck in the world.


Lately, I've been busying myself with this and that. With only about a month left until I have to go back to work, I've been trying to get myself used to being on a set schedule again, and it sure isn't easy! I start my day at around six in the morning and end it at around midnight. I've purposely locked myself out of my bank account to keep myself from going on any more wild adventures for a while. I spend my days studying random things to keep my mind sharp, cleaning, and sewing clothes to make them fit again (and let me tell you, sewing by hand is not easy!) Occasionally though,  I do take a small side trip to relieve my stress! 

This time, it was a somewhat healthy Asian-meal and an acrobatics show! 


Seeing shows like this always make me hate myself because then I think "Darn it! Why can't I do stuff like that!!!??" 
forever_wandering: (UGH!)

I know Japan is considerably safe, but I still tend to snicker whenever I hear someone say it's the safest country in the world. Some years ago, I spent some time working in Alaska as a night shift manager, so I always had my share of weirdos approaching me for a date or waiting for me when I got off work at 1 am. However, there had always been someone there who saw how uncomfortable I was--someone who always helped me out. 
One morning, I was walking to Hibarigaoka station, on my way to Ikebukuro.


Students walked down the roads and shops opened. It was a noisy morning just like any other. A black van drove next to me, slowly, keeping pace with me. I assumed that it was going that slow because of all the people on the roads, and so, I simply ignored it and kept walking. Together, the van and I rounded a corner together, and a man in his late twenties, early thirties spoke to me from the van. "You're pretty," he told me, to which I pressed my lips together, looked the other way and kept walking. I figured he'd leave me alone if he assumed I didn't speak Japanese. Rounding another corner, he continued "Where are you from?" Once again, I ignored him. 

He continued driving next to me, trying to make conversation as I walked. We got closer to the station and were forced to stop at a train crossing to let a train pass. "Do you understand Japanese?" He asked me from the car, "Do you know what I'm saying? Where are you from? Do you want a ride to the station? I'll give you a ride. Come on."
At this point, I was looking around, feeling eyes on me. People were glancing and yet no one said anything, not even the police officer that was standing just outside the police box next to where we were, so I continued to ignore him. The train passed and I hurried across, taking advantage of the fact that he had to drive slower because of the crowd of people crossing. I turned the corner and entered a convenience store. Even though I waited there for 5 minutes, when I exited, the car was driving around just outside! I was able to just duck in to the station and catch my train.


However, it still sticks in my head that no one said or did anything when I was obviously uncomfortable. 
I wasn't expecting anyone to swoop in and save me. It's just not the Japanese way. However, I can't say that Japan is the safest place because of this experience. When strangers approach me in the US, I feel far safer than when strangers approach me in Japan. 
So what brought this on? A friend of mine invited me to go to the Poconos in December, but because I'll be back in Japan by then, I had to decline the offer. When I told her this, she made a comment about how I was lucky to be going back to the greatest place in the world. I expressed my happiness over going home, but also expressed my dislike about staying in Ikebukuro again while visiting Tokyo before heading back to Osaka. She nagged at me for being spoiled, and so I told her this story to explain why I felt the way I did. 
I guess my story was wasted on her though, because all she said in reply was: Well, you were probably wearing something that said you wanted him to follow you. 
Oh, ok. 
Anyway, as I told her, I'll be staying in Ikebukuro again until I head back to Osaka. I'm not sure if I'll be staying in Hibarakigaoka again though. My friend made it clear that I'm always welcomed, but I don't like the idea of staying alone with guys anymore. We'll see. I don't want to do anything that, you know, makes someone think I'm leading them on. 



forever_wandering: (SHOCKED)
I was packing my suitcase and I found my old camera! Back in March, I accidently got some sand in to the lense and the camera stopped working, but yesterday, I went to turn it on for old time's sake, and it worked! It's already an old 12 mega-pixel camera, but I've had so many adventures with it that I feel I can't just throw it away so easily. 
PhotobucketNikon 1 J1 Red
But....I've also been eyeing a certain Nikon camera for a while now, but it's still 45000円 and only 10 megapixels, which is less than what my camera now is... But this camera is still a best seller, so despite the low MPX it must be good....  Maybe when I finally reach my goal weight, I'll buy this for myself! 

I went to a haunted house event with my friend and it was really fun! I screamed alot, my throat started hurting and now I've lost my voice but I feel satisfied, lol. We didn't have time to go in to all six houses, but the three that we went to were fairly scary, so we didn't mind that we didn't get to see everything. I had wanted to take a lot of pictures, but I was always running from some kind of zombie or monster, so I couldn't really take any pictures (Unless you include all the blurs and finger shots! lol)  
友達と一緒にお化け屋敷へ行って来て、すごく楽しかったです!悲鳴を上げ過ぎて、喉が痛く、声が出せないんですけど、満足な気持ちがあります(笑) 全部の6軒のお化け屋敷に入るには時間が足りませんでした。でも、3軒の入った場所はかなり怖かったので、全部のお化け屋敷に入られなくても気になりません。たくさん写真を撮りたかったけど、いつもお化けから逃げていたし、写真が撮れませんでした(笑)

Before the event started, we got to preview the Christmas event. The event starts next month and lasts until December, so I probably have time to visit it before I go back to Japan soon!

forever_wandering: (HAPPY&EXCITED)

 There are so many things to write about but no time to do it in. It's already October and I still have to write about events from September汗

M and I headed to Orlando to see THE BLUE MAN GROUPWハートI've been wanting to see this show for a while, so I'm really happy we were finally able to catch it上げ上げ We also ended up upgrading our tickets so that we could have a chance to meet the performersにこ The show was only about two hours long, but it was insanely funビックリ If given the chance, I would definitely go see it again音符




On Saturday, I'm going to a Haunted House with my friendおばけ。 I've never been to one, so I'm pretty excited but at the same time, I'm hoping it's not too scary笑 When I imagine an American Haunted House, I don't think of ghosts. I think of monsters and murderers and psychosダッシュダッシュダッシュダッシュダッシュ

If you don't hear from me within a week, I'm definitely deadががん



forever_wandering: (AMUSED)

Since I'm trying to lose weight, I make a habit of eating home-cooked meals as opposed to eating out. During my mini-vacation with Mugen though, we ate out quite a bit and I can feel that I've put on weight, even though it doesn't show. 

And it doesn't help that Mugen
 gave me an awesome box of chocolates made with all sorts of unusual ingredients.

Ginger, Wasabi, Black Sesame. 
Hickory Uncured Bacon, Alderwood Smoked Salt. 
Mexican Ancho  & Chipotle Chillies and Ceylon Cinnamon. 
Oaxacan Guajillo y Pasilla Chillies. 


So far, I've only tried one of the Ginger, Wasabi and Black Sesame chocolates. I thought it would taste disgusting, but it actually wasn't bad at all! 

Anyway, we decided to go hang out at a water park since the weather was nice and the tickets were cheap. Even though I wore SPF +50 sunblock, I still got sunburnt! Since we arrived early, we had time to get on all the rides. My favorite one was a slide where as you near the end, the tubes become transparent and you can see real dolphins swimming around you as you go down. After we got on everything, we relaxed near the pool. 


beach chairs





Aaaah, so much fun!!


forever_wandering: (Default)
So, my vacation with Kazu and Sho turned out pretty okay. My attempt to get to know Sho better failed. I did talk to him quite a bit and he was nice, but he wasn't exactly always there. He was usually in his own little bubble or busy watching girls. On one day, he spent three hours going in and out of a restaraunt to "use the bathroom" because he was interested in one of the women working there. Kazu and I joked about it and would wish him good luck and tell him to keep trying until he got her name and number, but it was mostly just to get him to stay over there because we got tired of him going back and forward, back and forward, inturrupting our conversation with updates on his progress--or lack of.I spend plenty of time catching up with Kazu though, and we discussed our next vacation! We decided we wanted to go to somewhere tropical.

Aside from losing weight, he hasn't really changed. He was still the goofy big brother-like person I remember. We spent a lot of time talking about stupid things and making fun of each other. For instance, even though he's the older one, he was totally freaked out by a roller coaster I forced him on to and he felt so sick after that I ended up having to buy him an ice cream to calm his stomach. Of course, I made fun of him for that all day!

This guy kept trying to talk to me in one of the lines, so I would answer back in Japanese. I figured that even though I didn't look Asian, the guys I was with obviously were, and he would just assume I didn't speak English. Just my luck, he ended up getting on in our row on a ride and sat right next to me. So I just kept screaming on the ride like I was scared even though it wasn't bad at all. 
We got tired of going through all the pictures, since we had so many good ones, so I decided on only eight for now. I like how they came out, even though they show that more weight loss needs to take place before December. 

I'll probably go through them all again when I have more time and post some others, but for now, this is all. I wanted to save some of Sho and me, but Kazu deemed it necessary to stick his finger in to every shot he took. In other words, no decent pictures of Sho and me. 

I'm thinking I should call Mugen* sometime soon. I chatted with him briefly a few days ago to ask him for advice on Kazu's missing passport issue, but aside from that and our few facebook messages, I haven't had a chance to really talk to him in almost two weeks....and I did say I would be the one to call him... but lately, I feel like I'm always chasing him. 

Ugh. I guess I'll call him this weekend. I know he's busy through-out the week. 
forever_wandering: (HAVING FUN)
Patterned Text Generator at
Out of the five Disney theme parks, Epcot has to be my absolute favorite. I love to travel and experience new cultures and at Epcot, I can experience up to 10 different cultures in about a day! My friend and I walked around the entire park once then decided to spend time in Mexico, China, Germany and Japan

The first thing we did (Because I was basically jumping up and down like a little kid as soon as I saw him) was take a picture with Duffy. The first time I found out about Duffy was about two years ago when I went to Tokyo Disney with Saori after Sadou, and because of that, I had always associated Duffy with Japan. I had no idea though, that Duffy actually originated in Florida but didn't become popular until Japan stuck him in a sailor suit and re-sold him to the masses. 

After Duffy, we began our trip around the world, starting in Mexico. In Mexico they sold...Alcohol! And the layout was very Aztec Indian.  We wanted to split a colorful margarita, but since they were $12.50 each, we decided against it. Once we cleared Mexico, we entered China, home of my favorite Disney character, Mulan. We missed her show by two hours but plan on going back to see her. Aside from a tea stand with some snacks, they didn't have much in terms of food, but instead had beautiful gardens and architecture and an interesting little museum. We ended up splitting a Strawberry oolong tea, which was to die for. It was pretty big though, so it lasted us through our journey in to Germany and its sweets and finally Japan. 
Funny thing happened in Japan. I'm talking to my friend about a yukata one of the girls was wea ring. One of the women who work there walks up to us and asks us if we need help. I tell her we don't and that I'm just telling my friend about yukata and comparing the other girl's to mine. My friend tells her that I live in Japan. The woman asks me if I have any pictures of my yukata, and I do on my phone, so I show her. She seems impressed and begins talking to me in Japanese, so I talk back. After a short conversation, we go to the museum, I buy my friend some Melon Daifuku because she's never tried it,then go to watch Taiko.

After Taiko, we walk around some more before finally coming going back to Japan to eat sushi before the illumination show.  To our surprise, they remember us by name when we returned and continued to speak to me in Japanese throughout our time there.

I thought my friend would feel left out but she seemed amused every time someone came over and said something to me in Japanese. 

After that, we went outside for the light show. We wanted to find a good spot, so I walked over to the fence and leaned over, trying to get a good look at the other sections of the park. A girl sitting on a bench behind me goes, "Excuse me. You're not going to stay there right? Cause we've been sitting here for the past 20 minutes holding this spot."  Her friend whispered for her to be quiet, in which she responded "No, we've been sitting here for twenty minutes!" Pft! As though sitting was hard work. Geeze.
I told her we weren't staying there because it was the truth, but part of me wanted to tell her that we were and that just because she was sitting on the bench didn't mean she was entitled to all the space in front of it. It wasn't like she was old. She was younger than me so if she wanted a view with no one in front, she could have stood at the fence like everyone else. 

I don't know why her talking to me made me feel annoyed, but it did. 

Anyway, the light show was fabulous. It never gets old. Next time though, we're going to try and catch the Magic Parade in Magic Kingdom instead. 


I finished reading "Norwegian Wood" in English and I have to say it felt quite different to me compared to the Japanese version! I'm going to see what other English versions I can get my hands on in the future. I've decided to tackle a book called The Labyrinth by Enrique A Laguerre. It's Puerto Rican literature, which I haven't tried reading since leaving the island some six or seven years back. So far, main character annoys the heck out of me! He doesn't really talk. He just over-thinks everything while the world around him takes care of him, despite the fact that he worked so hard to become a lawyer to take care of himself. 
forever_wandering: (HAPPY&EXCITED)
Cleaning out my memory card, I came across some wonderful pictures! 

The day I went to see the Glaciers with my Mom!!

How old was I at the time? I don't even remember...

Honestly speaking, I hadn't wanted to go. I remember wanting to stay home because I didn't like the extreme cold at the time.  Besides, they were just huge chunks of ice right? So boring!  


Many of these "Chunks of ice" were more than eight times my size. They were massive and oh so pretty! 

I'm glad I went . Every time I watch the discovery channel and they talk about how the glaciers are disappearing, I feel glad that I had a chance to see them. 

And I can't believe I had forgotten about this day. 


forever_wandering: (HAVING FUN)


I can't remember how old I was the first time I ever wore a Yukata or a Kimono, but I do remember how uncomfortable it felt having my friend's aunt dress me, pulling me this way and that, tugging here and pulling there. I remember thinking "Oh God, I can barely move. How am I supposed to do this?" and I remember my friend's boyfriend snapping pictures as I stood there with a complete look of confusion and fear on my face. Now, I wasn't a stranger to Japanese wear. I had seen many girls walk around donning their cute colors, and had seen different styles in magazines. I'd always thought it was cute and even owned two myself, but had never had the courage to try it myself. 

Until the day I misunderstood something that was said to me and I was forced to give it a go. Ao's mom decided we'd go to a festival being held in Nagoya, which meant we "had" to dress up. I now know you don't actually have to, but at the time, I knew nothing, so I just stood there and endured it to the best of my ability. Once they were done, I found it almost impossible to sit and walk and despite all the things I was wearing, I felt naked somehow. It was definitely an unusual feeling. Even though it was hard for me to walk most of the night, I got used to not actually being able to breath and had quite a bit of fun. 

I thought that it was a rental at first, but in the end, they told me to keep it! So it was another to add to my collection =) 

Since then, I've gotten dressed many more times and now, I feel relatively comfortable in such clothing, though I definitely wouldn't make a habit out of wearing it every day. I've even come to appreciate the fact that someone can help you get in to it. When Ao's aunt first did it for me way back when, I was horrified, almost, but now, I don't mind. It's part of the fun. 

I have a bunch of magazines I need to look through in order to pick a new kimono for the new years. Take's mom advised I look in to something red, since I don't own one yet and because she thinks it would suit me. I told her I wasn't sure if I had the money for a new one this time around and she told me not to worry about it, so I'm guessing it's going to be a gift? Such expensive gifts...  But if she HAS to get me something, I would love: 

Anyway, I recently started reading a new blog about a woman who incorporates kimono and yukata in to her daily life as much as possible. I'm amazed at how confident  she is in her wear despite the fact that her current location doesn't really call for it, especially on a daily basis. I need to learn from her. I've always been shy about what I really enjoy and tend to do my best to simply blend in with the others. That has to stop. I should enjoy what I like, even if it does make me stand out a bit. Now, I'm not saying I want to run around in Japanese wear all the time. As I've said, this is something I just wouldn't feel physically comfortable doing. It means I want to mimic her ability to do what makes her smile and feel beautiful despite the norms around her. 

But why should I feel embarrassed about practicing things I enjoy if they in no way, shape, or form, harm others? 
forever_wandering: (ASHAMED)


 Goukons= Group dates, Nomikais= Drinking parties, Sadou=Tea Ceremonies

When I first moved to Japan, my entertainment consisted mostly of Goukons, Nomikais, and Sadou. Drinking and dancing with the boys, that's where the fun was at. I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in the actual Japanese culture. My boyfriend at the time didn't mind, since his friend thought it was so cool he had a wild girlfriend. Every weekend consisted of goukons and nomikais with neighboring schools.

We broke up only two months after my arrival.

Some months after that, I began dating Take. He never asked me to stop partying, but it was obvious he didn't approve. I began to explore other things such as Karaoke, Bentou making, and Kendo. Surprisingly, the most interesting turned out to be Sadou

I began by working on my Japanese and reading as many books as I could with Take's as well as my roommate's help. I began sitting in on the Sadou-club meetings to help myself get more used to being in such a calm setting. Eventually, I was able to visit real Tea Houses without a problem and began frequenting a tea house a friend of mine often went to in Chiba. 

The ladies spoke to me as though I had a clear understanding of the Japanese language. It was a bit hard to follow at times, but they were really patient with me and helped me along. It did wonders for my Japanese! Spending time with these ladies helped spark my interest in Kimono as well as the Koto. Take's mom rewarded my giving up the clubbing life for something "more lady-like" by buying me a yukata, then later on buying me a new kimono for the new year. Getting involved with Sadou was one of the best things I could have done. Not only did it please my new boyfriend and his family, but it taught me a lot about Japanese culture and inspired further change within myself. I admired these classy ladies and wanted to be like them. 

The following pictures are from my last time at the house. 

(I realized from this picture that I had horrible posture! This was actually me sitting straight! Now, I've fixed my posture and no longer have back pain ^^) 

Many of my old friends began distancing themselves as my interest in Sadou and things related grew. Many of them were still very much in to drinking and partying. However, the ladies were kind enough to introduce me to an entirely new group of people. I started growing up. It was around this time that Take asked me to transfer campuses to live with him in Osaka when he left. 

I've decided to take Shaimsen lessons again at the local culture center, even if only to feel a little closer to a time in my life I felt challenged and a little more alive.I had attempted to play the Koto but it proved to be too much of a challenge and instead  turned to the Shamisen. Having experience with a guitar, learning to play a Shamisen had been slightly easier. The woman I spoke to had been so surprised to hear me ask about Shamisen lessons that she offered to teach me for two months for a minimal one time fee! 

Whenever I meet new people and tell them I'm in to Sadou, they give me this unusual look. I met a guy not too long ago who assumed I was interested in Anime and Manga. I confessed to him that though there were a few series I still enjoy from long ago, I really had no idea about half of the things he mentioned. "Then," he asked me, "What do you like?" I told him one of my main interests was Sadou and he seemed genuinely surprised, telling me my type was rare. 

I don't think that we're rare...but I guess we're not as "easily seen?" 
I dunno. I know a lot of people who are in to it. I just don't get why it's considered rare. 

forever_wandering: (RELAXED)
It's only noon and I'm already itching for the day to end. I found out my sister is engaged--through someone else. I'm not jealous or anything. I'm just really annoyed that I had to find out through a third person. When I tell family that my sister and I don't speak, they always look at me in shock and ask why we don't. She's the one blocking me out, and although I don't care anymore, it is really annoying that people keep acting as though it's my fault. Everyone tells me to invite her to visit me in Osaka...But my sister won't even invite me to her place in Hawaii while I'm in the US. What makes them think she'll want to spend time with me across the globe? 

Anyway, after I finished ranting to my BFF about that, I logged on to livejournal to catch up with people who actually matter, and I see that apparently, I was over my bandwitdth limit with photobucket, and everything was basically gone. I paid for more bandwidth for just this month, since it resets itself on the 22nd of this month. It's  funny how much this account has come to mean to me. My heart nearly dropped when I saw everything was down. 

Where do you store pictures and such? 


It was far less rushed than our first few days. 


Our day started off at Hard Rock. R had known about Hard Rock--the museum--but hadn't known that it was actually a cafe, so as soon as I told him, he decided we'd eat there. He ordered this huge burger ( I swear it was a full cow!), I ordered salmon and vegetables, and we split Nachos and desert. We ended up getting so full that we actually didn't eat anything else the entire day. The waiter we had kept crowding us, coming back every few minutes to ask if we needed anything else. He'd show up after what felt like every three bites. It kind of made it a little hard for R and I to have any real conversation.....

He told us he was bored and needed something to do every time he came back. You know, had I ever said "I'm bored," at my old job, my boss would have found so many things for me to do, I would have dropped from exhaustion. 

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that Hard Rock Cafe's salmon is the best salmon ever in existence. Having lived in Sitka, where the economy was run by Salmon fishing, I've had my fair share of fish, so I can confidently say this fish takes the cake. Go out. Buy it. Eat it. Enjoy it. I enjoyed it so much I could barely walk after we finished eating, so R dragged me off to see the Chelsea Market. We regretted getting so full at Hard Rock because there were so many delicious things to eat there. I told R I didn't care about gaining weight and that I could easily tackle that Elmo cake as long as I had a bit of milk, but in all honesty, I couldn't eat another bite without knowing I'd pop. 
Being our last day in New York, we wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary, so R said we'd go to Blue Note, which is apparently a famous jazz club for Japanese people. The music and drinks were amazing. R told me he thought I was beautiful and kept asking me if I wanted another drink as soon as I finished one. I worried he would try to take things to the next level (which I didn't want) but surprisingly, he was a complete gentleman through and through. 

New York was so much fun! R kept saying he'd love to live there. I loved it too, but I know that if I were to move there, I'd grow to hate it. We plan on going back again sometime in the future. This time however, we'd like to go during the summer so we can hit Coney Island.

Oh, I woke up this morning to work out. When I turned my TV on, one of my favorite TV shows was on. I won't say what show it was or what it was about. I'll only leave you with an image. I'm sure you'll figure it out =) 

Boy Meets World Pictures, Images and Photos
forever_wandering: (HAVING FUN)

Tomorrow is Mother's day, so I decided that today, while my mother was out getting her hair done, I'd clean the entire house. It was a lot more work than I had expected it to be...But in the end it was very worth it. The house looks great! Tomorrow, mom and dad will go out together and I'll stay home doing something or other. Mom wanted me to spend the day with her since I've been out of the country for the past few Mother's days, but I really want my parents to finally have a Mother's day on their own to go do couple-stuff. 

I gave mom her present early. My mom loves Disney, so I've always made sure to give her different Disney items for Mother's day. Last year, I gave her a Minnie/Mickey mug set (Which she still hasn't used! She only puts them on her collection shelf!). This year, I got her a Lion King snow globe. 


I saw the globe when R and I went to see the Lion King Broadway musical while in New York, although I had thought it was perfect for my mom, I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to actually buy it, since it was $30.00. In the end, R convinced me to buy it and he seemed pretty proud when I told him how happy mom was with it. 

So. Broadway. R had been dying to see a show on Broadway and I had been dying to see the Lion King, so we got tickets as soon as we could. Each ticket was $145.00. R ended up paying for the tickets with his card, but I ended up giving him cash later. He used the cash to then take me to dinner, so I guess I still owe him?The show, for the most part, was pretty enjoyable. I had been excited to get seats so close to the stage. However, the woman in front of me was wearing this hideously large hat that blocked quite a bit of my view of the left side of the stage. Grrr.....! R offered to switch seats with me, but I didn't want him to miss out. Anyway, it was still pretty great. The music was AMAZING. 

Before going to Broadway, we went to Little Italy! By now, R was confident enough in his English to do all the ordering and such himself! 
forever_wandering: (WONDERING)
DAY 3:  


We went to the World Trade Center memorial Park. They weren't done building the 1WTC, but it was still pretty enough! The museum wasn't done either but they had different things recovered from Ground Zero in the gift shop. 

There were so many people there, but it was so quiet. The loudest sound was the sound of the waterfalls...

After visiting 1WTC, we went to Century 21. When I saw the entrance to the store, I got excited because it looked so cool, but when I went in, I was actually pretty disappointed. The store was very big, but it was also very crowded, stuffy, the staff was rude, the clothes looked like things out of a flea market, and everything was way over priced. While R shopped around, I left and went to go get Pizza, then Starbucks, then sat outside for about an hour waiting. 

We walked around a bit, did some more shopping and sight seeing....

........and then headed back to Brooklyn to see the amazing night view of the city. We also went to a bar in R's guide book, ate, and got a little tipsy. We ended up drinking about $100.00 worth of drinks. 

In other news, something weird happened today. I've been using the same face wash for the past two months and it's been working just fine. Today, after washing my face, I suddenly started breaking out! Looking now, there are about 12 spots. They don't itch or burn or anything but ugh....I don't want to look at my face. Maybe it's time to switch my face wash. 

forever_wandering: (ASHAMED)
DAY 2:


 We went to have breakfast at the Oyster bar. Eating seafood for breakfast is a bit odd, but R-san had been dying to eat oysters for the longest time, so we went to a popular restaurant in Grand Central Station. We got too excited and ordered way too much food! We struggled through it but couldn't finish. We got Clam Chowder, a  10 piece Oyster set and salmon with eggs. 

After eating, we decided to go for a walk through central park. Even though it was a little chilly, it was still really nice! There were a lot of people. We also took some time to lay in the grass and relax! The minute we reached central park, memories of my childhood came back to me! It was such a great feeling. I remembered places I had played, places I had gotten hurt.....  The last time I had played at the park, I had been 6 years old... now, I'm 23. 

Next, we went to Times Square! We walked the streets a bit, grabbed a bite to eat at Ruby Tuesday, then went to Toy's R Us. Even though we're both adults, we played with all the toys... There were so many things we wanted to buy, but of course, we couldn't. Still, it felt so nice to be a kid again!

forever_wandering: (HAPPY&EXCITED)
5th Avenue & The Empire State Building.
We met at Grand Central station at around 14:00. I had seen Grand Central plenty of times before in movies, but seeing it with my own eyes made me feel as though I had somehow stepped back in time. 

I was a little worried that R-san wouldn't recognize me, since we had only hung out in person once before, for a couple of hours and I looked slightly different, but he found me quickly and we decided to get a bite to eat. He wanted to eat Oysters but the Oyster & Seafood bar had been closed by the time we got there, so we decided to head out. We eventually grabbed a hot dog and a pretzel at a little street cart while walking down 5th Avenue. 

forever_wandering: (HAVING FUN)


M-san started working recently. In my mind, he'd be
 so busy with work that we wouldn't have time to talk and my heart would break missing him and blah blah blah, but he's called me every day during his lunch break, so I haven't really had a chance to miss him. I want to miss him though. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder,"  or whatever the saying is, right?Photobucket

We wanted to relax, so we decided to go to a park and have a little picnicPhotobucket 
After our picnic, we began to walk around and discovered a bunch of walking trails and even a canoe ramp. We ended up renting a canoe for four hours and it only cost us $17.50 each! It was pretty fun, even though I was scared out of my mind. 
PhotobucketThe renter had told us that there were alligators in the water but I laughed it off, not expecting to actually see any...But once we were out in the water, we came close to four of them! Of course I started freaking out while M-san decided to try and follow them in the canoe. And then he decided to stand up in the canoe and would rock it at random times!! 
I seriously almost criedPhotobucket 
Once we were out of the "Alligator Zone " though, we encountered many different kinds of birds neither of us had ever seen before.
 At the end of our canoe ride, just as we were getting out, M-san laughs and says, "That was pretty good! For your first time canoeing, anyway."  Honestly, fears of being consumed by alligators and giant insects aside, it was a good experience--again, another first experience with him. Every time I'm out with him I end up trying something totally new and invigoratingPhotobucket 

I really need to start planning the New York trip. I'm supposed to leave in two weeks, but I haven't gotten tickets or a hotel or anything like that. R-san already bought his plane ticket, but he didn't think to buy a ticket+hotel combo, so he's keeping an eye out for good rates too. Usually, I like to have all my travel plans confirmed at least three weeks before I go...but I seriously just don't have the energy! My social life has suddenly picked up and I don't think my body is used to it just yet. 

How early do you make your travel plans? Are you a "Leave it for the last minute" person or a "I want to get it all out of the way" person?  
forever_wandering: (PENSITIVE)
I had planned on getting a lot of reading done today. Last month, I started reading 神様のカルテ, but with all the company I've been having and all my traveling, I haven't been able to get past page 15. I made the mistake of turning on my laptop in bed though, and we all know what that means, right? Now it is almost evening and the most I've done is take the book off the shelf. Darn. I'll definitely read before I go to bed though.
I've noticed that my comprehension is a lot better than what I had assumed. Even though I can't read a lot of the kanji, I know what they mean, and so I am able to actually understand the content I am reading. M-san is constantly trying to trick me in to using my Japanese or asking me how my Japanese studies are going. I simply laugh and and answer, "What are you talking about?" But the truth is...I actually am working pretty hard. 

EDIT: Since writing this paragraph, I've fallen asleep three times. So much for reading before bed! 

M-san and I were talking and he started joking about getting married. He then said that I'd get a job while he stayed home. You know, I'm totally up for that idea because I honestly don't see myself staying at home all day cooking and cleaning and all that mess. I'd much rather be out interacting with other people. When I told him I was alright with the idea, he seemed surprised.
I didn't tell him this but I really like the idea of a stay-at-home dad. I appreciate women who give everything up to stay home and take care of their family, but there is something about watching a father with his child that makes my heart so happy in ways I can't explain.  I know with the way things are, both my significant other and I would have to work to make ends meet, but if the time ever came that one of us had to leave our job, I would rather it be him than me. 

What about you? Do you want to be the bread-winner? The house wife/husband? Both? Why? 

M-san and I went to Disney and had a blast. The lines at each attraction were rather long so we had many interesting conversations as we waited. As usual, we argued. He wanted to plan out each attraction we'd go to and I wanted to just go with the flow. I called him controlling, he called me a slacker. We got on Space mountain and forgot all about it once we got off. We seem to have a lot of stupid arguments over things like this, but the fact that we can forget about it in less than five minutes is always great. 

We had a good laugh that morning too, by the way. In the picture, I'm wearing a black shirt and blue jean shorts. He's wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants. When we both walked out of our rooms first thing in the morning, we were both wearing black shirts and khaki shorts, but we both ended up changing because I flipped out over the fact that we looked like a couple. Haha! 

I don't get why couples need to dress alike to show that they're together. I don't believe of making a show out of one's relationship.... To me, it's no different than having your SO/you being on a leash. 
The only time it's acceptable is during Halloween. 
forever_wandering: (HAPPY&EXCITED)

I started treating one of my dogs for mange. I didn't think it was mange at first, and looking at her now I'm still not entirely sure, but I've decided to try treating her with some home remedies just to be on the safe side. Has anyone ever dealt with something like this before? If you have, any advice would be great! 

I woke up early to make breakfast while M-san played with one of my dogs in the yard. Occasionally, I'd look out the window and laugh. Watching him run around was just too cute. Once I was one cooking, we ate breakfast together, changed, and headed off to Busch Gardens.
At the gate, we were told that we'd receive a free ticket for a second visit if we stopped by a different counter, so we did that and decided we'd be back the next day to finish off whatever we couldn't finish on our first day. Since the park was so crowded on the first day, we did end up using that second ticket in order to finish the park. We rode every roller coaster, watched every show, walked through every exhibit and even went on a safari ride to feed wild animals! It was so much fun!

Photobucket Photobucket
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After the safari rid e, my allergies started acting up for the first time in a million years. I told M-san it was all his fault, because I had worn myself out trying to please him, but we both knew it was from touching all those wild animals. My eyes got so red, my nose got all stuffy, and my voice got all weird. M-san was a good sport about it though, and only made fun of me half the time and at the end of the day, he even tried to give me some of the medicine he had brought with him for the plane ride.^^;; 

Oh, and I'm pretty sure we've eliminated my fear of heights. It was done unwillingly, but it was done! Now, I'm pretty sure I can tackle buildings and rides of any heights! All thanks to M-san ignoring my screams of fear and panic. This guy...he's always forcing me in to new experiences. As he puts it, he's always going to be "My First." But I don't think I'll complain! 
forever_wandering: (LOVE)

My last entry was so sloppy. I'm a little embarrassed.FIXED! 
We got $5,900 from the insurance company for the car, which means we still need to borrow money from the bank if we want to get a semi-decent car we can consider safe. We're keeping an eye out an our fingers crossed.  

Things with M-san went great. However, before I can write about all of that I need to re-wind and write about a few other things that make our relationship so interesting. So, here I go. Taking things back to the beginning! 

We had met on-line for the purpose of language exchange, but in only a few short months, we were laughing and talking over the phone as though we had been friends for years. So when I told him I'd be going back to meet Take's mom, he picked out a few days to meet up, and that was that. Our first meeting took place at Asakusa. Even though I had been there many times before, I told him I had never been there when he confessed that despite living not too far away, he had never bothered going himself.  "Are you sure you've never been here?" He'd ask every time I'd correct his directions. I'd laugh and shake my head thinking "I haven't been here in days." 

We decided to take a picture to commemorate the occasion, however we couldn't decide who would ask someone to take the picture. We ended up playing janken-pon in order to decide. "Ok, ok! If I win, you ask. If you win, I'll let you ask," I told him. See what I did there? I'm clever =D. In the end, he asked another couple to take our picture.  


"If you come up with me and pray," He began to ask me as we approached the shrine, "You're not going to go to hell cause you're Christian, right? It's not against your religion?" I wanted to laugh, but instead all I say is, "I dunno. God could strike me down with lightning at any second..." We argue back and forward a bit about the consequences of me going up to pray with him, then finally head up. I drop a few coins, pray with him, and as we head down the stairs he looks at me, smirks and says, "I bet you're going to go to hell."  


I give him a cheeky smile, "I never travel alone." 
He grins back, "My bags are always packed." 

I knew it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 
And the beginning of the story of Zia and M-san.* 

forever_wandering: (Default)
Hello hello!

I woke up at 4am today to drop my friend off at the airport and despite taking a nap until just a bit ago, I'm still feeling exhausted. Unfortunately, I don't have time to rest since I still have some things I need to prepare for. M-san* arrives in a couple of days, and tomorrow I'm going to a Holi festival in the city. By the end of this month, I am sure I will be a walking Zombie. Yes, definitely. 

Anyway. Disney. My friend and I went to three of the five Disney parks and had a blast! In the end, we did end up changing out clothes, but we had tons of fun wearing our little outfits for most of the day. Surprisingly, I got a lot of compliments and even met some Japanese tourists who were surprised to learn that I could understand every word they said about us as they stood behind us =D. 

Interesting happenings? We asked a man to take our picture. He did. Then he went on to talk about how we had made his day because even though he had 7 grandchildren he was there alone, He kissed us each and went on his way. After that, we went to stand in line for a roller coaster. Suddenly, a man approaches us and gives us fast passes to the ride. We went from a waiting line of 45 minutes to a waiting line of 5. Lucky lucky! =D 

I spent $25.00 total at the park, buying bottles of water and omiyage for my family. Pretty good, right? I think so! I'm looking forward to going again! 

Amazingly, I was really good about uploading all my pictures on time! So people who have me on FB can already see all the pictures I took. =) 





"An ugly duckling growing out of her feathers."

Hello. I'm Zia, and this is most obviously my journal. I write about my life between Japan and the US, and all the adventures I find myself in. People often say they are envious of the life I seem to live, but the truth is, I feel a little unsatisfied with it myself, so I've decided to do something about it--to find what really makes me happy. Hopefully by documenting my life, I can figure out where I need to be heading. This journal is my way of opening my world to those around me in hopes of meeting people searching for the same thing or encountering people who have already gone through this kind of struggle. 

Back in my high school days, I used to be a bit of a nerd. I was really in to comic books of all kinds, action figures...all that jazz.  These days, though my interest in comic books re-surfaces every so often, I'm very much more in to things like fashion, dance, music, travel, tea, baking, writing letters, photography, animals and fitness. I'm a straight shooter--meaning I do not (or rather, can not?) lie. Keeping up with lies is too much trouble. 

Anyway, there is more information about me on my profile. Feel free to take a look there or catch me on another site★


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