sunnuntai 30. syyskuuta 2012

come away with me

We meet again.
Once again, my sincerest apologies for basically sucking ass in this whole keeping a blog thing. Still, the school IT lab treats me like a lover so here we go once more, better late than never.

It's been almost a month since I last updated you people so go figure that happenings during the last month have been multiple. I believe we were left off with the trip to the samurai village the last time. Since there's been a few trips, many adventures and many-er parties here in the land of the rising sun. As usually, I have quite a few pics and explaining trough them is a lot easier than expressing with words.
To make this more clear, here's a short list with a short introduction to the things going down in Japan. Enjoy.

1. I now know Japanese! Thanks to a very high school-y way of studying the language, I can pretty much read and write the two easier alphabets and handle everyday business such as restaurants and asking for directions in Japanese. I guess the old dog can learn new tricks after all.

2. I put these mighty fine Japanese skills of mine to use! The uni had an event in the local mall (Aeon) with AIU student talking English and Japanese to the people hanging around and shopping. I was there, I was hyper and I was extremely popular among the Japanese kids. Planning to do this again next weekend when the people should be coming on campus for the biggest AIU event of the year: AIU festival. I'll fill you guys in on that next week then!

3. Partaaayh! There's been a dance party, a proper fancy ball, several birthdays and i-am-so-mad-at-life-let's-get-drunk-night and a few others I'd say. So yes, we've been out and about having some good time!

4. I miss cooking. The communal kitchen system is really not working at the Komachi Hall. Everytime I want to use the kitchen I need to fill out some papers, everytime I want to use the hot plate I need to pay and everytime I want to eat something after 10p.m I just have to go hungry. Thank god my mother isn't the only one worried so many of the lovely people here (cheers for last night Ayami!) keep feeding me. We'll see what they say when the time comes for the Finnish cooking night in our little cooking buddies circle.

5. Road trip! After some very troublesome application process for a permission to drive in Japan for Andrea, we finally made it! Rented a car, took it to the coast roads of Japan and soon enough found ourselves at Mount Chokai. Indescribable scenery and superb company. Hiking up the mountai was like following Howl's moving castle or chasing little Totoro's in a world utterly different to what I'm used to. Simply put: took my breath away.

6. Chillin'. Little by little is easier to relax here. Culture shock is fading gradually, people are getting more and more familiar and the atmosphere is getting homier. Hmm, good times. Now, to the pictures we go!

Here's an older one; first night in Tokyo! Me, Chris and Tara grabbing something to eat with a backpacker group.

Study mode. Incredibly credible Chris at lecture.

People! Meet my utterly lovely roommate Ryoko.

 Calligraphy class field trip to the near by shrine to do some rubbings.
Mad skillz.

Gates to the shrine.

UMI! Went to beach on the west coast! Freaking good, salty times.

Running late for the train. As per usual.

Surf curls a la Teddy.

Back to campus where even the IT lab is a place to chillax.

Tasha and the hardships of social norms. Tuk disapproving on the background.

Uno night! Alazne and the victory face.

Morning glory at the convenience store.


Haha I have a strong feeling at the end of the year this blog is just gonna be a Teddy cuteness gallery. Anyways, debate society party and some awesome hat action!

Drinks at Tuk's last Friday. Let's just say thank god there's no pictures of me from that night (hopefully?).

Fancy ball night and Michael being aggressive and unloving as always.

Breakfast time at the uni cafe with Loan and Yasser.

The greatest thing I've purchased here so far. It just makes sense.

Study abroad fair, me and Teddy representing Aberdeen Uni! Boo-ayh! Teddy didn't quite nail the scottish accent but look at him, that face will do just fine.

Loan getting ready to hit the road last Saturday!

My entourage for the trip. My annoyed ass is already in the car since I didn't see the need to take hundreds of pictures of the car itself..

Trying to figure out the Japanese GPS. Not too successfully I might add.

Nevertheless, we got on the road! Andrea learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road and how to drive an automatic at the same time. Man, did we feel safe.

Beginning of the hike at Chokaisan.

Swamp roses Japanese style?

 Up, up, up, up, up the stairs we go..
 but didn't came to a tunnel (lotr quotes, anyone?).
 Loan and myself representing.
Yeah. That's how it looked.

Yasser on an adventure.

Looking at the pics now; mind blown all over again.

Yep, that's what's been up lately. I've got so many stories to tell still and I will try and do it as soon as possible. Until then, all my love I will send to you! Dumdidum.

Love, Sonja

torstai 6. syyskuuta 2012


Alrighty! My laptop is not feeling any better but I'm gonna try and do this here in the IT lab.
Now, to the point.

J-A-P-A-N! Boo-fucking-yah!
It's been some two weeks here and the honeymoon period is still going strong. I mean, the language barrier (which by now is slowly but surely breaking down) is definately there and the inevitable culture shock is hitting me harder every day, but none of that has stopped me enjoying my time here.

I've met tons of new, amazingly exciting, people and gotten around Akita-shi (oh yes, I said it in japanese) a bit. The uni is very small, rich and located in the middle of nowhere. Somehow, all of these qualities seem to make it so that it feels like we are living in a small village with people who all share the same interests, thirst for knowledge and, especially, dance fever! Haha, that was probably the lamest sentence ever written.

As you can see, my head is quite effed up right now so to save me and you some time and sanity; it's picture time!

First things first; the white supremist club! Eh. Anna, Robert, Chris and Brandon waiting anxiously for the 50cm tall ice cream!

Omagari fireworks festival about to begin. Over a million people gather to see the pretty lights in the sky.

 The lights were real pretty.
 We were pleased with the lights. Or with the sake at this point I guess.
 Aimee looking cute as a cotton ball!
 Akita city park. Awesomeness. Temples, tea ceremony rooms, shrines. Even old asian people doing tai chi.
 Early birds catching the bus to lake Tazawa and the Samurai village of Kakunodate! Yasser and Tasha representing.
 Tazawa, deepest lake in Japan.
They said a little prayer.
 Loan's too cool for that though.
Chilling w/ Ryoko and Andrea after some hard core paddle boating and swimming.

 Samurai mansion's garden. Is this for real? Have I actually been to a Samurai mansion? Oh my.
Let's not get too crazy though. Classes started this week and to succeed being fluent in japanese (and beating Brandon's ass in our little competition), the library has become a friend to be fond of.
TEDDDY! Sitting right next to me, right at this moment is my Mongolian superstar.

A more comprehensive update is coming, but now I gotta make my way to lunch and to prepare for the dance party tonight. Happy bday mum, I'll dance the night away for your sake!

And yeah, I do miss home. In Finland and in Scotland.

Love, Sonja


Yes, it's still mediumlarge. Yes, it's been a while. Yes, I am having the best time in Japan and I will tell you all about it as soon as I get the chance. Yes, my laptop is broken. Fak dis shiit.

Love, Sonja-san