So I apologize for being so slow with my posts and updates. This post is about 3/21, so I probs forgot a bunch BUUTTT I will try to remember as much as possible as I write, so, yeah. I will also be updating posts whenever I get sudden bursts of random memories and such. ANYWAY,
I woke up sometime around noon, which was actually incredibly early for me as I usually get up quite a bit later than that BUUTT I am currently trying to change my sleeping hours to a more realistic and polite schedule. My family/Japan currently has several days of vacation though, so everything is pretty lax. My host brother is actually just as bad/nocturnal with his sleeping, so I’m not alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ate breakfast/lunch with my host brother, who then then skateboarded off to go hang out with friends that I would actually surprisingly run into later on in the day unexpectedly. SO, I actually spent the whole day with my host dad which was pretty awesomely amazing because he is a pretty awesomely amazing host dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My host-grandmother/obaachan actually lives right next door, in this absolutely gorgeous traditional Japanese home that smells like incense on the inside which.is.awesome, and we went to see her immediately after breakfast/lunch. The houses are kind of connected in the back, or in other words it takes like 1 step to get into obaachan’s house from my host-house, which is super convenient and awesome. We walked into her house from the back door which I guess is something she doesn’t appreciate, because she scolded my host dad for doing it (host dad is obaachan’s son) which was funny. She doesn’t speak a word of English, but I told her I speak a teeny bit of Japanese and she immediately took that as an indication of me being super fluent in Japanese and started speaking in slightly rapid fire Osaka-ben which I kind of, didn’t understand at all. It was all perfectly ok though, because, she is hilarious, and very grandma-like, in the sense that she gave me a ton of Japanese cookies and was super sweet. She told me that, 20 years ago, she hosted an Australian girl for 5 months named Jenny, and Jenny is now married to a Japanese man and lives in
After that excursion, we went one step back into the host-house, my host dad and I sat for maybe like 5 seconds, and then he was all like “let me show you Ikeda city!”, and I said “yeah!” and we walked/took trains around the city which was super amazing!!!!! I couldn’t BELIEVE how much there is in the city. I had expected the city to be nothing but a suburb of houses housing 120,000 people BUUUUT I was totally wrong. The city is most definitely not touristy, but there is a ton to see and do. There are several museums and quite a ton of parks all over the place which feels super homey, and there is this mountain in the center of the city called Satsukiyama, my host mom said it’s just a hill though. She went all like “NO. Satsukiyama is HIRU (hill)”, which was really funny. I like Satsukiyama a lot—very calm and when the wind blows all the trees swish all over the place which looks really cool.
So. My host dad and I walked along several narrow streets (in the pictures you can kind of see what their area looks like. Unlike what these pictures show however, my host-house is at the end of this extremely narrow little road that is basically hidden from the rest of society. Totally ok though. I LOOVE their location. I will soon provide more pictures/video) to this covered shopping arcade-shopping areas which I remember very well from
OH, something I learned about my host dad. HE MAKES INTERACTIVE BOARDS! When I called my host mom several months ago, I somehow thought she had told me that he works at a bank. I was totally wrong though, and I actually still don’t really understand what he does, but apparently one of the things he makes is INTERACTIVE BOARDS! Like, in this picture you can see random animals and buildings of Ikeda, and you press one of the buttons, and this traditional Japanese music plays while this enthusiastic man explains the picture. My host dad said he “made” this particular board. He also apparently made a map in one of the Ikeda city information pamphlets. He also apparently had something to do with cleaning dirty buildings. I am kind of very confused, but eventually I should be able to figure out Mr. Toshiyuki’s shigotoooo (job).
Hmmmmm (I am trying super hard to remember everything that happened. Here is a picture of Satsukiyama btw)…I noticed that there is a ton of shopping in this city. We went to one of several large department stores located throughout the area (This is random, but my host family owns three tiny dogs and they are always constantly licking the tatami mats in the house. I am watching Nana doing it now). There is also this famous statue named Billiten (picture of Billiten and I), designed by an American guy. If you rub his feet, you shall be blessed with good luck. He looks pretty awesome c: There is also a replica of a castle in the city which looks awesome (I didn’t take a picture though, for some strange reason). I’ll eventually get a picture of it. OH! ALSO, there are wombats EEEEVERYWHERE. Not real ones, but there are pictures of wombats, cartoon wombats, stuffed animal wombats etc. all over the place. Wombats are like, Ikeda city’s mascot animal. LITERALLY, everywhere.
We also went to a Hyakken/Hyaku En/100 Yen store which was amazing. I had heard good things about them from a bunch of people, and seriously, 100 Yen stores are like the definition of convenient. They have everything, and it is super cheap. I would have taken pictures but I don’t think picture taking was allowed (the store had so much amazing “engrish”). There was a chain restaurant named “Friendly!” nearby as well which I remembered from my visit to
Hmmm…I also had Takoyaki for the first time, and it was delicious!!!!! I love
SO, that was 2/21. 2/22, I woke up and went to see Avatar in 3D with my host brother. WOOOOO I EXPERIENCED A JAPANESE MOVIE THEATER!!!! Aaahh Japanese movie theaters are super expensive. The food is insane. They don’t really offer much, but a medium popcorn is like 7 dollars and it isn’t very big in comparison to an Amurican medium size. Host brother and I were also 22 dollars each, which is kind of insane. Since our movie was 3D it was 22 dollars, though usually we are $18 each. Host mom paid for me which was super awesome of her. SO, we saw Avatar, and I was the only foreigner in the entire building (The building is/was huge: 18 theaters. I also think I am the only foreigner within like 100 miles), I got my share of stares (some lasting unnecessarily long), and also noticed that there is assigned seating, very unlike Amurica where people have like bitc* fights over seats, except that actually never happens…at least in
OK, so this is what I recall from the past two days. If I suddenly have a spurt of memory regarding these two days, I will most definitely update this post. So, if you have time, reading this blog multiple times may be worthwhile J