Finding My Groove

Saturday, September 2, 2006

I’m totally getting the hang of this!! FINALLY!

I went to bed feeling pretty good. I watched V for Vendetta at Adams house and started falling asleep well before the movie ever began. I actually woke up asleep and never woke up for the whole day. Don’t know why.

It’s strange how I’ve started getting into these modes were I’m so into what I’m doing that I forget that I’m in such a strange and different place. Adams house is so stylishly set up that it feels really nice to just sit and chat or watch a movie. When I left around 12:30 I suddenly remembered that I was in Japan! I see it as a sign that I’m getting used to things.

So today, I finally got to sleep in! I woke up around 8:30 and promptly began cleaning. This was the first day that the weather was nice enough to open all my doors and windows and I took the opportunity to walk between rooms without having to open and close doors. Or so I thought. By 11ish I had to close off half my apartment because it was getting bit warm. But by that time I had at least half of it done!

I finally went through some of the cabinets that I just didn’t have the motivation to look through before. I found some weird stuff. I found things from my predecessor. Things from the girl before her. And then a few things from the person before her! I can only assume that there was someone before that person because both girls before me were from America and I kept finding things that were from Britain…like an outlet converter and random maps. It was interesting but quickly turned to trash.

Instead of finally cleaning my kitchen, I ended up turning it into a bigger mess than when I began! I decided that if I couldn’t use it I was going to pitch it.

By the afternoon I was totally spent and decided to leave all the crap on the floor where I left it and go shopping for cheese.

Say what? Yeah you heard me, cheese.

Kae (Shinozaki…host mom) told me that she liked Tacos. So I learned that I could get some taco stuff at Balza (no joke!) in Kochi city. I found taco shells, taco seasoning, and taco salsa. What I didn’t find was sour cream or cheddar cheese. Today, I went on the search for the cheese.

Many people say that you can’t find cheese here. They are so wrong. You can find plenty of mozzarella imitation cheese! The Japanese do love their imitation pizza cheese.

In the end I came up empty handed and I think I’m going to have to eat the tacos cheeseless which makes me sad but the idea is there and I’m sure they’re still gonna turn out well.

When I was on my way home I got an email from Tsubasa and I asked him if he’d like to come over to help me figure out my trash situation. See, in Japan, I can’t just through my crap away. No no, I have to separate everything! It get’s quite confusing and I just have no idea if it’s slightly out of the ordinary. As in, anything other than paper, food, or normal plastic (oh, they have like three categories for plastics)

I thought for sure he was going to come over and tell me that I wouldn’t have to separate everything but it turned out I was sol.

We sat around for about a half an hour separating all my crap into 5 different categories that ended up into 7 bags total. On top of all that, I have to keep this crap in my apartment until it’s their specific trash day. Monday is the first to go (burnable trash) but I’m going to Odochi Sunday afternoon and I won’t be able to put it out early Monday morning. So I asked if it was ok if I put it out Sunday afternoon.


So, that means that I have to wait until Thursday before I can throw out my first installment of trash. After that, I have plastic, recyclable bottles, glass, metal, cans, clothes, books. All of these have different categories and all of them have one day for trash pick up. That means if I miss one of those days, I have to keep it in my apartment until the following month. Joy.

Aside from trash duties, I’m really getting the hang of washing my clothes! When I’m done, I don’t have to iron absolutely everything and they don’t smell like humid air! They smell clean! I ROCK!

I’m making my apartment my own and I’m loving it. I feel more comfortable with myself everyday and I feel like I’m finally doing things right! I’m making friends and I’m learning Japanese. I’ve started classes (kinda) and I feel like I could tackle anything!

Except anything new. No thank you. I’m not up for any new stresses. I’d like to stay in my blissful state at least for a week please…but I can just see it. Another challenge is waiting right around the corner and I think it’s going to be one of two things.

  1. I’m going to run out of money if I don’t start budgeting sometime real soon! Glasses and tickets to Tokyo cost close to $900. Ouch. It makes sense, it’s not very overly priced but it’s a lot to spend all at once. I don’t think I get paid again until the 25. Gotta make it last! No more spending $11 on taco ingredients! (you heard me)
  2. My principal is gonna throw me a curve ball. I can just see it. Oh Nina, pose for this camera. Tell this News Station what your message for all of Kochi is! Let me introduce you to this random important person. I hope you make us proud of you!


I can’t wait for my new glasses. I was a little apprehensive at first but I am so over these back up glasses. They have their perks but they’re just not as nice as my old ones.

Now, all I need is internet at home! It can’t come sooner!!!

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