Back in the US of A

  • May. 27th, 2009 at 12:38 PM
mochi: A woman leans back on her dressing table (fashion: resting)
After four months living in Japan, I have returned to the United States. Culture shock has not quite set in yet, but jet lag has. I am glad to be home, though, as much as I miss my friends from abroad.

Now that I am on summer vacation, it is time to bust out my Photoshop skills and make some icons from all the photos I took in Japan. Other art types as well shall be forthcoming, especially once Kristin and I get started drawing our comic.

Today I went to Harvard Square to visit Lush. Kristin introduced me to the chain while we were in Japan; I had known about it before, but never stopped in. The woman who helped me today gave me a free hand treatment, and I bought some deoderant sans-aluminum. It smells like citrus! Yummy. If I'd had a bit more cash to spend I would have bought the lemon and shea butter lotion as well, but after that I was going to pick up my car from the garage, so I needed to keep my money tight.

My car sat in my parents' driveway while I was in Japan. Naturally, after four months of sitting still it needed some tuning up. The poor thing needed parts replaced in the front breaks, which ran me nearly $400. Better to have working breaks than not, though. I have a long drive tomorrow! Some of you may know the radio show Car Talk; it's their garage that fixes my car, so she was in good hands.

Kaiyukan: Osaka's Aquarium

  • May. 22nd, 2009 at 5:10 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (love)
(crossposted to my travel blog:

Since finals were cancelled, I have had a lot of free time. Part of what I did with that time was go to Kaiyukan, Osaka's aquarium. My real camera broke recently, so I all I had with me for taking pictures was my cell phone. The pictures are very small and not of high quality, but I will share them because some of the animals are interesting and cute.Pictures below the cut! )

After I left the aquarium, I rode on a giant ferris wheel from which I could see the whole port area of Osaka. That was the last trip I'll be taking into Osaka proper. Just two more full days in Japan before I head home!

The first suitcase hits the floor.

  • May. 8th, 2009 at 4:23 PM
mochi: A woman in dark clothing (dramatic)
I am in the process of packing a suitcase to send home with my dad, who is leaving Japan tomorrow.

Last night, Okaasan posted information on the shuttle bus to the airport, and put out boxes for our unwanted belongings.

There are only five days left of classes, and then exam week.

It is really beginning to sink in how very little time I have left in Japan. In just a little over two weeks, I will be leaving this country, leaving my friends, and heading back to the States. I feel a sense of lament and also relief. Living in a foreign culture is hard work. When I get home, I will once again be able to relax into a system that I fully understand. At the same time, I am only just now beginning to fit myself into the structure of Japanese society. I have reached a new level of comfort here. I have passed the biggest hurdles and reached the other side unscathed. In some ways, life back in the States will take a readjustment. I remember that last time I came back from Japan I was disgusted by the lack of cleanliness in public areas. I wonder what will take adjusting to this time.

I have, oddly enough, developed a nostaligia for buses that don't run on time.