Thursday, March 3, 2011

Short and Sweet

Given the opportunity to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. Enjoy yourself and never linger on negativity for too long because it'll just take away from the time you could spend smiling. It really does go by in a flash. So fill your days with happy thoughts, lasting memories and inappropriately hilarious stories. But most important of all, remember to fill it to the brim with amazing irreplaceable people who will bring an overflow of joy and positivity into your life.
Soak it up bitches, because it'll be over before you know it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cindy, the TV's leaking!

During the break between Fall semester and Spring semester (February-April), the students who've only applied to stay half a year make their return home to their native countries. For the students who were staying for Spring semester, most of them spent their break traveling around Japan or nearby countries. Unfortunately that leaves Kaikan practically empty and it can get pretty spooky there all by yourself! And so there I was, the only person left on 3rd floor... all of the 4th floor residents had either gone home or were on vacation. I think most of 1st and 2nd floor was also partly if not completely empty.
At first I was fine with it, but then I started hearing noises like thuds, bumps, and footsteps and it scared the shit out of me because those floors were supposedly vacated! To make it worse, at the time I was living there, the 3rd floor of the building had dim lights that flickered on and off constantly. The Kaikan is also located next to a cemetery and sometimes the gate would be left open, oh god! I was never bothered by any of this before, but just being the only person on your floor can be terrifying especially when you're a big chicken like me. I was so afraid and paranoid of every little sound, I even had trouble sleeping for awhile. I mean I love watching J-horror but I'm a total wimp when it comes down to it. I just kept imagining scary stuff happening like... something from the Grudge pop-locking out from beneath the blanket and grabbing me while I was in bed. Don't even remember how many times I burned my eyes because I was too afraid to close it while shampooing my hair ahhh.

Eventually though everyone came back and we even had new students moving in. But I never forgot how spooky the Kaikan could be given the right circumstances and an overactive imagination. That's actually the main reason why my friend and I decided to film a "scary" movie there. It was the perfect location. Hey the best way to face your fears is to laugh at it.

Pop, lock and drop it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Toilet Diaries

Never, and I mean NEVER!! eat food from the hostel's communal refrigerator.. haha I've learned my lesson. I think having food poisoning might just be the worst illness to have while traveling. I could not make it more than a few minutes without running to the bathroom. OMG it was so awful. Just traveling from Kyoto to Osaka was pure torture, I felt so sick.

Our first night there, we slept over at Popeye's Media Cafe. It was pretty nice and very cheap, we got unlimited access to drink machines and a shower, plus a private booth to sleep in. The only downside was we had to be out by 5am. So you know what? After leaving Popeye's my friend and I went into the Osaka train station and slept in the bathroom stalls, yea that's right! true bums. Hey don't judge us! it was cold outside and there were no chairs in the station (Kyoto station had no toilet paper and now Osaka station has no chairs?? wtf JAPAN!)

Anyways the only seats available were the toilet seats so yeaaaaaa. I was certainly in no condition to walk, or sight-see, or even try new foods. We decided it'd be best to just take it easy that day and get a room. Thank goodness for J-Hoppers! best hostel ever, they had a room available for us so we checked in right away. And I have to say, many thanks to my friend who got me crackers and medicine because they really helped quiet my stomach down. Luckily most of my illness had passed by the next day.

So yea kids, if you're traveling always bring toilet paper, medicine, and crackers... and stay away from questionable food and condiments left in the fridge by other travelers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

June 5th 2009

I've been feeling a bit lethargic lately. I'm not quite sure why, but it has been eating away at me. Perhaps it has something to do with the gloomy weather these past few days. Or maybe it's because I know I'll have to return to America soon. Either way, I don't like having this feeling looming over me; it's not good to let negative energy linger around for too long. I'm trying to figure out what it is, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It feels like a mix of frustration, disappointment, and anger, what a lovely combination of emotions huh!

The hell happened here!? apparently this was a draft that I never finished writing. Geez I can see why! just reading it is bringing me down! I'm still not sure what this was all about but I'm feeling a bit down right now so I suppose I can relate... with myself? o_O

I've been sick for the past 2-3 weeks and it's making me feel miserable, both physically and emotionally.


Dear Diana, SNAP OUT OF IT!

Life's too short for this nonsense. Stop listening to sulky music. Stop focusing so much energy on things you can't control. You did what you could, and it wasn't good enough so move on. Stop kicking yourself over the small stuff. It's been fun but all good things must come to an end. Leave the past as it is, and look forward to the future. And please get around to washing that robe you've been stewing in all month long.

P.S. Hang in there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ode to the 自転車

One of the luxuries of living in Japan is the abundance of bike paths and pedestrian friendly streets. Being able to just hop on your bike and get from one destination to the next? Awesome stuff. Riding along the river in the late afternoon was so therapeutic for me. It was very calming and it really brings me back to being a kid again and not having to worry about anything. The smell of the grass and the buzzing of insects, agh! I miss it.

I always tried to get as many people to come biking whenever possible, the more the merrier right? Oh man, the lines I would use in order to sucker people into coming along. I think my personal favorite was “oh it’s really close, only 10 minutes away” sure yea it’s only 10 minutes away if you bike at 80mph, so technically it’s not a lie.

Sometimes when I woke up late and had to bike extra fast to school, I would pretend I was being chased by zombies in order to go faster. I’d always get to school drenched in sweat from head to toe so I eventually learned to keep an extra pair of clean clothes in my backpack.

Biking back from school was always a joy though haha! If you’re fortunate enough to attend Oita University you know exactly what I mean. There’s a HUGE hill leading out of the university and it’s such an adrenaline rush to ride down it after a long day of class. I dreaded biking up that hill every morning but loved seeing it in the afternoon, definitely a love-hate relationship there – Rihanna needs to write a song about that! Instead of “Love the way you lie” she should call it “Love the way you ride” hah! get it!? Oh I’m soooooo clever…

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Miso Ramen

I remember my first day at the kaikan dormitory. Walking in and setting my luggage down, it hit me! I am finally in Japan and this is going to be my room for a year. It was one of those surreal feelings, even now I always wonder if it happened or not. Luckily I have pictures to prove my sanity.

It was around afternoon time when my tutors dropped me off there. I had barely begun unpacking yet and my stomach was already growling. I wasn't too familiar with the neighborhood yet but I remembered passing by a 7-Eleven just down the street from the dorms. So I walked over there and stocked up on some munchies. Now forgive me but I had never cooked in my life before. Sure I'd fried myself up some eggs every now and then but I had never actually "cooked" a meal before unless nuking food in the microwave counts as cooking. Needless to say, my food choices were limited given my lack of cooking skills. But! at least I knew how to boil water, and I had a pot! hah! so I thought of preparing some instant ramen, the meal of champions!

I grabbed a pack of miso ramen, along with a bento box in case I failed at boiling water. Thank god I bought that bento box or else I would've starved that day. No, I didn't fail at boiling water, even worse, I failed at turning on the gas stove. Sad. REAL SAD. I also didn't know that in order to heat your bath water you have to set the control panel located besides the bathroom. So yea, that was just about the coldest shower ever. So my first day living on my own was pretty much a fail. There was no miso ramen for lunch that day, however! there was a lot of miso hungry and miso cold.

But in spite of all that, I just remember loving every second of that day and I made sure to never let myself forget that even when I'm cold and hungry, who cares? I'm in Japan!

Room #302, nothin but love for ya!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When Life Gets You Down…

While studying abroad I learned a couple key things about myself. I love being told that something is difficult or impossible; it’s like music to my ears. I crave a good challenge. I’ve learned to never let anyone tell you that something is impossible for you to achieve, because the only person who has any real say in that is you. Life is not a spectator sport, and you can’t always trust the ref’s calls, so get in there and try it out yourself! :) Get your hands dirty, make mistakes and don’t ever stop learning new things. Remember that failure is only momentary; take it as a sign that you’re actually putting effort into achieving your goals. You may be down for the count, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the game just yet.

Understand that some people you meet in life will only want to take you down to their level because they are unhappy with their own lives. Those are the people who try to build themselves up by knocking others down. Know your worth and let the haters hate.

Life isn’t easy. It’s not fair. Sometimes it’s damn right cruel. So that leaves you with 2 options. You can choose to be bitter, or you can choose to be better.

I’ve chosen the path of bitterness before, and it’s never quite worked out for me. Nope, it’s not a very productive use of time.

So now I’m choosing to be better. I’ve decided to go back to school and get a 2nd degree in something more marketable. This time around I’m going to do all I can to graduate with Magna Cum Laude… *giggity* XD sorry I can’t help myself! Anyways I think it’ll be a fun challenge to work towards.