An Adventurer's Dream

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Japanese Toilets and End of Semester

ImageThat, my lovely readers, is a picture of the Japanese-style toilets that I was introduced to while on my trip over Spring Break. Most of the girls did not use them, and did not want to. It’s different, not something that Americans are used to. I mean, seriously, would you want to squat and use that?

In all actuality, I liked them. It removes the worry of what germs you are sitting on and what you are going to sit in altogether. Plus, because everyone didn’t want to use them, I usually got to go to the front of the line instead of waiting behind everyone. Definitely a plus.

You’re probably wondering why I brought up the Japanese toilet. I have no idea, actually. I saw the picture and thought I should share. But there’s no real reason.

It’s getting to the end of the semester and I am definitely starting to get bogged down on homework. I have a lot of major presentations coming up (in addition to papers that go with them), papers for other courses, a few tests, my friends’ wedding is this weekend (and I can’t wait to finally see them say their vows!), I need to find some financial aide for next year, and I  still have to find a job for the summer. It’s needless to say that I am starting to get a little stressed. I have way too much on my mind, and thinking just makes me stress more. I’m sorry to rant about these things – I’m sure you have a ton of things to do as well. Just know that I am feeling you and I hope that it all goes okay. If you get too stressed, we can cry together and feel the ocean with our tears.

I think that was one of the reasons Japan was so amazing. I didn’t have anything to worry about there. I was in another country, which sort of felt like I was taken out of my life and put into another one. It was literally an adventure, and I hope you all know how much I love me some adventures (especially with magic and action and romance, though I’m still waiting for that to happen to me). My time there sort of represents procrastination and adventure and wonder. So, if we use logical reasoning, we can come to the conclusion that the floor toilet represents procrastination and adventure and wonder.

Lucky toilet, huh?

Good luck to everyone with the end of the semester. I’ll still be posting, but I figure I might as well say it now before we all get into our projects and studying and research. Make sure that you still put some time aside for yourself. Nothing is worse than studying without taking a break and letting your brain breathe a little.

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Japan in Pictures!

So, this is a little late, but it was promised! I’ve finally decided on photos to share with you all from my experience in Japan. It was difficult – I took over a hundred pictures each day – but I finally settled down on a few that I feel are really amazing.

First of all, my class woke up and walked to the bus stop. This is the view of the mountain behind us. Absolutely gorgeous.

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Then, this is the view from the top of the mountain where APU is located. It absolutely took my breath away. IMG_8350

 

This is APU campus.

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We did a downtown tour the first day and stopped at a shrine, where we got to practice leaving an offering and praying.

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This was the hot spring we visited. It smelled, but was beautiful.

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I was worried about food in Japan, because I’m allergic to shellfish (or might be allergic, to be more specific) and didn’t want to risk getting sick. However, there was so much wonderful food. Below is a picture of pork and cabbage that was steamed by the natural hot springs that run through Beppu. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. Add some soy sauce, and I was in heaven. It was a good welcoming dinner.

 

 

 

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I didn’t eat this ramen until Thursday, but it was the best I have ever had. Pork, green onions, garlic in the broth, and the best noodles ever.

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One of the Buddies took a picture of me outside of the ramen shop.

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Some landscape. Mountains and nature everywhere.

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We went on a trek the last day. These are some of the sights we held when walking up.

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At the very top was this.

 

 

 

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Me, after we looked at a temple later on.

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A very beautiful temple!

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Calligraphy. How’d I do?

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The entrance sign to Harmonyland!

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I braved my fears of heights and went on this giant ferris wheel. It actually wasn’t that bad.

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We saw a spectacular night show before leaving Harmonyland that night.

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And some other random pictures that didn’t load when they were supposed to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hope this gives you a good look at what I saw and did in Japan! I don’t have too many pictures from the business trips (because we weren’t supposed to take pictures) but I did have a good amount of cultural experiences. Hopefully one day you will get to do the same thing!

 

 

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I’m Back! :)

First of all, I want to note that I am still alive.

Second, I apologize for not keeping up with my daily posts for the March of Happiness and for not updating more quickly. It has been hectic and I had no time while I was in Japan to do anything at all with regard to my blog. I am finally getting some time to sit down and write a post, in which I do realize that I have a lot to catch up on.

First of all, to March of Happiness. I was going to try and set up the posts before I left for Spring Break, but I was so bogged down by schoolwork and travel preparation that I was unable to do that. Instead, I’ll make a list now and let you see all that has made me happy since the last time I posted on her.

  • Day 8: Music
  • Day 9: Safe Flights
  • Day 10: Japan
  • Day 11: Beppu Hot Springs
  • Day 12: Tea Ceremony
  • Day 13: Shopping
  • Day 14: Travel
  • Day 15: Hello Kitty
  • Day 16: Freedom
  • Day 17: St. Edward’s
  • Day 18: Sleep
  • Day 19: Clockwork Princess
  • Day 20: Japanese Food
  • Day 21: Chinese Food
  • Day 22: Warmth

I’ll give you some better posts for the rest of the month, so please bear with me as I continue to post about March.

Next, Japan. There are no words that can appropriately say how wonderful Japan is. I really enjoyed my week spent there. While we were eternally busy  – half of the day with school-planned activities and then half of the day hanging with our Buddies (students from the school there) – it was great to be involved in so many things. We went on business trips (got to see Nissan cars being built!), did cultural activities (tea ceremony, flower arrangement, meditation, etc.), shopping (they have amazing malls, bee tee dubs – mall plus a grocery store installed!), and lots of food experimenting. I had been extremely nervous about the food at first; when you think of Japanese food, fish and shellfish is the first thing you probably think of (I mean, sushi, hellooooo). Dead wrong. There’s so much good food – real ramen, cucumber sushi, beef sushi, miso soup, rice, banana ice cream crepes (those were heaven!)… The list goes on. Korean food – totally there, too. I didn’t realize that Korean Barbecue has metal chopsticks. Those are the coolest! And the Buddies, the students from APU that went to events and other things with us, were absolutely amazing. I made some wonderful friends. Also, let me tell you that there is a theme park called Harmonyland outside of Beppu. Guess what the theme park is for? Hello Kitty. Yeah, you read that correctly. HELLO. KITTY. Honestly, that theme park was way more amazing than I was thinking. And so much Hello Kitty.

Needless to say, I had a great time in Japan. I cried several times because I had to say goodbye to my new friends and goodbye to the country. I really hope that I get the chance to travel again someday, and definitely to Beppu – or Japan in general. If you get the chance to go there, definitely grab that chance and take it. Travel. Even if it’s not Japan. Travel where you can.

Did anyone else have a good Spring Break? Or relaxing? I hope you did! Please, feel free to share the adventures you went on over the break.

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