I said I was gonna post about the Japanese Exchange, so here we go! On Sunday they arrived while the last showing of the musical had just started. My girl told me in her email that she was very excited to watch it, but she ended up asleep for most of it lol. Afterwards we went home, played a maze game with my sister, and then sped off for some dinner with the other host kids. After shelling out lots of money, we went to the local park to chill out on the swings and run around like little children....until the police came and casually told us we were trespassing. Lol we are so bad ass. Not really. That night she told me she had a lot of homework, so I let her do that while I sat around and did what I do best: nothing. The next day after school we went to the nearby Panasonic building to listen to presentations (since they give us money for the exchange program) and Arachi (my girl) fell asleep (again). I took pictures, hehe. But it wasn't that bad since I won 5 bucks for figuring out how to switch off a laser-curtain detection device (there was a giant switch that said "main" lmao) and we all got free earbuds and little footballs. Afterward we journeyed to Red Mango and waited around while the Japanese students tasted every single flavor 3 times each with the little taster cups. Then we went to random stores and they bought chocolate by the pound until it was time to go play basketball and soccer at my old elementary school. We played 6v6: Americans vs. Japanese and we got our asses handed to us. After a few runs up and down the court I was wiped out hahaha. That was probably the most exercise I've done in a while. Tired and sweaty, we crashed at Mara's for some pizza and calamari. After dinner, they tried to teach us how to fold oragami crabs, emphasis on tried. We failed miserably, and gave all of our half-finished crabs to Mara. Then we educated them in the fine American tradition of Kemps. Lol, I love that game! Okay, so maybe it's not very steeped in culture, but it was pretty fun. Also I learned that day that Japanese people make their teams by doing rock-paper-scissors. Isn't that cool? Anyway, that night Arachi and I actually stayed up pretty late talking about random stuff, which made me really hopeful that maybe we could become friends since for the most part she was detached. Sadly that never actually happened, and this post is probably gonna take a turn for the worst, so brace yourselves haha.
|Red Mango and peace signs all 'round :)|
|Hard at work minus one. Okonomiyaki!|
Right, so the next day we went to the mall after school where Arachi stayed in Forever 21 for FOREVER. I think I played atleast 10 games of scramble, tried on a few dress, and browsed around for half an hour aimlessly before she was ready to leave. Atleast the shirt she ended up buying was cute. That day was when I started getting weird vibes from her. I think it was mostly because she seemed so different from her positive-excited-sounding emails. She told me she really wanted to cook okonomiyaki for me and wanted to go to a grocery store to buy the ingredients, but when I actually asked her if she wanted to cook dinner that night, she said no. When I asked the other Japanese students, they got really excited and had to convince her to agree to it! It was really bizarre. but they did end up cooking for us, and it was delicious! Okonomiyaki is cooked in a pancake sort of form with shrimp, cabbage, ginger, apple, and then topped with different sauces. They also made us miso soup which was yum-tastic. I further enjoyed the evening by washing a shit-ton of bowls, forks, spoons, pots, and pans. Fumiya and Rina were super nice and kept offering to help wash, and in the end I gave in to them. The next day was the last full day they were to spend with us. After school we had to sing some Beatles songs for them in the cafeteria (don't ask me why), and we went to Cold Stone Cremery (I got mint mint chocolate chocolate chip, and I felt like an idiot saying my order). Afterward we went to Toys R Us and Models before heading home for dinner. My mom called in the car and started screaming at me over the phone because we were planning on eating out, but she wanted us to eat at home even though she already ate, etc. etc. The actual arguement didn't make any sense, but I drove us home and then immediately got sent out to pick my dad up from the train station. During the ride I had a super break down, and was sobbing to my dad about how frustrated I was with Arachi and how I thought she and some others might've harbored secret dislike towards me (or atleast indifference) because I wasn't white. I've hosted twice before her, and in both cases I bonded alot with Yui and Satomi. Even with our horrible language barrier, me and Satomi were able to talk for hours and hours. I tried really hard to get to know Arachi, but she just didn't care. She didn't mind talking about herself when I asked her, but she never tried to ask me anything. There were glimmers of hope where I thought things were finally turning around, but alas to no avail. One night we talked until 1:30 but it was extremely passive conversation haha. She did confide in me that she still has a huge crush on her ex who was on the trip too, (and apparently her best friend doesn't even know!) but then again, it's easy to confide in a random stranger. But I'm getting off topic again haha. Anyway, I was practically blinded by tears during the car ride, and to be honest, I was scared I was going to crash, but thank god we made it in one piece. After dinner we went to the farewell party which was a blast. We taught them shots, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. I also talked with a couple of random Japanese girls who somehow knew my name, and they were so bright and showed emotional response to things people said. I know I'm being mean, but I can't help it. It was just so frustrating!
|Yes, that's my shadow ^_^|
The next morning was farewell day! We all took lots of pictures, and before long their bus was en route for the airport and we were waving our arms like crazy. Even though they technically left before first period started, I skipped psych and crashed with the sophomore Japanese clash. What made this farewell different from the last two was the fact that I was perfectly composed and hadn't shed a single tear. Or so I thought. Halfway through the period, it suddenly hit me, and I couldn't stop crying for my life. It was extremely weird, mostly because it came with no warning, and also since I couldn't even pin-point why I was crying! My belated emotions started a chain reaction, and a couple of the other host kids around me came over to hug me as they joined in on the sob-fest. The best part is that I had just finished having a conversation with our Japanese teacher about how I hadn't gotten nearly as attached to Arachi as I had to my other girls. He walked over and called me out on trying to be cool and collected. Little does he know that I have instantaneous-crying-syndrome. I don't actually, but that'd be a viable explanation for my little episode. It was quite embarrassing. :( This whole experience has got me a little scared for my short home-stay in Japan in two weeks! I'm worried that my host family is going to hate me, but Ed told me that I'm just being stupid and the chances of that happening are very slim. Regardless, I'm beyond excited for the Japan trip as a whole! 10 whole days of delicious food and foreign culture here I come! The next two weeks are gonna be a scramble to buy presents for my host family and get everything ready! Also, it's the end of the marking period so I have a billion projects I need to start and finish, nbd. Also before I forget, on friday at midnight, I went with Mara to see the Hunger Games premier ! It was absolutely fantastic (but some of the serious parts were hilarious) and afterward we went to 7 11 at 3 am for some munchies. I got a bag of Funions in case anyone was wondering. Now it's really late so I'll call it a night!
|Kuzen! Fumiya! Mara! ....and I have no idea who that dude in the front is, but he was really nice. :)|
|Gifts! Nanoblock of a famous golden temple in Kyoto, and the most delicious mochi I've ever tasted.|
|A pineapple I saw on top of someone's car today while I was walking home from school lol.|
|Japan Exchange 2012 :)|