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My Feet Are So Freaking Sore

TUESDAY

Met up with that girl I was introduced to online by one of the PTA moms. She's from Slovenia (I was told that she was from Slovakia--oops). Her name is Mateja Werbuc and she's an inch or so taller than me and mousy as hell. She says her ideal job is to be a librarian (in Slovenia, of course) where they have special shows/displays of art and artifacts and such that she could be a part of. She told me that her great love is large, heavy books.

She has a mustache.

Which she dyed blonde, so it wouldn't show so much. So there are these yellow hairs that hang down over her lips. It was totally mesmerizing. She's really, really nice (although I told Nishimuro-sensei that she isn't his type). Nishimuro-sensei had asked me to give her his number if she turned out to be "his type," to which I replied, "That is totally digusting." (スゴク気持ち悪い。) I mean, honestly. Of course, when I told him that she wasn't his type, he wouldn't believe me. He thought I was bluffing to safe her. When I told him that she was taller than me, he stood up straight (even got on his toes a little) and said, "Hey, I'm tall."

(It was below the belt, but it was a necessary evil.)

We ran into Sara, Toshimitsu, and Dan. (Sara told me that she yells at Tom Cruise whenever he's on Japanese TV for commercials and stuff--we had been talking about how much we hate him--and she disses him by saying, "And you're really freaking short, too!" To which Toshimitsu always cries, "Hey, I'm shorter than he is!" And Sara always replies, "Yeah, well, you're Japanese, so it's okay." I think Toshimitsu has yet to be totally convinced.) Toshimitsu had work, so he left and then the four of us who were left went to Capricciosa ("Capuccino's," as I like to call it). We stayed there for an hour or so (there was a flamingly gay waiter there who apparently used to work somewhere else that Dan and Sara often haunt), and then parted ways. Mateja and I went to China Town, which was small, smelly, and colorful. Took a bijillion pictures (I will get the internet at home eventually!!!) of pretty buildings and streets and stuff. On the way back to Sannomiya Station we passed this family by a shrine. They wanted me to take their picture and they kept speaking to me in English. I was so annoyed. I took their picture and tried to get away (after taking a picture of this lucious plum tree in full-bloom) and the father asked me where I was from. I told him and tried to get away, but before I could he told me, "We are from China."

Oops. Faux pas NUMBAH TWO! On the same day, no less. I had been speaking to him in Japanese, aggravated that he was trying out his pitiful English on me. Dammit!

Made it home just in time for a phone call from Ashizawa-sensei, saying that she and I were exempt from helping out with the second entrance exam on Wednesday. Yippee!!!

____________________

WEDNESDAY

Had planned to meet Ashizawa-sensei at Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi at 9:30am (that was the latest I could reasonably negotiate). Missed my train because JAPANESE PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING SLOW WHEN THEY WALK OHHOLYLORD. I got stuck behind some guy and had to just watch as the train pulled away.

What I wouldn't have given to be on that train and not on the one that came after it. The doors opened and this guy (around 63 years old or so) wearing traditional robes says, "Hello! How are you?!" to me and tries to shake my hand. Well there were fucking 3 million people on the train and another 5 million trying to get on behind me, so I mumbled a hasty, "Hello," and passed him on my way into the train. So that was bad enough (I FUCKING HATE IT when Japanese people talk to me in English--what, do they think I CAME HERE to speak in English? dumbfucks...) but it got worse. This whole thing, from the guy talking to me to what happened next is all sort of incapsulated in FAUX PAS #3. So everybody in the train is smushed like sardines on a bad day and I'm furiously punching away at my phone, trying to email Ashley back, and the train comes to a raging halt. Totally threw me off balance. Now, usually, during rush hour there are so many people that even if one person loses their balance, there's no room to move and they just get bounced back into place. I've had that happen and I've been bounced off of many, many times. That day, however, there was suddenly an opening beside me and I just kept falling and falling and nobody bounced me back. They had all been staring at me (thinks to Mr. Personalities comments to me) and they just VANISHED when I fell sideways. I finally got my balance back and stood up and was horribly embarrassed because I had smushed a bijillion people and Mr. JackHole behind me starts laughing and says 大丈夫か?えへへ。("Alright there, girlie? Eh-heh-heh.)

I was SO FUCKING PISSED OFF. It wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't laughed at me for it. I'm not the fucking first person to fall over in a Japanese train. But the fact that I'm white means that, suddenly, no Japanese person has EVER done that before (it doesn't even matter what I do) and what I've done is SO SOMETHING ONLY A FOREIGNER WOULD DO. WTF?! Dammit I hate this country sometimes.

Met Ashizawa-sensei at Nishi-Kita and then went to Umeda. Kinokuniya was FUCKING CLOSED that day, AS WAS HANSHIN DEPARTMENT STORE. WTF?! Teach me to go shopping on a Wednesday again. Went to Yodobayashi Camera (like 8 floors of electronics). That building is fucking enormous. Still don't know how I'm going to spend my "personal finances." I have to spend roughly $1000 on something that I may or may not get to keep and I may or may not have to use for class, but I definitely have to justify it to the tax office somehow. Nrr?! Everybody is so fucking vague about this, it's really annoying (and if I don't spend it all and then some, then I get yelled at and get LESS money next year).

I love Americans because we are so brutally PRACTICAL.

Speaking of impracticality and Japanese, I learned another useless word today: "sentaku-basami" (clothespin).

Back to Wednesday. We looked at electronics forever, then we went to Daimaru and ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant there (so good, even if it was WAAAAAY not authentic). Then we shopped around a bit more, got lost in a back alley full of sex clubs with pink signs of nude girls, then ended up waaaaay on the far side of somewhere. Had to ask some cops how to get to Tokyu Hands (which was where we were trying to go), but they didn't know, so we just worked our way back to Umeda, following the big red ferris wheel in the sky (no, really, we did). Tried to have dessert at this little cafe-place, but the lady working the tables was a TOTAL bitch, so we left. Found this little underground (literally underground) "health cafe" where everything was made with mangos (blech--I hate mangos). I had bubble tea (green tea and milk) which was fabulous. The girls next to us got a "mango shower" which sounded dumb but looked awesome. Even I wanted to try it. Carolyn got a hot bubble tea (annin-flavored), which she said was so-so.

Looked at ORIGINS and Lancome and Clinique goods, then headed home. Stopped by ACTA and I showed Carolyn this fabulous mascara (never thought I'd do that). It's called MEDIA and it's wonderful stuff. Bought a tiny Hina-Matsuri display for my fam (so cute!) Then we went downstairs to the bakery and I got a bagel (ooooh, I've missed bagels) and a lemon-chiffon pastry puff (so delicious). Then we stopped by this hole-in-the-wall place that had jewelry for 500yen. I am so going back there. We parted ways, I stopped by Daimaru Peacock for some groceries (my fridge is completely packed, now) and then got home around 6 or so. So I was on my feet for nearly 8 hours (including when we sat down for lunch).

I am totally wiped out.

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