Hey world. I’ve had a lot going on in the past few days. I’m really bad at blogging when I’m not in vent mode, so I don’t know, there’s probably a detail here and there that’ll get left out, but I’ll do my best to summarize what’s been up since the night I arrived.
The Hostel stay was great. The staff ladies (and man) were all very welcoming and friendly, and I was especially grateful to call it my home for the weekend because of how new and somewhat scary it was to enter the country alone and confused. On Saturday, I met up with my ol’ pal Marilyn (whom I hadn’t seen since I was 16) and her uncle. It was rainy and blah but we did some sightseeing and touring. We went to the top of the Kyoto Station and got a great view of the city, then traveled up to the Imperial Palace. It was a pretty dope wall but you couldn’t enter so there really wasn’t much to see. But let me tell you, the drizzle on the gravel and shoes that just miraculously fail to stay dry no matter what made for a very frustrating level of discomfort. I toughed it out though because I’m a STRRROONG BOY.
We stopped at a little crepe shop and I had a savory sausage and cheese concoction. Ooishii desu. Later, we went to another palace that we were able to enter and explore. It was very very pretty. There were cats. And secret tea houses. A great place to have some… cat tea parties.
After that, we stopped by Cafe du Mond where I indulged in maybe the best banana smoothie in my life. It was 600 yen so it better have been. I parted ways after that and made my way back to the Hostel and spent the remainder of the evening visiting with the hostelmates. I showed them the power of wasabi & soy sauce almonds. Anyway, I was pretty tired to I went to before 11pm I think. Also, we had a group photo taken! I’ll try to put it up when it goes up on facebook.
The next day I visited the International Manga Museum in Kyoto. It was a very short walk from the hostel. Only problem was the unrelenting rain. Although my wet shoes and socks made the journey decidedly less enjoyable, I spent a few hours in the place perusing manga that I couldn’t read. It was still neat, because I’m pretty sure ever manga published since 1945 was in that museum somewhere. The greatest bit was the center room that had beautiful and intricate exhibits detailing the process of manga production, sales stats, cultural influence and other things. On my way out, I stopped at the gift shop and picked up a Totoro magnet and washcloth. Because they were too cute to resist.
Later that day, I went down some streets I hadn’t been to yet near Kyoto Station, just kinda looking for a good place to explore. I found the Aeon Mall, and wow, it was incredible. Five floors, with clothes, supermarkets, restaurants, electronics and a movie theater on the very top. I actually was one button away from seeing the newest Pokemon movie, but the 1800 yen pricetag on a movie ticket deterred me, sadly. However, I spent a good couple hours in the electronics store, particularly in their expansive video game and figurine section. And H section. A little bit. Maybe. I purchased a Luffy Film Z figurine and called it good.
Later on, I had enjoyed happy hour at the bar and talked to a 39 year old local about zombies and One Piece. I made my first (and second, and third, and fourth) bar purchase as a legal adult here. My new friend bought the fifth one for me. Haha. He left, then shortly after I talked to Marilyn for a bit before heading to bed.
On Monday we went back to her town of residence, Kumamoto, where I am currently writing this. The train ride was not too long at all. I got a good nap in. There’s really not much to say about that day because when we got to her place (which is quite cozy by the way) we just kind of zoned out for the evening. I went to the 7 Eleven down the road to pick up some grub. I guess that was worth mentioning.
Tuesday was off to a slow start. I had an 11am malt beverage which was clearly the best idea I’ve ever had. I skyped with the boo for a couple hours which was very nice. And put off studying for my placement exam for yet another day. Around 3:30 I decided to go on a walk around town. No map or destination in mind. Just seeing where the city would take me. I took some beautiful pictures as it was a clear and sunny day. Everything was vibrant and great and hot as shit. I eventually stumbled upon an impressive shopping district and ate at Freshness Burger where I had my first ever curry burger. It was fanfuckingtastic. Afterward, I continued exploring the shopping center, going through ABC Mart and some men’s clothing store where everything was out of my price range. I finally found what I was secretly looking for all along: the arcade. Inside there were impossible claw machines for days, a number of rhythm and racing games, photobooths and an air hockey table. They had the HD Mario Kart arcades there with Don from Taiko no Tatsujin as a playable character. I did a round by myself, which was fun but not so rewarding as I didn’t really have any competition and won against the NPCs quite easily. The highlight by far of the visit was the Taiko no Tatsujin machines which I had wanted to play in real life since I first bought the American game for PS2. Lowkey I kicked some serious ass even though I was playing by myself. I don’t think anyone expected a bakagaijin to bring the heat on a taiko game. I also tried to get a Chopper plush out of the claw machine a few times and failed. Boo. Before I spent all my money on Taiko rounds, I decided to try to get back to Marilyn’s before dark.
When I returned, we watched Expendables for some reason and went to bed. Overall enjoyable day.
That brings me to today, Wednesday, which I’ve no choice but to keep incredibly brief because I really did absolutely nothing besides study. Which is good! I really need to get back into the swing of things like that. But blah. I did go back to 7 Eleven to stock up on rations and ate some spaghetti there for dinner. Yummy. On the way back I bought a sweet Dragon Ball Z cola with Vegeta on it. Fuck with me.