It’s already been two months since I studied abroad. I know that the school semester has already ended back at New Paltz. I hope my friends back in the States enjoys their summer break. There is still two months left of my semester, meaning my summer vacation will be only be two weeks long to make up for my long winter break. I have also just took some midterm exams and have some papers to work on. As of right now, I am mentally preparing myself for coming home.

I have not been updating this blog recently because a lot of things have been happening. My mood was also terrible for a while until a week ago. You can sort of tell how I felt by how looking at how messy my room was. I have cleaned my room, and the way it is now reflects how I feel now.  I am fine and will continue blogging! I expect a lot of happen by next week, so expect another entry soon.

As for life in Japan:

I bike to Don Quijote or “Donki” almost everyday by myself or with a friend sitting on the back to buy various things. Donki is a chain store in Japan that sells various things for probably the best prices in Japan. It helps to think of it as a Walmart. I just recently bought a mahjong set from there to play with my friends here. The irony is that we play mahjong with Chinese rules in Japan because none of us are familiar with the Japanese rules. Donki also sells fireworks, so my friends and I occasionally light them.

My favorite store in Japan!

The best supermarket chain in Japan is Seiyu. Usually, I go to the Seiyu a station stop away from where I live to buy groceries if I am looking to save some money. They reduce the price of meats that have been sitting for a while, so I tend to buy those and use them right away. Based on my experiences, Seiyu also sells the cheapest bananas in Tokyo! Fruits in general are very expensive in Japan because people have to subsidize the farmers.. For example, one apple costs around $1.50. One of these days, I will visit the country-side of Japan and buy fruits directly from farmers because they will be cheaper. Until then, I will be eating tons of bananas.

Rakuten is my recommended place for online shopping in Japan. You can use the website in English and other languages, but since the site uses a translation machine, you might not always get what you searched for. I learned from my Language and Culture class that the CEO of Rakuten has made it mandortory for their employees to speak English. The idea is that doing so would allow for Rakuten to expand its business and profits. Perhaps I might still use it when I come back home.

If I am not cooking at home, I am probably eating at my school’s cafeteria because it is cheap. The food there tastes better, but is much more limited than the food we eat at New Paltz.  The ladies serving the food at my campus are also very stingy, giving only one piece of meat or taking back rice because they gave a bit too much. The food at my school’s other campus tastes better and is cheaper than the one I go to unfortunately. They are all run by different companies. The choices are usually some form of Japanese noodles such as soba or udon, some form of Chinese noodles, Japanese curry, Halal style curry, pasta, and two different types of rice dishes. After a while, eating at the cafeteria gets tiring because the food is not accompanied by yogurt, or fruits. Also, it is starting to seem expensive because they are not giving enough meat! Although I always complain about Hasbrouck food, I appreciated the freedom that the dinning hall offers.

My seminar and me meeting up for dinner at the school cafeteria~

Ah~I am looking forward to coming home.

-Sampson Bui

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