One more month!

It has been 3 months since I have been in Japan. I am very glad to have lived here, but very soon I will say goodbye to my friends here and return to my normal life in American. Recently, when I was asked to write something to put in my neighbor unit’s wall, I wrote “only friends remain.” When we all return home, all we have left in Japan are our friends. The following day, one of my friends in that unit had taken of picture of my note on the wall and said it was really moving.

I had actually tried to extend my study abroad by a semester, but unfortunately I was not able to. The semester overlap for Meiji and New Paltz in the fall semester. Thus if anyone is thinking of studying for a year, start in the fall. Plus, because I only applied for scholarship funds for one semester, I will not be able to receive the same scholarships if I try to extend half-way through this semester. Thus, really consider if you want to do a semester or a year before studying abroad. For everyone, I recommend a year because a semester will go by quickly before you realize that there is not much time left.

When in Japan, I recommend going to a nomihoudai and tabehoudai, which are all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat for a set price and set time limit. I went twice with people from Meiji who have studied abroad at New Paltz. The second time I went, there was another student from New Paltz there who was visiting Japan for two weeks. Both times I ate yakisoba, okonomiyaki and monjya. I will cook those when I come back home if I ever miss the taste!

With friends from Meiji and visitor

At nomihoudai/tabehoudai

Unfortunately, my bicycle was taken away last week because I parked it by the train station. Usually in Japan, they will give illegal parked bicycles a red tag. After a day they would just take the bicycle. However, they cheated by putting both tags in one day. I had to go about 30 minutes away from where I lived and pay to get it back. My front wheel broke on the way home too. Once again I had to repair it. The sad part is that the money I put in for repairs and fine is more than how much I paid for the bicycle.

Recently, one of my friends ended up setting off the fire alarm at 8PM by baking pie. The whole time the alarm was ringing, but luckily my headset blocked off the noise for me. I was surprised to see that the unit next door had smoke blowing out of their door. Later I walked into that unit and opened the microwave to see for myself the charred pie. Everyone in the dorm was outside, and for the first time, there was a small sense of togetherness. Unlike the dorms in America, we do not have official events to connect each other. Thus, other people and me appreciated the fact that my friend set off the fire alarm. My friend was really unhappy because her mistake made police and firefighters come as well as disturbing everyone else. I attempted to cheer her up by inviting her to do fireworks. It might seem like a joke to invite her to something related to fire, but I really meant for it to be a way to remember what happened that day in a different way. After some persuasion and good timing, she eventually agreed to do fireworks with me and our friends and was not longer sad over about what happened.

That’s it for now, look forward to my next post!

-Sampson Bui

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