Thailand Pt. 1 – Bangkok

Day 5 Pt 2. – Thailand, Bangkok

Time to fly to my next destination! It wasn’t a very long flight… I don’t remember how long though, maybe like 2-3 hours? I realized that I hadn’t learned any Thai beforehand so… screwed haha. I went to find a taxi to go to our hotel and meet up with my friend. Taxis are so cheap here!!! It cost like $6 for like 30 minutes of a ride. It was just really cheap. So cheap that we never even rode the transit heh… Anyway, my taxi driver had a hard time figuring out where to go.. good thing I had data! It was so hot here omg!

I finally got to the hotel and chilled for a bit with my friend. She had been on a long adventure too for a few weeks before me so she was also pretty exhausted. It was pretty late so we didn’t get to go out of the city. We went to a big mall to look for some mani-pedis because we were in great need of them, and also because they were cheaper. Butttt unfortunately, we could not find any so we got some BBT instead. Taro milk tea! Ahhh I have missed that haha. After, we went to Khao San night market and these were like Taiwan, but lower quality. We finally found a good mani-pedi place and we both decided on gel nails and normal toenails. I don’t know what I do my toes, especially since I’m so ticklish >_< For some reason, I can never pass up pink… and glitter… It was so pretty!

After we got pampered, we finally looked for some food. I had my first Pad Thai and Thai iced tea here! I still think it was the best… although maybe I was just super hungry heh. The noodles were really good and the tea was actually sweeter than the ones I had in Toronto. I kinda like the extra bitterness to complement the sweetness from Toronto more. Anyhoo, we didn’t stay out too long since we were both pretty pooped. I took my first Tuk Tuk ride back to the hotel! Basically, it’s like… a carriage… but has a motor… and actually goes really fast! Thing is for Thailand, we were able to haggle a lot, even for these taxi rides. So for all the Tuk tuks, they would tell us a set price for our destination. It was super fun! All I remember now is them all shouting “took took!!” (that’s how you pronounce it haha)

Day 6 – Hot hot hot Temple Day

Temple day!!! Whyyyyyyy was it so hot on this day. I don’t think I had ever been so hot before… There was 0 wind and the forecast said it felt like 43 degrees. Near the middle of the day, I was seriously about to faint. For sure hotter than Japan. There were also a lot of Chinese tourists and they were just the worst omg. No, I do not associate myself with them because the mainland folks are too much for me >_> The Hong Kongers are sometimes a bit too much for me too… the way they speak haha. Yes I’m racist to my own race.

My friend said that she was warned that we would have to dress conservatively for the temples and no flashy colours. So I wore my dress and some capris. BUT as we were walking towards the temples, the street vendors kept pointing at my ankles and were like nonono and we were just ignoring them since we thought they were just those annoying street vendors. But nope! I actually had to cover my ankles too omg. In this heat too!!! So I bought a sarong, which is like a dress like thing that wraps around. There were so many people at the temples! My brain was too fried to remember much but we managed to stop for lunch so I recharged a bit. My friend was a trooper, I don’t know how she looked so alive. We went to Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun… and maybe some other ones I don’t remember. The architecture was pretty nice and they are pretty similar to the photos online (minus the billions of people). Oh but the toilets are pretty gross, especially since they don’t provide toilet paper because you’re supposed to use this hose to wash your butt so the ground is like always wet.

After that cultural and torturous excursion, we went back to our hotel to freshen up. We wanted to check out the nightlife in Bangkok since it’s supposedly awesome. We went to the area, thinking that it would have food and stuff but the whole nightlife street was like dead (it was 8pm ish). We ended up eating at this restaurant along the way and we went to another night market called Patong. There were a bunch of cute shops and food stands. We didn’t eat any of the street food cause we were scared of getting food poisoning haha. The style of the night market kinda reminded me of Hong Kong’s women street. There was quite a bit I wanted to buy but we knew we were heading to clubbing so we couldn’t buy too much. This was were we first were harassed by people trying to get us to go watch pole dancers and advertising their ping pong show (I won’t get into that much for you PG readers). But anyways, it was quite disturbing heh.

Finally, it was late enough to go back to that area of nightlife so we went back. Thank goodness there were coin lockers so I could put the crap I bought in there. We were kinda disappointed in the club we chose because there was no real dance floor since there were long tables all around. It would have been nice otherwise. The clubs closed at 2am here and that’s when everyone got kicked out onto the streets and the taxis were ready for business.

Day 7 – Boat tour

We didn’t really have much planned for this day. I had on the itinerary that I wanted to go to the Asiatique Riverfront, but who knew it didn’t open until 5pm >_> This was an area that was filled with shops and food and stuff. We had brunch here and it was so yummyyyy. We spontaneously decided to watch a Muay Thai Boxing show… which was kinda $$$ but YOLO right?! The lady selling the tickets also convinced us by giving us the good seats for the cheap price haha. So we bought the tickets for the show later tonight. We tried to look for a cruise of some sort since the riverfront didn’t open until later.

We took another taxi, but we had so many complications with him omg. It was so difficult not being able to explain ourselves. He kept going in circles and I was getting so frustrated. Google wasn’t very helpful either =/ Also, did you know that taxi drivers here can refuse your business?! Like, I guess if it’s too far, or they don’t know the area, they say sorry no. I am shocked! Do they not want money?! Well anyways, we finally got to a port and we bought a day boat pass. We would use the Chao Phraya River as a mode of transportation. It was pretty cool because we could hop on and off as many times as we wanted to and different ports to see different things. They had a useful book for sightseeing too. We stopped only at about 3 ports since we did some shopping and stuff. We had to time it properly so we could make it back to Asiatique Riverfront in time for some food and shopping before our Muay Thai show. We did some useless shopping there, and by that I mean I bought a bunch of useless things xD

We watched the Muay Thai show, and I really didn’t know what to expect. The first hour was of the history of Muay Thai and there were so many of these hot men just fake-fighting each other and the sound effects timing was on point. Good thing was, the story was displayed on the screen in English phew. After that show, there was some live Muay Thai boxing but we were disappointed because they were just 17 year-olds fighting each other. (Of course we wanted to see those other men fight but nopeeeee) So it was pretty interesting, especially because these kids were so small!!

Initially, we planned to go to another night market but there was no time and the rain just sucks. Butttt I still really wanted to go to the Lebua Sky Bar, where Hangover 2 was shot. There was a dress code so we dressed up fancy and prayed that it would stop raining so we could go outside of the bar. When we got there, there were just a bunch of foreigners, since it’s mainly aimed towards us. It was a really nice view of Bangkok and we had to order a drink, although we probably could have gotten away with not ordering one. I took some quick pics because it was already drizzling again. It started pouring more and they ended up closing the outside part… We just finished our drinks, took so more selfies, and went home. Still glad I grabbed some pics before they closed it down!

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Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore

Day 3 – Malaysia – Johor Bahru

Off to Malaysia we go! It was only an hour bus ride away for $2!!! That’s crazy. I mean, we really only touched the tip of Malaysia but I can still say I touched Malaysian ground! So at the beginning, it was really only the mall that I associated Malaysia with since there wasn’t too much outside. We did some shopping and we went for a cheap massage! I was warned to be careful of Malaysians and thieving and sketchiness so I was just on alert everywhere haha. Had some spicy Malaysian noodles and they weren’t TOO bad, but I was kinda dying haha. Also had some rotiboy which was superrrrr good. Kinda like a boa loa bao but different haha.

After, we finally decided to venture out to see real Malaysia. There wasn’t really anything around the area that was walkable so we took a taxi to visit this night market and took some advice from the taxi driver. I swear Singaporean and Malaysian English is just regular English but with many deleted words haha. So we went to this street market which was like a flea market. Lots of stuff being sold, and not the cleanest either. My friend and I kept trying to look for a postcard or magnet for my collection. She was so sweet look for it with me cause it actually took forever. We weren’t in a touristy enough area for that kinda stuff. There were also cats everywhere and that’s when I learned that my friend was actually super afraid of cats haha. But I can’t say much since I was totally grossed out by all the raw food laid out in the market (see disgusted faces above).

So we were back at the bus centre and I really was about to give up on my postcard/magnet but omg I gave it one last look around and there were some where we first walked past all along! There were only magnets but that’s good enough for me! After, we rushed back to Singapore to shop at Bugis street for souvenirs and cheap stuff. I wish I had bought more souvenirs because they were so cheap but… yeaa. We didn’t have much time there either since we got there so late. It would have been nice to shop more for cheap stuff.

THEN we had this crazy idea to watch a movie haha… So spontaneous heh! It was already like 10pm but we crayyyy. It aws mainly because it’s cheaper to watch English movies here than Japan. So we watched the Emoji Movie… my friend enjoyed it and I thought it was pretty cute to relate too, but I guess it could have been better. It was pretty chill but we got home at like 1am hehhhh. And we knew we would have to wake up early xD So smart.

Day 4 – Indonesia – Batam

Indonesia!! Ok this was a  very spontaneous trip too xD When we were up on Marina Bay Sands, my friend pointed out that the land that we could see was Indonesia and she told me we could just ride a boat there. So of course I was like OMG LET’S GO. So… we did xD What was cool was that my other friend from Hiroshima was also around so she ended up joining us for the day too! We met up at some early time and took the ferry together. It was only like an hour but we could see some pretty nice views. I got to catch up with my Hiroshima friend, but she’s not staying for another year in JET.

It was actually pouring when we got to Indonesia but good thing about this area was that it wouldn’t usually rain the whole day. It became nice afterwards =D We wanted to do some water sports that’s why. We taxied to some hotel with a bunch of activities and we ended up eating there and chilling until the rain died off completely. We planned to do banana boat or parasailing but the guide wasn’t there. We settled for kayaking instead, which was nice and relaxing. Well, it was relaxing, until we decided to go on a little adventure and kayak through a bunch of trees, where I got bit like 10 times (not exaggerating). We did some peaceful tanning and would you rather questions haha.

After kayaking, one of my friends wanted to go for a massage of some sort so me and my other friend just decided to play in the pool. Ate some more food IN the pool, yea, there were chairs in the pool then like a bar-like setting on the side haha. We kinda had to rush back to catch our ferry back to Singapore.

It was still pretty early so my Singaporean friend took us to this live music restaurant called Timber and man I had way too much fun here haha. Well, the food was pretty good but holy crap the drinks were insanely priced!! A coke was like $8 SGD, which is like $8CAD omgggg. I ended up getting the cheapest thing, which was tea xD. So we were just enjoying the music and atmosphere but then there was this time where we could text a certain number and our message would appear on the screen and the band would read it. It was so fun because I basically just kept sending flirty (pg) messages and my friends and I were dying xD The band members were reading the messages and the lead singer was like blushing. I ended up fangirling over the lead singer so much haha. I never enjoyed live music performance at a restaurant so much before! It was fun hehe. I even managed to ask them for a picture together at the end. After they finished, we just walked around Singapore River and it was pretty peaceful.

Day 5 – Singapore

Last day in Singapore! I was told by a few people that Singapore could be done in like 2-3 days so I listened to them. I had like 2 full days and a couple hours here and there from other days. I kinda wish I had one more day for shopping/eating, but it was still good.

So today was the day I finally got to meet my friend’s brother, who would be later driving me to the airport too. It’s funny because I literally slept in the room beside him my whole trip of like 4-5 days and I never saw him. He would leave for work early and we would come home late. I got some milk tea in a bag because that’s what my friends all got when they came to Singapore and so I had to try it out haha. It was interesting… nothing special though heh. I got me a pineapple bun with cha siu filling omgggg delicious. We went to a breakfast place called Hatched and the food was all so good. I felt so bad because I ran out of money since I didn’t expect to be going on so many extra trips! But thank goodness my friend was going back to Japan so I could pay her back there haha. Thanks Elaine for showing me around Singapore!!! You were such a great and hospitable tour guide and representative of your country! xD

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Singapore!!!

Day 1 – Singapore (National Day)

Off on my week-long vacation! Well, technically it was a vacation from a vacation xD I’m so lucky to say that haha. So I left Osaka at like late afternoon and the flight was delayed like an hour and I had a connecting flight. But I was smart and made sure that I had plenty of time in between so it was fine. It was my first time flying alone but it was fine. I was flying Cathay so I got food with my flights too! I was not expecting that haha. Cathay seats were so fancy too. So I had a few hours layover in Hong Kong but it was late so everything was closed. Although, I did get a mooncake because yaaaaassss real Hong Kong mooncake!

So I finally landed in Singapore at like 5am something, pretty dead but I took the train to my friend’s neighbourhood and she met me there. I met her mom and she was so sweet omg!!! She prepared this bed for me with pink sheets (because she heard I loved pink) and it was all so nice. She also got us breakfast from the hawker centre near their home (like an outdoor food court). I was just happy to rest for a while but today was Singapore’s National Day, so had to go out asap!

We set out for the Marina Bay Sands area, which is what Singapore is famous for. We pretty much spent the whole day here. I was so happy that it wasn’t raining, although it was hot and humid. My friend kept wanting to stay in the mall for AC xD. We had some Ding Tang Fung (what I ate in Taiwan too) and my friend kept telling me what I needed to try/eat here. When we finally went back out, we walked around the body of water (because I have no idea what it was… lake…?). We saw the famous Marina Bay Sands (MBS) with the expensive pool up top and took funny pictures with the Merlion statue. My friend was such an awesome photographer and she was just so excited to show her city off xD There were supposed to be fireworks and some sort of show later in the evening but we saw people already setting up camp in the early afternoon.

We decided to go up the MBS just for the view (we couldn’t access the pool since we weren’t guests). It was so hot though! It was like 3pm when we got up there. It was a nice view of everything! We thought about how it would be nice to watch the fireworks up here but those were at 8pm. We ended up deciding to stay up there to watch the show which was below us…. and little did we know, time just passed and we ended up staying for everything heheh xD SO MANY HOURS THERE! So hot! We didn’t want to move though because we had the best spot. We did have some good talks to that was cool =D. More and more people started to come up and my friend was like “Oh man, I hope we’re not too heavy for this” and she just kept getting me paranoid x_x So the show started and it was more of like a military show. According to my friend, National day is when Singapore like to show off their military stuffs and tell the world “Ha, don’t mess with us, we got pro military!” My friend also decided to leave out the fact that apparently this day was the most prone to attacks and stuff >_> as we are sitting at one of the highest points in Singapore… Well anyways, it was cool to see their tanks come out and there were these people coming in from parachutes too. It was so cool cause they managed to float accurately onto the runway! My friend told me about these fighter jets and I was excited for those. BUT when they actually came out, I was like scared and deaf to death. Because we were so high up, the jets seemed sooooo close to us and also superrrrr loud. They came out like 2 or 3 times and I was startled each time. Afterwards, I was getting pretty restless and wanted water but the line ups were just too long. After even moreeee waiting, the fireworks finally came! Of course, I think it is hard to beat Japan’s fireworks, but the view of these ones was for sure the best. We had like front row seats and the fireworks were pretty much eye level since we were high up. They shot from the water too so it was like a beautiful scenery with the city lit up in the background. Once those fireworks were done, you bet there was a long long line up to get back down. We were bad and basically just merged with the line (hey, we were close to the exit already) shhhh.

We went back to my friend’s neighbourhood and had some Singaporean food that she recommended. Chicken and rice and cereal shrimp!! They were both soooo good omg. Apparently the rice is cooked with the chicken oil or something that makes it so good. The cereal shrimp was like crunchy salty flakes with the shrimp. I can’t even describe it. I also had some sweet and sour pork cause… yea. After dinner, I was so friggin full that I wanted to walk it off. My friend showed me the “rich part of town” and we walked around the neighbourhood with the big, cool houses. In Toronto, we’re used to seeing the same kinds of houses on one street, which makes it boring. But! Here, they were literally allllll different! They were HUGE too, so big, unique, and just nice looking. So then, we went home and got ready for our next big day.

Day 2 – Singapore (Universal Studios)

We started off our day at the hawker centre for breakfast and my friend just went nuts and bought a bunch of different things that I had to try. I just wanted me some wonton soup haha.

I wanted to go to Universal Studios Singapore because at first, I thought it was cheap! Like $30 or something, but I have no idea where I read that but it was pretty much the same price as Japan, a bit cheaper though. My friend was so surprised to see so many people here because it was never this packed. We were seriously contemplating on getting the fast pass (for the first time in our lives)… for an extra $20ish but then when we arrived at the counter, they were like the fast pass is $50 or something and we’re like heeeeeeeck no. Apparently, the fast pass prices fluctuate, depending on the number of people, which makes sense, cause then everyone would just buy the fast pass and it wouldn’t really be ‘fast’ anymore. The one time we were willing to cough up the money… oh well. So we waited in line like normal people did. Oh, we also wanted to be like the Japanese and be matching at amusement parks, so we decided to both buy a cookie monster headband haha. The rides and lines weren’t toooo bad and for sure, not as long as Universal Japan in Osaka. We should have been smarter earlier though because there was this line that was for “single riders”, meaning you go alone, no seat choice, you are just the filler to unwanted spaces in the ride. It was so much faster and more worth it. We were pretty tired at the end of the day, but I still really wanted to go to the Night safari that my friend suggested.

It was quite an expensive day, but it’s not every day you can come to Singapore haha. So we went and we made it in time for this cool fire show. They swallowed fire, breathed fire, spit out fire… haha I duno what they actually put in their mouths for them to be able to do that. We also saw this show where they brought out animals to talk about. After, we had to rush to the safari train thing and we basically just sat on it and took a tour of the place. It was pretty cool because we were driving on the road quietly as we observed the animals from afar. There were no barriers or fences from the animals… there was a moat for some but I mean, the lion was RIGHT THERE. At the end of the day, I made my friend feel like a tourist too for going to all these things. This was such an eventful day!

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Isobe Matsuri

I had to rush home from Nagoya from the cosplay event so I could make it in time. It was the first festival in Isobe, aka my ghost town. I didn’t expect much from it but I really wanted to go because it was so close for once. Also, because I wanted to see my students perform their song.

I went alone first, knowing I would probably see some students etc. I tried to reach out to my Shima-ins but they were busy except one but she didn’t come until later. I walked around but there really wasn’t much since we’re such a ghost town. Apparently there were supposed be 15 stalls and there were some game stalls. I got a pink water balloon yoyo cause I’m such a kid hehe. I saw some of my kids, as expected and we chatted for a bit. I ate some foods then sat down to watch my two kids perform. They were playing the guitar and singing some songs.

After that I saw that two of the apartment boys came too so I hung out with them as well. We sat down and ate some foods. Some students came up to us and chatted. A lot of them were the second year boys, including the one who seems to hate me the most. >_> but it seemed ok. I got to talk to them more and I tried to use both Japanese and English and I was actually happy they were trying to use English haha. We sat there for quite a bit and watched the shows on stage. Then the two boys poofed somewhere and I was left with just the two second year students. We were wondering for he longest time where they went and realized they must have gone home. I don’t know how I stayed there for like 4 hours O_O Sooo I biked home soon after.

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World Cosplay Summit


Saturday

*Warning: lots of fangirling, weebing, and geeking out here*

This was quite a last minute thing. I saw this event on Facebook and was like HMMMM looks interesting… but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go alone and I wasn’t sure if I could cosplay too… It was also quite expensive. So I just clicked interested first. I really had no idea what to expect. What was more crazy was that when I was looking at the event site, it showed that Canada was participating and the two who were representing us were doing Cardcaptor Sakura!!!! What are the chances yo. That’s when I knew I had to go. BUTTTTT my friend saw and ended up messaging me about it saying she wanted to go too and was looking for someone to go with! So woohoo! We were both set to go. She didn’t have a cosplay but of course I would have to bring mine.

This was actually a whole weekend event. My friend was just attending the Saturday one. So we met up on the train and went together. We went to eat first at TGIF. I had some sorta pasta but we were both super full because we forgot they were westernsized portions haha. After, I dropped off my stuff at the hostel and I also changed into my cosplay. It was a bit embarrassing cause … yea. Even though it’s Japan, it’s not like I was in Harajuku or anything. My friend was just dressed cutesy. So we took the train to the area where the event was being held.

When we got off was when I finally started feeling I was home. As in, there were other cosplayers walking around, taking pictures. The first ones I see of course had to be Sakura and Syaoran hehe. Everyone was so nice! I really wish I had my staff too… I felt so empty handed as Sakura. We walked to the area and omg the wholeeeee area was filled with cosplayers. So many people were getting their photos taken and stuff. I asked every Sakura I saw to take a pic with me haha. The thing about cosplaying in Japan is… a lot of these people just stand there and wait for people to come take pics with them. Like I asked to take a pic with them, but I thought they would want one too, but nope. Fine be that way! My costume was not as well known I guess so yea… But yea, there was this little kid who was soooo cute and she was a big fan of CCS but was shy. Ended up taking some photos with her haha. I don’t look good without glasses and I wasn’t an authentic Sakura with them.. but oh well, that’s ok. I felt like a giant compared to the other Sakuras… You can see in the pics heh.

Anywayyyy, after that, the show was about to start. We were wondering why people weren’t moving but then realized not many people actually got tickets to the show. They just came to chill. So we sat down and there were these MCs and the English MC’s voice… omg. It was literally like those announcer voices like when you hear “And now, for what you’ve all been waiting for…”, just think, deep, clear, announcer voice. I mean, it was cool but he kept using that voice so it got kind of annoying haha. So there were 40 something teams participating, each had 2 people and they had 2 minutes for their act. They could do anything that represented their anime. They would be graded on their performance, costumes, etc. The judges were from different countries, from different groups, so they wouldn’t be judging their own team. Some of their performances had English voices and some had Japanese, but all of it was pre-recorded since they didn’t use mics. They also had a backdrop which showed like different animations to be a part of their act. It was all really cool! Like, I can see how much effort these people took for just these 2 minutes! The costumes, the props, all the decor, music, sound effects, background animation… Lots of practice went into it O_O There was this one group that messed up and the guy was so pissed that he couldn’t even continue… If I didn’t know any better, I would think that the mess up was part of the act..

I cheered so loud when Canada came on. I mean, it’s double the cheering! Canada AND CCS?! homg. Sorry fangirling so much here. So they did the scene from the episode where they had to do a play on Sleeping Beauty and all their roles were mixed up. Their costumes were really well done and they were aiming for comedy to win. I just found it genius to do that scene because it’s like they’re doing a play, in a play. BUT my friend and I were both pretty disappointed that there was NO MAGIC. Like, the basis of CCS is the magic but they didn’t do any of that. Like, they could have incorporated a little bit of it at least… meh. Still proud of them though!

So today was actually just the preliminary round. 17 teams would advance the next day for the championship. Some small awards were given today and China won most of them. I think it was pretty clear that China would win the whole thing haha. I mean, it was China afterall xD Their martial arts and choreo and everything was just amazing. Heck I didn’t even know the anime, but they really made it come to life! Other animes that I knew were Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles (Based off of CCS characters), Sailor Moon, Full Metal Alchemist, some Peach and Link one… I think that was pretty much it. I was surprised that there weren’t and DBZ or One Piece since that’s so big in Japan. I was happy that Canada advanced to the next round! I knew they would win but it’s ok. Advancement is good still.

My friend had to go home but I decided to stay over in Nagoya for the next day’s event too. There was this concert thing in the same place that was included in our ticket. I stayed for it just cause I wanted to hear the results. But yea after the whole thing, I went to eat dinner (it was like 10!) at Ippudo for the first time. It’s a famous ramen place that is like Ichiran’s competition. It was ok but Ichiran ftw yo. So it was getting kinda late so I just went back to the hostel to sleep.

Sunday

Today was the cosplay parade! Again, I had no idea what to expect and I was just told to meet at this place at a certain time to start walking. It was supposed to start at 11am. So I got dressed and checked out. I didn’t wear my wig this time because I didn’t wanna stand out that much heh.

When I got there, it was so packed! I realized I should’ve gone earlier to line up for the parade but it was meant to be! I say this because behind me in line, were two other CCS cosplayers but as Syaoran and Meiling. Like never have I seen CCS cosplayers without a Sakura. So I was their Sakura!! I wouldn’t have to walk alone like a loser haha. We actually had to wait quite a while since we were later in the line. But we eventually started to slowly inch our way out into the shopping street. There were people with cameras everywhere! It was so intimidating but such an awesome experience! When else would I get to feel famous and have paparazzi all over me?! Think of a red carpet event and people on the sides taking pics and videos. I felt like a star hahaha. A lot of the times, my two new friends would get their photo taken and I would just join in (because we’re part of the same anime!!) but I don’t think many people realized since we were in different costumes. It was also SUPER HOT too!! So many people on the sidelines were so nice to fan us while we passed by!! Thank goodness we were walking along the shotengai so there was a cover to block the sun. There was even a water station haha. They are so prepared. I forgot how long we walked for, maybe like half an hour? Afterwards, I split up with those two an cosplayers just ended up at some park. I’m glad I stayed a bit longer because then I found the inspiration to my new cosplay! There was a girl dressed as jigglypuff!! Not like a real one, but a cute version where she was all pink and had ears and her microphone. It will be my Halloween costume. ”Tis decided.

Afterwards, I just went home because I wanted to make it for a town festival to watch my students perform. What a nice weekend!

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Special Invite to Tokyo!

Aug. 1

Yay! My first time actually winning a contest! Although I’m not sure how many entries there actually were, but who cares! Free trip to Tokyo! Ok so basically it was a contest for all Canadian JETs to make a Canada Day Lesson Plan in celebration of Canada 150. At first, I wasn’t gonna do it since… so much work. But then I was gonna make a Canada Day lesson anyway for my classes so what the heck, I might as well submit it too. But being the stupid perfectionist I was, I made it look pretty and edited it so many times haha. I was also adding my dash of teacher’s college knowledge in there too… So it ended up being like a 13 page lesson plan with appendices and stuff. It just didn’t feel right if I wasn’t giving it my all, you know? So yea, the main reason I tried so hard was cause of that free trip to Tokyo and also a free night of accommodation too. I decided to stay an extra day so I paid an extra night (elsewhere of course since the hotel they chose for me was so expensive).

So I left my hometown at like 9am and took the limited expresses and shinkansen cause I’m ballin’ and getting reimbursed for all this. It was a smooth ride and on the shinkansen, this lady actually had taken my window seat but I was like meh whatever you can just stay there. She ended up needing to pee/smoke so we traded seats after. I was just writing in my journal the whole time and then she decided to chat with me. Her English was pretty good and we had interesting conversations like how she was getting married… to her cousin or something?! I have no idea. But she must have been in her late 40s or something. maybe even early 50s. Or I could be totally wrong. We got off at the same stop and parted.

It was quite a walk from the station to the hotel but I just dumped my stuff there and went to eat. It was like 1pm something by that time. Man, shinkansen costs double the amount than the bus but saves half the time… haha I guess it makes sense. Every time I’ve come to Tokyo, it’s been either sightseeing or shopping. So this time I made it my goal to just eat all the foods haha. I basically looked on the interwebz and red duck post to see what was good around Tokyo, like the cool, weird stuff. I started with the Sailormoon Cafe and I thought there would be actual food but it was just dessert… so I so far had a parfait for lunch xD I don’t really remember the order of events but I did go to Kiddyland at some point to evade the rain and digest a bit. I had an oreo muffin and some green tea bubble tea, both which were really good, besides the fact that I saw ants around the outside of the muffin stand… anyways. Soon after, I went back to the hotel to check in and get ready for the embassy.

Part of the deal of winning was that I would come and present my awesome lesson plan to the newbies and talk a bit about my experience this past year. I wore my awesome Canada shirt, although I was a bit worried since it wasn’t exactly business casual-type wear, so I brought an extra shirt in case. But it was all good haha. It was pretty nostalgic to go back to the embassy! I know last year, it was so hard to get my friends to come. It was pouring outside so we were all so worried that no one would show up. Like, for the longest time, we only had 2 people. It was supposed to start at 7pm and people didn’t show up until after 7pm, or whenever the rain kinda died down. But I was so glad people actually showed up. It was around the same amount of people as my group. I talked to some of them and tried to be a useful senpai xD I was getting pretty nervous with my speech just cause I hated memorizing stuff, also cause talking in front of your peers is quite nerveracking. I duno why I did this to myself xD I was like shaking at first but looking at all these new faces, they were so interested in what I had to say O_O so that made me more nervous but also happy haha. I gave my intro then I made them play the true/false game with me. The questions were actually kinda hard so I was able to trick some of them hehe. I really hope they took something away from my presentation. I know I was so dead last year that I couldn’t take anything in. Oh, they also laughed more than I thought they would at my jokes so yay! So I decided to share with you guys the piece of advice I gave them at the end of my speech:

“Before I finish, I just wanted to give you one last bit of advice, JET to JET, Canadian to Canadian. You might be worrying about a lot of things right now. And a lot of those things may not even be in your control. For me, before coming to Japan, I was deathly afraid of earthquakes and tsunamis. Like, we don’t get these things back home! I was so stressed out the first few weeks. Now, I literally live next to the ocean, and there’s really nothing I can do about it. My wonderful experiences here have taught me to forget these worries. I mean, I still think about it here and there but no point worrying about something not in my control. Instead, I’ve had more time to have fun and it’s been so amazing that it’s worth risking my life for yet another year! Haha Continue reading

Posted in Akihabara, Tokyo, Harajuku, Tokyo, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Shibuya, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Tokyo | Leave a comment

Happy One Year!

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Wow. One whole year has passed by since I left my home in Toronto, Canada. It honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been a year. How did time pass by so quickly?! It’s also the one year anniversary of my blog! In celebration, I finally made a new original logo for my blog =D Now it accurately shows Gigglypuff in Japan!

365 days have gone by and I feel like I’m only starting to grow. Deciding to come on this journey to Japan was the best decision of my life and choosing to stay another year was the second best decision. It still boggles my mind sometimes how I got here. I am so lucky to be in this situation right now where I have a job back home that allows me to take time off, and that will still be there for me when I go back. I’m lucky I have savings back home so I can travel and experience things to the fullest here without worrying about money too much. I’ve been out and about almost every weekend and even on weekdays lately. It’s been exhausting!!! My friends always say, “And who’s fault is that?!” Haha, well I just really want to make the most out of this limited time that I’m here! No regrets yo.

I’ve been through so many ups and downs, each teaching me something new about myself, and about life in general. I’ve made many new friends here that I hope to keep for a lifetime =) I’m also so lucky that so many of my friends and family were able to visit me throughout the year. I don’t think I’m one to be homesick, but it really was nice to see and hug familiar faces again. It was my first time ever living away from home for more than a month and boy, did I learn a lot haha. I love the independence and freedom also hehe.

Keeping this blog has been like a part-time job for me since I’m so busy traveling, working, and doing nothing (because I’m so exhausted). After trips or events, I’m usually pooped and then I gotta sort through photos, then summarize my adventures. It’s fun writing about them because it’s like I get to experience the awesomeness again. Sorting through multiple photos of the same thing is a pain though haha. But for sure I’m thankful that I’m keeping up with this blog because I know the future self will thank me. It also helps to know that my cousin reads it and will harass me if I don’t post for a while xD (YA YOU WILLAY <3)

What I’ve learned so far in this past year (non-exclusive):

  • My life here is dependent on trains. Trains are life. I love trains.
  • I probably spend a third of my paycheck every month on transportation.
  • I’m ALWAYS running for the train. Story of my life.
  • Because I’m a germ and bug freak, I like to keep my place clean. That’s the only reason haha. Still gets messy though.
  • I can still survive without a grocery store near me. Just befriend my apartment boyz.
  • I can fit a magical amount of things on my bike and somehow still be able to ride it home.
  • I’m actually quite a big Otaku eh? Weeb4lyfe.
  • I miss teaching my little kids, but being able to have real conversations with high school kids is also pretty amazing.
  • I love traveling alone.
  • I appreciate my alone time because it’s so rare.
  • Never turn off the breaker on purpose to “save energy” >_>
  • I have a shopping problem.
  • I can’t live in Japan forever or I will literally have no savings left.
  • But I’m in love with Japan. Ugh.
  • My favourite city is Osaka. Just, everything. ❤
  • I have bad days and a domino of bad luck sometimes, but I just end up laughing it off, cause why not.
  • This is the adventure that I’ve been missing in my life.
  • If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.
  • Everything always seems to work out in the end.
  • If I’m meant to die here, then there’s nothing I can do about it. (I know this is deep, but this motto is what has gotten me this far without going crazy over earthquakes and tsunamis)

Things I hope to learn for the next year:

  • How to pack everything to send back home. LOL. Problem of the year.

 

Tomorrow, I’m going back to Tokyo, where it all began. The Canadian Embassy of Japan invited me to go to Tokyo (for free!!!) to attend the new incoming Canadian JETs orientation. The embassy held a contest for the best Canada150 Lesson Plan and I won!! =D I like, never win stuff, so I was really happy. But now I have to go present it in front of everyone and give some sort of cool speech. But ahhh I’m meeting the new Canadian JETs and I get to be sempai! It’s all so なつかしい~ (nostalgic). I will pass on my wise knowledge bahahaha. They’re all doomed.

Well, here’s to another year of adventures! I’m so excited to see how much more exhausted I’ll be by the end of next year haha. But as my friend from Toronto says “We want you back in one piece, dear”, I shall take care of myself as well. =P

Thanks for reading, whether it was just this post or my other posts too. Though I’m writing this blog mainly for myself, it’s nice to know you guys are interested in my crazy adventures xD

Posted in Shima, Mie | Leave a comment