Let me tell you about this fun-crazy-frustrating weekend. Long post ahead! (Pics separated)
Fri. July 14
So my jutaku boyz (apartment boys) invited me to barbecue outside of the apartment and of course I had to go! It was finally a chance to bond with them haha. It wasn’t all of them though. It was just the 5 and me. Age range was like 23-30. If I forgot to mention before, ever since my girl neighbour got transferred to another school, I’ve been the only girl in my apartment. I see myself as the Snow White and they are all my dwarves xD. Again, Japanese style BBQ so it was slow at first. We started at like 6:30pm I think and we stayed out for quite some time. I had some really fun chats with them. A lot of them could speak more English than they showed in daily life. I found out so much gossip and there were just so many jokes everywhere. I found out secret couples and different love lives. Man I wish we hung out more xD One of the boys ended up getting food poisoning and had to call it a night. Poor guy. But also poor me because I got at least 10 mosquito bites (not even exaggerating) that night on my ONE arm… I was stupid to not put on bug spray earlier sigh. It was like 10pm when we finally started to pack up.
We decided to continue our party in my neighbour’s place and play MahJong!! I was so so excited to see them play and learn how it worked. I pick it up pretty quickly since I already knew how to play Chinese MJ. Japanese MJ seemed pretty much the same, but much easier to win, at times. They like to do a lot of concealed hands for higher points and you could even “chicken eat” too. The scoring is much more different though. I sucked at the beginning but I think it was cause I wasn’t playing how I usually did. Also, backseat players too xD. I ended up winning a big one in the last game when I was playing by myself hehe. It was soooo nice playing and talking with them! They kept teaching me some funny/bad Japanese words and their English was just so entertaining. I think I had more fun than it was supposed to be hahaha. Apparently they have these MJ nights every so often so I totally wanna join again! I thought I was only going to stay until like 1am or 2am max but we ended at like 3am! It was really comforting to know that my apartment was only a few steps away haha.
Sat. July 15
I wanted to go to the beach today. But clearly that was not possible, seeing how I slept at like 4am… Oh well! I woke up at like 1pm and it felt good xD But only problem was, I didn’t realize how much time it would take for me to get ready. There were fireworks in Ise today and they were the one of the biggest ones in Mie. I was planning to wear my yukata but I had to wash my hair and do that stuff too. I was meeting my friend at 4pm so I only had like less than 2 hours. Putting on that yukata nicely takes at least like 20 minutes man. So I rushed so much that I forgot to even eat breakfast/lunch. Good thing I wasn’t that hungry.
When I met up with my friend, we went to eat some lunch before heading to Miyagawa Park. A huge group of us were meeting there and another friend had gone earlier to reserve a spot for us. When we got there, we were so amazed by the number of food stalls there were! There was literally every food stall that I’ve ever seen at festivals. They were lined up on both sides of the river!! They were only missing icecream haha. I saw a few of my students here too since I can never escape them. It was so cute because I finally got to meet my student’s girlfriend that I always ask him about! So I settled on our tarp and we ate lots of food. It was pretty hot but glad it got bearable when the sun went down. At around 7:30pm, the fireworks began! It was apparently a competition between different people and I mentally gave bonus points to those who used music too!! Fireworks without music is just… bleh. There were some really cool fireworks. I can’t even describe them! Spiraly ones and changing colour ones. They lasted for about 2 hours. There were some breaks in between for announcement of sponsors etc. So awesome.
After they were done, some of my friends were heading to karaoke but it was already like 10pm so I wouldn’t be able to stay for long until my last train… Plus I had a whole day ahead of me the next day.. So I did the smart thing and went home! Yayyy. Oh, also, biking in my yukata was quite a struggle too. It was more embarrassing than difficult haha.
Sun. July 16
This weekend was a long weekend because Monday is Ocean Day. So my friends from Gunma came down to Osaka to do some sightseeing and partying. The plan was to meet them in Nara at like 11am-12pmish but they seemed to have partied until quite late last night so they had some trouble being on time. I arrived at like 11am and walked around… I also had time to even go play some Mai Mai… like 3 times xD. They finally arrived and we ate some Vietnamese food. The pho was pretty good! Then we were on the hunt for a yukata for my friend since she was going back to Toronto soon. There were quite a few shops with yukatas and pretty good prices but my friend had pretty expensive taste xD We spent a while looking for one and she ended up finally getting one she liked, despite it breaking her wallet. I wore mine too and boy was it hot. We finally headed to Nara park and Todaiji Temple. I was pretty sad to see that there weren’t too many deers around because they are usually everywhere. BUT! We got to the museum area and BAM. All the deer were gathered there. I had never seen them all together before! It was crazy! There were at least 50 of them, just chilling on the grass, or bowing for food. We walked a bit more to the temple and took some more pictures. They got tired so we took the bus back to the station.
From there, we just went back to Osaka to get some delicious takoyaki and to get ready to go out again. The takoyaki this time was reallyyyyy good. Maybe the best one so far!! A whole mini tako (octopus) was in the ball with the tentacles sticking out. I am literally drooling thinking about it again haha. So we ate and my friend and I walked around for a bit longer. Our other friend went back to the Airbnb first to get ready since they took forever to get ready xD. But yea, it was a fun night.
EXCEPT my stupid bug bite… Remember my bite from 2 weeks ago? So it was on my ankle and it was getting better so I didn’t think I needed to see the doctor… but for some reason, it swelled up again and so I used my anti-itch medication but it seemed to have made it worse…
Mon. July 17
In the morning, my bug bite grew and as I walked more, it grew bigger, it was like a bubble that you get when you get a burn. It was disgustingggggg. I’ll save you the details. I was somehow able to put on my yukata in the morning too. But yea, I was meeting my other friend in Kyoto for the Gion Matsuri. When we finally met up, I was still in pain. It was just like a throbbing, pounding pain. It was cause of the skin expanding. I swear it was gonna pop any moment. My friend and I tried finding a clinic so I could get it checked out, but because it was a holiday, everywhere was closed. SO 大変 man OMG. We soon gave up and just waited for the festival parade to start. I felt so bad for my friend cause I couldn’t do much and we had a whole day planned ahead of us.
The parade started at 11am and huge floats were being pulled by people on the streets. Gion Matsuri is one of the top 3 festivals in Japan. It really lasts for the whole month. We were lucky to be able to come today to see it because it is on the 17th every year. Honestly though, maybe it was just the pain and tiredness, but it was quite underwhelming. Yea, there were quite a few cool-looking floats but not too crazy. I do wanna go back for the night festivities though… But anyways, after a while, I couldn’t handle my yukata either and took it off heh.
For a while, I was contemplating what to do with my stupid foot. The stupid thing was, I had brought my condensed wallet this weekend and didn’t think to pack my health card too… Like, I ALWAYS have it with me and of course the one time I need it, I don’t have it. I messaged my supervisor for advice and he suggested I just get it checked in Kyoto because by the time I had gotten back to Mie, places would be closed anyway. Also, I don’t think I would have been sane on that 4-5 hour train ride back home with the pain. I mean, it wasn’t like OMG I’m gonna die kinda pain, just constant throbbing, stinging pain. It was also cause I was just worried in general about the cause. So I gave it one last shot to find a place in Kyoto and thank god that the hospital was open at least. So I went to the hospital to get it checked. Confusion with the health insurance thing but had to do what I had to do. I MISS FREE HEALTH CARE T____T. So the doctor ended up popping the bubble and boy was that relieving haha. He gave me some ointment and pills in case of infection with the bite.
It was like 3pm ish and I was planning to go home after this crazy weekend. I did want to go get some omiyage though before leaving. I just felt like the whole day was wasted in Kyoto. At least I got to see part of the parade heh. So I got my souvenirs then headed back on the train for 4 hours. It was a very good decision because I got home at like 7:30pm and just relaxed. What a weekend yo. めっちゃ疲れた!!!!!