I didn’t do much on Sunday. I had the place to myself, with no plans, and no will to make any (due to my hungover state), so I just spent the day watching the rest of Sakamichi no Apolon, that I had started on the plane. (You may remember this from day 1 or 2’s post.) Surprisingly enough, I haven’t been watching all that much anime since I’ve been here. Nothing all that great has come out recently, other than Uchouten Kazoku, which actually was pretty fucking good.
I had a nice chat with Mayuko-san today. We talked about the comparisons between that I thought could be made between America, Canada, and Vancouver. We discussed food culture, communicative culture, and ethnic composition.
Oh yeah, at this point, I have informed the family about my intentions on leaving them to go live on my own starting mid-December. Living on my own should prove to be cheaper than living with the Mitsutani family, and still cheaper than going to the Seminar Houses (which I have very little desire to do). Also, I’m able to house Sam and Mom when they come over for their respective visits for free.
Randomly in the middle of the conversation, Mayuko-san asked if I had noticed her and Sei-san fighting, and was curious as to if that was my motivation behind leaving. I assured her that that wasn’t the case, and we laughed and talked about their fighting. I don’t really mind. Parents fighting is something that I’m not a stranger to, and their form of fighting is child’s play compared to what I’m used to. Honestly believe that talking about problems is healthier than just keeping it in. It was actually kind of enlightening to know that both of them are vocal about the concerns they have about their relationship. I was totally expecting the typical Japanese marriage to be consisted of the husband doing whatever he pleases, and the wife just sucking it up. But now that I live here, I know that that isn’t always necessarily the case. She lets him have it when she feels the need. It’s pretty awesome. We surprisingly dove into that topic of discussion quite a bit, though I won’t share the contents of it here because I don’t think that would be fair to their family. It was a pretty hilarious conversation though.
I woke up this morning and talked to mom on Skype. It was good to hear that she’s keeping in touch with friends, such as Uncle Brad, and Uncle Larry and Auntie Judy. Mom was telling me that she went over to Larry and Judy’s for dinner one night, and Judy told a story of when I was one of her preschool students back when I basically lived at Popo’s and Gong-gong’s (Cantonese, they’re dad’s parents) house. She said that she remembers that I went out of my way to befriend a special needs student, and that it was then that made her think I was… I guess in some sense special. I vaaaaaaaaguely remember doing this, though I’m pretty damn sure Popo still has the picture of me and him on her fridge. She also said Gong-gong was heavily involved with helping out the school. He had offered to give Auntie Judy cash (with no expectations for anything in return, I’m assuming,) but when she couldn’t take his money, he got Popo (lol) to make food often that he’d bring over for the kids. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, as I’m sure a lot of us can relate to the uplifting feeling you get when people talk about you as a child in a positive light. Super heartwarming.
I was feeling a bit homesick today. Not homesick enough to write a paragraph about it though, haha!
As I was watching Monogatari: Second Season, I thought this exchange was pretty interesting to me. I love Monogatari for it’s superb dialogues, but this one in particular struck a chord with me.
[backstory: Hanekawa has run away from home due to family issues (...and her house being blown apart). She's taking refuge at her friend's, Araragi's, place. The conversation is between Araragi's mother and Hanekawa, and takes place in the genkan, or entrance, of the Araragi home. Hanekawa is about to leave for the day.]
Hanekawa: That’s not true. Sorry if I made you worry. But my family circumstances aren’t as complicated as you think. There’s just a little discord, I guess? That’s all.
Mother: You know, children not getting along with their kids is almost like abuse in its own right. A family isn’t a must-have by any means, but if you do have one, it should make you happy. At least that’s what I believe as a mother.
Hanekawa: As a mother?
Mother: People are free to run away if something bad happens to them but averting your eyes from reality doesn’t count as running away. An outsider can’t interfere as long as you’re fine with your current situation. How about saying goodbye to that, first?
I got fairly sick on Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday after school I couldn’t take it anymore so I went straight home. Watery eyes, fluctuating body temperature, and a leaky faucet of a nose was preventing me from having any fun. Didn’t get better until Friday, which meant I missed out on Wednesday’s Halloween festivities. I was unbelievably choked. Everyone was posting pictures on Facebook, and it looked like everyone was having a blast. I was going to go as zombie Justin Beiber, and was pretty stoked on it. Unfortunately, it just turned out to be an $80 waste of money lol. I thought about just sucking it up and going anyway, but Japan is more germ conscious than North America is. They wear masks whenever they’re a teency bit sick, to avoid spreading germs (which is kind of cool I guess). I would have had to bring a massive roll of TP if I was going to go, I was afraid that that wouldn’t fly here.
Gaidai-sai was pretty awesome. There’s nothing that I’ve seen in Vancouver that compares to this set up. Basically, each of Kansai Gaidai’s circles and clubs (there’s an astronomical number of them) each, on their own, contributed in some small fashion to the 2-day festival. Some held food stands while others provided entertainment. I ate tacos, yakiniku, and Shelly’s terrible canned soup. I watched an a capella group, watched Chisato and Haruna’s dances, cheerleading, etc. It also doubled as a means for me to learn about the existence of several circles and clubs that were unlisted to us international students. On Friday, I’m planning to go to Ayaka’s and Sachika’s billiard club, as a result of seeing them and their s’mores making booth. It was extremely awesome to see the live music that the music clubs were performing. One group did a cover on Welcome to the Jungle, and the lead guitarist was just going ham. The rooms were hella hyped despite the small amount of people supporting them. There were also other forms of entertainment that were separate from the existence of clubs or circles.
After it ended, I got some food at my favourite ramen place, and headed over to Frankie’s house in preparation for a Halloween party at Eddie’s. Sayaka and Asuka were already there, making their own dinner. After we dressed up, we headed over. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Kelsey to do my zombie makeup, so instead, I was just a plain Justin Beiber, and oh man was it lame. To save myself the shame, I’m not even going to bother posting pictures. Sayaka and Frankie were mimes, Asuka was Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, Nicole was Nana from NANA, Daisuke was an otaku (and oh man was it done well), and Eddie was an asian host (for like a Tokyo host bar or something). We did the standard chill out and get hammered at Eddie’s, then head out for all karaoke. It was pretty damn fun. I pulled my standard 3-o’clock pass out. I woke up at Frankie’s place and, with Sayaka and Asuka, watched White Chicks. Great movie.
Afterwards, I headed over (like across street) to the school for day 2. I met up with Yuri and Chii for funstuff. I caught them stumbling out of the haunted house, and was hella bummed I didn’t get the chance to try it out. There was a King and Queen competition for the international students, and the Miss Con competition that I watched 6 Japanese girls compete for. Evan got crowned King for his competition, but unfortunately I missed that. I should have headed over earlier, instead of arriving at like 2, but I needed my sleep from last night. I can’t have my cake and eat it too I guess. I also missed out on my promise to watch Shelly’s a capella performance, but I repented by buying the last of her club’s terrible soup to make up for it.