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Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

Well hi there.  So before anyone prepares to laugh in my face about how much of a mess I’ve been with this resolution of writing a blog, I’d like a chance to defend myself. Obviously I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Though I may be somewhere underneath the weight of my textbooks and the some-hundred pages of reading I’ve been slammed with. Basically, the past 2 months have been a change in pace. I’m now back in Tokyo and have been dealing with moving dorms, going back to school, struggling to get internet, finding time to write, feeling inspired to write, feeling lazy et cetera et cetera.

However, before simply diving in, I think I’d like to take some time to personally apologize to my blog. I have not been attentive and committed as I’d promised and fully take responsibility for the time we have been apart. We are now in the process of making up and hopefully, with time, we will be able to work through our issues and put this behind us.

Alright, diving in.

I just want to put this out there and say that I believe that I was a nomad in my past life. Why? Well, since you asked… For the past 19 years my family has been moving to a new house/apartment/city every 2 years like clock-work. And now, living in Tokyo, this would be my third time moving since I got here. Which would be less than a year and half ago.

On second thought….

My campus doesn’t really have a student dorm so I have this wonderful stressful option of finding a place of my own, anywhere in the city. Miles away from school, walking distance from school, anywhere. My last place was easily an hour train ride away from campus, so logically I wanted to move somewhere closer. Luckily I found a dorm that is 15 minutes away. “That’s great!” you say. Well sure. The problem was I didn’t exactly think the entire thing through. I don’t have a car and there are no moving trucks for the purpose of moving from dorm-to-dorm. My only means of transportation were train or taxi (which is not an option because I am a broke, college kid *cheers*).

“I have that book we were talking about 5 years ago! I’m sure it around that pile over there…”

I must’ve either been a very sentimental nomad or the crucial point of possessing little amount of stuff just didn’t translate into my present life. My recent move seriously gave me some perspective on how much STUFF I own. I mean, why on flippin’ earth do I have all this stuff and where did it all come from?? Yes, I moved all my belongings in more or less than 20 trips back and forth from one end of Tokyo to the other end by train. And let me tell you if, like me, you’re the type of person who tends to keep everything because “you might wear/use/need it later” or “it’s nice to have memories,” 2 hour train rides with bags that weigh about a ton may just be the trick to finally getting rid of all that crap you really don’t need.

BP: 4 weeks
Maybe being on MTV would’ve helped a bit.

With all this excitement going on in my life, I was also desperately trying to get Wi-Fi. This took a good month and several outbursts on my part. Being 19 (still underage) and living alone in Japan is so aggravating because a lot of things require parental consent. Like getting internet. Things are extremely bureaucratic here so it’s not at all surprising that there are like, 10 forms to fill out for everything you do. But this – to send the form overseas, have my parents fill it out and send it back, only to have it rejected because I filled out my own address and the entire form wasn’t in the same handwriting , send out another form, have it filled out again, only to have it rejected because I didn’t have a copy of my parents’ passport, wait another week to go back to the store because I am an incredibly busy college girl, go back and literally pray that there will be an end to this ridiculous cycle, and finally walk out that door with a router in hand – was a whole different level of insane.

Fortunately, though more delayed than planned, I am settled and ready to take on the rest of this semester and continue to write again.

On that note, ‘til next time! 🙂

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I’ve yet to get a driver’s license. I mean, being a student in Tokyo, you basically live on trains. The average person who lives in Japan their whole life probably spends about half of it getting crammed in a train. Unless you’d rather splurge most of your hard-earned cash taking cabs. The astronomical cost of simply sitting in a car and getting a ride could give you an anxiety attack.

Besides, a car isn’t really necessary in Singapore either. Public transportations and taxis are all extremely cheap and a good thirty minute walk will mostly likely take you to your destination anyway.

Supposedly, there’s a … challenge in getting a license here. It takes a myriad of ridiculous written exams, driving tests and some kind of theory class. So even if I did anticipate learning how to drive, I’d need months and months before I’m even qualified. Supposedly. Being told this, you’d think that everyone driving around is some kind of wizard for even being able to get their hands on a wheel.

But I almost got hit today. Crossing a pedestrian walk.

You can see how it can be confusing as people here seem to view this as a road decoration more than an actual symbol. If you’re in the city, there is no way you won’t encounter a jaywalker. Out of the five you nearly run into, one is at least bound to be an old lady/man or a group of screaming teens. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush. Funniest part is that there is most likely a crosswalk just 10 meters down, but they’d prefer to jump out of the bushes, out of nowhere, and proceed to take the death walk. You can imagine, being in the back seat of a taxi accelerating towards a frail lady crossing the street. Fences were actually put up along the roads to prevent further occurrences. Yet, it seems some people would rather go through the trouble of climbing over them and dodging every other car as they run for their lives. A concrete wall could be placed and people would probably instead drill their way through.

To me, there are three kinds of drivers in Singapore: foreigners, Singaporeans, and taxi drivers.

Foreigners politely (and safely) let you cross the road. They come to a full break and do a little wave as if to say, “Go ahead, I won’t run you over.”

Singaporeans are slightly impatient. They’ll let you cross, while inching closer and closer and as soon as it seems you’re out of the way, they’ll whiz past.

Taxi drivers. I could do an entire monologue on them. It’s like risking your life to even try. One step off the curb while these bad boys go by and you need to check, double check even, that your foot is still attached to your leg. They do not inch closer as you cross; they come at you full-speed like a bull chasing a flag. Spot a taxi meters away as you make your way across and start to panic because they may catch up before you reach the other side.

Being in a taxi is a whole other experience. Ironically, consider yourself lucky if you get the chatty ones. Usually, they’re calm enough to take notice of the living beings around them. It’s the intensely quiet ones who seem fixated on the road you should be worried about. Looking out the car, checking to make sure every person you fly by is alive, not quite as fun.

So yeah, I was almost hit by a cab. I’m pretty sure he was yelling a million profanities as if it were my fault. Yes your honor, I take full responsibility for crossing the road as the green man was flashing in my face. I started to bring out my fight face but he had the advantage of being in a car and all. And seriously, I wouldn’t want my headstone to read Beloved Daughter. Run over by Taxi.

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