Friday, April 29, 2011

Tearoom.

I had the day off so I went and relaxed in the tea room this afternoon. I spent about 3 hours in there. I had earl grey tea and some scones. It was wonderful. The tea really hit the spot, and the scones were very tasty.
I brought Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to read while I was there. It was a lovely afternoon.
After that I walked over to where the teachers had their stands set up and I bought some macaron cookies. They were quite nice too.

After chilling in my room for a bit, I went to belly dance class. It was 2 hours long. WOW! It was so hard! I looked like a whale trying to move my hips around. Helen said it's normal to suck at first, which is good. I was using muscles I've never used before. I feel great now though. It was a great workout. I can't wait to do it again!

2 days off.

Ahh~
Two days off.

Went for a bike ride with Wendy yesterday. That was interesting. We went to get the bikes out of the bike shed, and found that they were all broken, after looking in the windows we found that there were good bikes in the ski shed. But it was locked. so we had to go and get the key from reception. So we go out and open the shed, and what do we find? 3 bikes. Yup, 3. 1 of which had no seat. Wendy got a bike with a slightly flat front tire, and the other bike in there was built for someone 6ft tall, so I went to the bike sheds and got one of the "broken" ones. I thought the only thing wrong with it was the chain had fallen off. I was wrong.
We rode down to the golf course, and I got a good picture of the mountains.
There was a path to the left that we were going to take, but we soon discovered that it was STILL part of the golf course (which we are supposed to stay away from lol). And it went DOWN. Quite steep, so we got 1/2 way down and then decided to walk our bikes back up. Then while pedaling I realized that my legs were getting tired faster than Wendy's. And I was slower. It was then that I realized that my back tire was COMPLETELY flat. Like, no air. It sucked. So we rode for about 15mins, then decided that we wanted lunch. We went to the pub, but since we had no customers it was closed. So we went to the tea room and had bangers and mash and some cranberry hibiscus cordial. The sausages on the plate were amazing! There were 4 different kinds! And there were mashed potatoes and mashed peas. I gave all my peas to Wendy. But it was delicious. I'll probably have it tonight too, so I'll get pictures later.

Today because of Golden Week we are starting Golden Week celebrations here. All the teachers are out front doing face painting, balloon animals and giving away cookies to the children that come. But it's so quiet here that they were doing it to us too! I got a Pikachu on my hand by Cede.
When I went to get my hand painted, they were so excited because they were bored. And they were like "HEY ANGEL! WE WANT TO PAINT YOUUU!" so I sat down and I was like "I want Pikachu!". So I got a Pikachu. xD
It was quite fun.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shopping~

So I went to town again today! I finally had some money so I bought a few things.
When we were getting ready to leave the hotel this morning I needed a pick me up and the coffee machine in the staff kitchen wasn't working, so I had to get a coffee from the vending machine. I got a sweetened latte. It was a bit too sweet for my taste, but other than that it was quite nice.
When we got to town, we decided that first thing to do was go get lunch. Gwen brought us to this amazing ramen house. It was so cheap. I ended up getting gyoza and fried rice. Seriously, the gyoza was AMAZING. I could have ate it all day. It got to the point where it hurt to eat but I couldn't stop because it was amazingly delicious.
All that was only 399yen (about $4). That's sickeningly cheap. It was so delicious. D: <3
After that we went shopping. I finally saw Black Shop. It was like heaven. It was totally amazing! And everything was cheap! I bought a couple things for myself and a present for Ashley.
Why yes, that IS the Hatsune Miku music box that I've wanted for 3 years. And instead of $30 on eBay for most likely a knockoff version, I got the legit version for 840yen. And yes Ash, that IS the WHOLE Rose of Versailles figure set. All like...8 or 9 of them. I dunno. I haven't opened it yet. But it's all of them.
And we went to Off House and I bought my kanzashi hairpiece! It's so lovely. I've decided I have to get a purple kimono to match it and my obi. it compliments my obi nicely.
Yeah, that was only 840yen too. That's insane.
And then, we went to the grocery store and I bought a few things from the bakery, and some spiffy top notch super expensive (98yen or 98cents) Canadian bottled water. They had maple syrup from Quebec there. It was like the little tiny 250ml bottle and it was 1,348yen. (almost $14) That's insane.
And yup, that really is a choco cornet. (Anime joke.) I saw it and HAD to buy it just because I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I bought a few other things, a hat (that is a bit small dammit!), a pair of chopsticks with a case for my purse a bottle of ramune and a bag of Japanese chips. All together I spent less than 6600yen. That's pretty damn good.
Oh! We did purikura together too! That's the photobooth thing where you take pictures then get to decorate them after. They then get printed out as stickers. The stickers are too small to photo but I'll show them when I get back.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Avec Helen.

Helen and I went to town today with George. I had no money whatsoever, but it was still fun to walk around and make mental notes of things to go back and buy. (Tomorrow actually. I got reimbursed for my bullet train tickets and I got an advance so I have money again.)
The sakura trees were all in bloom still, and were really stunning. I took some video of the trees from the bus, but it was a bit dark and rainy outside so it's not great but not horrible.



So I found out today that one of the little shops at Mega Stage (the big shopping complex) sells things from SWIMMER. SWIMMER is one of my favourite home decor brands in Japan. I was pretty shocked that they had a shop all the way out here in the middle of no where. I'm not complaining though. :D
I saw the insanity that was the supermarket today. It was crazy busy. Then again, we did go shopping on Sunday at like 1:30 so I guess that's what we get. After that we went for lunch. I totally forgot to get a picture of my lunch, but it was fantastic. I had karage (breaded fried chicken) and pork soup. The soup was free~! Helen and George said it was probably free because I was wearing a low cut top. Lol. I didn't order it, but after our food came one of the younger male staff members brought it for me and was all smiley and whatnot and when he went back I distinctly heard one of the girls there giggle.And the karage came with like 7 pieces (it was REALLY filling) and it was only 273yen! That's like $3. That's stupid cheap.
After that Helen and I went for coffee at Doutor. It's kinda like Starbucks I guess, but cheaper. I had an iced latte for 268yen.
It was quite tasty. And instead of having normal sugar for me, they had "gum sugar" or simple syrup for me to put in that way I wouldn't have to worry about it not melting in. It was quite tasty.
While we were at Mega Stage, we saw the weirdest motorcycle too, I have no idea how you'd ride it. It looks kinda like something out of Final Fantasy: Advent Children though.
Yeah, weird.
And after that excitement, it was time to head back. I finally got a picture of Helen for those of you who have been asking. Here she is with a sleeping George.
We had fun. And I'm going to town with Gwen tomorrow! Hopefully I'll finally get to see Black House!

Friday, April 22, 2011

CURRRRRRRRY!

AHHHH~ We had curry for lunch todayyyy! It was delicious.
It was DELICOUS. For reals. I love curry. If curry was a food, I'd marry it. (Sorry Kyle <3)
In other news though, they had a competition between all the chefs and pastry chefs today to see what foods they could create and see which one tasted best. They let us help with the judging! One of the managers in the hotel kept filling my plate with sweets! If he saw a blank on my plate he just scooped something sweet and  random onto it. It was wonderful though. The pastry team is really talented here. When choosing my favourite, I went with the Sakura Matcha dish. It was some kind of green tea thing (cheesecake texture), topped with a cherry blossom mousse type thing (whipped cream texture). It was beautiful and it tasted great. And we all know I hate matcha, so that's saying something.
Oh! And I got a picture of the Corn Flakes box. Really, they have corn flakes here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Excuse me world, can you please stop shaking?

So I had my second aftershock last night, (sorry Mom) and I was somehow awake for it. It happened at about 1:30am. I was more upset that I had been woken up than I was about the whole shaking thing. Lol. It lasted about 10 seconds, and during that time I was too busy wondering if I should get up and move my laptop or stay where I was because it was warm to give a damn. I think eventually I'll get used to these. Really though, they're quite tame. Very small. Not super powerful at all. They kinda make the house wobble lazily for a few seconds and that's it.

Meh, in other news, I had my second day of work yesterday. That went well. I did breakfast and lunch and I must say, I enjoy working in the morning more than in the evening. After today I have 3 days off in a row though. Yay~ Dunno what I'm going to do with them, but I'll think of something. If the weather's nice I might go hiking.
Anywho, while I was working yesterday, I happened to read the carton that the apple juice comes in. It had english on it. It was quite cute.
Ok guys? Lets try and enjoy it.
And after that I was getting another carton and I stumbled upon this in the refrigerator in the back where we keep the apple juice cartons:
Kinda random but awesome, eh? xD I was like "OMG, what is this doing here of all places?"
Yup.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aftershock. o__o

So yeah, I totally forgot to say last night that I had my first aftershock here yesterday. It was weird. The house shook like some jello for about 7 seconds, then it abruptly stopped. Weird. Not really scary, just weird.
First day of work went well. I was really tired after though, we ran over an hour late. Hopefully today that doesn't happen. I only work till 3 today, so it should be ok.
I haven't had time for a picture yet, so here, have a picture of the back of the pub (also the view from my window).
If you look really closely, you can see a mountain behind the pub. It's quite pretty all snow covered and whatnot.
I'll see if I can coax someone into taking a picture of me all work outfitted.
Ok, back to work for me.
*Also - Incidentally, Dad, I have been using my iPod for all my pictures so far. It's thin enough to fit in my pocket. When the weather gets nicer and it isn't wet I'll be taking the cameras that you got me and using them to get pictures.

First day of work.

So had my first day of work today. It went well. All the college students were nice (we had 180 of them in today, and 180 coming tomorrow!) and my supervisor, Masaki-san, is super nice and patient with me. I haven't worked that hard in a while though, so I'm really tired. We were supposed to be done at 8:30, but we got finished at 9:41! Its ok though, we not only get paid for the hour, we get paid 25% extra for that hour as well, so I'm fine with it!
Really though, I'm insanely tired. Haha. So here is a picture of the cream we use on the mountain (it's made from vegetables o__o) it tastes fine, but it's really thick.
Working 6:30am tomorrow till 3pm. Should be interesting. But at least we get good breakfast apperantly. I have 2 days off in a row coming up. And the weather is supposed to get nice. I might go for a hike if the weather is good.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Night at the pub.

Last night the pub opened up again because we had guests. There were lights in the trees up to the manor house too, it was pretty.
We only have 5 guests right now, but I assume more will arrive soon.
I was watching Scott Pilgrim when Keira came over and invited me to the pub. My big bag of chocolate went over well again. All I wanted was a tea yesterday as well, and I got one. Yuta made it for me. He's really nice.
While we were there, the 5 guests were having tea in the pub as well. The girls had the CUTEST uniform ever! They were kind enough to take a picture with me.
 It's a little dark and grainy, sorry. They were so cute though! I can't wait to serve them lunch! I have my first shift today. I work 11 - 8:30. Straight through I guess, it didn't look like a split. They're training me today as well. I guess I get LOTS of training, which makes me feel a LOT better. I think as soon as I start actually working, these 5am wakeup calls will vanish. Yeah, I was up again at 5am. I don't mind it at all, but I'm worried that they'll disappear. Eh, we'll see what happens.

Day in Shirakawa.

So today I went down the mountain to go to town. Helen was awesome and drew me a map for when I got there. I ended up going to the mega center to do some shopping. First stop was the SEGA game center! OMG. I spent waaaay too much money there. It was amazing! So many UFO catchers! I didn't win as much as I would have liked, but I won 2 items that I'm really happy with! I won a Rilakkuma towel (it's HUGE, it could be a blanket! I've never seen a towel this big before in my life!) and a Korilakkuma bear dressed as a honey bee.
After the game center, I went to the electronics store to buy an adapter for my laptop plug (it seems I needed one after all. The plugs here only have 2 pins, not 3). And then I went to UNIGLO and looked around. When I get paid I'm SO buying all their Barbie shirts! Everything was very cheaply priced in that store. Also, the shoe store was well priced as well. SO MANY SHOES. Audrey would have a fit if she could see them all! They had some really amazing shoes in there. I wish I had more money. They were all super cheap, but I knew if I bought 1 pair, I'd want 10. So I'm going to wait till I get paid to buy some.
After those stores, I went to the 100yen shop. Everything was 105yen (tax included), except for a few things. I got rose hair elastics, hangers, stationary, some candy, 2 mini cans of Fanta (everyone over here loves it) and some Hello Kitty blotting papers.
 I bought the matryoshka doll stationary especially for you, Mom! I told you they were big over here.
Anywho, after all that fun I went to catch the bus home. It was a cold and rainy day and I'm stupid and didn't wear a sweater, so by the time I got to the bus, I was a little chilly (read - shaking and my hands were red) and I guess the bus driver noticed this because, he excused himself and walked off and in 5mins came back with a hot can of coffee from the vending machine for me! I was really touched. It tasted great too and warmed me right up!
After I had that I was warm again. And right when I was starting to think I was the only one on the bus, 3 more staff hopped on! They just arrived back, they took a holiday after the earthquake and were coming back today. It's insanity, but the one guy, Mike, asked where I was from, and I said Canada, and he was like "OH~ what province?" I replied Ontario, and then he got excited and said "What city?" I said Sarnia, and he said "Oh, I'm sorry. Haha. I'm from Kitchener-Waterloo!" isn't that crazy!? Small world for sure! Of all the people in Canada to meet here, someone from 2 hours from home! I was amazed! I already said I'd give him a passion flakie and a box of KD. I was so excited!

OH~ And I ate the melon pan today, it tasted like a sweet bun from Williams Pastry. o__o Same texture and everything! It was so awesome!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Going into town!

So today, Kyoko and I went to Tenei to register me and get my gaijin card. When we got to the building, they had a really pretty sakura tree in front. I snapped a picture, and Kyoko was kind enough to take a picture of me in front of it!
After that we went in the building, I filled out some forms and was told that I will get my card soon. I'm all registered now.
So after that, we went to the local 7-11. Yes, they have 7-11's here. And when we got there I went a little crazy. They had SO MUCH STUFF. O____O
I seriously wanted like one of everything. And everything is so damn cheap I probably could have bought quite a bit. However, I reined myself in and I only purchased a few things. I bought a CUTiE magazine partly because it had fashion and makeup tips in it, and partially because it came with a free tote bag.
 I also bought some cute figures. I bought a Pretty Cure keychain (its on the bag above) and 2 Rilakkuma blind boxes. They were so cheap! They're like $8 in Canada, and they were 260yen each! Insanity!
And after that I bought some actual food. I bought melon pan and a curry pan as well. (Pan means bread. So I bought melon bread and curry bread.) Melon pan is famous from animes and it's called melon pan because it looks like a melon. It doesn't taste like one though. And the curry bread is stuffed with curry! I can't wait to try it! I got a carton of apple juice too. I was thirsty lol.
 Yumyum. Can't wait to eat those~
So on the way back to the hotel, we stopped off at a viewing site and I got a picture. It was really stunning.
It probably looked a lot more stunning in person, but for reals guys, it was very pretty. Yup, that was my exciting trip to town. I'm going to Shirakawa tomorrow. Can't wait to do some shopping there. 8D

EDIT:
I totally forgot! Kyoko was kind enough to buy snacks for us for the car ride home! We had ice cream and pizza mam. I think I spelled that wrong. Either way, it was amazing. Both of them. Kyoko had a lucky heart shaped ice cream too! It was so cute!
 They were all delicious. I didn't get a picture of the pizza thing, I ate it too damn fast, lol. But that paper package is what they came in. They were quite tasty.
THANKS KYOKO~ <3
Ice cream wa oishii!





Sunday, April 17, 2011

Internet! Finally!

Ahh~ Finally! I have internet again. So yes, bullet train. It was fun and whatnot. It was kinda like taking the normal train but faster. It was intense. Got a lovely view of the countryside though. I really enjoyed it.

 I got super thirsty while waiting for the train too, so I went and got a Coke from the vending machine. It came in an aluminum bottle. Tasted the same too. Lol.
Lol. I woke up at 5am again this morning, so I decided to do something useful. I finished unpacking, and I went outside and took a video of the grounds. Incidentally, in the video I say it's like 8am, nono, it was really 6:30am. I was just tired.

video
Yup, not a flattering face. So after that fun, I went and read for a bit. And had some breakfast in the staff dining room. I had cornflakes and apple juice. In hindsight I should have taken a picture of the cereal too. I got a picture of the weird carton the milk came in though.
I got all unpacked and set up now as well. Here, see my room:


Isn't that sign nice? It was on my door when I arrived. :3
Orientation was pretty straight forward. Signed some papers. Going in to town later today to get my gaijin card. I'm excited. :D