Herro! Mai Naimu iz Kiooyo


And guess where I am.

If you answered:

Sitting at this badass, 8 ft. desk kindly provided to me by my fantabulous host fami
ly, listening to my awesome new little brosski take out his massive reserves of energy on a friend of his downstairs while wishing I had gotten more sleep, you’d be right.

But let’s talk about my journey, shall we.

Woke up at around 2:45 am on the 18th, threw stuff into my suitcase before flying out the door in typical Emily fashion, 6 minutes after the proposed ‘leave no later than’ time. At the airport I said a final, rushed goodbye to the parents and headed through security. It was very relaxed at 4 am. It would have been fun to dreamily watch the sunset with my dull, sleep deprived mind. Except it was.. overcast.
Uneventful ride over, had a similarly uneventful four hour layover in Sanfran. Met up with Exchange student Ken from Illinois and
jumped on an airplane destined for Osaka. It was frigging jinormous- 9 seats wide. The little personal light things were so far above our heads that when you turned them on it was like having your own mini spotlight. I ended up mowing through 4 episodes of Dexter, 4 pages in my sketchbook, and my entire mp3 battery. I thought my butt would turn to mush, seriously, 11 hours.
After getting off, Ken and I stumbled upon another rotary exchange student, Kat from Missouri. The line to customs was longer than the queue to a popular Disneyland Rollercoaster, and took about an hour to get through. I’d gotten off the plane pretty chipper, but by the end of that, ugh. Looked, felt like a complete mess.

Anyway, at the exit, I met Mama! ....and practically the entire rotary club
too, with a big ‘WELCOME MS. EMILY’ sign. Practically gave me a heart attack.
6000 pictures and a truckload of Japanese gibberish later, we piled o
nto a bus and went to a restaurant in a hotel. I talked to Yukimi-san [THERE. I REMEMBERED. Weeps why are Japanese names so hard] and…. Someone else who’s going to Canada and… Hi—Hiiii- Hi something. Who’ll be my host brother in October! I’ll have to figure it out his name before then.

Anyway, it’s kind of a blur. I said arigatou a lot. It was… really kind of formal and there was all these respectable business men and I had ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKIN CLUE WHAT I WAS DOING OR WHAT WAS GOING ON AHAHA omg I probably broke like

。。。2039483904234 social taboos
They kept making speeches at me and I was all… TRIES TO UNDERSTAND FAILS Says arigatou goziamasu again instead of anything useful….

But it turned out okay ! I think…….. sobb.
I’ve read a lot of horror stories about bad host families and terrible host clubs, and let’s just say any fears I had are mostly assuaged. I met my next few families and they seem like really g- HOLY‐A STORK JUST FLEW BY MY WINDOWーAnyway, they seem really great and look forward to having me!!  Despite the fact I'm sort of getting thrown around like a hot potatoe. [I’m to have 5 families! Oh lord!]

Went home with current Hosties after. Went over some rules with Papa who speaks English and crashed.
Alright. As great as this all was, I have discovered the first thing about Japan that I detest. It is. The humidity. And heat. That does not. Go. Away. Ever. Sheer exhaustion took me out for 3 hours- then I woke up and it was all OH MY LORD I AM SO HOT WHY IS IT SO HOT OH LORRD IT IS 5 AM…. Clothes just stick to you here. I have yet to feel clean. Once. Despite shower.

I am feeling pretty good for now Though! Last night, very confusing and I felt kind of weird, but today was nice! I hung out with my 10 year old host bro Kouyo. Yuri, my 15 year old host sis, is very quiet, so I haven’t talked to her like
, at all. I’ll work on that.

But their house! It is in the coolest place! Japanese country is GORGEOUS. It borders … fields of… stuff. I’ve yet to get a straight answer on what. I asked and Kouyo just told me they were growing snails. But anyway, there’s a waterway that runs through it with goldfish and…koi? And…leeches. Hiiru. Surrounding it are these wooded mountains, and the river of sweat running down your face makes it feel like the rainforest! Hm…
I’m not sure why I like this area so much. It’s a mix of plants and powerlines, wich modest little houses spattered haphazardly around tiny little lanes for bicycles and mopeds. I never did like the cut and paste American formula of neighborhoods with their cute trimmed lawns and carefully arranged flowers. Especially those blocks upon blocks of eerily similar white houses with cookie cutter lawns. American white picket fence stereotype, much?

This neighborhood is so much more appealing. Everything is smaller, and the houses are crammed together, but it feels more natural and relaxed. I’m no poet, but I’m sure you’ll see what I mean when I get a video up.

Mama keeps trying to use a translator on me, and the engrish that pops out is hilarious. She points at it and sounds it out carefully. “DO…YOU…ADVANCE WILL?” Not as if I have any right to speak, as I’ve already reduced my host bro to a fit of tearful laughter over my bad Japanese. I think it had something to do with calling the fridge family.

Anyway, I crashed again about 6 o’clock, pulling an Emily and conking out straight on the floor. Mama woke me up for dinner at 7, which was… pizza. Sort of. There with sausage, chicken, shrimp and other such toppings, served with a side of… rice…? It was strange. We watched really weird television while eating. [The only channel that is normal is baseball! It’s so bizarre! Oh, Japan.] but I couldn’t stay awake, so I re-crashed. Woke up at 3 am. Tossed and turned till 4, gave up about 4:30 and
here I am
watching the
Japanese sun
go up.
How surreal.

Anyway, ciao! Enjoy your Midday, my morning is great. [Albeit slightly sticky.] Orientation tomorrow in Osaka, woo!