Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Housing, Scholarships, and Sponsors

It's weird to think that my first "real" apartment will be in Kyoto, Japan. Although it's not official, I think I am on the trail of an apartment near my campus. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll be able to stay somewhere safe and inexpensive. Ai-chan is looking into some places for me, and I know she'll do a good job.

Although, all of this apartment hunting has forced me to think more about the things I need to put in my suitcase. What do I need and what do I want, exactly? Should I take a recipe book? Where should I shop if I need a frying pan or a cheap pillow? I never realized there was so much to think about and now it's all overwhelming. The apartments Ai-chan and I are looking at are furnished, so that takes care of a large problem, but there are still the small things inside of the apartment. Sure, I know where to buy some of the little hygeine/pharamaceutical items I'll need, but what about decorations and little nicknacks? (I don't need them, I know, but it's bound to happen if I'm renting an apartment.) I've never thought about asking if a store carried an item, nor have I thought about how to request an item if I do need it. These small, somewhat annoying, thoughts are penetrating my mind like non-stop lightning and it's a bit painful at times. Then I realize all of the conveniences that I take advantage of at home: Free food, bedding, and most importantly, the company of family, friends, and pets. I wish I could take some of this stuff with me.

But these are some of the growing pains I knew I'd have to face when I first applied. I told myself I wouldn't back out, no matter what, and that I'm going to stick this thing through till the end.

Please excuse my randomness throughout these blogs. I write spontaneously and don't really feel that true organization is necessary because this is a blog, not an academic research paper. I have a question for all of you:

Have you ever taken the time out of your day to realize just how quickly we speak when speaking casually? 

I've never really taken the time to think this until recently. I was talking with Ai-chan and her friend Yukko over skype. We were talking about my trip to Japan, preparations being made, among other random things in Japanese. After asking for them to speak slowly a few times, I gave up because their natural speaking speed was too fast and the slow made me feel as if I were three. Then I realized that I did the same thing in English when they asked me to slow down. There is no easy way of speaking slowly in your native language. You either speak how you are comfortable speaking or you slow down as if you are talking to someone as if they are bothering you. (Think about it. If you're having a fight with your significant other and they've asked you to repeat what you've said for the fifth time. Instead of remaining polite and speaking softly in a slow voice, you raise your voice and speak with hard annunciation. It's a similar situation.) I figured I'd have to just listen and try to keep up. I can't ask people to slow down for me forever, you know. But now I get more and more nervous when thinking about navigating the airport . . .

I can't worry about that yet, though, because there are still so many things I have to do before I leave. I have to finish writing these letters for probable sponsors and I have to continue hounding the financial aid office until I see that my aid has hit. I also have to find time to bake cookies for a small bake sale fundraiser this weekend. If you're interested in attending and trying some delicious samurai/geisha/ninja gingerbread men or other fun goodies (brownies, cookies, and cupcakes), please send an e-mail to the e-mail address beneath the title of this page, and I'll give you the information.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time!

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