Published: June 30th 2012June 30th 2012
Well, ladies and gents, it has been an eventful couple of days, LOL.
On Thursday, I met up with my wonderful friend Sayuri, who went to Kent with me, at Shinjuku. Finding me unable to get a phone yet (I hadn't hit the ward office), we went to Ikebukuro because she is finishing her degree at Rikkyo University. She took me around campus, which was beautiful, and then we ate in the cafeteria - it was so easy and yummy! After that, I got to attend class with her. It was a really small class with 3 students talking about American poetry in the early 1900's.
And her professor knew Dr. G! I was like HOW DOES THIS MAN KNOW EVERYONE?! MY GOD HE OWNS EVERY COUNTRY EVER. I can happily report that I understood about... 12% of the class and what they were saying (an argument could be made for 15). It was really fun, and they were really nice. After that, Sayuri had another class, so I went out to wander around Ikebukuro at my sister's instructions and found both Mandarake and K-books. Which was obviously not great for my bank account, but I was very fiscally
After her class, we met back up again, and after going onto the roof of the building just because we wanted to see it (it's covered in grass! with benches! and little vine-covered archways!), we went to a tiny noodle shop that was famous for smoked eggs with their noodles. I NOW KNOW HOW TO ORDER AT THESE PLACES!!! It was so small, just the cooking area and the eating bar around it with about 10 chairs. And I had the smoked egg noodle dish, and it was extremely delicious. So this was excellent. We wandered around Shinjuku for awhile trying to find a place to get a cheap drink, but came up empty and I ended up going back to Sam and Fitz's place for the night. Japan: 0, Katy: 1.
And then Friday. Oh, Friday. Friday was the first day that I full-on sobbed because I wanted to go home so bad, which bodes well, haha.
I got up REALLY early to go to the ward office from S&F's place (about a 1.5 hour transit time) to apply for my residence card. Of course, I got lost (again) because Japan can't make freaking
It's so pretty!
maps with north at the top (it's SO TERRIBLE WHO DOES THAT). I waited until it opened for a half hour and then it took an hour inside to get the application process done, so I ended up being late for my appointment with the apartment agency to sign for things - from the ward office, it took a 10 minute train, 25 minute walk to the other station, and then 45 minute train ride just to get to where I needed to go, not to mention the 15 minutes walking around trying to find the place. I WAS STRESSED OUT LOL. And had been run-walking like a 10k. And I've been hauling butt the past few days so I was already sore, this did not help. Japan: 1, Katy: 1.
Luckily, it was fine. Getting everything with the apartment took another 1.5 hours (so much paperwork!) and then I had to go and pick up my key from ANOTHER location - another 45 minute train ride! WHO DOES THIS SERIOUSLY. And when I got my key, I had a conversation entirely in Japanese with the agency worker. Japan: 1, Katy: 2.
Then I got back to Shinjuku
Me posing by the machine - this was how we ordered lunch1 You pay here and press the button for what you want, then you give the little slip to the cooks and they give you your food.
to get my METRIC TON OF LUGGAGE from S&F's place. Maneuvering through 3 trains and 2 transfers plus the stations was... not fun. I was already tired and aching and the 1.5 hour trip takes a lot longer (and really seems to) when you are JUST THAT TIRED. My feet are covered in bruises and blisters. I manage to find the apartment after a looong walk up a really insane hill, only to discover that I have no electricity or water. Japan: 2, Katy: 2. I ALSO HAVE NO MATTRESS. WHO GIVES YOU A BEDFRAME WITH NO MATTRESS?! And I didn't think to ASK because to me, THIS SEEMS PRETTY OBVIOUS. Japan: 3, Katy: 2.
So I'm UBER STRESSED. I can't get to the internet to figure out where to buy a futon because I have no power. I pack 2 bags and head out aiming to get back into Tokyo to S&F's apartment, and 2 minutes away realize I forgot my passport. I go back only to run into the guy showing up to turn on my water and power! Another conversation entirely in Japanese! Japan: 3, Katy: 3.
I try to set up the internet, but
can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, so then I am SO TIRED AND OVERWHELMED AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHERE TO BUY A MATTRESS BECAUSE I HAVE NO INTERNET AND WITH NO INTERNET I HAVE NO ACCESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD AT ALL and seriously, I was exhausted from basically four straight days of running around and getting lost and trying to get things figured out. I grabbed my bags and headed back to the station saying screw it, I'm going back to Sam and Fitz's place. I spent THE WHOLE 1.5 HOUR TRIP BACK TO TOKYO trying not to burst into tears. Japan: 73287872, Katy: -2.
I ended up praying they were home and would answer because I had no other options save sleeping on a pile of my clothing (I luckily packed a blanket). By the time I got to their door, I was full-on sobbing in absolute misery, and THANK EVERY LUCKY STAR that Sam hadn't gone out with Fitz because she has a cold. She just looked at me and let me in and gave me a banana and said "tell me your problems" lol. So I cried for 20 minutes. And immediately felt better,
On the roof at Rikkyo
because I had contact with people (I brought my laptop) and could sleep somewhere with a bed. Japan: 837, Katy: -2.
We figured out that I could probably find the futon/mattress I needed at Don Quijote, the Wal-Mart equivalent here, but there aren't any close to where I live so it was good I was back in Tokyo. I got directions there, and then to two other places that seemed pricey in case I couldn't find anything and needed a last resort. I also googled how to get the god damn internet to work in my apartment, and got some instructions pulled up and saved in a tab. Being able to email people I care about last night REALLY helped me out - I NEED that. I feel so much better when I have it. I also went to the conbini and got beer because screw it, I was stressed out. Japan: 37, Katy: -1.
I woke up today and for once didn't get up at like 6:30 AM to get things done. I moseyed around, showered, and set off for Shibuya. I had directions, but got lost again (whyyyy am I so terrible) but eventually found the
Rooftop relaxation place!
Don Quijote. No futon, but did find an air mattress! GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, UGH. Got half of what I needed for my apartment and went back to Yokohama. Japan: 37, Katy: 0.
Once here, I unpacked and went to the 100 yen shop I'd found on google maps near my station. Actually, I was finally feeling better about things, so I got the chance to really just walk around my ward and see things and it's soooo pretty. Kind of well-to-do and upscale, quiet, and super nice. This is good!! I'm happy I could enjoy it again. I found a grocery store and got SPAGHETTI AND SAUCE FOR MULTIPLE DINNERS!! like a BAMF, and then hit the 100-yen shop for things like dishes, hangers, utensils, pots, etc. I even found cream and sugar for my morning coffee (coffee ;_____; I have missed you). Japan: 10, Katy: 1.
Came back. Got my bed set up. Fixed internet! Aside from those SNAFUs, the apartment is SUPER NICE and I love it, so this is excellent. I can easily sleep two extra people here (good news for visitors). I put all my pictures up on the walls and now it
A sidestreet in my quiet residential neighborhood
feels much more like home! Ahhhh nicer. :) I hope I can skype with my parents tonight! <33333 And I'm so sore and DONE WITH WALKING for the next day, I have plans to do nothing but try and finally relax and watch movies and tv shows on my computer and just not be on my feet.
I feel SO MUCH BETTER. Man, yesterday was REALLY tough. I'm SO lucky I had Sam and Fitz here to run to when things got bad. It's amazing how being so overwhelmed and tired and exhausted can make things feel 83735382842 times worse. But I took pictures of the newly decorated apartment so everyone can see! <3 I miss you all~
There are more photos below