Monday, August 30, 2004

Back in Cali

Watching four movies in a row is the only way to pass the time on a long plane ride!

I started and read up to the most recent 鋼の錬金術師 (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi; Fullmetal Alchemist) manga in two days. Quite good, and I hear the anime diverges from the manga very early on. It's the #1-rated series in Japan this summer and I can see why. I have to download it all when I get back on campus. Meanwhile, the next manga comes out 9/12....curse monthly issues!

I am going to miss living in Japan. I think a summer work-abroad internship is the most ideal scenario....not too short, not too long. Toward the end, I was really starting to feel the grind from the work and especially the ridiculously long commute. I think I could do this for a full year, but I am not sure I'd be able work here for the rest of my life.

Nevertheless, I will miss all the little intricacies that I've gotten used to. The people, the public transportation system, the very urban lifestyle, the music I hear in stores and on TV, the TV shows/anime and commercials, the weekly Jump, the food, the sound of Japanese, ...heck, even the currency. I've gotten used to seeing the quadruple blend of hiragana/katana/kanji/English on signs and buildings in Tokyo....coming back to the States where everything is in English will feel so bland!!!

Here are some of the things I didn't get to do in my 7-week stay:
Did not get to visit Niko/Kamakura/Yasukuni Shrine/Tokyo Bay in the Kanto region.
Did not visit Nara in the Kansai region, and did not see downtown Osaka even though I was technically inside the city while touring Universal Studios.
Did not experience an onsen.
Did not eat sushi (whoah, even I'm surprised!), not even kaiten-sushi.
Did not meet a Japanese girlfriend (not that I was expecting this to actually happen).
Did not climb to the very top of Fuji-san (though at least I attempted it!)

As for the things that I did do...well, that's what the rest of this blog covers!
Indeed, I have learned a lot during these past few weeks, and I am glad that I got to experience this opportunity. Most of all, I've met a ton of people whom I intend to stay in touch with. I have friends in Japan now (not just gaming/internet friends!), and that's a great feeling to have.

One thing's for sure: I haven't had enough, and I will definitely come back again sometime.

Quote of the Day: "My Wife is a Gangster" --title of Korean movie [plot synposis: "A female gang boss is persuaded by her long-lost, dying sister to settle down. She finds that fullfilling her oath is a lot harder than she expected."]


At 9:03 AM, Blogger teenah said...

same here man.
welcome back to the states.
i want to do the japan program for a whole year next time.
are you taking japanese this coming year?

At 6:55 PM, Blogger David said...

I'll decide sometime before reg day. I pre-registered for a ton of classes, and now it's just a matter of deciding what to drop. Of course I'd really like to take it, but I've heard it's exponentially harder than 1-4, and I'll have to see what the rest of my courseload is like.

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