Iro Iro



4 weeks into Japan and I feel like I haven't eaten enough delicious foods, visited enough fantastic places. or met enough wonderful people yet!  There's so much I want to do before the winter season comes.  I want to ride my bicycle to the beach, visit the thing they call " The Godzilla Rock,"  swim under a waterfall, and travel across Japan!  With goals, come ambition; and with ambition, comes effort.  Effort takes time, and there is not enough time in the world for me to experience everything.  I want to do so much things, it almost feels as if I haven't done anything this week.  My pictures, however, tell a different story.
Just the other day, I got to finally see the Ramen Truck.  It's like a Manapua Truck that only sells Ramen.  Instead of playing a song though, it plays something like a ringtone that goes off every 30 seconds.  At first I thought it was some weird Japanese police car making that noise.  The truck is smaller than a 4 runner, and probably as boxy as the Scion box car.  When he opens the back, you can see the prices of the ramen.  The great thing is that if you bring your own bowl, you get a hundred yen discounted from the price of your ramen.
The drinking party's over here are chill.  It's kind of like a casual get-together.  I went to a few already, but I keep forgetting to take pictures. One of the party's that I went to had sushi, sake, and soda.  It was nice and pleasant! Below is a picture I took at the beginning of the party.
The next picture is a picture I took later on in the night.
Last Tuesday, I finally got all the medicine I need for the whole semester.  I got to go to the Akita Red Cross Hospital and visit one of the prefecture's famous doctors.  Luckily, he was a doctor who specialized in Diabetes AND spoke in English... or rather Jangrish (Japanese-English).  Getting medicine in Japan is much less complicated than getting medicine in Hawaii.  The insurance companies in Hawaii seem to care more about the money they're spending on your medicine rather than your life.  Aside from that, the hospital here is interesting.  They are behind the times and have much different methods for withdrawing blood and doing examinations.  Some of them freaked me out.  For example, to withdraw blood, they manually pump it out of you with a syringe and then insert it into a vial. It was kinda scary, being that the tools they used look like tools from 50 years ago and the old school outfits they had on (the kind in scary video games, like Silent Hill).
Their pharmacy was also pretty interesting.  All you had to do is stick your paper into this contraption and they would give you your medicine.  The contraption would suck the paper up, extract the information, and file it for an order to the people working behind the desks.  No later than 10 minutes did I get my 3 months worth of medicine, and my insurance claim forms filled out. 

Aside from all of that, I wouldn't have been able to successfully make it through the hospital if it weren't for Ms. Hitomi Hijikata's help.  As an AIU nurse, she went out of here way to make sure that I visited a doctor, received my medicine, and got fed in the process.  She drove me to and from the hospital, as well as sat there for 6 hours in the waiting room.
In Akita, there is a place called "Bikkuri Donki." I don't know what it means but if I had to guess, I would say it means, "The Surprised Donkey."  hahaha.  The restaurant serves supa-dupa-delicious hamburgers.  Not the hamburgers that McDonald's serves you on a bun but the kind that they serve you on a plate with rice.  It's so good, I've gone there 3 times already.  The meat was so soft, you could cut it with your chopsticks.  They have a burger there that has cheese inside of it. As soon as you cut, it starts oozing out.  If there's a restaurant I would recommend people to go to, it is Bikkuri Donki.  It's fricken 'ono!
Next to Akita International University is a gym, a field, a basketball court, and a whole lot of cycling trails.  Everything is free except for the gym.  The other day, I went there with one of my French friends, Loan.  He showed me the inside of the gym and where to go to purchase the tickets.  The workout room was a little outdated, but what stood out to me was that it had a mechanical massage table.  First thought that came to mind was, "Awesome!"  I should have tried it but I was having too much fun punching the different types of punching bags.
Two days ago, I went to a Pachinko for my first time.  For those of you who don't know what a Pachinko is, it is a gambling joint where you use metal balls as your chips.  At the end, when you cash your pachinko balls out, they give you some choices of candy to choose from and a cool looking card that you can exchange for cash as you exit out of the joint. 

For the first 30 minutes at the joint, I was rolling in the money!  I made my $5 grow into over $35.  It was so quick and so easy, I was beyond surprised.  I didn't even know the rules to the game and I was winning more than 7 times what I started off with.  After some point, I started losing.  The damn game started eating up my chips. As I continued to play, I started to lose more and more chips.  And I started to lose more and more chips, I started to use cash.  The chips and the cash were eventually consumed by the shiny fancy machine.  In the end, I kept $2 and ended up losing $38.  It was a good experience.  I've learned my lesson and I've changed my strategy.  I will save my money by not going there... until I master the technique and absorb as much knowledge as I can about Pachinko games.
At the end of the weekend, I performed at the AIU open campus with the AIU Kanto Club.  It was a lot of fun!  All of the club members were surprised that I did so well.  Heck, I was surprised!  I did two techniques during the performance.  The first one being "Hirate" and the second one being "Nagashi."  Hirate is a technique in which you balance the lanterns using one hand, and Nagashi is a technique where you pass the pole to the next person while in Hirate form.
I'm glad I joined the club!  It felt great to be a part of the Japanese culture!  The best part for me would have to be the part where I get to wear the festival uniform.  The only uniform that I wore that was close to a Japanese uniform was the Hapi coats from Honolulu Festival.  This time, I had the opportunity to wear the pants, the shoes, the coat, and everything else!
After the festival was finished, I went to the mall to go shopping for groceries!  On the way, I met up with some friends and took some Purikura pictures!  These pictures are well known in Japan and they are notorious for making you better looking.
After going to the mall, I went to my friend's apartment to celebrate his birthday!  We had Mexican food, cake, and soda!  The Mexican food was delicious and the company was good.  Happy Birthday Keane!
I realized that since I'll be continuously be posting pictures in the scrapbook section, I will need to let everybody know where the new pictures will be posted.  This will save time for those of you who are looking to see the new pictures.  So... at the bottom of every blog, I'll be posting the sections in which I've added pictures and additional sections that I've added on the website.

The following are the new sections created in the scrapbook:

New pictures are posted in the following sections:


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