The people here are for real, diverse.  You got all sorts of humor here and many more personalities.  Within my first week, I was able to meet and make friends with so many people.  I've met people from the states (USA), Australia, Germany, Macao, Czech, France, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Norway, and Switzerland. I've even met people from all over Japan.  I've met people from Okinawa, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Tochigi, Yokohama, Chiba, Iwate, Hokkaido, and of course, Akita.  So many things have happened in 5 days, I don't even know where to start.
Let's start with the first day.  As soon as I got to Akita, they threw me on a bus and sent me to directly to  school. After I got to the school, they gave me the key to my apartment, made me sign some forms for a school ID and a 判子 (Hanko), and then gave me a tour.  After that, I mingled and made as much friends as I could.  I made a good friend on the first day by the name of Wataru. We call him Watu here.  Since a lot of people don't know how to pronounce my name, they call me Kei.  Thanks to Watu, I now have a new nickname and I like it!

By the way, for those of you who don't know what a "hanko" is, it is a seal that Japanese people use to sign their signature on applications.  On our first day, we got to choose what we wanted our Hanko to look like.  I wanted it to be in Kanji, the hardest characters in Japanese.  I remember Taku telling me that I could make myself a Kanji that when translated would mean, "Kicking Power." So I did it... hahahahaha!  I should have put Hayashi.  Hayashi is the same symbol for Lum, and it means Forest. I should have done that, but it phased me.

Oh well!  Next time, I'll know better!  I like Kicking Power anyway. 
On the second day, I went to the nearby mall, called Aeon Mall.  It was really nice.  It reminded me of Pearlridge Shopping Center in Hawaii, but less kids, and less "ghetto-ness."  Any by ghetto, I mean dirty.  The bathrooms here are outstanding.  I forgot to mention in the "Taku's House" blog that I had found a bathroom that had Listerine in it.  It was in the bathroom of a Karaoke shop.  Makes sense as to why it would be there.  You don't want to be shouting when your breath smells like fish.
On the third day, I went to the Omagara firework festival, one of the biggest firework shows in the world.  The place was ridiculously crowded.  At the same time, it was super organized.  We didn't have to shove and push our way through people.  It seemed like everybody already had a system for which side to walk on.  Not only that, there were people sitting all over the place.  Some on the side of the road, some in the grass, and some even on the roofs.  They even had areas where you had to pay to sit down.  It was really interesting.  There were shops on every road selling food, drinks, beer, and cotton candy.... the works!  Everything though was of course ridiculously high prices.  That was until it ended.  The water bottles went from $4 (roughly translated from yen) to 30 cents.

Being that I come from Hawaii, and that Hawaii people pop fireworks, or used to pop fireworks, I'm used to seeing fantastic fireworks.  That being said, I thought the fireworks were going to be alright.  Omagara's fireworks, however, were spectacular.  When shot into the air, they created patterns, faces, and even words.  It was truly beautiful.

After the festival, we all went back to the school to pop fireworks of our own.  In Japan, they allow you to pop fireworks whenever you want to.  It's not like Hawaii where you have to wait for the time of the year when they would allow it.  Maybe its because the fireworks were small.  Who knows... When I popped Fireworks at Taku's place, they were amazed by fireworks that were similar to bottle rockets.  They were also amazed by those "candlesticks" that we used to have in Hawaii.  It was surprising!  The group in Akita that I went to pop fireworks with were also very amazed.  They were amazed by the sparklers we bought.  It was cute! Or as Japanese say, てへぺろ!(Tehepero!) Too bad they couldn't see Hawaii's fireworks during the New Year's.  They'd be astonished, blown away, and left in a bed to recover. 
On the fourth day, I went to the mall again to buy some household stuff.  I found something new when I got there, a water fountain...  that gives you free water.  Well I guess that's not new.  But Japan's one is different.  Throughout the food court, they have these little stations where you can wash your hands and make yourself free cups of water.  It amazed me so I took a picture of it.  Of course, the Japanese were like, "What is he doing??" and "Why is he taking a picture of a sink??"  But who cares, if I want to take picture of a sink, I will!
On the fifth day and the sixth day (the sixth day being today), I had orientations.  Lots and lots of orientations... All I can say is one word:  "Boring." Sorry to say it, but I had a hard time trying to stay awake.

So far, school in Akita International University is interesting.  I've met lots of people and am looking forward to meeting even more.  The sites have been beautiful, and the food has been... on my good side.  I haven't done much yet, but I plan to do crack-a-lacka loads by the time I am finished.  Ultimately, my goal is to take over the school!!!! hahahahahahahahahaha! 

I'm joking....

No, but really.
 


Kamuela
09/08/2012 7:38pm

Wow, sounds like your having a blast there in Akita! Those people must've never traveled abroad yet, if they were puzzled by you taking picture of something you found interesting. I swear you see that kind of thing happening all the time here in Hawai'i with the tourists. Haha. Keep the updates coming brother it is interesting to see what your doing up there. Don't forget to check out that game store there in the Aeon Mall where they sell all the old Nintendo systems or at least I think it's there... Take care, stay safe.

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09/12/2012 10:07am

Hey Brother! Turns out that most of the people here have never visited Hawaii. That's one thing I found out about over here. There are so many Japanese tourist in Hawaii, you would figure that all of em visited Hawaii already. But yeah, being in the country, a lot of the people have never left Japan yet.

Oh yeah, I'll go check out the game store and make sure that I take a lot of pictures! They have a lot of old school game systems here at the university so I'm assuming there is a store like that in the mall.

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