June 26th

Mitsuda house

Instead of doing class today, everyone got to go to Harajuku for practical japanese speaking and a little shopping. I took a bunch of photos on the trip, I wonder if any of them turned out ok.

The store we went to was a toy store called "Kiddy Land". We had a kind of japanese scavenger hunt, looking for things in the store and recording kanji. After finishing that, we got some time to shop for ourselves. The prices were pretty high, so I ended up just getting a couple of Naruto gashapon. That was fun... there was a particular one I wanted (hinata), and another one that went with it (neji). I bought one and got Naruto... then Jennifer got Neji, so I traded her... then I got one more, and it was Hinata! It was really exiting, like beating a one armed bandit, you had to be there.

After that, we went back to LABO and finished. I couldn't come home until six because no one was home, so I went shopping with Kage and Victoria for an hour or so. I bought a little tatami mat and a cool fan with a slipcase. Then we took the train home together.

It's kind of a unique experience, walking through public in japan. I'm always wearing a neon orange or tie-die t-shirt, my yellow hat, and sometimes a yellow Volvic the size of a golf ball is hanging off my ear. I also tend to be openly exited or happy about something at any given time, especially when I'm with friends. This, coupled with the fact that I'm not exactly short, tan, or hairless, means I kind of stand out in a crowd. Drab grey and monotone colors seem to be in fashion or something as well, here.

I can look at anyone on the street, and see them immediately focus on something else, with that "mustn't... stare... and... laugh..." kind of look. Sometimes I can get in a smile and nod before they can look away, and then they usually smile and nod back. I can also reliably trigger a gaggle of excited whispers whenever I do that to a random group of schoolgirls (they're not a myth, they're everywhere). It's really great, in a whole kind of being in the center of attention way. In the US, I was special, just like everyone else. Here, I'm actually an individual, it's awesome. I've already gotten used to it... it's going to be way more of a culture shock going home than it was coming here.

I don't know what any of that meant, but I'd say this entry is sufficiently padded.