I’ve been struck by a sudden bout of homesickness. Or maybe it’s just depression in general. All I know is that I want to curl up in one corner and either drink myself drunk or well, do nothing and wait for it to pass. It doesn’t help that it’s raining today and that I have no classes to occupy myself with.
You’d think that I’ve travelled enough to be used to this kind of thing, but I think this case is more of a double whammy. Once in a while the blues will hit you, except that I’m usually back at home in Singapore when it happens so it’s not that bad. Now I’m in a foreign country with few friends and even fewer comforts. Okay at least I have purin here.
I remember that the last time I felt homesick was when I was in Kyoto for exchange. It was worse back then I think, back when my hormones where probably severely inbalanced. It hit me hard and fast and before I knew it I was just overwhelmed with a thousand different emotions. It went away as quickly as it came, so I’m hoping the same thing will happen this time.
That aside, I’m proud to say that I’m not regretting the fact that I came to Waseda to study Japanese. I’m finally studying what I want to study. Many people might think that it’s a waste of time and money, but I think that I’m finally taking a small step in the direction of what I want my life to be like in the future.
I’ve been averaging around 4 hours of sleep per night since Monday, and somehow this feels like one of the longest weeks I’ve ever experienced. Quite a few things happened this past week.
Firstly, fefe actually approached me on her own! Okay fefe is actually one of the cats which I catsitted on sunday and she’s usually very shy with strangers. She will hiss if you go near and will usually just hide straight underneath the coffee table if she doesn’t know you. But on sunday when I was about to leave she came up to me out of her own accord and sniffed me! One of my prouder moments in this job heh. And Belle (another cat) kept looking at me with her ginormous dilated pupils and I just melted there and then. This is why I love being a cat-sitter (:
Secondly, well I wouldn’t really call this a good thing per se, but I’ve finally met someone with the same name as me! I guess my name is definitely more unique than most other names out there, but it’s not one of it’s kind. The funny thing is that in Singapore, my name can belong to both a guy or a girl. And it’s really weird hearing your name being called when it’s someone else they want.
Thirdly, and I am still mindblown about this, is that I found out that my classmate is my neighbour in woodlands! He actually stays in the same block as me and I’ve never noticed till a few days ago. I guess this just goes to show how limited interaction is among neighbours and I. It’s kinda sad.
Japan trip planning has been proceeding along very nicely. I just need to settle accomodation for the Kansai area and arrange to meet up with people. I really can’t wait to go back to Japan! Just breathing Japan air would be enough. And I FINALLY GET TO GO TO FUJIQ wheeeeee~~~ I will ride all the rollercoasters there :3 I mean just look at this! Doesn’t it look soooooo exciting!!! めっちゃめっちゃ期待するわー！
I actually only read the rurouni kenshin manga after news of the live action movie came out in Japan. I’ve heard of the manga from friends before, but somehow never got around to reading it until now. I should have read it sooner! The manga’s really good. Plot-wise it was thrilling enough, and the main female lead Kaoru wasn’t a demure damsel in distress that needed saving from Kenshin every time. Which I really appreciate because I hate whiny female leads that always cause trouble for everyone around them. Ahem.
Back to the movie, there were minor changes to the plot, probably because I think the director didn’t want to include so many characters. Poor Aoshi got taken out ): But it followed the manga storyline pretty accurately. I think that the cast was really strong. Satou Takeru really did a super good job of playing Kenshin, both his cheerful ‘oro’ rurouni side and his merciless battousai side. And I think he has improved a lot since I last saw him in Mei-chan no Shitsuji. Some of the reviews I heard about Takei Emi was that she wasn’t very good, but I think that she did a good job! (I’m also slightly biased, so sue me.) The problem I think lies with the director which made Kaoru seem like a damsel in distress, being unable to protect her own dojo, instead of Emi’s acting. Other characters like jin’e was well acted out too! I didn’t really like the casting choice for Yahiko though /:
Oh Satou Takeru ♥ Other than his acting skills I think he looks quite a lot like what I’d expect a real life Kenshin to be. *cue fangirl squeal* Okay maybe I was in love with Kenshin and not Satou Takeru himself hahaha. But still. ♥♥♥ Or maybe it’s just that I think the poofy host kind of hair doesn’t suit him at all. It makes him look like a チャラ男. Clean cut or very slightly styled suits him the best heh.
But overall it was a great movie. I would totally watch it again. And again.
Everywhere you go, everyone you meet, everything you encounter, changes you somehow. Picking up Japanese, having Japanese friends, living in Japan for half a year has changed me. Once you learn so much about a certain culture, there’s this social obligation to conform to it. I guess here are some of the aspects that I feel that I’ve changed in.
1. I think and speak to myself in Japanese.
Someone once told me that for learning new languages, the turning point is when you start to think in that language and not think in your native language before translating and saying it out loud. And I think this is very true. Thinking in Japanese has helped me to get more practice too. And well, since I already talk to myself in English talking to myself in Japanese will only help to improve my pronounciation :3
2. I find myself thinking of whether I’ll cause unnecessary trouble to people.
Japanese people often act in a way so as not to “人に迷惑がかからない”, which means not to cause trouble to others. For example they don’t talk on the phones in trains to keep the peace and quiet, and they often answer with ambiguity so as to allow the other person to save face. Like saying that you’re sick or very busy when someone asks you out instead of rejecting them outright. So whenever I want to make a request to someone, I’ll always tell them that it’s okay if they’re too busy or they don’t want to do it, or that if I’m a nuisance they’re free to ignore me. Because I genuinely don’t want to cause trouble for them.
3. I have become more skeptical of people when they invite me to events or to join them.
In Japan, people have 本音(honne) and 建前(tatemae), which is your real feelings and your mask respectively. Tatemae is like inviting someone to visit you but they are only saying this because of a social obligation, and in reality they do not want you to pay them a visit at all. It’s very confusing in Japan because it’s really difficult to tell honne from tatemae, so most of the time you’re unsure if the person is really inviting you over or is just saying it for show. In Singapore this doesn’t really happen as much, but I’m still cautious.
4. I am guilty of 90% of the following. Except for チンチン欲しいな.