Tag Archives: writing

My Travels Abroad: Golden Week and Our First Day There

When I was purchasing my plane ticket, I had to book it for a few days before I actually had to be in Osaka. I wasn’t really sure why there was a $3,000 difference, but I figured this way, I’d be able to enjoy a few more days in Japan. While I was at it, I booked my hotel reservations.

My acquaintance at the time, Thomas, who was also going on the trip, had asked if he could get a hotel with me if it came down to it, since he also had no choice but to book his tickets for a sooner date. I’d only ordered a single room, but I had few objections because he said he’d go half with me on it. On top of that, he’d already been on the study abroad trip a year prior, so he knew the area a lot better than I did. I was kind of iffy sharing a hotel room with another guy, though, and not only for the fact that I had a boyfriend. I told him to let me know if he couldn’t find anything else. He had no luck, so we got that single room together, $300 each for three nights.

We had the same flight going to Japan, and we bonded a little, talking about video games and such. The flights themselves weren’t bad. It’s mostly the layovers I hate. On the way, we only had about a half hour layover in L.A., and the layover in Hawaii was four hours. The trip in total was about 21 hours, so by the time we flew into Osaka, we were both exhausted and starving. It was about 9 P.M. when we landed, and from there, it was about another hour or so to our hotel.

Thomas seemed to know where we were going, but I was exhausted and irritated. I just wanted to crawl into a nice, warm bed, just to have my circadian rhythm wake me up in a few hours. I had no idea where our hotel was, and I constantly forgot what it was even called. I had to put my trust in Thomas, because he seemed pretty confident that we were going the right way. I was thankful that he was there; I couldn’t imagine trying to find my hotel alone.

After lugging our, eh, luggage through a transfer from the JR Station to the Subways in Tennouji, and riding that for a little while, we finally made it to our stop. How convenient; the hotel was right there in front of the station.

apa villa

We checked in, and then we made our way to the hotel room. I was irked at how small the room was, but I did order a single room because the price was significantly lower than a double. We had quite the dilemma. With not much walking room, figuring out our sleeping situation was a struggle. We had agreed to take turns sleeping on the floor beforehand, but it looked like there wasn’t even that much room. Eventually, we decided that we’d just have to set up camp right in front of the door. With that, we got extra bedding, and as much as I wanted to get something to eat, there was nothing close by, so we just resolved to go to bed.

hotel room

When we finally got to exploring Osaka, it was clear why booking things was weird: it was Golden Week! For those who don’t know, Golden Week is a holiday in Japan, where most everyone is given a week off of work to do things with their family and travel. Needless to say, it’s their busiest travel week, and as such, it’s hard to get reservations unless you book them well in advance.

The morning after we arrived, we woke up pretty early, at about 6:30 AM despite going to bed late. Thomas wanted to show me around Tennouji, but before that, we resolved to get breakfast at the hotel, seeing as it had been several hours since either of us had eaten. We stood in line for a long time. Breakfast was so busy, that they had to wait for someone to vacate a table before they could let another person in.  The breakfast was so good. I had a random assortment of things. When in Japan, eat as much Japanese food as you can!

After breakfast, we got ready for the day, then we hopped on the Subway to explore Tennouji. Riding the subway got less and less frustrating, now that I was beginning to familiarize myself with it. Plus, I was in a very carefree, adventurous mood. I figured that it might be a long time before I get to go to Japan again, so I wanted to see all that there was to see. Take me wherever.

Q's Walkway

It was kind of silly when we got to Tennouji. Nothing was open; we began our day too soon. Thankfully, we weren’t way too early; most shops were fixing to open up in about ten minutes by the time we found a store we wanted to go to. Thomas really wanted to show me this shop, Book Off, and I’m glad he did. It was basically a thrift book and game store. Thomas was an avid collector of old games from the 80’s, so he frequented that place.

Before I left for Japan, my boyfriend, Ramsey, had given me money to buy myself a 3DS in Japan. He wanted me to get it so I could practice my Japanese more, since Japanese 3DS games were region-coded, and I couldn’t change the language option. Luckily for me, Book Off provided a 3DS that was much cheaper than what I could get at a typical electronics store, and it was even in a color that was exclusive to Japan: deep blue. I also bought a game for myself there, but I didn’t get the chance to play very many games. I still carried the 3DS with me everywhere I went for street-passing though. Since it was Golden Week, my 3DS connected with people from all over Japan, as far as Hokkaido and Okinawa, and it even connected with people from other countries.

So much happened in Golden Week, that I need to make individual posts for the things we did. Stay tuned!

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My travels abroad: Why I was able to go

I never thought I’d get the chance to study abroad. I always wanted to, but A, it was usually too expensive, and B, for a long time, I had my attachments that kept me from wanting to be gone any longer than a couple of weeks.

Luck was in my favor this year. The trip was about a thousand dollars cheaper, and I finally mustered up the courage to be away from home for a long time. My mother and father helped me afford the tuition and airfare. There was no way I could afford the trip on my salary. I didn’t want them footing the whole bill though, so I took care of the rest, but of course, I couldn’t even do that without help from other people who sent me with money.

Even when I was packing, getting ready to go, and telling everyone I was going, it still felt surreal to me. Growing up, people had always told me that I should study abroad if possible. I’d never get another chance, they said. Of course, I had some personal objections. Could I handle being away from everything for that long? Would I be able to sustain myself for a month off of what money I had saved? Could I handle not eating food I was familiar with for a month? I loved Japanese cuisine, but the real McCoy is always different than what you can get back home.

By the time I was getting ready to go, I soon had no qualms about leaving home for a month. Things were getting weird back home in the midst of my parents’ divorce, and I had become very depressed from all of it, feeling inadequate.

They say that when you study abroad, you don’t come back the same person you were when you left. That’s true. Now, I’m more confident. I feel like I can handle whatever comes my way. I’ve grown up, and during my stay in Japan, I’ve had to fill the shoes of an adult and take care of myself, stepping up to the plate where no one else could.

I’m not sure what exactly I had in mind for the trip leading up to it, but it panned out differently than I thought it would, in a good way.

I’m back!

Hey, all, it’s been a  minute!

I apologize for my inactivity. I moved into a new house, which was quite the fixer-upper, so I’ve spent pretty much most of my time back from Japan remodeling and getting the place up to standards. Things are stabilizing now, I have a job again, and now that the house is more or less done, that yields more time for me to write. Stay tuned! I’m about to post about my trip to Japan!

Painting

Waking up, I let my eyes flutter shut again.

I’m not meant to be here,

But I don’t really know how to call out to those who love me

So they can pull me from my slump.

Separating and distancing myself from everyone I know,

I make a solitary venture to the city.

Alone I drive,

Alone I walk into the colorful shop as the scent of dust fills my nose.

It’s a good kind of dust,

One with great associations.

I’m so focused on my work,

That I completely forget about eating,

And I am so engrossed in the paint strokes,

That I can forget how fast my mind is eroding in this world.

I build my mental state back up as I dump more paint on my plate.

As I perfect the angles,

And mix colors to get just the right tone,

I am completely detached from the world.

All I know at the moment is the color pallet

And the plate I’m painting on.

I want to do this more.

Just for a moment,

Things fall right into place,

Or at least they seem to.

Just for a moment,

I don’t need to question my existence.

It finally happened.

https://www.createspace.com/5307897

unnamed

I am a published author.

For those of you who have been following me on my journey to get this published, thank you for sticking by my side. I know I’m not the most diligent updater when it comes to this site, but now that Monochrome Dream is ready for the public to buy, I might be a little more enthusiastic in what I do.

Order your copy today, and I’d love to see what you think of it!

Hey guys!

What’s going on? It’s been a while! That’s what school and full time work will do, I suppose. Plus, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 was released not too long ago, and I just HAD to get the good ending, the bad ending, and beat Nightmare mode before making much more progress.

Well, it’s spring break, and I’ve got things planned.

For starters, I plan to renew my license since it expires next week (happy birthday to me).

Number one, though, I plan to finish proofing Monochrome Dream: Apostrophe this week since I won’t have school to worry about, and then hopefully I can make print versions available for pre-order. Yee.

I’ve kinda put work on MD2 on hold because I’m dedicating that time to proof the first Monochrome Dream, and I’m checking it extensively for errors before I put it up for pre-order (I’ve already found a few that would have been extremely embarrassing if they made it to the final cut). The electronic version of it IS available for pre-order, but as of right now, paperback versions are unavailable at this moment. After this week, I do plan to have it available for pre-order. Thank you so much for being patient with me, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to make it available sooner.

I’m going to update the MD tab because the chapters posted there are obsolete. I’m not deleting the original posts containing those old chapters for the sake of those who reeeeally want to dig them up, but just know those posts are no longer canon and should not be applied to the story.

Word Count

I know it’s late, but I’m working on book 2 of Monochrome Dream, and I am about 14,000 words into it. On days that I can write, I plan to write 1,000 words per day. As you understand, sometimes life happens, and I can’t write every single day, but I do plan to have Book 2 ready to go sometime next year so that I don’t have to keep all of you waiting too long.

Monochrome Dream: Apostrophe will be released in 66 days, so make sure you pre-order your e-copy today!