Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tajima Pin-Pon!

      Ok. This is my cell phone in Japan. Cute, right? Thanks!
     And this is the guy who sold me my cell phone, in the hallway of the apartment I'm living in. Now you may ask yourself, "why's the cellphone guy in this girl's apartment?" Well, it's a long story, full of joy, tears, and stress.
      So let me tell you about how I got my phone. The group of us from Ball State went to SoftBank, a Japanese cellphone company, to get our prepaid phones. We were so excited when we got in there, because there was a row of bright, beautiful phones with a sign that said prepaid over it! So as we picked out which colors we wanted, the guy in the picture asked us what we were looking for, and we said prepaid phones. And as he asked which phones we wanted, he didn't point to the rainbow phones we saw; he pointed to the ones above them, with the options of white, black, pale pink, navy blue, and gray. Oh! quick note, they were out of every color except for white and black...
    After we picked out our one of two color options, wee began registration, yay! It took two hours and 25 minutes! For five people to sign up for prepaid phones! And that's not where the fun stops either! My friend Erin and I were the last to sign up, and it was almost time for the store to close. Which made us think we would have to come back and get our phones tomorrow. I was pissed. BUT! Said guy in the picture offered to bring our phones to our apartment. That night. After he got off work. He would come to our apartments and 'pin-pon!' (aka ring the door bell) and bring us our phones. And he did! Less than two hours later there was a knock at my door and there stood the SoftBank guy, cellphones in hand!          
     And it doesn't stop there! He went BACK to SoftBank to print out mine and Erin's receipt and came back to our apartments with this!
     Food! As he called them, "best Japanese candy". Yeah, after the hell we put this poor guy through, he brings us candy! Friends, I was gonna cry. I knew Japanese customer service was exemplary by any standards, but this was above and beyond what I could've imagined. So being the excited exchange student I am, I took a picture. And then he wanted a picture too. And to hang out! So we exchanged numbers and I am looking forward to having a party with Tajima Pin-Pon sometime during my three month stay! Oh, my life~ Peace out.

Monday, May 21, 2012


    Hey all! Sorry I've been M.IA. for the past two weeks; just trying to get settled in. But I'm finally in Sapporo! It's a pretty cool city, though I haven't done too much exploring yet. The area I'm in is called Nishioka, and it's really quiet and residential, so it takes time to get downtown. But it's literally a three minute walk from school, so I'm content! And of course I've taken some pictures, so please indulge in my new life thus far.
           This was my first meal in Sapporo! It's tempura (fried...stuff, like veggies and shrimp), udon (a thick flour-wheat noodle), and some veggies. I would like to note that whoever said the food portions in Japan are small...lied! I couldn't even finish the whole thing, as there is a huge bowl of rice hidden underneath the tempura. Regardless, it was delicious.

         A toilet! Not something you see everyday (or ever) in America. It's built into the floor, and you must squat. Yes, squat. But it's not as bad as it seems. You just kinda get used to it.
        These are some Sakura (cherry blossom). Unfortunately, they were already starting to die when we came, so we didn't get to enjoy Hanami (flower viewing).
        This was a birthday present from my friend Madoka! A really cute strawberry keychain (which I won't use for fear of breaking it) and something I've never heard of: Sweet Umeboshi (dried pickled plums). Umeboshi are normally super sour, and these are too, but they have a hint of sweetness to make the sourness more bearable! Considering how I'm not a huge fan of umeboshi in the first place, they take some getting used to. But I will not let me present go to waste. まどか、ありがとう〜!
       The Sapporo TV tower. You can go up for around 600 yen (about $7). Maybe I will someday!
       The cutest doughnut I've ever eaten! Bought at Mister Donut, Japan's chain doughnut store. It was as delicious as it was cute!
        Crows...For some reason, Japanese crows are abnormally large and creepy. They're everywhere, really loud, and not afraid to get close to people. I definitely will not miss them when I come home...
      A wedding at a temple I visited! It was cool to see the traditional style mixed with some Western. Some of the people are wearing suits and dresses. Not sure if that's common or not, but it's cool regardless.

     So that's some of my life so far. I'll be back with some specific adventures I had. Peace out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

      Wow wow wow wow wow! I'm finally in Japan, but not where I'm supposed to be, lol. My flight from Chicago got delayed two hours, so I got stuck in Tokyo for the night. But don't flip, I'll be on my way to Sapporo in less then 2 hours!
      At any rate, the plane ride wasn't too bad. The lady who sat next to me was named C; she's from Thailand, but lives in America now. We had some good conversations, about spirituality and health and just life in general. But I wish I had taken a picture of her before we parted, because she was a beautiful lady. I refused to believe that she was 63 until she showed me her passport! If I can look like her by doing the simple things she said she does, hell yeah I'll do it.

      Here's a couple views from the hotel I was at. Hard to believe there's a rice farm so close to an airport, right?! But after I left, I realized I really should've stayed here...
     No, your eyes aren't broken; that is a Christmas hotel!! And I know, I know, what the hell was I thinking not going there. You win some, you some lose I guess....
     I have to go through security soon to catch my flight, but some final thoughts. If you're ever lost in a foreign country, Japan is the place to be. Even if you can't speak Japanese, or they can't speak English, they're genuinely concerned about you and your well being. Luckily my Japanese got me to the hotel and everywhere I needed to be, so it wasn't as stressful as it could've been. But if you ever do come to Japan, don't worry if you're not proficient (I'm not!); you're among VERY good people. Hopefully I'll update soon. Peace...out!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


  Oh hey all! My name is Cheridan, and I'm gonna be in Sapporo, Japan for the next three months this summer (woop woop)! I'm excited and anxious, especially since my plane ride is only 10 hours away. Most of my life is packed into two colorful suitcases and a maroon backpack; and my parents are taking the rest of it back to St. Louis. But it's all worth it, especially after this roller coaster of a year. I'm excited to see old friends, make new ones, and eat some amazing food. I'll keep updating as much as possible, so keep an eye out for new posts! And who knows: if you interact enough, I might bring you back a souvenir ~ Peace...out.