Saturday, March 26, 2016

Age 19 and 9 months

  • It's been two days since I got to my AP House dorm from my travel, and somehow it feels... Good. To know that I still have another two weeks of spring break :p Now it's time for me to apply for part-time jobs. The kind of jobs that hopefully will force me to speak and learn more Japanese as I save money for another travel adventure next summer.
  • My new roommate just came yesterday!! Whoop whoop! She is from Nara, a city near Kyoto. A sweet girl, she is. I hope we'll get along well! This time around, I don't have much expectations about roommate. I'm just gonna get along and let everything fall into places. Though she looks sweet and eager to learn, so that's enough for the start.
  • Two days ago when we were on the phone, Dimas, out of the creative and innovative mind of his, said "Let's make a book together!". Didn't really acknowledge that idea until it somehow came to my dream on the same night. I had a bad dream involving him and when I woke up, I remembered about that book idea. So instead of making a book, we're gonna have a blog project together! Thinking about it, it's a brilliant idea to work on something together while we're so far away from each other. There is not much yet but please check this out!
  • Adek Raras is gonna visit me here in Beppu in June-July! Yep, she is gonna be here for a month. I have an excuse to travel Kyushu together! (Not that I need an excuse anyway...)
  • Spring semester starts in about two weeks. I'm taking Chinese this semester. No, I'm not trying to throttle my neck with swallowing all those kanjis. I'm just plain crazy, I tell you :) 
  • Hope this is gonna be an awesome and another eye-opening journey! 


Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Avocado's People

Here in Kyoto Avocado Village, there are the other two women who stay beside me. Both of them happen to stay long-term. On the first day I was here, we all gathered in the kitchen whilst each of us preparing dinner. Which, later I learned, three of us together in the kitchen is a rare occasion. I usually talk with Amanda in the morning while we eat our breakfast. Laure is long gone by the time we eat our breakfast because her work begins early in the morning. When I get home,  I usually find Laure cooking in the kitchen. Then that's the time I talk with her until it's time to go to bed. Amanda usually comes home late because of her school.

Amanda is a 19 year old Swedish girl who is taking her gap year after graduating high school. She is here since last November and will leave in the summer to get into university. She goes to a Japanese language school in Sanjo area and also learns karate here! She has been learning karate since middle school. It happens that her karate school in Sweden directly links with the school here in Kyoto. So she has been busy traveling around for karate tournaments and hanging out with her Japanese friends whom she mostly found through HelloTalk application. She introduced me to that app and now I'm using it to talk to native Japanese who wants to learn English and teach me Japanese :)

Laure comes from the south part of France. She is here for a full year, to learn the traditional pattern of kimono. She goes to her work early in the morning and get back in the evening. It's not even 'work', she said, because the wage is very low. She get paid for each sold kimono she made, instead of hourly. For one kimono sold, she only get 2,000 yen out of it. Meanwhile the store sells the kimono starting from 100,000 yen. What?!!? Kimono is that expensive??!! I swear I confirmed again to Laure if maybe she was wrong about the price. Yep, because it's handmade and made with the best fabric, the kimono she makes worth that much. And she only got that much. Thus, she said, not many people stay there for long. Students who work there just stay for awhile before they get a better-paid job. Old women who work there do work just because they have spare time. Working woman like her, who support themselves, have another work after making kimono. Cause, who can actually make a living relying on that work alone?

So Laure is not staying here in Kyoto for long. She is moving out of Avocado Village next month and going to travel Shikoku Island for three months. There, she is going to learn how to make indigo color and pattern out of the local plants. Also visiting art galleries and learning more patterns. Wow, I could hear her stories for hours while she cook her dinner. She is also a very very kind soul. The one who you want to keep as a best friend.

I can't fathom how Yasuko (the owner of this share house) chose her guests. It seems like the guests are considerate and kind, not the thoughtless and rude one. It's really important because we basically live together under the same roof for an amount period of time! Share the space and hear what each other saying (since this is Japanese house which has thin wall). So lucky I came across this house since it's relatively cheap compare to the other accommodations here in Kyoto, plus it's located it a strategic area. Close to subway stations, JR stations and a famous shrine nearby.

Been four days here in Kyoto, unravelling things about me and people around me. Will talk more about it later :)


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

First day of my first solo travel

I just landed in Osaka this morning, after three hours layover in Kuala Lumpur and seven hours up in the sky to Kansai Airport. Found myself chatted with a funny Malaysian couple sitting next to me on the plane and another Malaysian student sitting in the end of the aisle. We chatted in Japanese the whole time! Yayness! The fact that I speak Japanese again after almost one month in Indonesia barely speaking the language makes me sooo ureshii!

Aimee-san goes to a Kyoto university which name I can't remember. What I know is, it's a pretty well-known university. Her Japanese is so fluent and structural! Given that I stumbled and stuttered most of the time, it took me an extra minute to explain something to her. She is super patient and supportive, though! Every time I tried so hard to remember words I forgot, she kept saying 'Ganbatte! Dekiru!' (Fight! You can!). Yokatta! We have a plan to hang out on the last day I'm in Kyoto and I'm so excited about it!

I'm staying at Kyoto Avocado Village for the next 9 days, a simple and homey guest house in Ishida area. Yasuko-san, the owner, is such a warm woman and offer great hospitality. This house is a simple Japanese house and we can cook here (which is why I stay here so I can cook everyday and save a lot of money). I stay in a dormitory room with two bunk beds inside. I'm the only one staying there for now, have the room all by myself.

It's raining here in Kyoto. The room is soooo cold. I was trying to turn on the heater by pushing any button on the remote control. Nope, not working. I guess I'm just gonna ask someone later. Did I mention that most people stay here for a length period of time? Some stay here for months, either for travel or for learning Japanese at language schools. Now, I'm by myself in this house. 

I just cooked rice which I brought from Indonesia and in doing so somehow touches the softest part of my heart. Cooking rice from home makes me feel mushy. I've spent three hours in front of my computer now, trying to figure out how to reserve bus to Tokyo and plane to Fukuoka. Got a pretty good deal yay! Now I'm heading out to buy ingredients and pay the reservations. 

I'm going to explore Kyoto yay!!