Skip to main content

No, I do NOT want any Free Paper

Today was the second time in a week AFS got me out of school. Unlike the previous day, I still had to get up at my usual ungodly hour to make it to the station where I was meeting my LP. And it still took three trains and an hour to get where we were going.

Today we (Huang, Valeria and I) were going to talk to a group of mothers (25 of them, maybe?) who are interested in having their kids be exchange students in the future about well, being an exchange student. We were driven to a fire department (I'm 99% certain of that) of all places, where there was a meeting room. We introduced ourselves to the entire group, but then split up into three smaller tables with two half-hour rotations. (So each of us went to two different tables.) Mostly they asked questions about my experiences in Japan; what food I liked, was school fun etc. Pertaining to being an exchange student in general? Not as much as I thought it would, but they were enthusiastic and attentive so it was time well-spent I suppose.

In the downtime while the AFS Saitama Chapter President was wrapping some stuff up, Valeria and I went to the small park across the street and became small children again.

(Artistically crooked image?)

Being mature is so much fun!

After the event, the AFS group took us out to lunch. Feast your eyes upon the dessert I had:
Valeria and I joked, "Let's get fat together!" since we both had large desserts. We also made plans for next Saturday, when for once I'm going to crash Valeria's party and go make mochi and go to a sento (public bath). Exciting times!

After lunch we bid adieu to the AFS people and went to Oomiya station, where we took more purikura and played a guitar-hero like drum game. Then we went shopping and found a store where they have christmas cards that light up and sing.
*sniff* Christmas...

While we were walking into the department store, one of the people who tries to hand out fliers approached us. Usually what you do is ignore them and just keep walking, but this guy--pegging us as (quite obviously) foreign--came up and said, "Do you want some free paper?" It was quite obviously a brochure for something or another. We tried the ignoring trick, but he kept pace with us and said, "It's very interesting, take it!" and other such stuff. We had to say a few times (firmly!) in Japanese that no, we were all right, before he got the picture and left.

And that's what's going on in the Life of Claire.


  1. That sounds like an exciting day. I would definitely come visit and get fat with you, except I think my parents might object... and my wallet... Minor things.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.

The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Final Touring Excursions

Tomorrow is my last day. It felt strange to write that sentence, knowing that I've been gone six weeks, which feels like both no time at all but also forever. Even though this is my fifth time coming to Japan (and the fourth for an protracted trip), the coming-and-going is something I don't get used to. Just as I start getting over my "ugh, I just want to go home" hump and settling in, well, it actually IS time to go home.

What have I done the past few days?

Well, on Sunday my host family and I took a drive to Yamanashi prefecture (re: near Mount Fuji) to visit the Oshino Hakkai, the Eight Sacred Ponds of Oshino. According to the signage, when people used to hike up Mount Fuji for pilgrimages, they would purify themselves in the ponds before starting their journey. And having stuck my hand in an (acceptable) corner of the main pond, Wakuike, it was FREEZING. Some other ponds have specific purposes, however. One was for people who wanted a good marriage, for instance.