first week funk!

It has been one week since I arrived. There’s a lot of first in this first week (excuse the redundancy). I don’t really know if there will be an end to new discoveries, learnings and mistakes (mostly bloopers). My days are boring most of the time, constrained on the fact that I can’t move around as much as I want (not yet). But still, I always find myself amaze in this rather peculiar place where if technology can eat idiots, it would have swallowed me whole.

Fillet-O-EBI. Most of you know that I don’t particularly like eating in McDonald’s because of various reasons. But it was so tempting to try this shrimp burger. Wala sa Pinas nito eh! And to my surprise, It has real (I would assume) shrimp! Oishi! It was a bit expensive (one reason I don’t eat in fast food) around 460 yen for the meal. But I was happy 🙂

Ramen! As I promised my friend, Cesna, I took a shot of my first ramen. The store was located at ACTA Mall in Nishinomiya Kitaguchi. It’s nothing fancy just your typical side street ramen shop (but this one is inside the mall) but the range of noodles and side dishes! Wah! Most of it I don’t understand so I chose the more familiar one, classic ramen with gyoza. Yum! Yum! There was a bonus, next to me is a cute teenager! Kawaii! I was hand signaling Carla to look and she gave me two thumbs up. Hahahaha!

Cooked my first meal. I don’t really know how to cook. I know enough to survive. My first victim is Carla, but she said she enjoyed it. So we decided to do alternate cooking to save up. The first meal I prepared is my version of adobo but since there’ no real soy sauce here besides Kikoman, I had to make do :p

Onigiri or rice balls. I remember Muffet gave me onigiri (from 7-11) as a pasalubong or gift from Japan. Hahaha! But that one had pork or some meat inside. This one is plain rice with dash of sesame seeds and nori. This was my first dinner in Japan. I thought I can finish two onigiri but after eating 1 and a half, I’m already full.

Hankyu Line. Last October 3, I had my first train ride from Mondo-Yakujin station to Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi station (both in the Hankyu line). Even though it is not as confusing (I assume) as the Shinkansen (bullet train), I had a hard time first understanding where to go, what exit to take, things like that. But I think I will have to get the hang of it sooner or later :p

Tasted my first Asahi. Asahi is a local Japanese beer brand. I tried their Super Dry brand, compared to the local Philippine brand, San Miguel, Asahi is more expensive (200 yen per can or 100 pesos) and the taste a bit different. But beer is beer, and since it was ice-cold, I love it!

Vending machine. Like I said, Carla and I will try every drink in the vending machine near the apartment. But since it’s getting a little bit expensive (no less than 100 yen per bottle), we will not do it everyday. Hahaha!  But so far we have not been disappointed. Hahaha!

Bento Box! Ainul (another participant in the training) and I went to have lunch in the school cafeteria. To my surprise, this bento box only cost around 360 yen, that’s around 190 pesos. Cheaper than the usual price outside the school. Yum! Yum! It seems that I will never have enough of Japanese food and to think I haven’t really tried everything!

First encounter with the big machine! Hay, it’s my first time to do laundry on my own. Usually I wash it with my hands or I send it to the cleaners. Sosyal! But last Tuesday I have this urge to try it and add to the fact that I didn’t bring enough socks with me. I panicked when I realized I don’t have enough 100 yen to finish all of it. I have to IM Carla to go to the apartment and lend me some coins. Good thing she did or else I have to walk in the hallway with wet clothes :p After this first try, I said to myself that I will only use the washing machine and not the dryer. I got scared when I saw that it uses real flames to heat the thing up. Too much CO2 for me there. But hey it was a good experience.

Pink Bike! I bought my first bike ever and it’s pink! I love pink! This is a lousy picture but this would do for now. We plan to cycle the Mukogawa riverside. It would be at least an hour or less bike ride from our place but it will be a great cycling experience. Good thing that Japanese streets are bike-friendly. Accidents are rare I suppose. With diligent and conscientious traffic system, I don’t think it will be a problem. (P.S. I wish I can bring panther home 🙂 )

I’m still having my first day high. Friends are asking if I’ve already explored the place, but I kept telling them that I have a year to do so. With my bike, I think I can move around easier this time except if I want to go out of the city, like in Osaka or Kobe. I intend to go to Tokyo as well, but when? I’m not sure yet. I’m still trying to save enough to travel more. There’s too many places I want to visit, to many things I want to try out.  The list is endless but I have to do it one by one to fulfill my goals.

I’m excited and looking forward to days ahead. I will be starting my internship next week, and this part of the training is the most exciting part. I would be able to interact with local communities, be able to visit farms, fisheries, factories, etc. I hope to learn a lot in this one year. And I know I will.

So for the days ahead, Gambatte-ne!

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