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23 October 2010 @ 12:17 am
Have I acclimated...?  
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, thank you guys for all of the comments!! =^-^= I feel so much better! And so happy! ♥ Comments make the world go round, lol... =D; No, sreiously, I'm really happy to hear that people are still reading, and liking what I write. ^^ It's great motivation!

...Hmm, what did I do today? I was out for most of the day, so I didn't have very much time to get things done. Yesterday Mako went ot pick up kerosene for me for my heater, in a rental car (his is in getting tested), and it spilled all over! I had no idea that the cap was broken on one side!! Urgh... it wasn't like that last year, so it must have happened when I moved. Anyways, the car REEKS and it's a rental car, and since I'm the only one sort-of-free tomorrow (until the evening at least), I'm in charge of cleaning it out and trying to air it out. I looked it up online and it seems that you can use coffee grounds? I can't think of anything better, so I'm going to do that and see what happens... but what a pain! Kerosene is soooo smelly. x.x!

Um, so anyways! ^^; I was out meeting with Ale and Jenya in the morning, employment-related (for Ale), and then had a meeting with a director of a new TV show.. There's no way that the job is a fit for me, but it was an interesting experience! I picked up the new Ribon special (Ribon Fantasy volume 2.. Ribon is the monthly manga magazine that I read, btw) on the way home and read it until I fell asleep on my bed! I've gotta stop falling asleep, and eating so much! I'm not sure why I am, but I am really tired all of the time these days! I've gotta get out and exercise, maybe that will help...

Sooooooooo... more meme goodness! =^-^=

Day 16 - How you realised you'd acclimated to Japan. (if you have)
I think I have, and to be honest, I only just realized it recently. Actually, I think that I only really acclimated recently! ^^; So to speak. I think that I will never be 100% acclimated, since I will always have the experience of having grown up in America, and I will always compare it to Japan, I think. Things like 24-hour grocery stores don't really exist here as a rule (they do, but are very rare and generally tiny. And rare, did I mention rare?), and I can't really understand why. They should, by my way of thinking. I want them, I need them. I can't do all of my grocery shopping between 10am and 8pm... I mean, I almost never want to go shopping at all during those times ^^;;; Midnight is the perfect time to buy groceries, if you ask me! =D

But enough about how I haven't acclimated. I have acclimated in a lot of ways. Like as much as I hate hate hate trains, I've gotten used to taking them to get from one place to another. It just takes a lot of time! But I've also learned how to compensate for their perpetual lateness by going super early and looking up schedules (so easy on my iPhone!). Japanese trains may be more on time than trains in other parts of the world, but more than half the times that I've ridden my local train in the last six months, it's been late. Today was a change, and it arrived in Shibuya a few minutes early! ^-^;;

It's little things like that that make me feel like I've acclimated. Things like that, and knowing where to go to shop for the things that I want (for the most part-- I still haven't ever found a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, despite years of searching). But it's also things like realizing that even if I did find the Reeses that I've been searching for for years, I might not even buy them! I don't want them at all!! So weird... A year ago I would have given my molars for some Reeses, but now they seem kinda.. well, not exactly gross (I know they're nummy), but just unappealing. I don't want American candy any more! It seems so unhealthy and so sweet.. Way, way too sweet!

Not to say that Japanese food is healthy. Half of it is (lotsa veggies, fish, miso, etc), but the other half is white rice (empty calories) and fried food. Japan sure loves it's fried food!! I have never seen so much fried food in my life! Croquettes are really the only fried food that I really like.. Tempura, fried chicken, etc, I can do without.. that is, if I have a choice!

I guess "acclimation" is really just getting used to the way that "things are done here", right? ^^; Used to it I am, in most cases =D Accepting, not always so much so. I guess "accepting what I don't want to change" is alright. And yes, I am one of those who believes that it's okay to try to change the way another country does things if I don't like it. Why not? I would do the same in America. ^^

The Japan 30-day Meme ♡〜(ゝ。∂)

Day 01 - A picture of you "in Japan". (doing or wearing something "Japanese")
Day 02 - Describe your neighborhood in Japan.
Day 03 - Most interesting person you've met.
Day 04 - What's your favorite place that's not in any of the guidebooks/lists of places to visit?
Day 05 - Which, if any, Japanese mannerisms or expressions have you adopted?
Day 06 - Food that you swore you would never eat but now love (or tolerate).
Day 07 - Which Japanese words do you use in English? (hanami, shinkansen, etc.)
Day 08 - Are you a Herbivore or Carnivore? S or M?
Day 09 - Favorite stores/shopping centers.
Day 10 - Something about Japan that sets it apart from anywhere else.
Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?
Day 12 - Describe a fail!gaijin moment. (Where you did something wrong or completely misunderstood because you couldn't ~read the air~ or just plain had no idea what you were supposed to do because you weren't born and raised here) Describe a gaijin!smash moment .(Where your foreignness was to your benefit)
Day 13 - Favorite live event that you attended
Day 14 - What is the hardest thing about living in Japan versus your home country?
Day 15 - Weirdest food item you've seen, and weirdest food item you've actually eaten.
Day 16 - How you realised you'd acclimated to Japan. (if you have)

Day 17 - Your karaoke top 5, your sushi top 5, your conbini top 5.
Day 18 - Post some amusing/cute/faily purikura.
Day 19 - Your favorite Japanese character(s) and Gachapon/UFO Catcher toys
Day 20 - Favorite Japanese festival or folklore.
Day 21 - Favorite and least favorite Japanese fashion trends.
Day 22 - Your favorite Japanese saying or kotowaza (proverb).
Day 23 - What is something you have/do in Japan that you wish you had/could do in your home country?
Day 24 - Your favorite Japanese slang or borrow-word (外来語), e.g. セフレ "sex friend"
Day 25 - Most interesting vending machine find.
Day 26 - What's your favorite/least favorite train line.
Day 27 - Place you avoid going to if at all possible.
Day 28 - A picture of you looking like a weaboo/A picture of you trying to blend in and failing.
Day 29 - What's the thing you [will] miss most about Japan when you leave (either on vacation, or move away)?
Day 30 - Did Japan meet your expectations, both good and bad? What has been the most surprising thing about Japan for you, or the thing you least expected?
✖ KAKI ✖nativegirl on October 22nd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Sorry that I don't comment a lot, but I have really been enjoying your 30-day meme! :) Based on what I've heard from other people, America is one of the few countries where everything is open much later. I agree with you - I love late-night grocery shopping, so I think that's definitely something I would miss!
Deanna: dragons DOALA!dr4b on October 22nd, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with you saying that 24-hour groceries are rare. I think it must depend on where you are -- in Akabane we have at least 2 of them within walking distance of my house (say 10-15 mins), and one of those is a Seiyu so it's pretty big. But even when I lived in the middle of nowhere in Saitama, there was a gigantic 24-hour Max Valu supermarket 3 blocks from my place. So I've generally always been able to do grocery shopping late at night if necessary.

(Of course, I also disagree with you on the trains thing... I think it just honestly depends WHERE in Japan, or even specifically in the Kanto region, you live, on whether these things work for you or not. Where I am, a car would be retarded, since not only is there no parking space anywhere nearby, but most of the places I need to get to on a regular basis, it would take LONGER by car than it does by foot/train. I love trains, and actually think they are one of the BEST things about Japan, and one of the things I'll miss the most when I leave. I don't mind carrying my stuff with me everywhere; if your back hurts from carrying your stuff, you need a more ergonomic bag, probably.)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Wow, it definitely must be where you live! Here there aren't any. In more than 6 years of living in Japan (7 different apartments in different areas) I've never had one near me. You're so lucky!

Yeah, cars would sometimes take longer, at least for long distances, but I hate carrying things and I love driving so I would gladly trade off if I could only afford it =D
neofeliss on October 22nd, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised to hear that Japan doesn't have much in the way of American candies. I'm even more surprised to hear about all the fried food. Definitely something to look out for if I ever get to go!
☆: Art - dalitheidolhands on October 22nd, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
And some of the American stuff that they have is totally weirded up -- like Kit Kat.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was too! When I moved here I honestly had no idea that Japan was not exactly like America in that every supermarket would have all the food I wanted and would have Taco Bells all over. I never would have guessed that they didn't. It was such a shock!
neofeliss on October 23rd, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
I'd heard KFC was the fast food of choice there, besides McDonalds. Is that true?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 24th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Not really. They have KFCs and they seem to be doing fairly well, but I think that Freshness Burger and Mosburger and places like that are way more popular. And if you want to talk fast food that can't be taken out, places like Matsuya ("stuff on rice" type places, they are all over) and ramen are more popular.
neofeliss on October 24th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, okay. Are either of those burger places good?
I always wanted to try eating ramen at one of those little restaurants - where you can sit at the bar. I've only ever had the Maruchan brand, and from what I've read and heard, it doesn't compare to the real stuff. :3
Owlsie .:*・°☆: Chrome [Secrets of Spring]alsie on October 22nd, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Coffee beans (and I'm sure grounds would have the same effect) are used in some beauty and home fragrance stores that I've seen. You sniff them to cleanse your nose's palate between smelling the different fragrances. I'm sure it's worth giving a shot to use them as a way to negate the kerosene in the air. c:
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Definitely! =D It helped on the bit that I spilled in my apartment. I wish that I could get the vaccuum cord to stretch all the way downstairs, because I would use them there too!
akibareakibare on October 22nd, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
Heh. Oddly enough, the smell of kerosene is extremely nostalgic to me because of the kerosene heaters we used in my house as a kid. Not that I'd want it spilled in my CAR, mind, but occasionally I get a whiff of it somewhere and it takes me back!

☆: Bats - booktheidolhands on October 22nd, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
Don't forget BBQ eel bones, yes?
I agree about American sweets and I think you've got a pretty healthy attitude on acclimation. Japan is also putting too many additives in it's packaged food like MSG, nitrates, and powdered dairy. I'm surprised at how much dairy Japan is consuming now, I'd think more people would be lactose intolerant.

That photo of you three looks nice, boots look good on your long legs and with that color dress (I tried to enlarge the photo, but couldn't). And thanks as always for sharing your experiences in a frank manner. :)

Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
Re: Don't forget BBQ eel bones, yes?
There is a bigger version on my japanese blog since I uploaded it directly from my iphone. ^^

Hmm, I've thought about the dairy. I hardly ever hear about Japanese people complaining that they don't like milk, but maybe it just never comes up. The general way to have milk is whole milk here, which is really surprising to me! I was raised on 2% and thought that was normal. But they don't even have it here! It's whole, nonfat, lowfat, or "milk drink" which can mean various things.
(Anonymous) on October 23rd, 2010 09:33 am (UTC)
Iron levels aside check your vitamin D3 levels,mine where very very very low and I did feel tired.
Maybe your going into hibernation mode?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 24th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: tired
OMG lol like a bear =D Maybe I'm turning into a bear! =D
ginnotsubasa on October 23rd, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
"Comments make the world go round"

Ok, I'm gonna come outta lurker mode then lol >3< ... Recently stumbled upon your livejournal and I must say you've kinda turned into my inspiration haha ^^;; (Ah, not to sound weird or anything LOL >3>;). I'm aiming to study over in Japan and aiming to be an illustrator/mangaka over there. Know it's a tough road, but you've kinda gave a little bit of hope that is it possible ^^ Well, for a least a foreigner to survive in Japan haha XD

That all said, I love reading your posts =) Really interesting to read~ Especially loving the 30-day meme~
Joedoedoejoedoedoe on October 23rd, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
acclimate with people
What about your acclimation as far as dealing with locals?
Do you feel now that you understand how to interact with people in a social environment? Like do you have a lot of Japanese friends? I know you're a girl but still ;-), would you feel comfortable walking up to a guy in a bar and striking a conversation or flirting? And humor? Do you get people's sense of humor enough to exchange jokes and tease other people?
And in a heated discussion? Do you know how to bring your points across without offending them? Or precisely how to offend them?

Sorry for the barrage of questions but I am just very curious ;-)!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 24th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
Re: acclimate with people
Well, it really depends..

As far as dealing with locals, I deal with them in the same way I would in America. It's a personality thing more than a social thing, since there are many different types of personalities within Japanese people too of course ^^

I have a lot of japanese friends, but as far as bars and flirting. I don't like bars, and I'm happily attached so I have no interest in flirting. ^^

LOL the rest, I don't know. I don't always get jokes in Japanese or Japanese humor since it tends to be very very childish (like sight gags and toilet humor. They really love their poop here!). I tend to just be myself. I don't really feel that I have to change to suit another country's needs. I'm not a really over the top or loud person by nature. ^^
(Anonymous) on October 24th, 2010 11:38 am (UTC)
Re: acclimate with people
Oh, please, don't get me wrong! That was never my point! I totally agree that you have to remain yourself!
And, I am absolutely sure that there will be fascinating people like will be idiots everywhere. I was just curious whether you had in Japan people that you really feel at ease with and that you allow to get close and that allow you to get close. Or people that you hate or that really hate you ;-)

Because, in a way, although you can get easily used to the daily life stuff, you will only feel really at home if you have friends/partner around you, i think.
I also live in a different country from where i grew up (albeit both in Europe) so i have learnt from own experience how essential those can be.

By the way, if you follow politics, or economy or whatever, do you follow the american news? Of the japanese?
Joedoedoejoedoedoe on October 24th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC)
Re: acclimate with people
Sorry that last post was mine, just forgot to click on the twitter icon!
benzin01benzin01 on October 24th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
I am really enjoying your meme and can't wait to see the entire thing!
sleep_deprivedyurasama_love on October 24th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
No Reese's peanut butter cups!!! How sad!
I understand the thing about American candies being too sweet- I've known people from the UK that insist that American chocolates suck because they're too sugary.
genkanai on October 26th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
If you're looking for Reese's then I think you probably can find them at Costco (Kawasaki or other locations.)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 27th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Really? I've been there quite a few times and never found them. They usually have Reeses Pieces, but not the peanut butter cups. T-T