Before I Tell You About My Day, Let Me Tell You How Happy I Was When I Arrived
I must warn you: selfies can be self-dustructive and should be used with the utmost caution. However, I do not follow these guidelines, and I will be ripping away at my soul, picture by picture.
Today I visited an old friend of mine from an abroad program I attended in the summer of 2007. He’s from California, but moved to Japan after spending a couple years in Japan in and out of college. He got a job, became fluent, and moved into a shared living space not unlike a college dorm.
Nicholas (aforementioned dude) and I went to Nagoya on a program called AFS after our sophomore year of high school. That’s where I met him, and several other individuals on our program. The group that got sent to Nagoya became close very quickly, and many of us remained in contact for several years after. My friend must have loved the program even more than I did, because after he graduated high school, he took a gap year and did AFS’s year-long abroad program. Unlike me, Nick’s first major was Engineering. Japanese just happen to be a skill he picked up, practiced, and used in his career. I was so proud (but really just envious) that someone in my high school program had made it this far with his Japanese studies.
I digress. My friend and I along with 2 of his work friends went to lunch at a ramen place in a large building near Shibuya Station. The average ramen in Japan is pretty much what you can expect from a top quality ramen spot in New York City, except around 3x cheaper. As my table consisted of an actual Japanese-speaking foreigner, and 2 native-Japanese speakers, I clenched my jaw shut when the waitress came over and hinted to Nick that I’d just have what he was having… I’m thankful that everything on the menu was delicious.
After Ramen, I got to see what a communal style living situation was like. My friend’s work pays for some of his rent if he lives close enough to the office. Mix that with his super-cool dorm-style living, and the dude is getting a great deal. You take your shoes off when you enter the complex and leave them in the entryway. It’s Japan, so no one will take your shoes like in NYC. The place is incredible — it has a big and beautifully clean kitchen with enough space to host a big party, tons of study/relaxation rooms, 2 massage chair rooms, 2 gaming rooms, and a bathroom with a jacuzzi. This place is hooked up, and if I told you the rent, you’d hate everyone who lives there. It’s seriously unfair.
Here are some pics from the day. I have dinner with an American guy I met on the plane-ride over. He’s inviting someone in the music/fashion industry. I’ll report back later. Until then, また明日。