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2001 stephanie fullbright
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i need a vacation from my mini-vacation. we got back from the onuma resort, and now i'm just tired.

we left saturday morning bright and early at 11-ish. of course, i got there early so played some dance dance before it was time to meet up. anyway, it took about an hour to get to onuma park, where we spent about two hours just looking around. a lot of us took a spin on the rowboats in the lake, which was actually a lot of fun. yudelka rowed for the most part, so i just sat back and soaked up some sun. i think hal must've had the same idea, because he was all kicked back in his boat while one of the girls rowed.

after arriving at the hotel (which is about 15 minutes away from the park) we all threw our stuff into our rooms (which were awesome!) and headed out to see the sights of the resort, green pier.

the grounds were huge. i mean, this place had everything - soccer fields, tennis courts, dune buggies, bicycles, basketball courts, arcade, karaoke rooms, bowling alley, onsen (open air japanese baths), swimming pools, water slide, super slide, park golf, obstacle course, volcano, etc. there was so much to do!

we checked out the superslide first, which basically looked like a metal bobsled track. there's a conveyor belt that pulls you up the side of a mountain, then you speed your way back down on the track, and that thing is fast! after that amanda, yudelka and i came across the obstacle course, which was butt long, but we managed to at least attempt everything while staying far away from the huge bugs that kept trying to attack us. somewhere down the way, we were joined by chadwick, who's from england. after we finished that, yudelka and i went exploring inside the hotel and found the arcade. no dance dance tho... sad.

around 6, we headed towards the ghengis khan garden for a mongolian barbecue where i ate way too much food. oh, but it was soooo tasty... (mongolian barbecue is where you cook your own food on a little hot plate grill looking thing on the table). and then it was time for some karaoke.

karaoke was made more fun by the simple fact that lots of people, including the sensei, started drinking at the barbecue. so by the time karaoke was in full swing, it was just insane. for normal japanese karaoke, you rent a room and sing in front of six or seven of your very drunk buddies, however hif reserved the banquet hall at the resort for our group, so this karaoke was in front of everyone. yikes! i attempted one song with three other girls, and that's all i want to say about that. but the highlight of the evening were the sensei. yeah, they got drunk, especially sato-sensei. when some of the female sensei went up to sing a song, he ran up to the front and sat down to start cheering and yelling their names like a crazed fan. oh, it was so funny! and when hatakeyama-sensei (the other guy sensei) went up for a turn, four of the sensei came down sit on the floor in front of him and cheer him on and wave their hands like they were holding up lighters. and most of the students took pictures, of course. i still can't believe the sensei got drunk...

i also took two turns in the onsen (which had seven pools, including an outdoors one!) and it was a little weird, but i eventually got used to it and was fine this morning. it's actually really relaxing, but it's just a little unnerving to be walking around with a bunch of naked people. oh my...

and now it's back to homework homework study study. *sigh*
Sunday, July 8, 2001.12:40 p.m..japantime.:

after classes today, we had a tea ceremony demonstration to attend. the whole process is very interesting and involved and aesthetically pleasing, but good grief it gets boring. and i can only sit in the seeza (sitting on your legs, basically) position for so long before i lose all ability to stand up again.

we had judo class tonight, tho. yeah, i'm never missing another class (i didn't go on monday) again. one of the sensei that was there is a real cutie. wow. and he was one of the ones who was overseeing all the gaijin (foreigners) to see if we were throwing each other around correctly. oh my, he has such a nice smile, which he kept flashing at me when he had to teach me how to fall. hal, catherine, and i took turns learning how to fall from him, and everytime my turn came up, he'd smile and beckon me over, then bow and say "onegaishimasu" (basically telling me to please approach him) and really laughed when i replied "iie" (no) because i had no desire to be thrown around, even by the cutie sensei. yeah, so he's really cute and judo just became that much more fun. aside from meeting the cutie sensei, i also learned how to throw someone three different ways.

yeah, so i'm gonna beat up all of you once i get back to uga!

all righty. tomorrow we're leaving for onuma bright and early, so i'm gonna get clean and grab some zzz's.
Friday, July 6, 2001.09:53 p.m..japantime.:

why is my host sister watching the same drama we watched last night again? hmm... suspicious... japanese dramas are frightening. actually, lots of japanese tv shows are kinda sketchy. this particular drama stars ryoko hirosue and some other rough looking guy whose name i don't know. however, one of the co-stars is a japanese version of hugh jackman (nice!). anyhow, hirosue and the rough looking guy end up hooking up at the beach, she gets pregnant, tells rough looking guy the news, rough looking guy freaks out, wises up, then has to run to the hospital in order to stop hirosue from whatever she was planning on doing there.

today i was an not an ii gakusei (good student). i skipped i-go (japanese game that's kinda like othello) mainly because i didn't want to walk back up that hill. we hung around the station, where hal (a guy from valdosta of all places...) showed us a frighteningly anatomically correct key chain with which you could teach your kid about the birds and the bees. yeah, that's the most polite way i can describe that key chain. kowai (scary).

one more day of class until the trip to onuma!! yaya!!
Thursday, July 5, 2001.04:47 p.m..japantime.:

after class today, we had iinkan (i have no idea how you really spell that word), which is japanese for "committees" more or less. anywho, i'm on the shinbun (newspaper) and album committee (why? i don't know...), but goodness it's tough. i have to write articles and everything, which is not good because my japanese is not good. but i handed in my article on a local internet cafe that everyone goes to, full of mistakes and everything because i wrote it at lunch today (because i was too busy studying last night to write the article). well, i'm just glad the meeting is in the past and there's not another one until the end of next week.

after committees amanda, yudelka, and i went in search of something to eat since we all had skipped lunch. we ended up at the co-op (miniature supermarket) that's down the street and around the corner from the school. we go to this little store almost everyday, and yet everyday we still have a tough time trying to figure out what we want to eat. after deciding on our various munchies (i went with the asparagus tempura and apple juice today), the search for a place to eat began.

now ordinarily this wouldn't be a hard task, but we met with a few complications: 1) it's considered rude to eat on the street in japan - and you also should not walk down the street while drinking something either - so we couldn't just sit our butt down on the steps near the co-op and get our eat on. 2) today was rather hot, so we needed shade. 3) all the benches we passed by were in the sun. would you believe we walked around for almost 20 minutes trying to find a place to sit and eat? that's just silly.

after that, we stopped by hakodate station for some ice cream (mmm... melon ice cream... yumm...), then headed to the arcade to get a little dance dance revolution in. i was so embarassed - after my turn, one of the japanese guys who was watching me started clapping... then proceeded to show me up one time when he took his turn after me. oh my.

and now, i will watch some pokemon (it's the only remotely interesting thing on right now! give me a break!) then commence with the studying. you know, anime's just not as good as it used to be... sad.
Wednesday, July 4, 2001.07:01 p.m..japantime.:

archiving time! for previous entries, follow the link at the top.

the test was terrible. i guess i'm just used to uga's japanese department tests, which are pretty easy. yeah, so my butt was officially kicked by the time it was all over.

on to better things. this afternoon's special lecture was all about japanese proverbs, some more humorous than others. karl, i'm sure you'll enjoy these once i get the chance to share them with you. one of them is something to the effect that even a one inch long worm can have a heart that's half an inch long. sounds strange, and yet if you try really hard, it kinda makes sense. well, i've got 40+ of these babies to share, just as soon as i get enough energy to find my bookbag and pull the list out.

i have no such energy now.

after the special lecture, i spent the rest of the afternoon walking around with amanda and joe. as we wandered towards the fish market near the hakodate station, we came across a little souvenir shop where a man who looked like he owned a harley davidson sat in front with his dog. it looked kinda interesting, so we stopped in to look around and talk to the man. well, joe mainly talked, since he's the fluent speaker. yes, the man did own a harley, but in sapporo. he commutes three hours by JR (japanese rail) every day to open up his little shop that no one really comes to, but he's content that he has something to do. he offered us coffee and put on some cuban music for us to listen to, adding that he knew how to salsa. before we left, he oiled joe's bicycle for him, making sure every single joint got some oil on it.

at the fish market amanda and i met aya, a girl that joe just met the other day. she seemed kinda amused to be talking to americans. in fact the whole crew of workers in that little section stopped what they were doing as we talked to her. soon we headed on to other stands to look at the various assortment of crabs bigger than my head that cost over 90 $ and other such sea dwellers.

once we made our round in the fish market, we headed towards the arcade for some dance dance revolution. amanda and i, however, were unsuccessful in our attempt to persuade joe to give the game a go. he promised he would before the program ends, tho. i'm pretty sure we'll end up holding him to that.

we then went in search of ice cream, which we finally found at the baskin robbins inside of the station. joe was kind enough to treat us - guess he was feeling rich because he'd just gotten a paycheck. as we stood around outside eating, amanda and i listened as joe described his life before coming to hakodate, which is pretty interesting. this guy's done a lot of stuff, from working at the olympic games in atlanta as a chef to volunteering as a park ranger for three months out in the wilderness somewhere. his first time away from home was a hiking trip he decided to go on by himself for five days in yosemite (did i spell that right?) where he had a run-in with a bear on the first night. he's very much the get up and go do what you want when you want kind of person. so for his vacation from his job teaching english in tokyo, he's decided to come to hakodate to study japanese.

ather the get to know joe session, i hopped my number 5 bus back to hiyoshi-cho in time for dinner, where my host mom persuaded me to try raw squid, which i've come to find out that i still don't like. and now, as always, i must scoot my bootie upstairs so that i might commence the three hours of homework that lie ahead of me.

i'm really gonna need that trip to onuma by the time this weekend rolls around... sheesh...
Tuesday, July 3, 2001.07:54 p.m..japantime.: