Traipsing Through Tokyo

Above: …it was really good gyoza!

17/06/17

On arrival in Narita Airport, Japan, I could not have been happier to get off the plane… I absolutely love travelling, but sitting for 10 hours does nothing for my poor body! After making my way through customs (where the dehumidifier was not working) and following the crowd to the train station on the basement level, I finally was on the train to Tokyo. The Narita Express (N’EX) was a shiny white train, so shiny I couldn’t see out of the window for my reflection! With a limited view and tired eyes, I unfortunately didn’t get to see much of the “scenic” route into the city. 

But I did experience a slightly tame version of the sardine can trains! I’m glad it wasn’t rush hour, because it was cosy enough as we were let alone with more people… Crowds are not going to be the most enjoyable part of this trip, that’s for sure. I’m spending my first night in Japan on a futon, which is surprisingly comfortable! And tomorrow we should be getting out and about the city, so I’ll update this with more when I’m actually awake!

Below: Cool icicle patterns on the plane window as we were flying into Japan.

18/06/17

So today has been a draining day. After a decent night’s sleep followed by a 6am wake up, a group of us wandered down to the local 7/11 to grab coffee and breakfast. We ended up moving accomodation to a different house, one more appropriately sized for our Bible Week… and boy is this house amazing! An ex-Turkish diplomat’s house with semi-Western style and touches of traditional Japanese is our new home for a week, then back to the original apartment as we won’t need as much space then. I got really excited when I saw the room I’m sharing with two other girls, because not only is it big, but it has tatami mats, and a balcony! And futons! I’m super excited to be staying here.

After we sorted out our luggage and allocated rooms, we wandered out to find some lunch. The local train station (as most Tokyo train stations do) has a shopping centre in it, so of course we had to go there to get lunch! After fumbling through the ordering process, I finally got to sit down with a delicious cashew curry and an oolong iced tea, pictured below.

And yes, it tasted as amazing as it looks! Lunch was followed by some exploration in the shops and a trip to the supermarket for breakfast supplies and tea. I managed to find some loose chamomile tea, and almost cried from happiness! The pocky probably didn’t help either… The tiring part of the day was next; spending time with the kids… They’re lovely children, and we bonded over the Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, but it was exhausting. This was followed by further exploration for dinner – we found a tiny gyoza shop which was amazing, with the Japanese version of Radler or a shandy (beer with lemonade) – an epic quest for dessert which led to fish shaped pancakes, then back home.

Now this is a heavily condensed version of the actual events of the day, but it’s late and I’m tired and a friend who was supposed to arrive in Tokyo today hasn’t landed yet, so we’re waiting for him. I’m going to head to bed soon, sleep is catching me… But tomorrow is the first day of our Bible Week, so it should be fun!

~Tash

Above: Cashew curry!!!

Below: Half of our gyoza selection

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Meeting the Mairhofer’s

Sunday 17th:

So Sunday was originally planned as a pretty relaxing day, just to laze around at home and generally do nothing… It didn’t end up being lazy, but was still a relaxing and fun day. I was able to sleep in a little, as Dad’s friend Gerd wasn’t meeting me until 11am. He collected me from my host family’s house, and I think that gave Margit a little peace of mind. We drove back to Gerd’s town, Weil der Stadt, with varied conversation in my broken German and his far superior English. I suppose Gerd did have the advantage of having learned English for much longer than I have German, but I still feel bad for not using more. Continue reading

Schnee, Schneemann und Schneeballschlacht!

For the uninformed, the title translates to “Snow, Snowman and Snowball Fight.” Which pretty much sums up the past two days.

On Friday we had our first snow in Stuttgart, and to say that the Australians were excited would be an understatement! In our morning tea break of our German classes, a large contingent converged on the square across the road from the classrooms, and thus began the first snowball fight of the course! As I had actually taken food to eat in class that day, I stayed inside the classroom, opting instead to figure out how to open a window, and proceed to take a few photos. It was a somewhat successful venture, but it would have been better, had I been able to take some shots when it had been snowing heavily. Continue reading

Three Days, Many Adventures

Okay, so it turns out I’m terrible at updating on time, for which I am sorry! Wednesday night I had started typing out the adventures of the past few days, but my host mother had cooked dinner for us. After dinner and an excellent Stuttgart beer, I was ready for bed, and fell asleep while messaging a friend! As a result, the update was delayed until today, so instead of just the past two days, I’ll give you the events of the past three. Continue reading

Orienteering and Orientation!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to everyone for a lack of updates over the past few days, it’s been pretty busy and the past two nights I’ve come home and crashed. Even tonight I’m really tired, but I can’t make that excuse forever! I made the commitment to post every day or so, and I will stick to it. So here’s the goss on the last few days.

As frustrating as it may be, I’m partially glad that my body clock still functions properly over the other side of the world. If I were home in Australia, I would be waking up with the sunrise, at 5:30-6am. Unfortunately, even though the sunrise here is not until after 8am, I have been consistently waking up at 6-6:30am (Stuttgart time though, so it could be worse!). It was a bit of a pain though, as on Sunday the hotel doesn’t serve breakfast until 8:00, so I had to entertain myself for an hour and a half in the morning. It was surprisingly easy. Continue reading