Wednesday, May 8, 2013

24 hours in Osaka (Japan)!

Wake up: 5:00am
Leave apartment: 5:15am
Run to Jukjeon to catch bus. Bus comes: 5:30am
Exchange money: 7:30am This was very strange because we came in with 150,000won and got like 4 bills. We had no idea how far that money would get us, but that's all we could afford anyways so we had to make it work.

Flight leaves: 8:45am When we got to the airport, there was literally zero people waiting. We were like "Hello? Are we in the right place? What is going on?" Then a bunch of flight attendants started showing up and no passengers. Then when we got on the plane, all the seats were full. We were like "Where were all you people before???" The plane had children from all countries on the walls. Someone decided to peel down the fingers of one child and make an inappropriate gesture:

Arrive in Osaka:10:45
Explain to 4 different sets of people that we have no where to stay for the night: 11:00am
First we told the man checking that our forms were filled out all the way. Then we told the man who actually checks the form. Then we told our flight people. Then we each told the separate person who checks the form again. Lesson to take from this? If you have no where to stay, MAKE IT UP!
Communicate in broken English that we want to go see the temple in Teonngi: 11:30
Get off the train and eat McDonalds: 12:30...DON'T JUDGE we were starrrrrrrving and wanted to see if Japan McDonalds were any different than Korea or America. It wasn't. It's actually more similar to American than Korea. OH, but it shall be noted, I ate my FIRST Big Mac ever. I've never ever had one before, and I had my first one in Japan. That's pretty cool, right?
Walk to temple and explore it: 1:00
This temple was awesome. There was a cool tower thing you could go up that was lined with little gold things you could buy. But it was like 4 stories of spiral stairs. Pretty awesome. Otherwise, the temple was pretty similar to other temples in Korea. Although much much less busy. 

This is the building with 4 flights of spiral stairs to walk up. Pretty cool! Oh and all around the bottom is a zen garden type thing. A bunch of rocks that the monks come and rake. 

Next we walked through the garden area where the zoo was. We got yelled at by an old man because we were going somewhere we weren't supposed to. Although we didn't even know what he was saying. We then came across an A Capella group...some high schoolers. They sucked. I've honestly never heard more pitchy and off key singers ever in real life. And they were singing for a huge crowd! We were like what is going onnnnnnn people! Why are you still listening??
Then we made our way to the "castle." I say "castle" because it looked more like a palace. OH but first, when we got of the subway, there were a bunch of girls standing around with signs. We had no idea what they said, but our first instinct was, like, prostitutes. However there were girls of all ages, young old, some who cared, some who didn't, some dressed nice, some not. Then as we got closer to this arena, we realized there was a boy band concert and all those girls were trying to buy tickets. What a relief.
THEN we went to the castle. We made a new friend. We called him Freedom. He was from Austria. He told us his real name but we couldn't remember it and he also told us his name means freedom in English so we just decided to call him Freedom. He stuck around with us a while as we got some soft serve and rested a bit.

Austrian friend, Freedom

I forgot to mention this before but we stumbled upon a really awesome cemetery. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Next we made our way to the hipster, shopping, neon lights part of town. It was really cool. We ate some dinner. Ellen had a traditional octopus ball thing. I had some meat in a bowl with some rice and it was delish!

Head to bar to change into night time clothes: 7:30 pm
Meet up with couch surfers: 8pm
We happened to meet one Japanese person, 2 Polish people, a French dude, and his Scotish friend. 
Have fun until: 2:00pm
Our original plan was to stay out all night since we had no place to sleep. Our backup plan was to go to a PC bang an sleep there for a few hours. What actually happened? Couch surfers shared their floor with us at their hostel! How kind. We got a solid 5 hours of sleep. Good thing too, cuz we were exhausted on Sunday as it was, imagine ZERO hours of sleep. Not our best plan.
Eat breakfast: 8:00am
Go to Aquarium: 9:00am
We saw some awesome fish. This aquarium is known for having the biggest tank in the world. And it happened to be holding a whale shark! COOOOOL! Also, there were a few other animals that freaked me out. Crabs that held on to the wall. Otters the size of humans. Yes, I think I literally screamed when I saw how big it was. A giant fish the size of my torso. A weird, hairy, half pig, half beaver type thing. And singrays with stingers 6 feet long (I kid you not). 
Crabs that climb walls. 
Otters the size of people. 
Fish fatter than my torso. And probably as long as I am.  
Weird mix of a creature.  
The whale shark!!!! In the biggest tank ever made. It's like 4 stories. It was pretty big and pretty cool! 
I kinda got the stingray's tail in this picture. But still, it was really really REALLY long. 

Stop for some traditional Japanese food: 12:30
Get to the airport: 2:30
Flight attendant tells me I missed my flight: 2:40
That's right. Somehow, when I booked the flights (not sure how cuz I literally booked MY flight AND Ellen's flight, at the same time...) I booked mine for 11:00am. And Ellens for the intended 4:00pm. I really really have no idea how this happened. The whole entire time I had in my head that our flights left at 4. Cuz that's when I booked them. But the nice lady informed me otherwise. And my immediate response was to say "WHAT" a bit louder than I expected. Fortunately, this airline has the craziest refund policy ever. Something about still getting a refund up to 30 days after you flight has passed and stuff. So she refunded me the 93,000 for the flight I missed, and charged me 130,000 for the new one. Not a shabby deal and BOY am I lucky there was room on that flight!
Buy awesome flavored KitKat (cheesecake): 3:30
Board the plane: 4:15
Get into Seoul: 6:30
Bus home: 7:05
Arrive home: 8:30

What an awesome whirlwind of a trip. I feel like I saw what I needed to see. Japan is REALLY expensive, so spending any longer there would have made me more broke than I wanted to be. And I have now been to Japan. Missions accomplished!

My Move and Unfortunate Illness

I have been sick for the last 4 weeks. I know what you're probably weren't THAT sick...but here's the thing: my illness kept me out of the gym for FOUR WEEKS. First, I had an illness and finally went to the doctor on Thursday and he was like "It's a viral infection, no antibiotics, but I want to check you swollen thyroid for bad things. I give you free ultra sound." Well free ultra sound, that's cool. Potential issues with my thyroid? Not so cool. So yes, I had my first ultra sound ever, all to find out that the skin that surrounds my thyroid is just thicker than most peoples, nothing to worry about. He prescribes me some meds for 3 days. Well those are gone on like, Sunday. Wednesday my illness starts to change. Thursday, around 2pm I feel myself getting a fever. I take some Ibuprofen and carry on with teaching. I keep taking it the rest of the evening because I keep feeling the chills come back. Then around 3 am I wake up with an insane know the kind where you're freezing cold but your skin could melt off? Yeah. I had already taken Nyquil and Ibuprofen so I didn't know what to do. Thankfully, Doctor Dad helped his poor ill daughter out from across the globe and an hour later my fever broke and I went back to sleep. Naturally, Friday morning I went into the clinic again and this time he gave me 5 days of antibiotics. I had a fever the next 4 days. :( Not fun, especially when you have to move to a new apartment during that time period. I went back the following Thursday (again!) because he originally told me if I wasn't feeling better half way through the pack, to come back for more (clearly I wasn't since I had a fever 4 of those 5 days). He gave me 5 more days of pills and tonight at dinner time, I shall be finished! WOOOO. Healthy once more. Enough so to try out the new crossfit gym tonight. They offer 2 classes. One is a beach body class and the other is crossfit. Tonight I did beach body because I was quite intimidated by the pictures I saw of the crossfit and the people who were doing it the day before who were randomly running up and down the busy Jukjeon road as I was walking to work on report cards at 900 last night. Anyways, regardless of how sore beach body makes me, I think I'm going to try crossfit tomorrow because the classes are free this week and then I can decide which one I want to be in.

As for the move. Even though I was sick, I had 4 of my coworkers helping me move and a car and we got it all moved from one place to the other in less than 50 minutes. I was very impressed. After that, my feverish self rested a bit before going to get a couch I had found on craigslist with my friend, Jason. We drove to the girls house (who happened to be a friend of Tiffany's who I'd met once before in Mammoth...random tidbit that shows how small this world is) and got the couch, hoping it would fit in the car and not be too difficult to get into my apartment. Fortunately, both worked out perfectly! The only casualty from the move was poor Jose Cuervo. He took a crash on the ground and broke, spilling tequila all over the cement :( This Jose had a special place in my heart because I bought him in Korea, took him to the Philippines, brought him back to Korea, and then had him ever since. And he just died. So suddenly. With so much life left to live. We will forever mourn your death, Jose.

Here are a few pictures of my apartment, before I moved in, once everything was moved but I was too sick to unpack, and after most of the unpacking was done.

An unfortunate change from my awesome shower to this little guy that doesn't stay warm for more than 30 seconds :(

But a normal toilet seat!!

R.I.P Jose

The couch BARELY fit in Jason's car. Although it makes a perfect bed! Camping trip? 


I have a couch!!!