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If breathing wasn't involuntary action, I probably wouldn't had found the will to keep doing it today.


I think I need some chocolate.
And some tea.
Yes, tea and chocolate, please. Right now.

A damn strong earthquake hit Japan couple of hours ago. We're still getting aftershocks. Hopefully none as big as the initial shake-up, though.

I've never experienced a real earthquake before. I mean, yeah, there have been small ones during my time here so far, but nothing really worth noting. So today kind of made me realize I don't really know what to do when an earthquake strikes.
Stay away from the windows, in case they break.
Stay under a door way.
Stay under the doorway only if the doorway is actually re-enforced one.
Avoid doorways.
Go under the table.
Don't go under the table.
Stay indoors and don't go outside.
Go outside.

There are so many different contradicting instructions on what to do, that I honestly have no clue what is the best course of action. It's kind of discomforting to realize that. It probably all boils down to the fact that there is no universal "best course of action" and it all depends on many variables at any given time, sometimes even depends on blind luck. But that really isn't a very reassuring at all.

Physically I'm fine.

Materially there are some damages, with the biggest one being the broken hot water pipe, which leaves me without hot water for the unforeseeable future.

Emotionally, I really need that fucking chocolate and tea. Affirmation that everyone I know is ok would be good too.

"My 26th Year" in Review

As I embark on to my 27th year (Today's Birthday Girl is Me~), and seeing how I have quite magnificently failed to make regular updates *again* for the past 365 days, I figured it would be a good idea to take a moment and re-asses where I am in terms of...
Education and EmploymentCollapse )
HealthCollapse )
Human RelationsCollapse )
Fun&GamesCollapse )

Emotional Stability: System ERROR

Tomorrow I have my first mid-term exam while here in Japan and I am far from ready for it.
Yet that's not the reason making my chest ache, making my heart beat up way too fast and out of rhythm. It's also not the reason I am going between hyperventilating and being unable to breath at all. It's not even the reason why I am crying.

The short version of what has me so out of sorts is that I'm stupid. Stupid to the point of being a moron.

The longer version is, well, longer, and it begins with me procastinating studying for the exam and figuring out that I can just read one of the new doujinshi I got. No real harm in taking a small break, right? Right.Collapse )

Arranging Life in Tokyo: Interlude

Already two months into my life in Japan and this is only my second post?
I’d love to claim to be surprised by this level of personal failure, but unfortunately that would be a blatant lie. Besides, when compared to all my other short comings as of late, the lack of blog keeping is hardly a very remarkable one. I feel far worse over my lack of contact with... well, everyone. While my social circles are not the biggest ones, I have been blessed with some wonderful individuals whom I know would lend an ear to my woes. Hell, I've even been told to my face that if I need support, they're there. Yet I've failed to do even the bare minimum and contact them.

The reason for my failure, be it in terms of updating here and in contacting anyone personally: I'm damn exhausted. Both emotionally and physically, I am way past my limits.

A bit over a week ago it became obvious that I have exhausted my psychological resources. Within the first month or so, I cried about 3 times. While being quite a lot, it was not that out of the expected when you have emotionally high-stung person facing so many changes in their life all at once. Moments of weakness were bound to pop up. However, in the contrast, around last weekend I cried as many times as there were days. I'm not sure whether I had bigger freak out on Sunday or Monday, but it was painfully clear that I had reached the end of my emotional resources.

When it comes to my physical limits, I have felt slightly feverish for closer to two weeks now. But since I have no way to actually measure my body temperature, it was very easy to just ignore the feeling and keep pushing forward It's not exactly a big surprise that there was a backslash to this, but I do admit having been hoping the backslash would happen a bit later down the road; maybe once I had my life a little more under control and in order or something. As life would have it, I had no such luck, and since Friday evening I have been reduced to drinking cold medicine in between drifting off to fevered dreams.

And so my first two months in Japan wrap up, not with a bang, but with a whimper, as I crawl back into bed and dearly wish that tomorrow will find me feeling a bit more alive since I do have classes to attend to.
As I started this post, it was my honest intend to make several LJ-cuts and go over where I am in terms of all the different aspects of settling down in a new country, new city and new phrase of life. However, it soon became evident that such an entry would be of monstrous length, what with how wordy I am and also with simply how much content there is. Thus, this first entry of my magical adventure of living in Japan shall focus on one aspect and one aspect only.

When I departed for Tokyo, I already had an apartment reserved for myself and I was feeling quite good about it. It seemed like a huge stroke of luck that I ended up getting recommended this Japanese lady, who has studied in Finland herself, and who now rents places to Finns in Tokyo. Sure, the rent for the place turned out to be almost on the side of *too* expensive for what I can afford, but the location was convenient, the room was spacious, it had the basic furnitures, free internet and free laundry. It would enable me to get right into the swing of things, the moment I arrived~!
... The things that are too good to be true? Yeah, this was definitely one of those cases. Going quite against all my expectations, my accommodation has been the single source of most trouble, stress and frustration that I have had to experience here.

There are certain aspects of the apartment that I am not too fond of:
-For one, the hot water is erratically available at the best. Now, this was something I was somewhat prepared for, at least mentally. I mean, what apartments don't come with some "cute" little personal quirks, right? And while I do love my hot showers, it is probably better for my monthly water bill that I do not get too comfy in the shower.
-Another charming little detail is that the airing system of the bathroom is not actually efficient enough to handle the overall moisture in the air *and* dry the bathroom at the same time. This I have been able to somewhat solve by getting myself some equipment to wipe the bathtub after each use. Again, it's somewhat annoying, but not a huge discomfort.
-Thirdly and possibly much more importantly, I also faced a bunch of problems with the free internet connection; mainly the fact that it was not working. My computer did find the network and I did manage to get a connection, but I would get disconnected every half a minute or so. It probably doesn't even need to be mentioned, but this would be reason I didn't update sooner. Now, with a trip to Akiba and over 10 meters of LSD cable later, the connection seems to be stable and working fine. *crosses fingers*.

However, the little things, such as the ones mentioned above, were indeed things that I was expecting. Sure, I didn't foresee these specific issues, but I was more than mentally prepared to face somewhat annoying complications to my daily comfort and some speed bumps in the beginning as things got sorted out. That's how life tends to be and I do so try to be a realist in my expectations. The truly upsetting and stressful things were on quite different level, though.

The first thing that caused me serious distress was how absolutely unclean the apartment was. It was messy, per say, just very unclean. Since Japan is pretty famous for its obsessive level of hygiene, I was not at all prepared to find my apartment dusty, stained and slightly stinky. Every surface was dusty, the sink and bathtub had bunch of stains and the over all odour of the place was not a pleasant one. However, while upsetting, it was not the end of the world. After recovering some from the initial wave of distress and appalled shock, I headed out to start buy cleaning supplies and start my long process of disinfecting, washing and scrubbing the place from the floor to the ceiling. (Though in all fairness, I have not washed the ceiling, just the walls and floors and every single item on said floors) Starting from the most urgent, aka bathroom, I worked my way through the place, today finishing up with kitchen, which was the final thing.

Unfortunately, as my scrubbing proceeded, the odour of the apartment did not seem to improve the least bit. Extensive airing of the room did not help, so I figured that it was probably the textiles. After first trying to get the situation sorted out by some de-odorizing and sanitizing spray, which seemed to do little to no good, I more than happily packed away the ugly, not to mention dusty and icky, carpets into airtight compression bags. Then I went ahead and bought myself a brand spanking new futon and pillow, washed all the linens and gave the old futon the same treatment as the carpets. Ta-dah~! It was all quite a lot of effort, since them futons aren't exactly the lightest things and the air tight bags turned out to be quite a bit smaller than their package promised, so it was only with a lot of trial and error that I managed to finally squeeze everything into their designated bags. Once done with this whole ordeal, I was very much prepared to move on and start truly making a home for myself.

Of course, this was not to be. The smell stayed around and after careful sniffing and inspecting, I could only conclude that the culprit is the tatami. My room has a raised tatami covered area for sleeping and my current educated guess is that the tatami is moldy. When I brought this up with my landlady, she was fairly dismissive, saying that the tatami have been placed last December, so they are fairly new and that the two previous tenants have not complained of the smell. Hmm, could this be because, oh, I don't know, one (or both) of them are indirectly the cause of the smell?! There is a futon shaped, clearly darker, more grey and green area on the tatami. One that would be created by, say, someone leaving their futon out on the tatami for all the time. In turn, this would make the tatami unable to breath, creating a nice little environment for some mold to settle down and start a family.

I have yet to be able to convince my landlady to do something to the tatami. I half suspect she might be stalling in hopes that I sign the lease agreement and thus make renewing the tatami my own problem, seeing how there is such a clause in the paper. With tatami prices being roughly $200 a piece and the room needing 3, I'm determined to not take that expense on myself. There is a very real possibility that the landlady simply will conclude the tatami are fine and that she won't do a thing, in which case my only real option is to start all over again and try to find a new place to live. Mold really is neither good for my allergies nor for my asthmatic tendencies, so prolonged co-habitation with it is just not an option. Especially not when the smell is making that whole area of the room unusable; I can't place anything there, because the smell will stick to especially textiles. I also have to keep the A/C system constantly running, because otherwise the air in the room will go stale and the smell will be everywhere.

In conclusion, almost two and a half weeks in and I am still unable to get comfortable in my apartment, which does not bode well for the weeks and months to come seeing how this is supposed to be my sanctuary and the one place where I can feel at least somewhat at home.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?!

For the last half a year or so, a lot of this and that happened, keeping me quite busy. The result of it all is that I will be moving to Tokyo for at least a year, starting from tomorrow. While this is naturally on the "hellz yeah!"-levels of exiting, it is also down right terrifying. Right now there is only roughly half an hour remaining before I need to head to the airport to begin the journey and I'm quite ready to crawl under my bed to never come out.
... The fact that one physically cannot crawl under my bed as it is filled with stuff is neither here nor there.

The Birthday Person is ME~

Today has definitely not been the most glorious birthday in the history of humanity (or even just me), not by a long shot. Getting up in the morning at 7am to finish an essay, with only 4 hours of sleep? Having lectures at University until 7pm? Having to go and buy my own cake on the way home? Not quite the ideal way for a birthday, at least in my mind.
... To not discredit this tale of woe, we shall of course all very conveniently ignore the fact that the lack of sleep and early morning were pretty much my own fault. Procrastinating, who, me? Oh no, surely not! *cough, adjusts halo* However, I do maintain the opinion that making me go buy my own cake after getting out from classes that late was quite uncalled for.

Surprising amount of people actually remembered my birthday and send some kind of message of congratulations. Some of the people remembering was quite unexpected, but definitely very heart-warming! On the other side, there were also people whom I was sort of expecting to get birthday wishes from who didn't acknowledge this remarkable event in any way~! Not that I can probably really hold it against most of them, seeing how I'm horrible myself when it comes to remembering birthdays. Still, all the more reason for me to be really grateful to everyone who send me birthday wishes! The messages really touched me and brightened my day~ ^_^

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I don't appear to be having too big of an age crises this time around. I suppose 26 isn't that much worse than 25. I mean, 25 already pushed me closer to being 50 than to being born, started the scary countdown to the big 3-oh and put me past the "best before" date in terms of getting hitched. Not much 26 can do to top that list, I guess. XD

Soon a Year Older - a Year Wiser, too?

With the year still fresh and only a little over a week to go before I am yet another year further away from my mental age, a small evaluation of where I have gotten in life right now might be called for. So, here be the:
Summary of 2009

There have been good things, which I have listed with +, and some negative things, which have been listed with -. Some areas of life remain too complicated to be divided into list of items, so they are simply rambled about.

Education and EmploymentCollapse )
HealthCollapse )
Human RelationsCollapse )
Fun&GamesCollapse )


Happy New Year~!
Hopefully this new year, and this new decade as whole, will provide many wonderful things (at least to me and the people who have stuck by my side ^_~)!

I also hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. Originally I planned to at least make a LJ post on time to wish seasonal cheer for everyone, but the days before Christmas ended up being more busy than I anticipated. I've been kind of failing with my time management this past fall and the season greetings fell a victim to that. Another thing that got in the way of the greetings was the still somewhat limited online access, which came darn close to giving me an ulcer. I guess I might be just a teeny-weeny bit internet addicted, since constantly failing connection makes me quite literally twitch and tremble from annoyance. *sweatdrop*
However, I am once again mildly hopeful in regards of the new lap top and internet connection deciding to get along, so I'm determined to try to better keep up with stuff online too this year!