Celeste (from Australia) asked if I wanted to go to Sapporo eki (train station) on Saturday to go out with a group of Rotary exchange students (like AFS) and some Japanese friends. A little over a week, Celeste will return home and therefore she wanted to go out with her best friends.
I arrived on time and had time to find our meeting point. That was just not that easy because Sapporo station is SUPER big and there are LOTS of people (who don’t speak English at all:-). After half an hour Rachel found me, and everyone arrived already and were resembled just at the opposite site of where I was. There were two Japanese students from my school, two Japanese friends already graduated, five Rotary students and Rachel, me and Celeste.
First we went for some food and then we went to take purikura (these are the small, super-processed photos). We were with about 11 people, and that was quite tight in a photo booth! But very funny. After an hour we went down town to find a cheap karaoke bar. It was however not easy to find one for 11 people. We were already pretty far from Sapporo Eki.
Finally we found a good karaoke bar! It was my first time to go to karaoke (in Japan) and it was super funny, even though I could sing almost anything! After karaoke, we went back because it was already 19:30.
Fortunately, the two former Yamanote students walked with me to Sapporo eki. There are only few trains that go to Ainosato because Ainosato it is quite small and it is a very quiet area. I had to wait for an hour and went for onigiri (rice ball). I arrived home at half past ten, took a shower, and went to bed immediately. The next day I agreed to go to rugby, at half past 10!
The next morning I woke up at 7:30 to get ready for rugby club, on Sunday to school yes! Fortunately the weather was fine and Britney, Claudia, Celeste, and three other Japanese were there too. We were taught by the boys coach actually. We had to practice in a small park nearby school because the boys rugby team was playing on the school field. We played until 12:30.
At 4 pm the Yamanote exchange students and Honda-san and Yamazaki-sensei agreed to the station near my school to go out to a karaoke bar for Celeste’s goodbye party.
I hoped to spend the time with the others, but Celeste and Claudia both went with their boyfriend, and Britney had to go home and the Japanese were gone. I wanted to ask if I could join the tennis club, but nobody was there. We then went to change our clothes in school (which is open every day, during the weekends only for clubs, but you can to your classroom if you want to). When we walked downstairs I saw some people at the tennis club and Celeste helped me to ask if I could join tennis. I quickly changed cloth again and played tennis! As I mentioned earlier, there are only boys at tennis. And everyone was all “Oh my! She’ll really do it! “. Two boys explained the techniques and it was a lot of fun, despite my Japanese is not good enough for a normal conversation. Everyone promised me all the time that they would work very hard to learn English, while I constantly apologized that my Japanese is so bad and I will work very hard to learn Japanese. I was happy I could play tennis because I had to spent three and a half hours before my next appointment at the karaoke bar. The guys all play tennis really good, and I .. ‘m not that good, but they like it that I join the game, whether I can play well or not. The racket is slightly different from the tennis racket I am used to and that’s making it very difficult, but I have to get used to it!
About 2 O’clock everybody left and I decided to explore the shops between my school and the station. I went into a kind of department store where I sat down to have my lunch, all by myself, and read a small book. I went on window shopping and had a tea and a donut at Mister Donut. And then suddenly I got lots of sms messages from the others because they did not know where I was and that I had to hurry. Rachel told me to get to the station (where Mister Donut is) but it was another place where I had to go to. I also saw two students from my school and they started talking and said “oh my god, you are so pretty”. Finally Tui and Jordyn (the exchange students from New Zealand) came to get me. Luckily everyone was late!
It was quite strange to go to karaoke with your teachers, but it was super fun! We got there at lunch and I had fries and chicken nuggets (similar like those from KFC)! Oh, and French fries, that I really miss!
I went together with Celeste and Rachel for more Purikura! Celeste is a purikura addict, and to be honest I am a bit addicted too!
Back at the station I bought donuts for my host family because I had not been home all weekend. I arrived home at 20:30 and after taking a shower I immediately went to bed, nice and early!
On Monday Celeste had her farewell speech and she started crying such that I got tears in my eyes too! I know her only for two weeks, but she has helped me so much and she is so sweet! We already promised that if I ever go to Australia or Celeste goes to the Netherlands, we will see each other!
I had a sun burn from Sunday rugby and! Fortunately it is getting better already.
It is now Tuesday and this morning I felt not very fit. Fortunately there was no school today, because of the medical checkup for the students.
This week I go to the hairdresser, play tennis and join the English Conversation club party and on Saturday we have the AFS meeting, I am really looking forward to it!
My Japanese language skills are better and better every day, that is also because of the private lessons we have at school. Not many AFS students have private lessons at their school. At school, everyone is still very nice and make me feel welcome!
Sometimes, as a foreigner, it’s not funny to be in the spotlight all the time. Everywhere I go people stare at me. And for example, when I’m in Sapporo Eki, or just walk through the city, people from school notice me and say hello. That is kind of course! But sometimes it is annoying.
But I’m happy that people talk to me, because that make me feel welcome.
This post is also available in: Dutch