Holy shit on a cracker, I'm back............. Somehow, I survived the Week of Hell and Doom and managed to crawl my way through three midterms and a grammar exam. I think I kinda owned the cinema exam, though. It was really easy, so I probably over-studied. And the grammar test... well, I didn't study at all and I got an A- so... mwahahahaha, lol. The kanji test went fairly well, I think, but that's because I studied myself into a stupor. As for the history test........ that teacher can suck my proverbial balls. That test was EVIL. I studied over twenty hours for that test and I still felt like she was wringing me like a sponge. And she wasted twenty minutes of the test being disorganized with papers flying everywhere and still wouldn't give us extra time to make up for it. Bitch.
But enough about that!!! Now that I'm back, I have a week's worth of blogging to catch up on. Especially because I went somewhere goofy last weekend and never got the chance to write about it. But to start off with, here's a food-post that's been long in coming. For starters, I just had to show off this amazing lunch they were serving at Sophia. This, my friends, is kimchi rice. Yeah. KIMCHI rice. Oh my GAWD. It was sooooo good. Just the right amount of spiciness to get me through the day, lol. I think my host mother has caught onto this because, when she noticed that I hadn't come out of my room in days because of studying, she managed to lure me out of my room with the promise of... kimchi nabe. OMG. I didn't even know such a thing existed. She had this huge pot of vegetables cooking in a spicy kimchi broth. And then... she dumped a whole container of kimchi in there. Ugh, it was to die for. My host mother can't eat it though. Two bites in and she's crying. But luckily the men in the family appreciate spicy Korean food as much as I do, lol. Here's my kimchi rice:
And here we have Royal Milk Tea Kit Kats. Good GAWD. Like I wasn't already completely addicted to milk tea as it was?!!
As for this next item... I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a previous post. I found these dried cheese snacks at a super awesome discount market. They were only a little over a dollar. In Japan, cheese is crazy expensive and, when you find it, it's usually pretty weak cheese. But this... this was some real, kick-ass cheddar for almost no money. It definitely cured my cheese craving. That is... till a guy sat down next to me and decided to take his blood pressure on some machine that was in the library. I HATE medical shit, so... yeah, that totally nauseated me and I almost didn't finish my cheese, lol.
After that we have this beauty... This is the latest McFlurry to be concocted in Japan. Again, the Japanese tend to have one special McFlurry going on at any given time and right now... it's a strawberry pound-cake McFlurry. WHY do the McDonald's restaurants in America never have these kinds of awesome things?!! It had whole chunks of cake in it!!! And the McFlurrys in Japan are way smaller so... you don't have to feel as guilty, lol.
So, enough about food (well, I'll keep talking about food but... in a more constructive manner). So, last weekend Geri and I decided to go check out this goofy place in Sunshine City (which is in Ikebukuro). The Sunshine City mall is only a half hour from where I live so... pretty easy, lol. Geri had heard that there was a place there that was like a... food amusement park, lol. We had to plunk down about three bucks to get in but... once we were in, it was several floors of a bizzare, Food Wonderland of sorts. The main reason we wanted to go was because there was this whole area of nothing but gyoza restaurants (gyoza are Chinese dumplings, for those who don't know Asian food). And sure enough, in this confusing jungle of a building, we found dozens and dozens of different gyoza shops. We weren't sure how to choose! Eventually we settled on one that had these huge, circular shrimp dumplings. It was sooooo good. But... I'm embarrassed to admit that, in my gyoza excitement, I forgot to take a picture before I ate them. I'm sorry m(-_-)m
But here are some pictures of the gyoza area. I felt like I was in some place where the Rain Forest Cafe meets Spirited Away.
So, after we'd had our gyoza fill, Geri and I went up a floor to where all the sweets were. I guess this crazy place is infamous for really bizarre ice cream flavors, like chicken wing ice cream and such. The spazzy upper floor looked like this:
The whole place was like a maze of weird, confusing insanity. We got lost over and over again. I really felt like I'd stepped into a Hayao Miyazaki film. Anyhoo, they definitely had some crazy ice cream. They had ramune ice cream (ramune is a 7 Up type soda in Japan). They had Royal Milk Tea ice cream. There was a roasted apple ice cream. But I simply had to go for the big time. This, my friends... is wasabi ice cream:
It was actually green, though the camera whited it out for some reason. Anyways, it wasn't spicy at all, which was a little sad. But it really did taste like wasabi, lol. And I was quite content with it, till I tried Geri's milk tea ice cream. Ooooooh, I wanted THAT. Oh well, next time, lol.
Aaaaand, Christmas has already hit Tokyo so, here's a giant Christmas tree at the Sunshine City mall:
Anyways, that was all last weekend. Let's move on up to this Friday. After my kanji test was over, I pretty much flopped to Geri and begged that we do something that wasn't school related. She had already planned that we go to Ebisu (it's actually romanized Yebisu, but you don't pronounce the "y" and it pisses me off, so I won't write it that way, lol). In Ebisu there's this huuuuge building and there are restaurants at the top of the building with great skyscraper views. So we decided to check out one that was known for its okonomiyaki. But first...
So I guess there's this famous statue in Ebisu. It's famous because there's this really popular J-Drama called Hana Yori Dango ("Boys Over Flowers") and I guess there's some episode where this guy famously waits for this girl at this statue in Ebisu. There were definitely women flocking around taking pictures of this statue. Yuck. But Geri assured me I could make my J-Drama-loving friends jealous if I took a picture at the statue so... BE JEALOUS, HAHAHAHA!!!
Moooovin' on. It was all pretty and Christmas-y around Ebisu so... enjoy some pretty Christmas pictures in November:
Big Ass Chandelier:
So we went to the Tall Friggin' Building with the top-floor restaurants. We rode up 39 flights and I took a picture of Tokyo from up there:
WHOO that city be big, lol. Anyways, so we went to this restaurant that had great okonomiyaki. For those who don't know what okonomiyaki is... um... well, it's definitely a favorite among Japanese people and it's quite delicious. Some call it the "Japanese pancake" or the "Japanese pizza" but I personally think it's nothing like that at all. And it really depends on the okonomiyaki you get. I, of course, went for a seafood mix. So they basically take a batter, and the batter is mixed with eggs, and it's all mixed with seafood. Then they they fry it up kinda like a pancake, and top it with a barbecue-like sauce and fish-shavings (these usually traumatize foreigners cuz the heat makes the shavings dance and wiggle like they're alive, lol). But okonomiyaki comes in many varieties, such as vegetable, or pork, etc. etc. It's really, really good. And we were in one of those restaurants where you take your shoes off, and we sat with a view directly of the city, and the chef makes the okonomiyaki on a hot-table right in front of you. He does it with such artistic precision too, lol. Here's my okonomiyaki:
Mmmmmm. Afterwards, Geri and I had a sweet tooth and went to go find some sweets. We found a doughnut place at the Ebisu station. It's actually a New York doughnut shop, but it's known for being horribly expensive and it was actually less expensive in Tokyo than in New York, somehow. So they had these Huge Fuckin' Chocolate Doughnuts and I couldn't resist. I put my cell phone next to it for size comparison:
So that's all for Ebisu. Now I'm posting this on Saturday, and Saturday dinner was with BABIES. My host mother had informed me that Takeshi and Ayako would be coming with little Haru-chan again. But they didn't tell me that Takeshi and Satoshi's cousin would be coming with a little baby as well. So we had two families and two babies. What madness, lol. The other family was one I'd never met before. They were quite different from my host family, though. Like, Takeshi's an upstanding doctor-type, and his wife Ayako is crazy-pretty. But this other family (I forgot their names like an asshole)... they were adorable for being so not like that. The wife was quite homely, but in a cute way. And the husband... ha, what an adorably scruffy man. He had really long hair and hadn't shaved very well, and he was dressed like he didn't care, but intentionally. Like... his style was "not caring." The image that comes to mind is a wet Labrador Retriever, lol. Anyways, they had a little baby girl, whose name I've also forgotten. There was much banging of pianos and tearing of tissues. It would've been cuter if I hadn't had a bad headache. I hadn't slept all week, and then I slept nine hours so... ow, my brain. But naw, it was still cute. And the new guy, he kept trying to use English with me. And he was trying to teach his daughter English. But his English consisted of "yo! Hey, yo! Whassup?!" Wonderful. We'll teach her ghetto English, lol.
As for the dinner, my host mother made a different nabe dish, this time just straight-up vegetables instead of kimchi. It was quite delicious, of course. She also made this strange eggs-and-vegetables-in-a-cup type dish. It would've been great, but it reminded me waaaaay too much of foods I've lived off of on crash-diets, so it just sorta creeped me out, lol. But the mixed-pot food was good and Satoshi bought me a cream puff later (although... he has this trend now where, whenever I eat something sweet he goes "futoru yo!" ("you're gonna gain weight!!!") in a sneaky voice. Even though he bought the cream puff for me... he still said it, sigh. Like I don't already know I'm a pig, lol). Anyways, yeah, the babies were cute, and all the guests used our bath, as is customary in Japan. There was honorific speech flying everywhere, too. Definitely a different dinner-style than America. Oh, and Haru really doesn't like having his teeth brushed. He shrieked and screamed until Ayako straddled his head and put her knees on his arms to stop him from moving, lol. And the little girl would squat up and down whenever anyone played the piano. Sooooo cute. And I was a tool and forgot to take pictures, so I apologize for that. I promise next time the babies are over I'll remember my camera.
In other, J-Rocky news! So, as everyone knows, I already have tickets for Dir en grey two nights at the Budokan. To add to my up-coming concert list... I will also be attending Beat Shuffle Live Side 2009 ~D.N.A.~ I got tickets for myself and my two friends who are coming to visit Tokyo during Winter Break. The show will be on December 29th and features D'espairsray (yeah, AGAIN), Nightmare, L.MC (yup, again), and Penicillin. So yeah, it's gonna be awesome. It'll be like a mini-festival! And really, I don't need any excuse to see D'espairsray again. As for Nightmare, I'm lukewarm on them, but they're a super-important VK band I always wanted to see them at least once. And my friends love L.MC, even though it's not my thing, but... they do put on a fun and enjoyable show, lol. Also, apparently Merry are planning a concert tour final in Tokyo on December 24th. Tickets go on sale on the 5th. Oh my god... if I can get tickets to see Merry as a headlining band... at a tour final... yeah, I'll pretty much just die of happiness on the spot. I'll keep you all posted if I manage to get tickets!!!
Anyways, things should be a lot less hectic now so... I'll go back to regular posting. See y'all soon!