There are many things that are different here if you compare it to Sweden, some in a good way, some in a bad way. I am now going to list differences I have noticed, and if they are good or bad is up to you to decide.
So let's start with the apartments! First of all, the apartments are usually small and PACKED with things. I don't know if this is supposed to be "the Japanese way", or if Seiko-san just likes to collect things. Either way, I don't think it is good to collect too many things, because they will just end up gathering dust and wasting space. So no. Oh wait, you were supposed to decide if it was good or bad, not me! I apologize, I take back my previous statement! Which actually reminds me of how the Japanese people like to apologize for everything. If they want to talk to you, "Sorry!", if they enter the same room as you, "Sorry!", if they, well, anything basically, "Sorry!" Stop being so sorry all the time! It's like you have to apologize for your existence. So I will take back my apology. I will write down all the differences I can think of, and I will comment on them. Period. Hehe...

Anyway, moving on... Something that I find annoying is that the apartments here (I don't know about the houses actually) don't have ovens!!! What's up with that!? I guess this shows that they don't need it, but they like pastries so much here! For example, at Ikebukuro station you can find one pastry shop after another. (Oh, and did I mention that I like Ikebukuro station? ;D Haha) Do you want a donut? Right here! A cookie? Look no further! Let the seducing smell guide you! How about a danish bread? Or a cinnamon roll? Or a melon pan? Or... My point is, they like all of these pastries, and more, but there is no way they will be able to do them themselves. Why? Well, they don't have a certain important item that starts with an o and ends with a ven! Well, they do have microwaves with ovenfunction, but I highly doubt that they produce the same result as a real, ordinary oven.
Well, the oven is not the only lack of heat in this place! I have noticed that the temperature inside the apartment is almost the same temperature as the outside, so, naturally, the pyjamas I have brought with me that are designed for Swedish-inside the house-temperature are too light. It can be really cold inside at times, and my pyjamas are not good enough! Maybe they don't have any radiators because all the pipes will be destroyed in the case of earth-quake, so there's probably no helping it. And this is why they have kotatsus instead! It's like a small, portable heater you can have under the table, and then you can sit there and warm your feet. Mmm, sounds so cozy! I have yet to try it... I think it can be almost as cozy as an open fire ^^

Oh yeah, today I bought some socks to wear at home. At least they will make me feel a bit warmer! And let me tell you that they have a LOT of different socks here! Or should I say underwear in general? I have passed by a couple of underwear shops, and I did look at their bras, but they all have weird paddings, so I never tried them on. Maybe it is to support what you have. Or make it look bigger. I don't know, what do you think sounds the most logical? Haha, and also, hahahhaha, their bras are filled with so many accessories that it's like wearing a Cristmas sock! Haha, how are you supposed to wear normal clothes over their bras?! Guess they've never heard of T-shirt bras, hahahaha. So funny XD But when it comes to their clothes... It's like, if I am to use a metaphor, Japan just figured out how to successfully clone a human being! Sweden just discovered the amoeba... Haha, well, you get my point, the clothes here are SO much nicer, you have more to choose from, no, scratch that, you have more clothes THAT YOU WOULD ACTUALLY CONSIDER WEARING to choose from. Ah, I love their goods here ^^
When it comes to the service here. Sweden IS the amoeba. Hahahhaa, no but seriously, the service here is amazing! The customer is the king! If you need help with anything, they will do their best to help you. For example, when Robin got a haircut, he asked the hairdresser where he could find any good clubs. One person from the staff immediately went to the backroom, searched for it on the internet, printed the page and a map, and gave it to Robin. And he didn't even ask for it! And in a magazine, he found some pants he thought were cool. They looked it up as well, found the name of the brand, printed out a page for him, and we were just sitting there feeling utterly spoiled. And me, Marion and Rebecca who were only there to watch the transformation occur before our eyes got a little menu from wich we could choose a drink. For free. And they let us use some lockers where we could put away our bags. Ahh! I will definitely go back there and get a haircut! After all, the prices are basically the same as in Sweden (I stand corrected, I meant Eksjö), but the service is amazing, so it is absolutely worth it!
Moving on to the next point, the people here (both boys and girls) are very fashionable, but they don't look down on people with different styles. Instead, it is like they accept any style you have. So you never have to feel bad in anything! Nobody will look at you in a weird way! (Well, they might, but that is because you are a foreigner, it has got nothing to do with what you wear! ;)) You can actually go to a club wearing the same clothes you just had in school, and nobody woll think it is weird. This is what I have done the two times we went to a club, because I've never had the time to go home before and prepare, but I have never felt uncomfortable or weird. It's like a big Peset! ^^

And how are you supposed to be fashionable with bad nails? Well, you're not, so that's why you can find a nail salon almost anywhere you turn. It is not that cheap, about the same price as for a manicure back in Sweden, but I can BET the result here is much better! This is because the people working with nails here must have a lot of experience as I have seen a lot of girls walk around with flashy nails. And it wouldn't surprise me if the nails actually had a small flashlight glued on to them. Seriously, here, nails are meant to be pretty and nice. Who cares if you can't use your hands anymore due to all of the nice, glittery, cute accessories? As long as it looks good, you have nothing to worry about! Honestly, I don't understand how these girls can type messages on their phones, or look for something in their bags, or open a door using a key, or walk without a hunchback ;) Haha, guess I'll just have to take a picture and show you what I mean! ^^

Speaking of service, their toilets here are really different! And now I'm talking about the more exclusive kind ;) At restaurants and warehouses, the toilets actually have heated seats. At one place, the toilet actually flushed itself automatically 10 seconds after you stood up! What's more is that you can push different buttons that will then make the toilet squirt some water, you know where, in order to clean thouroughly. No David, with this device, I don't need the flower jug anymore! Hahaha ;D I remember one time when Robin returned after using the toilet. He had just tried one of these buttons, because how could you resist? And he looked so disgusted! It was hilarious! Haha, he said that he only felt wet. Too much water too little paper I guess, hahaha =P
They use children here in Japan! In their commercials that is ;) I never thought about it until Melissa told me. And now I see them in every commercial. Seriously! They really do use them everywhere! I saw this one commercial on Viagra... hahaha, naw just kidding, they would, I hope, never go that far! ;D Or maybe they would? I don't know. Another difference here in Japan is that nothing surprises me anymore. Except for a sober Japanese person trying to initiate a conversation with you...

Their nails is not the only thing that the Japanese like to decorate! They LOVE cell phone accessories! I have seen accessories in the shape of a slice of bread with a smiley-face made out of jam. And it was the size of a real slice of bread. Someone in my class actually told me that they usually get aches in their necks because the cell phones are so heavy when they talk in them. I believe I have said enough now...
Actually, that is one similarity with the Arabs. The more the better! ;D
What I like here, and that you can't experience in Sweden, is that there is always something open somewhere in Tokyo. For example, if you have missed the last train home, you can spend the night watching some movies at an internet café. Or you can sleep at an internet café. Or you can go to a regular café and take it easy, maybe eat something, have a conversation with a friend, have breakfast... Or you can go to a conbini (convenience store) and have an onigiri... In Shibuya you can also find restaurants if you are really hungry. If you really want to go home, you will have no troubles finding a taxi =) Oh, and the conbinis here, they're everywhere! It's very convenient! You can always find a conbini at any time, and they sell not only snacks and onigiris, but also sandwiches, fried chicken, cup ramen, nuts, breads with fillings... And the conbinis also work as ATMs, Seven Eleven is the best for international cards. I will miss this convenience in Sweden. And another thing that they have here and that I think Sweden should get as well is Starbucks! Starbucks is as easy to find here as a straw of hay in a haystack XD My favourite Starbucks is the one in Shibuya, because there you can see one of the biggest crossings I have ever seen, with hundreds of people crossing every time the lights turn green, no matter what time it is. A really nice view! Makes you feel alive ^^

Another thing you can find here is the purikura! You know the photo booths they have here in Japan? They make your skin look flawless, they make your eyes look big, and in the end, you can write on the photos, add things such as stars and hearts, and then you can choose which photos you want to print. Really fun! ^^
There are much much more differences to mention, but as I am now getting sleepy, and as you are probably cursing me for writing this ridiculously long entry, I will save them for another time ;)
Have a nice time in Amoeba-land!
Sa~yo~na~ra~ ^^

Today we had to read descriptions of places and then depict the description. The manga-characters on the right were made by Stephanie (aren't they awesome!), and the mountains and trees on the left was my doing =O

We have a lot of funny, crazy, Chinese people in our class. Here are some of them!

Lovely Stephanie! One of my closer friends ^^

A close-up of the nice pictures on the wall!

Of course, the inside is more interesting than the outside!

School entrance. Notice the subtle advertisements...

Welcome to ISI Tokyo!

Family Mart aka my onigiri and snacks provider =P Just a one minute walk from school! Really convenient! ^^

A nice murial right next to Sakaedoristreet. They actually start putting up Cristmas decorations on the first of November, hence the Cristmas tree

Sakaedoristreet in Takadanobaba! If you follow this street and turn right at the Family Mart, you will find my school =)

My first train! I didn't take any pictures of the other two trains, becuase they all basically look the same =P

These are the gates you go through in order to enter the station and use the trains.

Urawa station!

My everyday-entrance ^^ Behind these doors Urawa awaits! ^^


Breakfast time! Actually, I've had fried toasts for a while now, so I'm getting tired of it =P And the banana. Not so fulfilling. I have to talk to Seiko-san later I think, I want variety and proper meals! =O

A real, packed, Japanese kitchen ^^

This is the other side of the kitchen =)

This is the kitchen. Notice the enormous sink and the minimal working area =P

I just had to show you the toilet with the tap on top ^^

Making your bed is a bit different here in Japan...

I thought I would copy my brother a bit and post some pictures of a regular day at school =) This is my room in the morning right after I woke up

And yes, I was there! Hahaha

With a lot of colours and shapes =)

They had a very nice watershow =)

How could I possibly refuse taking a picture of Pikachu?

Aw, how romantic! ;)


That's better! A smile!

Naruto!!!! I also saw Ichimaru Gin and Rangiku ^^ Would have liked to see a Ryuuk though, haha

I don't know if you see it, but that's Robin and Rebecca sitting in the second closest seats.

I had no idea it was so popular to cosplay in this area of Tokyo. And a lot of the women had VERY high-heeled boots!

We saw a LOT of cosplayers! And they were all taking a lot of pictures too! Were they taking photos for portfolios or something? Because the cameras they had were not cheap toys, I can tell you that!

Rebecca's birthday! Happy?

Tokyo dome! Cool... well... I don't know exactly what it is, but it looks nice anyway =)

Emmis! She looks so happy ^^

Yes, I was actually there! Too bad this is the only picture of me =P

Look through the food and you will find me! Haha, I sound like such a glutton =P

Having a nice time...


From left to right we have Jimmy, Simon and Pernilla, my other bench mate!

Emma the birthday girl to the left and Rebecca my bench mate to the right!

Rebecca's birthday!

I am in bed while writing this, so I should actually just go to sleep, but I thought I might as well write about Rebecca's birthday before I disappear into my little dreamworld and forget all about it ;)
So Rebecca's birthaday was this Saturday, and it was a very nice day that we spent at Tokyo Dome (you take the subway-line from Ikebukuro to Korakuen), which is like a big amusement park. The first thing that struck me is that it is actually free to enter! You only have to pay if you want to use the rides, and you can either buy a day-pass for 4000 yen, or you can pay for each ride. As I thought that I would be unable to ride the most attractions due to my heart, I didn't buy the day-pass. I probably saved 1000 yen if I compare to Rebecca and Robin, but then again, I couldn't ride a funny attraction more than once if I really liked it, because then I would lose too much money! I have now learned that they have a lot of funny attractions that I can ride, so next time I will probably buy the day-pass and just stop thinking about the money ^^
One attraction that I really liked was the 4D-movie. It was like a 3D movie but we were in seats that could spin around, and they used water and wind too, so it really felt like you were in the movie, which was like a battle between an androcat and some badguys XD We also went to another 4D-movie which was supposed to be scary, but it was so bad!!!! Not even so bad that it is funny. It was just plain bad. =P
They also had a nice Baseball Café with some American food. The portions were actually big! Very unusual here in Japan =O They also had some nice brownies, but I was too full after the lunch I had there (fried chicken, fried shrimps, onion rings and french fries, I know, not the healthiest food, but very delicious. And some nice melon soda to drink ^^) that I didn't try it. And in the end, we didn't have the time to go back so that I could taste it.
We had decided to stay at Tokyo Dome for a couple of hours (we met there at 11 am) so that we could go home and get ready for a nice dinner at an eel restaurant. This, however, was not the case, as we stayed at Tokyo Dome for so long, that we didn't have the time to go home. We told Joey, an American guy from our school, that we would meet in Shibuya at 8:30 pm, and we left at 7:30 pm, so we all just went to Rebecca's house where I put on some of her make up. It was really too bad, because I wanted to go home and dress up for her sake, but then I couldn't because we had no time, and in the end we arrived one hour later anyway =P By that time I wasn't really in a party mood, but we found such a nice restaurant with so delicious food that it went over quite quickly =) I really am a food maniac =P Haha. Actually, we were supposed to go to an eel restaurant, but it was closed! Haha
So, the restaurant we found was a seafood reastaurant where you and your company ate in your own private booth, and in the booth they had a nice aquarium. The booths were nice and secluded, so we could listen to some music that Robin had brought with him on his  mp3 that he played using portable speakers, really nice and cosy! But I must admit that the booth was on the verge of being claustrophobic =O And it was all black, so it didn't feel that spacious =O Still, it was nice, and the food was AWESOME! We ordered a set with, I think, seven courses. The first course was like a fish paté, the second a sallad consisting of cabbage, mayo, and some crispy matter on top, the third was a fish nabe. Ok, this course was my favourite, so delicious and so much taste! The nabe was like a pot with fish and vegetables in a hot tomato sauce. When I ate this, I thought that Nazar would probably like this, because it was spicy and nice ^^ We also had some fried potatoes, some bread, sashimi (it was good, but I prefer sushi ^^), and a rice dish which was like rice that you put into the tomato sauce from the nabe, and then you let the rice absorb the taste from the sauce, and you put an egg over it so that it becomes firm. But we screwed it up and just mixed everyting together, so the rice pudding became a porridge! Hahaha XD The taste was still the same, so it didn't matter. And then the dessert, some pudding and fruits. I must say that the portions were perfect, not too big, not too small, and I was so full afterwards =P Definitely worth the money! (3000 yen for the food, 1000 yen for all you can drink). The only bad thing about this place was that they came after two hours (the free drinks were for two hours) and tld us that our time was out. So we had to go. What the hell! We paid a lot of money to eat here! And then you just come and say "You have no more time, please leave". So bad =P Oh well, the food compensated for it, so fine.
After this we went home! All in all, a very nice day out ^^

Emma no tanjobi!

Today was Emma's birthday! So of course we had to celebrate it after school!
We went to Warabi, which is where she lives, and there we had some shabu-shabu. For you who do not know what this is, allow me to enlighten you (I know i talk as if I am an expert or something, but the truth is that I myself did not know what it was until a couple of days ago =P, haha). When you eat shabu-shabu you have like a pot with warm water in it, and then you can boil vegetables, meat, mushrooms... anything you like basically, and then you have a lot of different sauces and spices that you can dip the food in. Very good! Oishii! I don't know how much food we ate today, I don't dare think about it =O And after the food you could have free soft ice cream =O I know that Japanese food is very healthy, and that Japanese people are generally very small and thin, but I think that you could easily gain weight here in Japan as well! After all, they LOVE pastries here =O Well, maybe they know the meaning of "lagom" ;)
After the very delicious and very fulfilling dinner, we went to play some baseball (not real baseball, it was more like a machine shooting a baseball towards you, and you had to hit it with your bat), and it was quite fun. Unfortunately, I chose the one for right-handed people, so I couldn't hit a single ball =S Not that I would be able to hit one anyway =P Haha. The place we were at also had some pool tables, so there we went! Really nice, but as both me and Emma, my pool partner, are quite new (cough, sucky, cough) at pool, each game took a loooong time to finish. In the end, I was tired of it, so I actually started getting some points. Amazing how impatience can raise your skills! ;) And a very funny thing that happened at the game center is that Emma walked up to a guy we saw at the pool tables who she thought was cute, and she gave him her number! And his reaction was so hilarious! He said "HAPPY!", and he bowed, and he seemed like he was in paradise or something (so did Emma, haha). And the best part is that later, when Emma accompanied me on the way to the station, he called her back! And tomorrow they have a date! Good luck and have a fun time Emma! ^^ This serves to show what a little guts can do. Never be too afraid to at least try! Thank you Emma for this great lesson! ;)
I also met some people who live with Emma, Pernilla, and Rebecca (not the English Rebecca! The Swedish Rebecca! Not the same person!) at their guest house. They all seem to be very nice people, and two of them, Simon and Jimmy, came with us when we celebrated Emma's birthday. They were really nice and funny. The only bad thing about them is that they made me realize just how much my Japanese sucks =( Haha, then again, I don't know how long they have studied Japanese, maybe it is too early to compare our skills, haha ;) Anyway, they were able to talk to the waitresses and waiters, so it is a good thing they came with us! Everything is so much easier with good communication (right Gogo? Didi? ;))
Well, now I am going to bed as it is almost 3 am over here. I will see you all tomorrow with some news about Rebecca's birthday ^^


Ok, I thought I would start by describing my Friday =) This Friday, me, Robin and Rebecca decided to go out after school to study at a café somewhere in Tokyo. But before we went, we ate at a sushi-restaurant in Takadanobaba, which, as you probably already know, is where my school is located. It was a kaitenzushi! And it was delicious! If you wanted something that was not on the kaiten, you just had to shout it out, and they would make it and give it to you. And it only cost 130 yen per plate! This is soooo cheap! I had eight plates, hehe... Very yummy ^^
Ok, so after this we were supposed to go to a café, and the wonderful Robin suggested we would go to a bar in Shinjuku, called DNA, where they had transvestites. I was just like, yeah, sure, why not, as long as you can study. So we went there, but I think it was too early, so they had not dressed up yet, so we only saw, with a lack of better words to describe it, "normal" men, and we all had a coffee with Baileys. I am not drinking it again because A) It contains coffee, which has a strong taste, and B) It contains alcohol, which has a strong taste. So there I was sitting with my "liquid" into which I had all but emptied the sugar bowl, haha. It was still too strong for me =P And let me say, we did not study, because the other guys were not in the mood, so we just sat there and goofed around instead =P
After this, we decided to go to another bar! I do not quite know why, maybe they wanted to go to a livlier place =O Anyway, we went to the bar, which was nice, but filled with gaijins, such as ourselves, so it did not really feel like being in Japan, haha. Since I wanted to see if they had any drinks with alcohol that I could actually drink without my gagging reflexes being activated, i decided to try an almost soft drink. A lot of juice with a little alcohol. It was ok, I could drink it =) But still, I do not think I will ever be able to get used to the aftertaste of alcohol. Yuck. I am probably the last person on earth to become an alcoholic. Except for mom. Haha =P Even though I am going on about how I dislike alcohol, I still had a gin and tonic after the juice. This is becuase Robin was kind enough to buy me a drink, so I promised him I would drink it all if he would pay for it. So I did, and I must say that the taste reminded me of Alvedon =O
Me and Rebecca said that we wanted to go home soon, and as Robin did not want to be alone, he asked Melanie (a French girl from our school, and a nice friend =)) to come, so we all sat there and waited for her and Amélie (another French girl) to come. By the time they arrived, me and Rebecca did not feel like going home, so we went with them to a club called Arty Farty (haha, Farty =P), but before we went there, I forced them to come with me to a Takoyaki-stand so that I could have something to eat. When I left the sushi-restaurant, I was REALLY stuffed, but that was many hours ago, and I also think that he alcohol made me hungry =S So I had some takoyaki, and it was delicious! Yummy ^^
Arty Farty! Here we are! It was a very nice club, much better than Womb I think. Maybe because of the alcohol-induced euphoria, or because it had a nicer atmosphere, or maybe because it was a gay-club? Now do not get the wrong idea here! It is not better because it is a gay-club because I myself am gay! I am straight! The thing is, because it is a gay-club, the guys there are not interested, and thus, they are not annoying and they do not try to come on to you. If they are interested in you, it is just for dancing purposes ^^ So dancing was a lot of fun, because that is what they all wanted to do. Nothing else. Oh, and I learned how to helhel tonight! You know that sound Arabic women do when they celebrate something? Well, I can finally do it now! Haha, I am a real Arab now! ;) It was funny to do it on the dance floor, and the people around looked at me with amused expressions, haha. My friends also thought it was hilarious, haha ^^
So, we stayed at this c,ub until 5 am, becuase of the trains, but I did not really mind. It was not like it had been at Womb, where I was already bored by 3 am, here I had such a fun time that it felt almost like a perfect time to go home =)
As both me and Rebecca had to go to Ikebukuro in order to get home, we went to a McDonald's there and had some breakfast. It was ok, I am not really a McDonald's fan, still think that everything there tastes the same, but I was hungry, and it was open, so a fish-breakfast-sandwich it was. And then I went home. Arrived at about half past six, and slept until eleven (am, not pm! I wasn't that much of a zombie =P)

So it was suddenly Saturday! And we went out today too! This time for some Halloween-costume shopping! Me, Rebecca, Stephanie, Robin, and George (a new friend we met at Arty Farty) met at Laforet in Harajuku, where we looked around, but it felt a bit stressed I think. Maybe because Robin was trying to find a particualr store, so we didn't look around that much. But somehow, I still managed to buy a skirt and a shirt from Algonquins, a really cool store! Ok, I will admit that it is an expensive store, all the stores in Laforet are expensive, but sometimes it is ok to pamper yourself just a bit. And I really need some new clothes, did not really bring that much with me, and everything I brought is for the summer '^o^, I have to buy some warmer clothes! And maybe boots. And a coat. Argh! I will find a cheap store and buy everything there. I might even need warmer pyjamas, because the temperature in the houses here in Japan are usually not that much higher than the outer temperature. So it will probably be very cold in the winter. Just a tip for Basma and David when you come here. BRING WARM CLOTHES! You will be here during the winter, so for the love of god bring good clothes! =O Or if you "forget", you can always buy some new ones here. "Bummer" ;) Haha
Anyway, Robin and George went away to eat, but we, the girls, were not hungry, so we walked around in Harajuku on our own. And we found a very good, cheap store called Body Line. It has clothes in the gothic-lolita style, and it is really cheap! You can find clothes here for only 2000 yen! And that is good for clothes here, belive me =) So I bought some more clothes here, haha. But I still need a pair of pants, I just realized that it is too cold for skirts now. And I need a new pair of shoes that match my new skirts, something we tried to find, but we didn't, so we just had a crépe instead =P And then we walked around some more. And then we decided to try and find a restaurant. By this time, we had decided not to go to the Halloween party in Roppongi because A) It would probably be crowded, B) We hadn't bought any costumes, and C) We didn't feel like it. So we just had a girls night out =) And the restaurant we found, Tokyo Apartment Café, was very nice! It had a nice atmosphere! But the size of the meals was microscopic =P The food was good, don't get me wrong, but you shouldn't come here if you are starving so much that you could eat an entire restaurant. Because here you might actually have to do that. Haha, just kidding, in that case, just be smart and order a dish with rice or pasta. We saw some people who had ordered this, and it looked fulfilling =)
Now, what did we do after this? We went to Shibuya! And what did we do here? Well, we found a café of course! Because our stomachs were still a little empty ;) On our search for a café, we found an internet café which is open 24/7! And you could also watch movies there! They had a big archive with films. But we didn't eat here, because you have to pay for the room, so we went to another café where we had some coffee (or water in my case) and some cake (chocolate! Yuuummmmiieee!). After this, it was "Oh no! Last train leaves soon! Let's go to the station!"
And sayonara!

Then Sunday came, a lazy day which I used to restore my powers. And to study some biology for the BMAT. I guess you all know that it didn't go that well, because I was just too tired. Still, I managed to read three chapters! =D I might add that I was home alone the entire day, because both Seiko-san and Melissa had gone out, so it was nice to be alone and rest and study ^^ On Monday, I will buy some brain food and study! Yeah! And, as it is now Tuesday as I am typing this, I can say that I did (Pringles!), and as it is a national holiday in Japan today (meaning no school) I am going to go back to my lovely books and keep studying!
See you later!
Ja ne ~

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