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Tropical Storm Hermione

Gabrielle2
If it's not fire, it's flooding.

I had always grown up hearing about the legendary Hundred year flood that my ancestors (the first people on my mom's side of the family who owned the land) spoke of about the area my parent's house was built on but I never thought I'd witness it.

Ironically, my failure of an older brother was a hero in all this. He saved our lives. He stayed up watching it and when the water started to rise, he got my parents up. Then I got up and my little brother followed.

We started rushing our stuff up to the second floor and took refuge there. My dad and younger brother shut off the breaker. My older brother and mother risked their lives getting the dogs inside and tossing the cats on the roof. I ran everything I could upstairs. Got most of my stuff. Loss lots though.

We had to get out of the water because it backed up the septic system and got into the cleaning chemicals so it was a nasty cocktail. My older brother had to drag my mom away from the animals (she nearly got herself killed trying to save them all) and they came in when the front door broke open. It washed them both in and smashed her into the wall.

My older brother had to pull her toward the stairs then they joined us upstairs. We waited for several hours in horror wondering if our house would be washed away but it topped out at seven feet and then began slowly receding.

When it receded enough the rescue workers came and got us. We grabbed what we could and brought the dogs. It's been a hell of a night.  We have lost everything.

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Busy Saturday! Condolences to the Poles!

Gabrielle2
So this weekend... busy but fun.

I met Tina down in Uchihara mall to watch a movie that shall not be named and then we had lunch at Rakeru before watching "My Darling is a Foreigner" the very same day! It was such a cute movie too! I had to leave right afterwards to head up to Mito to meet my boyfriend and his Polish co-worker.

The Polish Guy was cool but ten minutes before we head in to karaoke with him and a couple Japanese girls that my boyfriend knows, the Polish guy gets a message on his cell phone from his girlfriend in France saying that his president and key figures in the Polish government are dead. What a way to start the evening...

The karaoke was lots of fun though I was the only sober one since I was driving *sniff*. I actually wouldn't have minded drinking with that group. I'm very picky about who I drink with. I have to feel comfortable around the people and I felt comfortable around them, but everyone had lots of fun so we will do it again.

Sunday evening I had a dance lesson during the day and then in the evening I went to Sam and Dave's to celebrate Tsuna's birthday!

Day 1: Korea

theweed
The phrase "Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire" ring any bells? It doesn't quiet describe my situation for the first day but it feels like it should. In all the countries I've gone to I never experienced so sharp and dramatic of a culture shock before. It was usually a gradual build-up that took months, but not in Korea. There is no time for that.

Ironically, my first surprises were not the differences between Texas and Korea but the differences between Japan and Korea. For example, it was shocking to see people talking on their cell phones on trains. o_O Unheard of in Japan! There were other small things like shopping centers being more like flea markets. Everything is served with pickles especially western food! Store clerks don't scream out "Irashaemase" everytime you pass. In fact, they don't even greet you they just keep chatting with the other store clerks or playing on their cell phones. You open your own beers here. Cleaniliness in the places I have been is not as highly prized. Everything is not carefully packaged in fact it may not be packaged at all if you don't ask. Lots of little surprises.

I started off the day by making my way to my hostel on their super-cheap and sparkling clean metro system. It is pretty idiot-proof like the guidebook said with English everywhere to help out. Amazingly I haven't spotted any Engrish yet. Am I looking in the right places?

After checking in the hostel, I went to Dangdaemon and saw the shopping center/ flea markets. I attacked the pour lady at the Tourist Information Center and sucked her dry of maps, Korean Phrases, and recommended places to go. I then on top of all that had her help me book a half day DMZ tour. Afterwards I ate a spagetti/ raveolli with pickles, of course, on the side meal that was less than $3.

When I got back to the Hostel Owner and her sister were there. I made fast friends with the sister who spoke great English and she showed me around the area which was packed with people my age and some quite handsome. She showed me a Jazz Cafe and then we went to her favorite bar to crack a beer and eat pizza. kukuku. I may meet her tomorrow, we will see!

All in all the day started out a little rough as everything was a little overwhelming but by evening it was all starting to make sensea and I was beginning to get the hand of things.

BBC Comments about Ibaraki's New Airport

execute
Hey that's my prefecture they're talking about there!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8561375.stm

Deja Vu

Krishna and Drasha
So I got sick... yet again. That means I've taken off from work for three different times in the span of four weeks. I was looking at my journal and I noticed the same thing happened last year. I think this lingering Japanese winter has my immune system throwing in the towel. I feel a little embarrassed taking off sick so close together. It reminds me of my childhood when I was recovering from chemotherapy. For the next two years afterwards I would get sick almost every other week with some new exotic disease. Diseases like hand, foot, and mouth disease which generally only appears in cows to some tropical disease that had the doctors scratching their heads like, 'How did your daughter get that?'

Now I have to admit the Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease was the most awesome disease a child could hope to get. Firstly, it causes little pain, but the best part was the doctor's instruction to my mom on how to treat it:

Now hand, foot, and mouth disease is highly contagious so your daughter can't go to school for atleast two weeks...

(Me - starting to smile)

...and it's best for her only to eat cold things like ice cream, yogurt, juice, ect. Make sure she eats lots of those.

(Me - Openly grinning)

Later I asked the doctor, "Can you get this disease twice?  

Whatever I have now though is far less pleasant.  I think I may have gotten a double whammy with two diseases.  I can't seem to eat anything but jello and yogurt without unpleasant side effects which makes recovering from the cold difficult when your energy levels are worn down.  I also have a splitting headache and earlier had a temperature of 39 degress celcius or about a 102 degrees faranheit!  Argh why couldn't it just be hand, foot, and mouth disease!  

I took off work early the other day to go to a clinic where they tossed a bunch of drugs at me and were like, "Here!  Take these"  They did at least ask for my past medical history before giving me the drugs which is better than the other clinic in town.  

I completely blame my boyfriend.  We were eating out and I noticed he had a runny nose, but he dismissed it as hay fever so I tried some of his food and what do you know?  Less than 24 hours later I have a scratchy throat!  Hay Fever my ass!  :P

Anyhow I think I am recovered enough to go to work tomorrow and since they will have heaters running in the BOE I'm not as concerned about getting too cold like I was at my school yesterday where they decided, "It's March.  Doesn't matter that it's still cold!  Let's turn off the heaters!"  

January 15th - 16th Kyushu

execute
I suck big at two things in writing: putting feeling in it and making it interesting. If you`ve ever had the privilege *cough* of reading my writing than you know how dry I can be.

So in order to overcome that weakness I`m going over the top the other way and chocking this entry full of heart-stopping, blood-pounding, action, non-stop- action-thrill-ride-until-you-cry-for-Mama emotions.

Instead of `I went to Kyushu (Southern Japan)` we`re starting this story with...

On the cold morning of January 15th, my alarm screamed at me, waking me to my most-hated, most-wish-you-didn`t-exist, think-people-being-tortured-are-woken-to-you hour 5:30 am. With much insistence from the bf I threw on some clothes and we dragged our asses out in frigid air to our bus stop. Unfortunately, my I-hate-making-things-easy-for-you luck made sure a traffic accident was on the highway so we got to Haneda airport an hour late.

It was my first time there so I did perk up a little especially when I spotted a restaurant with lasagna. It was my first time to have lasagna in like two years since they don`t serve that here in Japan. Atleast that was my first time seeing it. It tasted like something cooked in a microwave but I was happy getting to have something lasagna-like after so long.

The flight was fun but I couldn`t sleep. Oita prefecture at first glance is like most of the others here in Japan until you realize howcredibly forward the people are. They practically sit-down in your lap and ask you where your from and then try to sell you something. I loved it especially after how withdrawn-if-still-very-polite many Japanese are.

We arrived in an overcast Oita ken and took a bus to our hotel which despite its outward appearance was lovely inside. It had tatami rooms. When we arrived I realized with horror that I`d left my suitcase on the bus which my boyfriend was kind enough to retrieve by riding a bus to the train station 30 minutes away where the bus had brought it. Very kind of him.

When he returned we walked around Beppu and discovered a really cheap shop with a lot of lovely handmade knick-knacks that took care of my late Christmas shopping. On the way back we found a very very nice restaurant for a pretty cheap price considering the delicious food it served.

January 16th :
We got up early and Motari got our rental car while I visited Starbucks. We visited this town to the north of Beppu that was famous for one of the tiniest castles in Japan and the areas sandwich-like-structure. Next we went to the mountains that were stunning.

We went to a famous bridge between two mountains and then a buffet place afterwards before finally stopping at onsen where inside a creepy four-year old boy kept staring at me while I was naked in the bath. Other than the boy the bath was great and there were few people in there.

Afterwards we took the scenic route back to Beppu and dropped off the car.

So-so to nice!


 The day started out so-so.  I drove to my parents' house in Georgetown on Thursday and arrived there about 11pm after hanging out with Satomi who taught me some of the Soran Bushi dance.  (The dance of brutal self-torture) :)  I got up at 8:30 am and worked from 9am to 2pm doing chores like cleaning for my mom so that my parents will help me with the rent.

After that I took my little brother to Cloverfield which was interesting.  The camera angles made me feel a little sick and the characters were fairly stupid, but sadly felt kinda real at the same time.  Not a compliment to people in general I guess.

I returned my little brother, chatted with both and started for home, but mid-way through Austin Yukako calls me and it turns out she's on MLK and I'm just passing 8th street so we meet up and eat Vietnamese.  Then we get bubble tea before going to the Dobie Theatre where I stop dead in my tracks at the movie listing, because there shining like a beacon is "El Orfanato".  I'm like holy mother of movie gods! 

Yukako's game, so we go and see it and it's good.  I really liked it.  The ending is very happy in a very, very sad way.  Afterwards, I drop Yukako and at home find at 2am that the JET has sent me an email saying that interview times will be between FEb 24th-27th and they will send me another email letting me pick my interview time.  I already know I want it on Sunday if I can.  Holy crap! 

Going to have to visit the stylist and everything to get that extra gleam going!.  Not a bad finish to what began as a not so great day!  :)

I GOT AN INTERVIEW!!!

theweed
I got home to find the JET list up.  I had to unfortunately download the annoying adobe to look at it, but despite various technical difficulties, I got the list up and was shocked to see my number there (right near the top not that matters).  I am sooo happpy!!!  

I had to look back and forth and even shrink both windows so I could look at my number id and the list at the same time just to be sure it was true, but it was.  My number is there right by the top, second column.  Woot!!!  

*glowing*

Megan.  :D 

22nd-26th of Winter Trip

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19th-20th Philadelphia Arrival!

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