Registering for the GRE

July 31, 2009 § 1 Comment

I think Prometric (the company ETS outsources GRE registration to) purposely makes it unnecessarily hard to register for the GRE in one fell swoop.  I have literally been trying to register for the last few hours with no avail.  Enough with your games ETS!  Sorry this comes off more as a rant than an actual blog post.  Hehehe

In other news..it’s so difficult transitioning back to American life.  Not only has the time difference been killer (waking up and sleeping at very odd hours) but it’s weird having responsibilities and a million things to do but not enough time.  There’s also the added pressure of being newly graduated and the expectation that I will one day achieve something great.  I don’t want to go about doing things the normal way and get a normal job with a so-so salary, but sometimes it feels like that would be so much easier.

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Facebook is pretty amazing

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

I know, I know.  There are so many glitches, the whole privacy scandal, it wasn’t the first website of its kind, etc.  But you have to admit, it is still pretty amazing.  It allows you to stay connected with people all over the world just as long as they have an e-mail account.  It’s a lot more convenient than e-mailing them one by one or sending pictures through e-mail files.

This post is prompted by the following event:

I just updated my status and said how I wanted to go back (presumably to Asia) and within two minutes, three people from all different parts of the world responded.  Two of them are new friends I met on this trip.  People from America, Hong Kong, and Japan are all connected in this very simple but much needed way.  Although I’ve been slow to jump on the facebook bandwagon, I feel like it is now something I can endorse. =)

Culture Shock

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Today I was very displeased to discover that I can’t text on my cell phone anymore!  It takes so long because I’ve gotten used to the layout of the buttons on foreign cell phones.  I’m sure a week or so of texting will bring back the muscle memory but still!

-_-

I’m back

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

I always feel like death after a long flight.  However, hunger precedes tiredness and look what I ate upon arrival:

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Haha.  I guess KFC just says home to me.  I had no desire whatsoever to eat it while I was abroad but when faced with my limited choices, it seemed like the most fitting first meal.

The trip was amazing.  And I feel like I will trivialize it if I try to sum it up in words.  I know that the things I saw and learned will be with me and influence me for the rest of my life.  All the relationships I’ve developed and the wonderful people I’ve met will continue to be a presence in my life.  It’s crazy to think that I left two months ago with only a faint connection or network within each of these countries but I leave Asia knowing that I have a place to stay, good friends, and many things I still want to do upon return in each country.

Even though traveling alone wasn’t always the easiest, I’m glad I did it because it opened up so many more opportunities for me.  I am so thankful for everyone that I met and all the love and kindness that was displayed during the last two months from all parts of the globe.

People asked me during the last few days of my trip if I was excited to be returning home but honestly, I was more sad about leaving.  I don’t know when or if I will meet again some of the people I’ve come to know and cherish and I really hope that they don’t forget me.

That said, I’ve decided to continue this blog as a means to keep my friends abroad connected with my activities in the US.  I will not be updating it with my daily activities like I did while I traveled abroad but with random thoughts or cool sightings I come across in my daily life.  Feel free to continue viewing but if you only read this for the travel content, I will not be offended if you stop reading.  Thank you for coming on this journey with me and giving me a reason to continue updating.

Love,

Joanna

Last day in Tokyo: Ueno Park, Asakusa, Tsukiji, Roppongi

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Sadness.

But also filled with beauty.

Matcha frappachino..yummy

Matcha frappuccino..yummy

Ueno Park

Ueno Park

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Water lilies

Water lilies

The little turtle that could

The little turtle that could

Asakusa

Asakusa

Fatty toro at Tsukiji

Fatty toro at Tsukiji

Peach flavored sake

Peach flavored sake

Couchsurfing

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

I couchsurfed!  After exchanging several messages with a young married couple I came into contact with while I was in Taiwan, I decided to spend my last two nights at their place instead of a hostel.  I was very careful and had a backup plan in case I felt like it was not a good idea.  However, I have to say.  Brian and Eunice were the perfect hosts.  My first couchsurfing experience could not have gone better.

Eunice is a Chinese-Malaysian who grew up in Taiwan and Brian is half Panamanian (I don’t know the other half) from Delaware.  They were so cute and nice and did everything to make me comfortable.  I got my own room, a nice futon, and Brian even let me use his laptop while I was there.  They gave me a key, maps, and a bike too!  I really did not expect them to be so generous.  I knew that they would be nice (from their profile and our e-mail exchanges) but I did not know they would go to that degree to welcome me.

I now know how they felt when they said that the reason they wanted to host was because they had such a great experience surfing themselves.  Even though I was hesitant at first, I’m so glad and thankful that I met people like Brian and Eunice.  Although I don’t know if I’ll do much couch surfing in the future, I now am open to hosting a nice person and helping them fall in love with the Berkeley I’ve come to love and adore.

Harajuku and Yoyogi Park

July 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

  • I think Japanese high heels are really cute
  • The scary looking dressed up kids in front of Yoyogi Park are not always willing to take pictures
  • The dressed up swing dancers in Yoyogi Park won’t dance with you
  • Tokyo has A LOT of foreigners

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My ice cream filled crepe

My ice cream filled crepe

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Traditional Japanese wedding at Meijijingu

Traditional Japanese wedding at Meijijingu

Where Am I?

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