Saturday, October 31, 2009

School Festival

This weekend Josai International University are hosting a festival.

Festivals are a big thing in Japan, and it seems like it's always a festival going on somewhere. Stalls are put up so that students can sell food and the clubs at school show their talents. There's also a bunch of other entertainment and performances.

What's that? I have to try!

Poor fishy

A bunch of people from my class had a stall selling Norwegian style waffles. Other countries' "cuisine" like Spain, China and Hawaii was also represented.

Norwegian style waffles with jam and Norwegian brown cheese


Satoo-sensee caught in the act of eating a waffle

Why is the guy in the upper right corner laughing? Creepy


I nearly choked on one of these. It's a good thing I didn't, because Cat said "no"
when I asked her later if she knew the heimlich maneuver

People from the hand sign club performing a song

Trip to the place where dreams come true

Wictoria putting on makeup in the moving train at 6.42 in the morning

So yesterday we finally had the time to go to Tokyo Disneyland, which isn't actually located in Tokyo, but in the same prefecture as the one we're living in called in Chiba.

We had actually planned on skipping school on Monday this week, but karma made yet another typhoon hit that day, and it was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately we soon realised we'd get Friday off school, because of the school festival - and we we're able to go without any bad guilt from skipping school. And it was kind of a reward too, since we'd survived both an oral test and a big grammar test this week.

Guilt-free Kine

Kim letting Disney make him feel like a kid again

Common sense had made us pretty mentally perpared for a day filled with enormous amounts of people everywhere, considering that Japan is the freakin' land of kawaii (cutesiness), and Disneyland would be the ultimate place to go to.

Therefore we got up at 5.30 in the morning and arrived at Disneyland around 08 a.m. We were there one hour before the whole shebang started, still there were a few thousand people there, already sitting and waiting for the gates to open.

It truly amazed us when the gates finally opened, they all went running like they were running for their lives. Teenagers, grown-ups and families dragging their toddlers after them. All aiming for the fastpasses, I think.

In front of some of the most popular rides there's these fastpass machines where you put your ticket, then a fastpass ticket for that ride comes out, and it tells you to come back between a certain time (for example 10.55-11.00). Then you're able to go in a much shorter line when you come back at that time.

But if you're slow, and many people have gotten a fastpass ahead of you, your time might be not before very late, like we got a fastpass for another ride, which told us to come back at 9 p.m at night - then we would already be home.

We got to ride space mountain with a fastpass and only had to stand in line for about maybe 15 minutes. All of the rides at Disneyland had estimated time waiting in line at about 45-90 minutes. There's so many people.

Yet, being patient people, we got to ride all of the fun rides in the end, and after a while I kind of got used to all of the people and the long time waiting.

Space Mountain

Haunted Mansion

Caramel popcorn

We also had a lot of fun snacks, like caramel popcorn, smoked turkey legs and lemon-honey churros, yay!

I love seeing happy kids having a good time with their families

I've realised that Japanese people love dressing up in costumes. We saw so many guests in the park all dressed up - not just the little girls dressed up as their favourite princesses, oh, no. Entire families, big groups of friends and couples were dressed up in really expensive-looking costumes, wigs and makeup.

Just a random Japanese family visiting Disneyland

After spending 11 hours in Disneyland we called it a day, but I had a really nice time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The road home

When you buy a pack of gum in Japan, every piece is individually wrapped. In this way you can use the wrapping when you want to throw away your gum and there aren't any trash cans nearby - which there never is in this country.

Cat bought a small container with gum this morning - please notice the small compartment with a stack of square pieces of paper that comes along with it. Pretty neat!

Cat during our morning coffee-session in the cafeteria yesterday

Why, hi there, Emily the Strange

Yui-san and Miku-san

Today I had lunch with my two speaking partners. I've come to terms with the fact that Japanese people are tiny because they are good at eating small amounts of a variety of food. And they sure love their obento-lunchbox.

(This picture is not mine, I got it from

Most of the Japanese people at school bring their carefully packed itsy-bitsy lunchbox which normally contains tiny portions of various foods, often leftovers from the dinner the day before. It's like Japanese tapas! A lot of the students still live at home with their parents, and okaasan (the mommas) seem to be taking pride in carefully making lunchboxes for their loved ones.


Here are some pictures I took on the way home from school a few hours ago

Look! Some kind of citrus fruit

Yet another typhoon hit on Monday, so the paddy fields are pretty soaked

A lot of persimmon trees everywhere

The bridge where Benedicte fell over yesterday.
Too bad I wasn't there. I would have taken a picture

Monday, October 26, 2009

15 years ago on this very day.. October 26th

Warning: Graphic images

15 years ago, on this very day, some poor ol' giraffe was strugglin', giving birth to this creature who seemingly didn't even have the decency to find it's way out head first. As you can see, she was all ready, even wearing her sneakers. This actually made us doubt her nationality for a while, considering Norwegians are supposed to be born wearing their cross-country skis, not sneakers. Oh, well. I guess we both missed that memo.

The outcome wasn't too bad lookin', actually. Must take after our father. After all, nout particulary giraffy about her.

Veronika, 11 years old
(look, I had talent in taking photos even then, go me)

The Langårds

Nope, not the dad either.

I've always said that I got the brains and she got the looks. But who are we kidding. I've got it all and she must be getting her looks after moi.

Maybe not

A few pictures from when she visited me in Oslo last summer

My little sister is 15 years old. I don't even recognize her. She's so tall. And beautiful. And intelligent. It's scary.

And she's good at football (as in soccer). That's like, a sport, involving a ball. That will always continue to amaze me, especially because I'm completely talentless when it comes to sports that involve a ball.

I present to you, "Kine being forced to play volleyball"

It looks like I'm possessed by a demon, because I'm scared, okaaay

So, I might be procrastinatig a little bit. I think it's because I still hold a grudge towards my sister for drowning my beloved "tamagotchi" in the bathtub. Last year.

No, I came home from TaeKwon-Do practice one day, when I was ten, and there it was, lying at the bottom of the tub. Very traumatizing, I'm sure you can imagine. I didn't get much sympathy from our momma either. Because we had a "real pet".

Yah. Like feedin' this grumpy cat was any fun. He must have been fed, though. 'Cause he's still alive and kickin' (usually my face, because he doesn't want to wuddle).

Waa, procrastination aside

Happy birthday, Veronika! <3>

An "us portrait" I took, called "Don't drool on my shoulder"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chiba, take two


Friday afternoon my speaking partner, Miku-san, and I decided to take the train to Chiba to do some serious window shopping.

We went to a LoFT store at a fancy department store. I don't like shopping, but it's fun to walk around at LoFT. They have everything weird and cool and (un)practical and "kawaii" - and everything in between. I really fell for this bun that looked, felt and smelt real. I thought about sending it to my sister, but I was afraid she might not get that it was fake and take a big at it and choke. I don't think my parents would be too appreciative. Also I was stoked to find out that they sell Urban Decay cosmetics in Japan, a brand I had to stock up on when I went to NY in March, and usually have to by online. It's a drag coming from No Man's land.


Okay, a few pictures.

Japan - the land of fake food that looks re-heally real

I bought me som Tabasco

Very tasty looking melon