Titling my blog post as “Friendship & Meat” may seem a little bizarre, however I promise that it actually makes a lot of sense. Today was a really good day and it consisted of primarily these two things. They were sometimes separate and sometimes together, but both were important to how the day progressed and became enjoyable. It was of course helpful that it was sunny and I could finally do laundry and have it dry outside! (YES!!)
I had made plans for today from yesterday actually but I had two unexpected surprises occur in the morning. First of all, I could video chat with my mom, my stepfather, and my dogs. I explained about the train and money to them…but my stepfather was mostly interested in the sink on top of the toilet. After that, I was immediately called by one of my Japanese friends that is still in Canada studying in the Intensive Language Program of my university! We were able to talk for an hour about things that are going on in Halifax as well as how I am adapting to my Japanese life. Unfortunately, I also got scolded about not using Japanese, but that will come with time I’m sure!! Hopefully we can talk again soon because it was really fun~
Then I was late to meeting some people from my dorm and the dorm in Asakadai to go to 新大久保 (Shin-Okubo), which is the Koreatown in Tokyo. I’ve wanted to go since I came to Japan but didn’t want to go by myself! I mentioned it to some people during the orientation week and they remembered and invited me to come along when they went! It was exactly what I imagined. There were so many k-pop stores and even Korean grocery stores had k-pop playing. It was a little confusing because you could hear just as much Korean being spoken as Japanese! It was basically my paradise. There was so much Super Junior merchandise that it was hard not to buy anything. I’ve promised myself that I will go back and buy something after school starts because it is so close to Ikebukuro on the train! Not only that…but I simply couldn’t choose what I wanted to buy because I had three boys with me that don’t care about k-pop at all…so I spared them the hassle of waiting around for me while I decided what I wanted.
We also went to Korean grocery stores while we were there, one boy from Hawaii named Michael wanted to buy some kimchi (which he didn’t end up buying). Kimchi is Korean style fermented vegetables…most commonly used is cabbage I think. For those at home, it’s kind of like sauerkraut but not disgusting (sorry ancestors, I hate your food). It can be pretty sour but also spicy at the same time but I think that it is delicious. I’ve only had the cabbage kind but I am sure that other kinds are good as well. We could sample lots of kimchi and Korean soups while were were at the grocery stores so it was really delicious! I even bought incredibly spicy instant noodles to cook for myself later. They are the type of spicy that probably shouldn’t be known to man but I really like them anyway. Maybe it’ll be tomorrows lunch!
We finished off in Shin-Okubo by going to a Korean restaurant and grilling meat! I love Korean style eating because communal eating is awesome and fun. In our case, the meat was grilled at our table and everyone had their own little plate that they fill with side dishes and other stuff shared with everyone at the table. It’s really comfortable and I want to go again for sure! We shared two sets of grilled meat, first bacon-like stuff and then ribs. It was all with kimchi, rice, and steamed eggs that I didn’t like. I did have a group picture but it’s really bad so I am going to make it disappear and show no one ever. Once we finished eating, we left and returned to Ikebukuro where I separated from the group to wait for my friend Sosuke because we planned to go out to eat supper together!
I got to Ikebukuro at around 4pm and our meeting time was at 6pm so I wasted a lot of time walking to the university, walking back, buying a backpack, and then walking through the innumerable stores in Ikebukuro Station; seriously, the place is a station and a mall simultaneously. It’s pretty convenient but also really bad when you are a silly girl like me and can’t find the bathroom. I kid you not, I looked for a good 40 minutes. I’m just not smart I guess. When Sosuke arrived we went out to look for a place to eat. I was given the choice to what we would eat but I didn’t care so I let him decide. After walking around and ignoring really full restaurants, we settled on a place that I don’t know the name of. I also can’t really explain to you the name of what we ate…but it was grilled meat again and it was really good. I got a beef plate that had two pieces of beef on it with corn and bean sprouts. The black part of the plate is actually what the meat was cooked on so when it got to the table I had to flip the meat to finish cooking it which was really cool! I’ve never had such tender meat in my life. The meal also came with rice and salad. We got a coupon at the entrance so we got free drinks as well! We could spend three hours eating and talking.
It was a good way to catch up on the last 11 months since our times in Halifax! My stomach is happy and so is my mind. I could have a really good day filled with friendship and grilled meat ^-^