5. Experiencing the crazy weather (1/9/2019)

Monday

My first proper school week started off with a 9-15 school day, where I attended the language courses and Introduction to Japanese Cinema course. So far so good, the cinema course seems pretty interesting and fun, even though we have to write essays after watching movies but that’s just perfectly fine to me. After getting back to the dormy we had dinner for a long time, because that’s basically the only time we get to hang out with each other on weekdays. Everyone’s schedules are so different so we’re taking the most of the dinner times. After that some of us students hung out in my room.

Tuesday

From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed it poured rain almost non-stop. This is when I noticed that umbrellas from Finland and apparently other European countries as well don’t hold water at all here. I did buy a japanese umbrella here, but it’s a pain to carry around as it’s very big. During a break between classed I had to stop by my apartment to change my shoes, the rain gets through leather boots too apparently… After getting out of the business management class and stepping outside we were shocked to see the streets flooding with water and barely any spaces without it. And of course my other shoes were now soaking wet by the time I got to the apartment.

But besides the flooding, I really am enjoying the Beginning Japanese course so far. Maybe it’s because I know most of the stuff already and it seems like a chill course because of it, but the classmates are great people. We have a lot of fun teaching each other French and Finnish after getting stuff done, even though it is a Japanese class after all.

Wednesday

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49492706

So I attached this news article for those who are interested or who didn’t hear about the whole thing. We were informed in class that there had been a lot of flooding, landslides and people being evacuated from their homes in the island Kyushu, which is where I live. By this time in Nishijin, Fukuoka (where the dormy and the university is located) the flooding had calmed down a lot so we were not in danger or anything. Apparently the most of the damage and evacuations happened in Saga, which is about 35km from here, so not too far away. We were asked to stay indoors most of the day because of this and to be cautious if going outside. After school I pretty much just decided what courses to take and stayed in the dormy with other students.

Thursday

The weather has calmed down a lot by now and today after school I went to have coffee with a Japanese student I met at the orientation. After talking for quite some time we went and wondered around the local mall and bought some stuff. Switching between three languages is not that difficult anymore weirdly enough, of course I cannot speak Japanese that well right now, but speaking English all the time doesn’t take almost any energy. Of course I got used to this while being on exchange in the states, but it comes naturally now. And changing to Finnish when needed comes naturally too, which is pretty cool.

Bento (aka ready made meal sets) that cost only about 3,4 euros a box

Friday

Luckily the bad weather has passed by in our area so we could go and do some sightseeing! For dinner we (me, Chloe and Aurelie) went out to eat at a small local restaurant called Fujiya (ふじや) where students go usually eat during weekends. The food was so good and super cheap compared to the quality (about 5 euros a meal) ! We will definitely go back some other time. As it was getting dark we decided to go see what the Fukuoka Tower is like during night time. The tower is not that far away from the dormy, about a 20-minute walk. The tower is 234 meters tall, but the observation deck is at 123 meters height. The view was so pretty, I will definitely have to go back at daytime and when it’s clear so I can see the mountains in the background.

Saturday

After sleeping in I decided to go out on a walk in the Ōhori park. Most of the people in the park were families, tourists and people jogging. But the park is a nice place to go, not too crouded (at least during this time of the year). The other exchange students joined in a bit later and some of us decided to paddle on those swan boats in the small lake they had in the park.

Later in the evening I joined the International House students to go to a different Izakaya (a restaurant with the “all-you-can-drink” thing). This was very close to my apartment as well. We had a smaller group this time (around 20-30 people maybe), but we had a lot of fun playing card games and some drinking games. This time we toned it down a little bit and tried not to cause so much noise, which was still kind of impossible haha. Some people went to the karaoke later that night, but I went with some of my friends to the beach after getting some drinks from the store. When the 2am curfew for the I-house people rolled up we started to head back to our apartments with them. It was a pretty awesome night!

Sunday

I decided to sleep in again after the long night, next week is probably going to be pretty rough. The weather is pretty bad again because it’s raining pretty much all the time, but today I decided to do some grocery shopping. Having so much homework now is so weird, while in JAMK we barely had any homework at all. Of course this university is way more academic, so it does make sense. Pretty much every student now is doing their homework so I guess might do that too before it gets too late. It has been a very cool week again, I can’t wait for the next one!

– Emma