Thursday, September 29, 2011

Game Music - Ico #Cover#

Hi everyone! I just saw a video my dad shared on facebook, and was very happily surprised by what it was.
Now, my dad is not the person to normally post game music related videos just like that, so naturally the video sparked my interest. The fact that Ico is one of my favourite games ever only added to my curiosity. Upon hearing the singing and reading the video description, I suddenly realised:

"That's my little sister singing!"

I was totally taken aback. I knew that my sister was pretty good at singing, but I had no idea she was this good. And she's only twelve! To my knowledge, she hasn't gone to any musical school, apart from piano class, and I don't think they taught much about singing there. This basically means that she has this talent naturally. Now, if she did receive training and education, imagine how even more awesome she would be... I already knew she was great at drawing, but her singing talent really surprised me. Though, to be completely honest, it might just be the fact that she played and completed Ico that has me all worked up like this. Anyway, here it is:

"You were there"
Now I feel a little homesick... Oh well.
Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Internet Fixed...? - A General Update

Hi everyone!

Today, some people from the local internet service provider came by and fixed our internet connection. Everything seems to be working fine, for now at least. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will last.

Anyway, since last time, orientation here at the university has finished, and lectures have begun. Today, I went to the first class, which was about how the Japanese language, like all languages, is gradually changing. What used to be "correct" grammar some 50 years ago is quite different today, and in the future, things will probably change even more. Being the language geek that I am, I find these kinds of subjects very interesting. I'm definitely going to stick with this course if I can. Oh yeah, I should probably explain this properly.

Now, the way the system works regarding classes is basically as follows: The first week we go to as many classes as we can, to see what they are about, and if they are of interest to us. Then, after applying to them and getting our preliminary schedule, we can choose to cancel ones that we don't want to take any more, excluding the ones that are compulsory.

That said, we're limited to what time periods the classes are held on, and it just so happens that I have no classes to go to tomorrow. Feels a bit weird, but I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

In other news, my girlfriend came to visit me this weekend. It was great seeing her again, and we had a great time checking out some tourist spots in Kyoto, from the tranquil riverside "Philosopher's Road" to the old Gion district, full of old buildings and a truly classical Japanese atmosphere... and chock full of tourists. But whatever, it was still fun. And of course, strolling around town means more purikura.
It just so happened to be our 1 year and 2 months anniversary. Smile and say cheese!
 Well, that's all for now, I think. I hope the internet connection will be okay from now on, so I can update a little more frequently in the future. Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yay, I can connect again!

Hi everyone! Today, the internet actually seems to be working! Huzzah! Anyway, just a quick update on what I've been up to the last few days.

Yesterday, I got on my bike and took a little tour of Kyoto. It is a pretty nice city to bike in, and most bicyclists seem to be operating on the basis that the traffic rules are just a loose set of guidelines... that only drivers have to pay attention to. Well, some people at least. Anyway, biking in Kyoto is nice.

I had some trouble sleeping last night. Remember that lovely little fridge I have in my room? That fridge can get really loud, and last night it was just ridiculous. I got fed up and unplugged it for the night. I just wondered, is this safe to do? I mean, obviously the food in the fridge will spoil if you don't keep it refrigerated, but will it go bad if you just leave the fridge unplugged over the night? Does the fridge retain some cold? I'm no fridge expert, so if anyone knows, please tell me. Oh well, I suppose I could always get some earplugs or something if I can't sleep.

Well, that's all for today. Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

In the Dorm

Hi everyone! I have some good news, and some (slightly) bad ones.

The good news is that I have arrived in Kyoto and made it to my dorm safely. I am currently in my room, chilling out after a long day. It is really nice here, and I'm hoping that I can make many good friends.
My room upon arrival. Note the smexy refrigerator ;)

My room name tag. Cute, isn't it?

The bad news is that the internet connection here is kinda dodgy, so I might not be able to upload as many pictures as I would like. I'm going to try my best to keep the blog alive and well, but there may be times when there won't be much activity around here. I hope you understand.

Other than that, it's all good. Until next time, have a good day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Warm Welcome

Hi everyone!
It's been another hot couple of days here in Nagoya, I swear the sun is actively trying to burn people to death. Luckily, there's lots of shade to hide in, both indoors and outdoors. I don't mind the weather so much, since I've really been wanting to come here for quite a long time. Anyway, let me show you a few photos, all taken by me and my less than professional camera. (I'm not one of those people who carry a 9-pound beast of a camera with me on vacations. As long as you can make out what a picture is, that's good enough for me.) So, let's kick it off!
"Welcome to Japan"
Okay, I lied. This picture was not taken by me. Well, at least I'm in it... It was taken in one of the ever-present "Purikura" (Print Club in plain old English) photo booths that can be found in game arcades and shopping malls all over the country. Basically, it's like an ID photo booth on crack, with lots of options for making the most sugary-sweet, disgustingly cute souvenir photos you could ever imagine. The picture above is nothing compared to many other ones. Moving on...

The entrance to the Tokugawa Museum
Yesterday, my girlfriend and her mother brought me to the Tokugawa Museum, a museum mainly dedicated to the Tokugawa family, related to the old historical person. (Okay, I'll be honest, I don't know that much about him. Look him up if you're interested.) It was quite an interesting experience, although the weather was, as always, hot.
Nice view, don't you think?
 Unfortunately, photography inside the museum was forbidden, so no pictures of samurai armour and ancient tea service sets for you. Now, now, don't cry! After the museum, we went to have lunch at a tempura restaurant. I had a bowl of delicious fried prawns and squid, laid out on a bed of rice, with a green pepper on the side, and... Oh, just see for yourself, why don't you?

In your face, KFC.
Well, it's been awesome so far, and I haven't even gotten to Kyoto yet! I'm really looking forward to it, but I have to admit, I am a little nervous.

Well, until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finally, Japan!

Hi everyone! It's been a while. Now I have arrived safe and sound in the Land of the Rising Sun. The trip was no picnic, one of my flights got delayed, causing me to miss my connecting flight, resulting in me having to wait approximately 7 hours in Hong Kong. Oh well, the airline was kind enough to give me a free stay at the airport hotel, so I'm not complaining.
All this just for me? Okay, I forgive you, Cathay Pacific. Almost...

The first week here, I'm staying with my girlfriend and her family in Nagoya. After that, it's off to Kyoto to enter the university life. Looking forward to it! I haven't taken many pictures yet, but hopefully I'll remember to bring my camera with me from here on.

That's all for now. Until next time, have a good day! お元気でね!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Final Countdown - 1

Hi everyone! *deep breath*



Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I have to say, it feels weird. I'm going to be in Japan, half-way around the world from my home, for a whole year. Now that probably qualifies for a pretty big thing. It's going to feel really weird, but I think I'll get used to it. This is what I wanted, after all.

So, today I'm going to finish the packing, and then just pass the time until tomorrow morning. I won't be able to post anything tomorrow, as I'll be travelling pretty much all day, but on Friday I might be able to give a quick update if I'm not too tired.

I hope you'll all have a good day. Until next time! 1

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Final Countdown - 2

Hi everyone! Only 2 days left now!
Guess it's time to start packing today. Oh man... Well, have to do it sooner or later! Especially since I'm leaving the day after tomorrow.
Well, I hope the weather is going to be better than that, obviously. And the in-flight movie! Zing!
Anyway, that's all from me for now. Gotta get packing! Until next time, everyone! Have a good day! 2

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Final Countdown - 3

Hi everyone! We're down to three days! The magic number, and all that.

I've pretty much entered a permanent state of excitement and mild anxiety, which I suspect won't let up until I am sitting on the plane and am on my way. I'm usually like that. The waiting is the worst part.

But it's not like I have nothing to do until Thursday. Today, I'm going to to the laundry. Once that's done, it's time to start seeing over the packing of my luggage. And even when I'm done with all of that, I'll still have ways to keep myself busy, I suppose. Just gotta hang in there! In the meantime, here's the opening movie from Queen's Blade: Spiral Chaos for the PSP. I like that game, and not only for the obvious reasons. (No really, it's a pretty good game, honest.)

Well, that's all I had to say for now. Until next time, have a good day! 3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Final Countdown - 4

Hi everyone! Only 4 days left now. Excitement!!!

I really don't have much to say today. I'm just going to take it easy and pass the time. Tomorrow I'll start preparing stuff, honest! Anyway, I'll just leave this here. Hope you enjoy!
Nothing like some Guilty Gear music. Speaking of which, the developers of Guilty Gear are teaming up with the developers of Persona to make a 2d fighting game based on Persona 4. Now that's something to spend money on in the arcades over in Japan!
Well, until next time everyone! Have a good day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Final Countdown - 5

Hi everyone! We're down to the fingers on one hand's worth of days left now! High five!

Today, I received a mail confirming that I will get the scholarship I applied for. Free money, here I come!
It sure feels good knowing that I won't have to take any massive loans to cover my expenses the coming year.

I just keep getting more excited as the days go by. This song kinda captures the feeling of excitement I feel.
Sort of. Well, it's awesome, anyway.
Now I just gotta start packing, huh...
Until next time, everyone! Have a good day! 5

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Final Countdown - 6

Hi everyone! Only 6 days now!
Today I went over to a friend's place to hang out with two close friends one last time before I leave the country. We cooked some delicious curry together, and watched a movie, played some video games, and talked about lots of different things.

On my way home through the town, I felt a lot of mixed feelings. I am excited about my coming journey, but at the same time, I can't help but feel a sense of sadness, knowing that I won't see many of my friends or my family for a long time. I've also started taking note of doing things "for the last time" before I leave. Just this morning I had breakfast at my usual café for the last time for at least a year. Wow.

I think I'll miss my home, my friends, my family... heck, I'll even miss the sound of the annoying drunk students bicycling past my window at 2 am, singing Gorillaz songs at the top of their off-key voices.

But, I digress. As much as I'll miss my home town, I know I'm going to have a great year with a lot of exciting and interesting experiences. Well, that's all I wanted to say today.
(Video related, it's what I was listening to on my way home tonight)

The day of departure approaches steadily.
Until next time, have a good day! 6

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Final Countdown - 7

Hi everyone! Only seven days left until I leave for Japan now! Excitement!

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day. I had an appointment with the dentist, and arrived there a little early, like I usually do. There were a lot of people in the waiting room, all seemingly part of the same family, and the mother was chewing the kids, who were about 16 or 17 years old, out for having poor dental hygiene. My appointment with the dentist got delayed about 15 minutes because of this family. I didn't mind it much, I just spent the time studying a little and playing some games on my phone. Then I had my teeth examined, was told that they looked excellent, and as I prepared to leave, my dentist said: "I'm sorry you had to wait so long. To make up for it, this examination is free of charge."

I basically got a free dental exam because I had to wait an extra 15 minutes. I am extremely OK with this. As I walked out from the reception, this music rang in my ears.

I just can't believe my luck recently. It's almost scary... Anyway, that's all for now.
Until next time, have a good day!    7