This weekend I decided to take it easy a little compared to last weekend. I can’t be too tired this next week because I’ve got a speech to do as well as the tiring flight back and some more things to finish after that. Anyways, I ended up going to Nishiura on Saturday, which is fairly close to Okazaki, though near the sea. Nishiura is a small fishing town which is famous for its various hot spring resorts and beaches. From the beach overlooking Mikawa Bay, you can see Cape Irago, the Tokoname Peninsula, and various islands including Takeshima, which I had visited before. Since this is most likely the last time I’ll be able to visit the seaside while I’m in Japan, I decided to walk around the peninsula. It took a couple hours, but it was definitely worth it. I really love the smell of the ocean, which is something that even at the California beaches you can’t really get.
Being the last weekend, I decided to go to Nagoya one last time, this time mainly to find stuff to bring back and possibly to go to a couple places that I didn’t get to go to last time. The main area was the large shopping arcade next to Osu Kannon which I walked past last time but didn’t really check out. This shopping arcade is about a 0.5 by 0.5 km area within Nagoya. Everything is outside and on the streets, but all of the streets are covered, so it seems like you are inside. The closest thing to this in the US might be the northern area of Las Vegas which has the Fremont Casino. The Nagoya shopping arcade is not even the largest. I walked through a couple that were at least twice as large last weekend while I was in Osaka and Kyoto. So I ended up buying some stuff to bring back, but definitely not too much because I might have a luggage space/weight problem.
This next week we’ll be doing Origami and making one final trip into the wilderness of Asuke. Hopefully I’ll be able to have a post about Asuke, which is on Wednesday. However, my plane leaves on Thursday, and I may not have time to do a post on Wednesday night because I’ll need to pack. Thus, expect one probably on Tuesday and most likely Friday while I’m at Seoul Incheon Airport (free wireless internet). Until then.
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!