June 2012 - Vikingess Voyages

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking for a part-time job in Kyoto?

3:20:00 PM
Café Frosch, the place where I have been working part-time this semester, is currently looking for new English-speakers who can help out with weekly Eigo-nights. For those who are planning to stay for a semester or longer in Kyoto and are looking for a part-time job, don't hesitate to contact Kayo-san:)
For more info, check out the part below, or their website.

"Eigo Night" hosts needed

Café Frosch is now looking for a host for its weekly English learners' corner. 

”Eigo Night” is held every Wednesday from 19:00 till 21:00 in a relaxing atmosphere in a Machiya townhouse cafe in Nishijin, Kyoto. We're looking for a friendly and reliable individual with English as his/her mother tongue to host it from mid-July. English teaching experience (esp to Japanese people) is welcomed. 
This position is for those who intend to and can stay in Japan in the next 6 months or longer.

Join our fun loving international team and enjoy our international/cultural events with us! 

Please contact Kayo for details.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Survived the Japanese Hospital!

3:41:00 PM
So, hopefully this will be my last blogpost about hospitals in a looong time..

I broke the collar bone in my right shoulder while surfing in Bali this spring break, and since the part of the bone that broke was close to the joint the doctor told me that a surgery was necessary in order to stabilize the shoulder. To make a long story short, I ended up with a metal plate screwed to my shoulder, which has been bothering me for almost four months now. As I previously wrote, I had the chance to get another surgery here in Japan in order to get the plate removed, and last weekend I checked into the clinic where I've been going to rehabilitation since I came back to Japan.

I have to say that beside the long hours of waiting everything went really well (to be honest, the long hours were mostly spent studying so it didn't really vary that much from my normal days..).
I also had a dvd of the drama called "1 litre of tears" (1リトルの涙) with me, which I bought last year in Taiwan. Yeah, I've been busy..
I have to say that although it was a great drama I'm not sure if I would recommend it for those of you who needs entertainment while in hospital.. x)

Last but not least, I had some great friends who came visiting me, which of course made the stay a lot better.

I guess the whole point with this blogpost just was to let everybody know that the surgery went fine, and that I'm ready for some hardcore rehabilitation from now on. I miss doing sports x)...
And for those who wonders; Japanese hospitals are great x) especially the food. さすが

..My landlord even came by with a grapefruit! 
Lastly, some pictures from my weekend in hospital:
Some of my friends brought me cookies and other snack^^
And this is.. My one and only souvenir from Bali ><
Japanese hospital food.. Yummy:)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm getting hospitalized tomorrow!

3:35:00 PM
Some of my readers out there might already know the story about how I broke my shoulder when I was surfing in Bali during spring break. Since the collar bone broke close to the joint I had to go through surgery, and now I have a pretty big metal plate in my shoulder..

I have been going to rehabilitation twice a week ever since, but I still cannot lift my arm more than 70 degrees, even though it has been almost four months. The latest x-rays showed that the bone in my shoulder finally has healed, and the doctor recommended me having a new surgery as soon as possible in order to get rid of the metal plate.

Apparently they don't use this method in Japan anymore, and my physiotherapist didn't really understand why I wasn't able to lift my arm. However, my doctor suggested that the size and form of the plate is hindering my range of movement, and that I probably won't be able to lift my arm again if I don't have another surgery. Even though the bone in the shoulder has healed, it seems that the pain gets stronger every day I wake up in the morning, so I'm actually really looking forward to getting this over with!

I'm going to stay in hospital at least for four days, and I fear that it'll be rather boring..The thing is, when it comes to a Japanese hospital (or perhaps its just mine?), they do have quite a lot of strict rules one has to be aware of. Some of the rules are;
(Please abstain from using your mobile phone, including messaging, while in hospital)
(No external phone calls will be received unless in the case of emergency)
(Director's permission is needed in order to leave the building or stay overnight somewhere else)

To be honest, it almost feels like I'm heading to prison, not a hospital! Haha..

But at least the clinic has a good reputation, and I'll be happy as long as I can leave with my shoulder in one piece next week.. ;P
This will be my new home for the next four days..

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Typhoon Warning at Ritsumeikan

3:16:00 PM
Just got informed that there is a strong typhoon heading for Kyoto right now.. Pretty scary stuff, I guess it's best to hurry home now:p..

Update: It turned out not to be such a big typhoon after all. Judging by the warnings at school I would at least have expected a little bit more wind, but it was almost like a normal autumn day in my hometown Bergen (which is infamous for bad weather).

The wind was however strong enough to destroy my umbrella on the way home.. ><
My umbrella got destroyed by the Typhoon ><

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekend Update: Fiesta con Tacos and Kyoto Field Trip!

7:44:00 PM
Here comes another short update from Kyoto! This weekend has been a rather busy one here, with a couple of events and stuff, so I decided just to make a tiny weekend-post for this time. 

First of all, my Spanish-teacher had invited my class to participate in a small birthday-celebration for a student from one of his other classes. It seemed like fun, and of course tacos isn't something I have the chance to eat that often here in Japan, so I didn't really have to think twice before deciding to go. I met up with one of my classmates Saturday morning (frankly, there is only three of us in my class this semester), and we went to participate in the event. Unfortunately we was a bit late, so most of the "hard" work was already done.. The only thing that actually remained was to eat the food and hang out! Here are some of my pictures from the event:
Taco fiesta at Ritsumeikan.. ^^
All hand-made! 
...And a birthday cake
The obligatory group picture ;p
..AAAnd a student who for some reason wanted to test out how it would feel to get the rest of the cake smashed in his face.. 
Well well, it was an interesting event. Haha. Practicing Spanish and eating tacos is not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning^^. And a great break from my studies, as I've been spending most of my spare-time working on my thesis lately.. *Sigh*.. I only have a month left in Kyoto, so I better get most of it done while I'm still here.

School-Trip with a Japanese Middle School
Anyway, on Sunday it was time for more fun, as I had signed up to participate in a field trip with a middle school class from Tokyo! I was actually quite happy to come along for this one, as I didn't have the chance to go last year since I hadn't acquired the working permit when we got the mail. My friends told me they had had so much fun, so I was really looking forward to it.
We met up at their hotel in the morning, and all got assigned to different groups of about 6 students each. The kids were really sweet, and after a round of self-introductions we went off to check out some of Kyoto's famous tourist destinations (which, to be honest, mostly were places I've visited many times before already, but oh well^^).
Our driver was a funny guy who despite lack of English education had picked up sentences such as "this is a pen". So to be honest he was the one who did most of the entertaining on the trip.. But it was a great day where we got to experience a lot of the typical tourist destinations in Kyoto. At least I hope me and the other foreigner in my group, Noam, managed to motivate the kids to study English hard, also when they go back to Tokyo.
So, little bit of a hasty post today, but hey, here comes some nice pictures at least^^!

Tenryuuji (天龍寺)
Tenryuuji (天龍寺)
The bamboo-forest in Arashiyama
The bamboo-forest in Arashiyama

A devil statue in Ninna-ji (仁和寺)
The five-towered pagoda in Ninna-ji (仁和寺) 

A Buddha-statue in Ninna-ji (仁和寺)
Group picture in front of the Golden Pavilion
Some of the boys and our mini-bus!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting around in Kyoto: Bus Pass

3:40:00 PM
Did you know that Kyoto City has a one-day bus pass you can buy instead of paying for every ride?

A one-day pass for the Kyoto City Bus

This is quite practical for tourists, as 240 yen for a ride really isn't that cheap. With the bus pass you pay 500 yen, and you can ride as many times as you want during that day within the city (note that some outskirts areas such as Arashiyama is not included in the ticket).

In Kyoto you pay for the bus ride when you get off the bus, and if you want a one-day pass you can simply say "ichinichi jyoshaken kudasai" (一日乗車券下さい) to the bus driver.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Couchsurfing: When the Guest won't leave PART II

1:31:00 PM
Those of you who've read my previous post know how I tried out hosting a girl through Couchsurfing.org for the first time this weekend, and how it ended up with my guest forcing herself to stay longer than originally planned despite me already having other plans.

As I suspected, about thirty minutes after I finished the previous blogpost she called me, and said she had found a place to stay for the night in Kyoto. I was relieved, and thought I finally would get rid of her, but again she had other things in mind.
I met up with her another half an hour later, and it turned out that the place she had found not was for this evening, but instead for the following night (although I'm suspecting that she in reality is off to Osaka instead). She told me a straight lie about how she had searched CS for other hosts, without any luck. I asked her when she had done this, and she replied "sometimes in the middle of the day". Just too bad for her that I already had checked her CS-account, and it stated she hadn't been online for 23 hours.

So, as the clock was close to 11 pm I had no choice but letting her stay with me one last night. I guess that had been her plan all along.. >.<

And so ends my first (and probably last) experience with CS! What a waste of time and energy. >.<

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Couchsurfing: When the Guest won't leave..

9:24:00 PM
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try being a host at couchsurfing.org, the page for travelers who wants to make their journey cheaper by spending the night in another couch-surfer's apartment rather than in an expensive hotel. I figured it would be an interesting and fun thing to try out, and as I'm a low-budget  traveler myself I felt it was a good thing to offer lodging to a fellow traveller or two. 
My first couch request was from a German girl, who stated that she wanted to stay in Kyoto until Saturday morning. As she planned to arrive on Friday I thought it would be much of a problem letting her sleep in my room for just a day. But it seems everything wouldn't go quite as planned..

Despite a minor problem with the buses, which resulted in me having to wait for an hour in the rain at our designated meeting spot, everything went alright on Friday. The girl was friendly, and really patient with me and my so-so German. However, from the next day the problems started. 

Although she had stated on Couchsurfing that her stay in Kyoto was only until Saturday, she somehow assumed that it was fine for her to extent her stay, without even consulting me about it. I told her that I already had plans for the evening, as a friend of mine was having a karaoke-birthday party downtown. My couch-surfing guest wanted to come along, but quite understandably my friend said that she didn't really want strangers at her party.
So I told my guest that I would let the door to my room stay open, but that if my guest wanted to stay out later than 8 or 9 I couldn't guarantee that the front door would be open, as I live in a dorm and the door gets closed at random times depending on the day. We discussed this for a long time, and it ended with her forcing me to lend her my dorm-key, which she then would leave behind the house for me to pick up when I got home.

I felt really uncomfortable by this, not only because of the thought of the key being left outside the house, but also because I was letting a stranger access to a dorm which has a lot of strict rules, and that she didn't even considering what the other residents or the landlord would think of a stranger wandering around by herself in their house. It almost feels like she saw my dorm as some sort of hotel.

Eventually the plan did go more or less all right though, I got home early in the morning and both her and the key was there. When I woke up in the morning, however, she had already gone out leaving me with a note and all of her luggage. She wrote that she only was going out to take a look at the Golden Pavilion, which is about a quarter walk away from where I live, and that when she came back we could try and find her another place to stay for the evening. So I waited for her all day, and after I had had dinner at 7:30 pm I decided that I couldn't wait anymore, and went to school to continue working on my thesis.

Now the clock has passed 9 pm, and she still hasn't contacted me at all. I suppose she'll turn up really late at my dorm, thus forcing herself to stay one more night as there aren't any other options for her to go. I don't really know what to do, but frankly I just want to throw her luggage out on the street and make her find a hotel to stay at or something. Too bad I don't think I have the guts to do that ><.. I guess I might be too 甘い.

It is kind of sad though, because I don't think I'll ever want to host anybody again after this experience. At least not in the near future. I feel that this guest really is misusing my trust, and my patience is running low right now.. Sigh..

Continue to read part II of this story

What about you, have you ever tried couchsurfing/hosting? What do you think of it?
Luggage left in my room by a couch-surfer.. ><

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'm off to Korea!!

5:16:00 PM
So.. It seems that I'm going to have a one-year break from Japan, because I got accepted into Kyung Hee University's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies through Ritsumeikan University's Double Master Degree Program! (Not to mention that I'm apparently the first Ritsumeikan-student ever going to the Korean school through this program^^)
Here I'm going to follow their program in International Political Science (Peace and Global Governance Studies), and thus when I graduate from Ritsumeikan next year I'll have two master degrees (if everything goes as planned).

Yay, me so happy :3

Stay in tuned for my year in Korea! xD
Kyung Hee University in Korea

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hey you with the Kanji Tattoo!

5:27:00 PM
Isn't it funny how we sometimes try to express ourself creatively through foreign languages, such as words our clothing or sometimes even with a tattoo? Some people even use things written in languages they don't know, and where I suppose they have no clue what the writings actually means. Here in Japan there are a lot of people who wears T-shirts or sweaters with text written in English. Which of course is a personal choice, but the problem is that some of the things written does not make any sense: it is often directly mistaken in terms of grammar or spellings. Or even both.

There are T-shirts made with writing in more perifere languages as well, and in a couple of rare incidents you can even find T-shirts in Norwegian (as a girl from such a small country I can't help but pointing this out..)!
My friend and sempai Åse told me about her studies in Japan, and how she had seen a guy at campus with a T-shirt that read: "Jøtul, alle husmødres ønskedrøm". In addition to the text, it had a picture of an old baking oven. 
The funny thing is, Jøtul is the name of a company that sell baking ovens, and "alle husmødres ønskedrøm" means something like "the dream of every housewife" (Literarily "All housemother's wishdream"). Somehow I don't think the guy considered this when he bought the T-shirt..

It is a point though, that by wearing the T-shirt he made the day for both my friend, and also for us others who got to hear the story. There is something nice about seeing people wearing something written in your own language, perhaps especially when the language is quite insignificant in the big world. I was both surprised and happy myself when it turned out one of my Japanese friends at Ritsumeikan had a T-shirt written in something that seems to be Danish/old Norwegian. The text is quite neutral: "Et kamera er et apparat, der benyttes til at affotografere et motiv" (something like "A camera is a device which is used to take pictures of a motif". Although he didn't know the meaning, it made me feel like he somehow was interested in Scandinavia, and it thus gave me an unconsciously positive impression of him. In this sense, you might be able to make new friends just by wearing an interesting T-shirt! (You can see a picture of the T-shirt at the end of this post)

But it is not only Japanese people who like to express themselves through foreign languages; it can also go the opposite way. I got a mail from a friend a couple of weeks ago, which read:
Hi Anette"
Could you help me?
I have a friend, who wants a tattoo with this text: "What doesn't kill me makes me strong.", but he wants it in Japanese... Would you do to translate it for me?"
Although I did have a couple of what I considered to be alright alternatives I asked my Japanese boyfriend how he would translate it. But his answer was simply:
"My answer; don't get a tattoo in Japanese/kanji. It looks funny to the Japanese! Lol."

..And I guess that is the point with this post: although a Japanese tattoo might seem really cool here and now, you should probably think a little about it before you actually get it. Or else, you might end up with a lot of Japanese people laughing behind your back. I mean, a T-shirt can always be taken off if you discover that it didn't really have the desired outcome. On the other hand, that should of course not stop you if you have a kanji you feel would look really cool as a tattoo. After all it's all subjective, and I suppose a lot of people will find it interesting.
But that is just my opinion. What do you think? Is it cool to express yourself with clothes or tattoos written in other languages? Do you have any experiences like the ones above yourself? :)

The coolest T-shirt on campus!! "A camera is a device which is used to take photos of a motif"

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hair Modeling for Lycée 第二回目

3:54:00 PM
I got contacted again by Lycée a little while ago and asked if I wanted to come back and do some more modeling for them. The thing is, this beauty parlor has a number of hair salons in Osaka and Kobe, and are constantly looking for foreigners interested in hair modeling. Here are a couple of pictures from my last session:

And here is Lycée's blogpost about the photo shoot.
As I wrote in my previous post, Lycée is always looking for foreigners who might be interested do modeling for them, so if you happen to be in the area and also are in the need for a free haircut, then you could always contact them through their web page.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


12:54:00 PM



ゆうまちゃん大好きやで〜!ヤイ アー シェンペグラー イ ダイ♡




About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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