The Final Day
I know it has been a while, but it took my brain quite a bit of time to recover and figure out exactly what day it is. Now that I have my feet under me, I have uploaded photos to my Facebook page, and am ready to write about my last day in Japan to the best of my memory.
I was really excited for the last day because I would be getting to wear my yukata I purchased previously. I decided to bring it to school then change into it later since the bow was rather large and would get in the way of riding the trains. Plus the getas (wooden shoes) were not very comfortable so I wanted to limit the amount of time I was walking around.
My first class was really pointless because our final was a paper that was due the night previous and we had nothing planned for class that day. He pretty much asked us what we liked about the class and what would be nice to have when he teaches the class in the future. It was his first time teaching the class for the summer program. He normally teaches the class over a full semester and would assign students to watch several episodes of anime as homework, but because this class was only 3 weeks long, there is only so much he can teach and assign. After about an hour of talking about the class, he asked if we wanted to watch anything and several students wanted to watch more episodes of that funny but not so clean anime from a few classes back. So while he was pulling it up, I figured that was a good time to change into my yukata. A couple girls were really excited to help me put it on and followed me to the bathroom. They were a pit caotic when it came to putting it on. I was trying to explain to them that I knew how to put it on, I just needed help tying it, but they insisted on doing everything for me. They also kept saying that my yukata was difficult to put on and that the "normal" one was easier. I don't know what they are talking about because mine has the bow pre tied so all I have to do is tie it on and hide the strings under the easy to tie obi. Plus, it only cost me $50. The "normal" yukata they are refuring to ranges from $80-$300. My yukata came with the ribbon, the robe, and the getas all in one. If I bought them separately, I would have had to pay for each piece plus extra pieces. You need a tie to hold the robe in place while you attach the stiff board to keep the obi from wrinkling, then you rap the obi (the large ribbon) around your waist and tie a bow. This bow is really hard to tie if you haven't practiced tieing it before. After seeing this process done on another girl, I'll stick with my packaged yukata. It's American friendly.
I did my hair and put in the pretty accessories I bought and headed back to my classroom because there was about 10 minutes left before my next class. As soon as I stepped out of the bathroom, I heard many people exclaim their surprise and they ran over to me telling me how beautiful I looked. I felt really beautiful too. I felt like a geisha to be honest, even thought I wasn't dressed as one. I hadn't felt that beautiful since my wedding day.
I get to my next class and my teacher looked at me questioningly and I told him that the CIEE students were going to Tokyo bay after the farewell party that day and we were told we could wear our yukatas. The scottish guy walked up to me and asked me why I was wearing a kimono. I gave him the same answer and he walked off. A few seconds later he walked back and told me he was sorry to just walk off he was just wondering why so many girls were wearing them and he was confused. Just as he was about to walk off, he said "You look stunning by the way." I felt very flattered.
Apparently, I looked really good to everyone else, because even Japanese people were walking up to me, asking to take my picture and saying how lovely I looked. At the farewell party held my Sophia, I had my picture taken at least 20 times! So many people were coming up to me to take pictures with them. The same person took my pictures 4 times.
Sophia University is not very good at organizing events. They told us not to eat anything thing for an hour even thought the part was suppose to have started an hour ago and I didn't bring a snack with me that day because we were released from classes early to come to this party. It was very pointless to say they were starting so soon. After they said we could eat, we all walked around and talked for a while. I tried to say goodbye to as many people as I could that was not part of the CIEE program that I met. After about an hour people had pretty much left and I group of us were going to head out when we heard that they had ordered pizza and were trying to get everyone to come back. No one said that there was going to be pizza. I was really excited to try pizza from Japan because I had heard that they use mayonaise instead of red sauce. The mayo in Japan has a completely different flavor, so don't be thinking that it would taste really bad because it is nothing like our mayo in America. I had a slice of the shrimp pizza. It was ok. I just don't like thin crusted pizza too much. So it wasn't particularly tasty.
We still had another 45 minutes or so before we needed to meet together and leave so I talked with my two Chinese friends that were part of the program with me. One of the girls was really cute, I always liked talking to her. If you talk about a person that she has not met or can't recall, she will speak of nothing else until she has seen this person. I was talking about one guy and she really wanted to meet him just so that she knew who he was. She was driving her friend crazy. I found it really funny. She took me to around campus looking for this guy I was talking about, and once we found him, she still kept talking about him for another 10 minutes. Then she finally was able to move on to a new topic. Her friend was very annoyed, but I found it entertaining.
We had to meet up in groups (again) which meant that I had to deal with the most annoying kid in the entire program. Maybe God arranged it that way because He knew I would be the only one who could restrain myself from killing him. He kept saying some nonsense about only prostitutes wearing red obis and that the person that sold this to me should have known that. I told him he was mistaken because if you put your bow in the front, that's what that meant, regardless of color. I have seen some Japanese girls wear their bows in the front anyway, so I'm going to assume that the prostitute tradition has long since died away. Everyone did not know what he was talking about and found it very rude that he would suggest that my friend, and the sales lady would want to sell me a prostitute obi. If that really was the case, they wouldn't have even manufactured them unless you go to some weird naughty store. And because this kid just likes to be super annoying, he keeps talking about it for a long while. I just ignored him and kept thinking about how wonderful it was going to be to not have to accidentally bump into him ever EVER again.
We took the subway to Asakusa and we had some extra time so they told us to walk around and go shoppin for a bit before meeting at the docking bay. There were a lot of people walking around Asakusa. I mean, A LOT! It was pretty much penguin shuffling from shop to shop. I found a really pretty pink fan that went perfectly with my yukata so I bought it.
Many Japanese people were trying to sneak pictures of me in my Yukata.
I will post more about the last day another time. I just spent that last 2 hours typing up what happened and just as I was about finished, it logged me out and I lost everything. So, needless to say, I am very angry and my eyes are tired from staring at this screen for the past 4 hours since I have been doing school work as well. Hopefully next week I will have time to post the second half. Sorry to keep you waiting!