niarasusarin (niarasusarin) wrote,

Where the heck am I??

So Tuesday was kind of a blur.  I woke up wide awake at 3 in the morning and lay there trying to rest until I gave up at 4.  I worked on unpacking and rearranging my room and played with Durin (who had been ready to get up at one, but I kept him in his cage).  I talked to my parents once they were up and we ate breakfast.  Mom decided to stay home and take me on some important errands like getting stuff for Durin, going to the bank to renew my debit card and getting me some new clothes.  We took Durin out on the leash, but as I expected he turned around to head home pretty quickly because everything was new.  Then we ran errands.  I crashed pretty quickly; by the time we got to the department store I was really dragging.  I was so sleepy.  We finished our errands and went home, where I tried but mostly failed to eat lunch because my stomach thought it was the middle of the night.  Food just made me feel kind of nasty.  Ryan came over to keep me awake all afternoon, which was fun.  Dinner went a little better and I started feeling more awake, but I went to bed at ten and slept pretty well.

Strange culture shock experiences of Tuesday:

-In the morning I stood next to the trash can for awhile with a plastic container with a few raspberries in the bottom, unable to throw them away in the same trash can
-The sheer hiroi-ness... um, spreadoutness of everything really weirded me out all morning; everything is so far away from everything else
-I kept looking for the oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the street
-The Rice stadium parking lot was unbelievable
-When we checked out at Petco, the cashier was talkative and Mom used a credit card and there wasn't a little tray to put payment in and no one said "omataseshimashita" (sorry for making you wait) and thank you a million times
-I kept imagining earthquakes whenever anything wobbled
-There were paper towels in the bathroom at Luby's (where we got mom lunch) and I had wiped my hands off on my pants before I realized they were there
-There was so much grass.  o.O  Everywhere!!
-The people were all wildly different-looking and bigger than me and loud
-In Petco I passed someone who looked up and smiled, and I stared for a second before fleeing the scene and saying "excuse me" awkwardly

Wednesday was a little better; I managed to sleep until 5 or so, though I was still really tired all afternoon.  I did more room arranging and finished unpacking in the morning.  I was actually hungry for lunch, which went much better than Tuesday.  Durin ventured a few feet further when we walked.  Laura came and picked me up and we got tapioca and played Monopoly for awhile, then stopped by her house before she took me home.  It was fun, though I was understandably frustrated by my lack of driving ability (I resolved to practice with someone in the car at first since I figured I was rusty), cell phone (it was completely dead and we had no charger and were going to go get me a new one), food beyond a few cool things like pie (I needed a car to go to Whole Foods) and debit card for buying anything (the bank said they'd send a new card in the mail).  In the evening I drove over to the cell phone place with Dad, but it was closed.  I had no trouble driving at all though, so I can get places again.  Yay!!

Culture shock related experiences of Wednesday:

-Another long pause before putting plastic in the food trash
-I started putting food down the disposal, thinking it was the filter thing that Japanese sinks have for catching food and that I'd be taking it out and emptying it later
-More imagined earthquakes
-Ordering tapioca required lots of quick Japanese to English translation in my head and careful monitoring, but was relatively seemless
-I was okay with the grass, but the spreadoutness was still weird

Today was much better.  I woke up around 7 feeling a bit more rested, did some cleaning and rearranging, played with the dog.  He went much farther on our walk, though it was still extremely short.  Then I went to Whole Foods.

It was amazing.  I got lots of food.  Mangoes for 2 dollars (as opposed to the yen equivalent of 6 or 7)!!   Strawberries for 3!  So many tasty foods I'd been living without.  I kept encountering gluten free tasty things (waffles!  cereal! cookies! pasta!  chili!) and started dancing in the frozen section when I found a gluten-free frozen pizza (luckily no one was around).  I got cheese too.  The lady who checked me out was really nice and I explained gluten-free to her because she asked.  I practically skipped on my way to the car.  When I got home I danced around the kitchen with Durin, singing about cheese, and made the frozen pizza.  It was pretty good.  I had left over apple pie for desert.

After that Ryan came over and we watched anime and I translated the weirdly translated parts and could understand a lot.  Cool.  Dad came home and we were going to go to the phone place when he realized we have a charger that fits my old phone, so we plugged that in and now I have my cell phone again!  Yay!!  Sorry to people who've been calling me while it was dead.  It should work now.

I felt a lot more awake today, and things are slowly starting to fit in my head.  Being here isn't normal yet but we're getting there.  When a random person smiled at me in Whole Foods when she was going past I smiled back instead of getting confused, and driving was really easy.  Houston is starting to look a little less strange too. 

And now I'm more or less caught up.  Excellent.
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