August 14th, 2010

Since June 15, 2010 I have been traveling outside of the country; in Japan and Vietnam.

Let’s start at the beginning…..  I’ll have to sum up some of this, but I’ll do my best to be as detailed as possible.

June 15.  I leave America for Japan.  I do this joining a study abroad class from the school I work at.  For the first few weeks I travel with them.  Our first stop is Nara.  Coincidentally, it is also the home town of my ex, Aiko, who is also back in Japan for her summer break  Her trip and my trip were to overlap by just a short time – but that changed when she discovered she had an ovarian cyst and had to stay in Japan to have it removed.  Most of my days were occupied by the class, visiting temples, museums, and other sites in Nara.  Nara is a pretty small town, but it feels like a big city by western ideals because it is so compact.  It isn’t until you have been in the city for a few days you begin to realize that there really is not too much to the city; and soon enough you realized you’ve covered the entire thing during your visit.

One night Aiko took me out and showed me around a little.  We went to a place for dinner, and I tried chicken heart for the first time.  We had two beers with dinner then joined with my roommate from the class, a Japanese female friend of hers, and a Japanese male friend of that friend.  We all went out to a bar for a few drinks.  Having the others there helped with the awkward, “I’m hanging out with the girl who broke my heart some two plus years ago” feelings.  When deciding where to go, I was told the male Japanese said he enjoyed going to host clubs.  More about these later, but basically you go to a place where you pay to talk to a girl.  The rest of us were not interested in this, so we went to a more or less traditional bar.  We had a round of drinks, chatted, then moved on to another bar – closer to the rail station.  I enjoyed this bar a bit more, and they had nights where they would have dj’s on occasion.  If I remember right, it was called ninetrack.

Everyone had trains to hit at the end of the night, so we all parted ways.  Me and my roommate walked back to our hotel.

Having already visited Japan 3 years prior, studying the language for 3 semesters, and reading about the culture, I didn’t have too much culture shock or much for new insights into Japan.  Overall, I knew what to expect and what Japan is like.

In Japan, and Nara specifically, deer are considered sacred, much like the cow is in India.  In the large park in Nara, you can see many deer roam the area, very much used to having people around.  Adding to this, there are vendors nearby who sell ‘cookies’ for the deer to eat.  When  someone buys one, many deer walk up to the people, trying to steal a cookie from them.  They can be very aggressive, and will chase people down to get one from them.  The deer, on average, are very lazy and very fat as a result.

2 Responses to “Nara”

  1. Angela Truong Hoang Thao Says:

    well, Kev, i was impressed by YOUR blog, i think you should write some more entries ;) i’d like to read

  2. Angela Truong Hoang Thao Says:

    haha, Nara’s deer similar to monkey in Vietnam, specifically Can Gio – Monkey Island, home to thousands of mischievous monkeys. Watch out! the monkeys are known to swipe the hats off of tourists’ heads and steal your foods :D

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