So, the day before yesterday, I decided that I would got to New York City on Friday (which was yesterday). It should be obvious that I do like NYC. Quite frankly, I needed a huge break from being inside the house. I think I could actually use two more days, but oh well. There’s nothing I can really do about it. One day seemed to be enough to make me much calmer.
I woke up at around 8 AM, took a shower, got dressed, went to the bank, came back and put the finishing touches of my look together (i.e. my hair, jewelry, and button up shirt) and headed off. The ride to New Haven’s Union Station was pretty smooth. Unfortunately, I missed the train I was hoping to go on and ended up having to take the 11:57 train. I passed the time by eating lunch at Sbarros. The cashier/guy-wh0-puts-pizzas-in-the-oven-to-reheat said my eyes were pretty and that they really popped since I have a natural highlight under my eyes. It was a nice compliment. I usually hear about how my eyes are pretty, so it kind of was like “oh, thanks [smile]” with a “a lot of people tell me that” after thought. I’m well aware at how pretty my gray-blue eyes are. I don’t spend a ton of time looking in the mirror for no reason, you know.
Anyway, it, surprisingly quickly was time to leave and I boarded with no problems. I listened to “Bubblegum Bitch” by Marina & the Diamonds for a good majority of the ride until my ears were like “okay, next song” and I let my playlist go on shuffle. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do to past the time. Honestly, there wasn’t much – I had my iPhone that I didn’t really want to use because the battery life on it is horrible (it’s probably my number 1 complaint about the phone), my iPad didn’t really have anything that I particularly wanted to do at the moment, and I didn’t feel like playing my 3DS. I pulled out that not-as-crappy-as-I-thought-it-would-be novel that I wrote and began reading it again. I’m actually on the half of the book that I don’t entirely cringe at and like the pacing. Of course, since it’s a book I wrote, my mind eventually wandered off into how to improve it. A new scene popped up in my head too when I started to think about it, so I opened my phone and started writing what I had in mind down in Evernote. I arrived at Grand Central at around 2 PM.
First thing I did was try to find a bathroom…but failed because the signs were confusing me and I was like “eff that” and just went to head to Kinokuniya. It’s my second time going by myself. I wanted to see if I could remember how to get there without using my phone to direct me just in case I dragged a friend or two along with me who doesn’t know NYC. I could very vaguely remember that I needed to exit onto 42nd Street, walk east, and shortly after Bryant Park, turn onto 6th Avenue. Unfortunately, when I got to 6th Avenue, I couldn’t remember which way I had to turn and turned right.
Of course I went the wrong way. My mind kept shouting at me to go the opposite way, which became more apparent by all the super unfamiliar landmarks. I took out my phone and Google Mapped directions to Kinokuniya, used the compass on my phone (I love that my phone has a compass) and walked back, going into the correct direction.
I found it pretty quickly. My face lit up and I felt in pretty good spirits. I went inside and, once again, headed for the basement level. While I mainly wanted to go to Kinokuniya to pick up Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo (The Japanese the Japanese Don’t Know) volume 2 (I own volumes 1 & 3) and Shadowing: Let’s Speak Japanese to try and improve my listening and speaking skills, I wanted to also check out a few other things, such as the textbooks and children’s novels.
I know I’m not done with Genki I yet and I have a particular plan for once I finish the Genki series, but I wanted an option where if I felt like going onto the Intermediate level, I could. I’m kind of in a debate with myself about what “door” I want to open after I finish Genki, so I want to give myself the option to open up whatever door I feel like. Unlike when I first made a decision that I wanted to learn Japanese, which didn’t have too many doors and the doors that were available didn’t contain much, I have many doors with different reasons to go through them. I’m the type of person where if I set my mind to doing something, I will put in my all until my steam runs out. I’m also the type of person who can only concentrate on one thing at a time. That’s why I’m only doing Genki and not Remembering the Kanji as well like I was considering.
Anyway, I briefed over the textbooks, look for one particular one: a textbook called Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia. I did some research about Intermediate Textbooks, since the only one I was aware of was An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese and when I had checked that book out, I didn’t like it at all. Tobira seemed more of my flavour in terms of its approach. I was so happy to find that they did have Tobira, as well as the kanji workbook that goes with it. I only got the textbook though because, well, I have more than enough kanji material to last me for a while, including ones that will cover what Tobira wants to teach me.
I also checked around the grammar section for three grammar dictionaries that are highly recommended, but I couldn’t find them. I then picked up Shadowing: Let’s Speak Japanese volume 1, grabbed another N5 practice booklet (I’m very adamant about passing JLPT N5 with flying colours, so all the practice I can get will be worth it), Japanese Core Words & Phrases: Things You Can’t Find in a Dictionary, and Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo. Before I headed over to the children’s book section, I quickly looked at the dictionaries. My face quickly lit up – the grammar dictionaries I wanted were RIGHT THERE! I obviously snatched them and put them in my shopping basket. I was really surprised on how many pages they are. There’s definitely a lot of grammar to learn!
I then headed over to the childrens’ book section. A lot of Japanese language learners have realized that, by now, reading children’s books meant for young children isn’t really going to help you reinforce your Japanese since the native speaker is going to know more words than you in the first place. Of course, children’s books shouldn’t be completely counted out. Especially children’s novels, like the ones from the Aotori Bunko (Bluebird Literature) line. While I can barely understand anything in them now, I’m very confident that I will be able to breeze through them with relative ease. They’re novels full of furigana (i.e. writing over certain words to help with the reading) over the kanji and I know that will greatly help me.
Unfortunately, because my Japanese language skills are of such a low level, I couldn’t read what they were about and really just judged by the artwork on the covers and the pictures inside. They are children’s novel, so I’m expecting the stories to be light, but still relatively entertaining. I generally have a preference for media targeted towards children anyway, so I’m sure to enjoy them regardless what they’re about. I picked out one book from the Aotori Bunko line and then headed to the top floor where all the anime and manga were. I only picked out Beelzebub volume 6 so I had 6 volumes total. I have almost stopped buying manga, or more precisely, physical manga since I already have so many (most of them are currently in boxes though, so I can’t even read them). I also checked out the CD section, and to my surprise, actually found a CD I wanted. It was the Pokémon Movie 14 soundtrack. It was the only soundtrack I was missing, which is why I got it.
I went back downstairs, paid, and left to go visit Book Off. Book Off didn’t really have anything of interest for me this time around. I did, however, notice they rearranged a few things and were having a sale on some of the children’s books. I picked up one, called Sono Torikku, Abakimasu. (That Trick, We’ll Expose.). I liked how the cover was set up and the book was a dollar, so I got it. (I noticed when I got home that there was some yokai on the front cover; I LOVE yokai!)
Afterward, I decided to head for Chinatown to look for the shop I bought my hair products at. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the name of the shop or anything, so I walked around Chinatown aimlessly, primarily smelling citrus fruit or fish ever so often. I eventually turned around and went back and headed for the Hershey’s World store.
I know my younger sister loves the cookies & cream chocolate bars and last time, one of our dogs ate it (…I know dogs aren’t suppose to be chocolate, but apparently Disel’s stomach can take just about anything), so I wanted to buy her a new one. They were still have 4 for $12, so I bought her four bars (2 cookies & cream and 2 chocolate) and myself four as well. After that, I walked around and thought about all the places I could possibly go. Where haven’t I been before, but wanted to see?
Then it hit me – Uniqlo. I know they had them in NYC and I wanted to go check it out. Uniqlo is a Japanese clothing store chain that has branched out overseas. I walked inside and was greeted by a beautiful layout that made the store feel extremely spacious. The stairs had rainbow lights. It was gorgeous. I glazed over the first floor, disappointed there were no graphic tees I was interested in (I would have been interested in the One Piece ones if this was middle school, but I haven’t touched the series since then) and went upstairs. I got a night gown and went up to the third and final floor, find a pretty nice button up shirt with four pockets. I was like “oh my god I have to get this, it has FOUR POCKETS” since I use pockets all the time, ESPECIALLY if I’m somewhere like NYC. I payed, left, and walked around for a bit more.
I got myself some soft serve vanilla ice cream dipped in cherry (which I haven’t had in a long time and found it delicious) and tried to decide where to go. I dropped into Payless Shoes and bought myself a very cute pair of shoes that I think will go perfect with the outfit I’m making. All the shoes I own are either too edgy or not graceful enough to work with the outfit I’m sewing, so I needed a good pair of shoes to work with it. I found my shoe size is smaller than I thought it was in women’s shoes. I’m kind of glad, but also a bit disappointed. I like my shoe size, even though sometimes it’s very tough to find my size!
Afterward, I sat down on a bench and enjoyed the night breeze brushing over my face and my skin. I felt calm and much more relaxed. I talked to no one all day long and felt mostly happy. I packed some of the stuff I bought into my backpack to make it easier to carry and decided to check the schedule for the trains. I decided to aim for the 9:37 one. I stopped at Pizza Hut on the way back and ate pizza & breadsticks.
I arrived at Grand Central early enough to make the train and not rush, but late enough so I didn’t have to kill a ton of time. I arrived in New Haven around 11:40 PM and got home probably around 12:45. Dang, I was super tired. I talked to my mom for a bit, gave Jenni her chocolates, began writing this journal entry, ripped a few CDs, and went to bed.
Overall, it was a very nice day and I’m very glad I went. I came home much more refreshed.
Of course, now I’m sitting at home and all I want to do is go out somewhere. Anywhere would be fine. I don’t know where though. Oh well. Guess I’ll sit here and write some nearly pointless blog posts that no one will probably ever read.