Hi all, this post is still about the journey of me and my six other mates to Japan. If you had just bumped into this part, please read the part 1 first (unless you wouldn’t know what you just read). Anyway, I just discovered a trend to promote blog through social medias. It’s a bit interesting honestly, but I cannot do such thing. I realize that I am not really good at writing in my blog, I just pour everything out of my mind here. Typos, grammar error, inconsistency, funny words are my friends. So I really wish that the readers of my posts are people coming from outside of my circle, so if they judge me I am not going to give a hell (even though I automatically connect my twitter with wordpress, but the visitor from twitter is really limited).
OK, I am not going to mumble away about other thing. So then I will continue the story of the seven mates in Japan on day two, which is like I mentioned before, the day of MUN conference. We woke up really early in the morning because we need to reach the nearby station to go to Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (KCUFS). We checked out from the hotel after preparing for all things. The accommodation was already covered in MUN fee, so we’re going to stay at the hotel booked by MUN committee.
Long story short, the Human GPS Unay worked out the way to reach KCUFS. On train, we met some groups of young men and women in black suites. And we suspected them to be the Japanese delegates of MUN. I felt the tention of meeting new people, exciting yet really frightening. One of a girl standing nearby us, asked Eno if she also went to KCUFS for MUN. Eno said yes. We introduced ourselves, and she said she was Chinese Malaysian. Unfortunately I forgot her name, but in the end of conference, she friends with Eno.
That day’s schedule was all about re-registration, seminars, and opening ceremony. What really is surprising: when we stepped outside the train station, the committee was already there clutching a direction sign. I don’t know how to react to their hospitality. They wrote the direction clearly on their website and on our invitation letter, and yet there they were clutching direction sign under the sun to guide us (standing ovation).
Skip the boring part, so we finished the re-registration and we skipped seminars (sorry but we’re tired) so we went outside for some foods. Committee said that on day one of conference, they would only give us supper at the evening. So we need to buy our own lunch. We found a convenient store across the uni. According to some travel guides, we could find affordable meal inside any convenient store, or Japanese called it Konbini. The meal are varied from onigiri, bread, sandwich, bento, and many others. The price range was 100 to 500 yen for each meal, you could purchase a complete karage bento for 350 yen only.
So we happily went around Konbini for the first time. I told myself that I should not waste my money before going to the real holiday after MUN, so I decided to buy cheap meal. If I haven’t told you, the MUN conference lasts only for three days. Our group would go to Osaka and spend the other three days full for real travelling.
I ended up buying a bread and a carton of milk for only 200 yen, since I told myself that it wouldn’t be necessary to have a big meal before the opening party. I only need to survive the whole afternoon. Some of us bought onigiri, and some others bought bento. Damn it! They sure look tasty, and I have to contain my lust.
We spend our second afternoon in Japan together, having simple meal outside a Konbini. The Konbini was a part of an apartment tower, so we could see the tall building and the porches of rooms from below. We sat on a bench-like outer side of a big tree pot, just as people walk across the path around us. We knew for sure that on the days of conference, it would be hard to see each other. We were assigned in different councils (or here called priorities) and committees. There were only 3 priorities. I forgot about who got what priority, what I remember for sure was that I have different priority alone. I am abit nervous about going alone without them, but I know for sure that I would survive the conference day fabulously.
As we sitting there, we bumped into an old man, he seemed interested in us and asking us where we’re coming from. Once we said we’re Indonesian, he started to be really excited. “I was once there, I took Indonesian language here for my major.” I was like “What?” Japan has Indonesian Language as the major. But I didn’t want to look surprised. But he was just so amazing, we even had a conversation in our language with this old man! We’re really happy to know that Indonesian Language was appreciated in Japan and a bit sad realizing that our national language are too often been taken for granted by its own people. When it’s the time for us to leave, we said goodbye to this kind old man.
We came back to KCUFS and asked to go to our own priorities. There, I introduce myself to a girl sitting next to me and had a little chitty chat with her. As I know that some of these Japanese students were not really good in English, I really had to be patient as they’re chatting with their friends with Japanese. Skip the boring part again, after two hours or so in our priorities, we went to the canteen for opening ceremony and supper. I was really happy as seeing the other seven mates, they brought some new friends. Those new friends were from Indonesia as well, some from Universitas Indonesia and the other from Insitut Teknologi Surabaya.
We talked about our experience travelling in Japan so far, and we had so much fun as we’re getting to know each other. The opening ceremony started, we’re randomly assigned in different round dining tables. I didn’t care much about having chitty chat with the people around the table because I was really hungry. There were various kind of sushi, sashimi, meat, juices and other delicious dishes and beverages on the table. The leader of our dining table said that we had to share beverages and had a toast first before having our dinner, so we did. My table leader was really talkative, she explained to me about the background folklore behind the sushi that wrapped inside a tofu skin (I forgot the name, but it really is delicious). The story was about a princess and a ghost or something else. I didn’t really listen to her because I was busy putting foods in my mouth.
The party went on, people were not on their own table anymore. They left the table and mingling around. Then I was dragged by Eno, she said she saw some delicious sashimi on the other table. So we’re hunting around to get foods. On the way, I saw Mawar chatting with a dark skinned delegate. Why, such a social butterfly she is. At climax of the party, seven mates and the other Indonesian students gathered on the backside. We’re all full and tired.
Finally, it was the time for us to go to the hotel. I remember the name of the hotel, it’s Portopia. The committee said that it was like an hour with a bus from KCUFS. We’re assigned again in the bus, based on our priority. Thank God, I already made friend with the girl sitting next to me. We had a chitty chat along the way.
I was assigned a room with the other two girls, one from my priority and the other I didn’t know from where she was. The girl from my priority seemed nice but really shy and didn’t say much. It was different from the other girl, she was so alive and cheerful. I thought that I could be close friend with the cheerful one. But, I will save the story for another time.
I was really tired and wanted to take a bath. But as a nice roommate, I asked the girls whether they want to take bath first. How surprised I was, that the cheerful girl was already gone. So I asked the shy one where she was going and she said the cheerful girl was going out with their friends. Ok, that was fast.
In our ‘seven mates’ LINE group chat, we planned to meet and shared about our experience in MUN so far. As we’re outside, we talked about our roommates. Some got annoying ones, some got very nice ones, some treated us as ghosts. Phew. We went back to our rooms because we knew that we had to wake up early.
On the morning, I panicked as I found out that I was last to wake up in the room. I thought I was late. The other two girls were already suit up and busy with their make ups. But It was still like an hour before the bus departed. Two of them left the room when I had my bath. I just discovered in the next day that these girls didn’t have shower in the morning, because they took night bath seriously and because Japan doesn’t have tropical climate like Indonesia. Japanese girls do not have morning shower routine, they didn’t sweat or became oily while sleeping. I knew this from my shy roommate. But whatever, that’s their behavior. I don’t need to change mine just because I was in Japan.
So the third day of our days in Japan was filled with MUN conferences. The seven mates met only when it was lunch break, we went to canteen where the food provided. They served curry rice for the second day, not bad eh. There were two types of curry: curry with meat and curry with fried vegetables. I took the latter, because the fried vegetables looked so delicious.To take the foods, we need to take a tray and queue in front of the kitchen counters. The canteen staff will put the foods one by one; rice, curry, and vegetable tempura. It was really interesting since I haven’t had the experience to eat together at school. I always went to state’s school, and there I brought food on my own. So I was very happy to eat my lunch and seated like a school gang.
Ok, since nothing to tell about the MUN, I will write about how the professors treated us. This MUN was supervised by bunch of ‘white’ professors, some from Europe and some from America. They were nice actually, but I didn’t know how, they were racist towards us. Not all of them, I don’t want to generalize the issues. Maybe they don’t realize but they were racist. And we’re actually pissed off by how they treated us. I got the experience once, when I was on my committee and finished the Draft Resolution with my fellow committee, we had to give it to one professor to be checked. When I submitted our committee’s draft, he read the document and said “I was surprised knowing how good your English is.” He knew that I came from Indonesia, by the way, because he asked me first.
I don’t know why but I was really angry. I shouted on my mind “Oh yeah so what? If I came from Indonesia, the country that you might think poor and neglected, I cannot speak in English? Why are you so surprised anyway? You think Indonesia is so remote that we cannot speak in your language, Sir?”
Ok, I am sorry that I was enraged. But if you guys heard his tone, you’d know that he clearly underestimates me. You would feel the same anger like mine if you’re on my shoes. Fortunately, I just replied him with a smile. I didn’t feel the importance to reply to him.
Enough with the shitty situation, Ok? So when the night came, we ride the bus again and went back to Hotel Portopia. Anyway, I had not tell you how great is our hotel. Hotel Portopia is so huge, it has a really big and luxurious lobby and when we’re just going straight from the lobby then we can find large swimming pool. The hotel design is so sophisticated. It was a modern hotel for tourists, so you wouldn’t feel like it’s Japan when you’re inside. The rooms in Portopia were just as the same as the other regular hotels. But I really like the bathroom, it was large, clean, and spacious. Just the way I like it.
The dining room was also huge, and the food was sooooooooooooooo good! We ate there only on breakfasts, but Portopia served the most delicious and abundant foods for breakfasts. In my opinion, it was the greatest hotel breakfast I had so far. Cream soups, pastries, breads, pudding, fruits, grilled meat, sausages, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and bacon! They had the best bacon!
We got back to the hotel and took a bath. The seven mates planned to go outside tonight, since most of our Japanese friends’ going out to the club and left us alone at rooms. One of us was told by his roommate that there was a konbini nearby, so we decided to have another konbini hauling.It was like 8PM, but the street was empty and really quiet. We even purposely took photos on the street (just for fun). The hauling went fast, we just ate dinner so we only bought snacks and drinks (Japanese packed snacks and drinks are sooooo good i tell you). We went back to the hotel and sat on living room on the 7th floor, we talked about how weird everything was these days. Some weird details that I don’t want to share here.
When I want to go back to my room, I was shocked. My room was full with strangers. They’re chatting and laughing around. They are LOUD. Girls and BOYS! Some of them even SAT on MY BED! I looked around and found my shy roomate was already on her bed, burrying her head under the bedcover. So they’re must be the cheerful one’s friends, and I was right. That social butterfly was playing with her friends inside our room. IT’S NOT EVEN HER OWN ROOM, WTF!
She looked at me and said something, but I ignored her. I want to throw something at them (especially my tantrum), but I knew that I couldn’t make problems when I am abroad. I took my laptop, packed some clothes and toiletries on my backpack, took my keycard, and left without saying nothing. I purposedly closed the door with a loud banging.
I told the ‘seven mates’ LINE group chat about what had just happened to me. All of them were shocked on how that damned roommate treated me and my shy roommate. So Eno asked me to come over and to sleep over her room. I went to Eno’s room, and her roommates were really nice, they were sorry about what just happened. They’re trying to convince me that not all Japanese were like that, and I calmed them down by saying “I know that, it’s okay. Thank you so much for your concern.” But that night, I feel bad about my shy roommate. She must had a hard night. I promised myself to talk to her more tomorrow, especially after last night’s incident. So by that, the third day in Japan was wrapped.