Category Archives: Introduction

kelseydo Study In Kyoto Exchange

I’m in Kyoto!

I am spending a year on exchange at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto through UBC’s Go Global Exchange program. I got here a couple days ago and I’ll be here until August 2013.

The flight in was fairly uneventful…which is how I like my flights. I drugged myself with Gravol and managed to sleep 10 out of the 15 hours I was in the air. I did good! The other 5 hours I watched The Sopranos. I am in the midst of my yearly Sopranos marathon. If you love that show you’ll understand. If you don’t, I feel sorry for you a little bit.

Necessary for long flights:

-Drugs (ativan/gravol<that means dramamine in american>/valium….your choice)

-Water (to swallow drugs + stay hydrated)

-Travel Pillow

-Eye Mask

-Ear Plugs

-Tablet stacked with entertainment (aka iPad with Sopranos seasons 2-4)

-Ear buds


Don’t skimp out on any of these items. You can bring other stuff but I guarantee this is all you need to overcome the awfulness that is spending a whole day of your life in an airplane.

My friend Amber told me you should BY NO MEANS wear flip flops on the plane. She thinks that in the event of any kind of emergency landing your going to want your shoes to be securely fastened to your feet. I think she’s probably right but I still took off my shoes and put on wool socks and some complimentary slippers.

Oh yeah and that pillow they give you on the plane…PUT IT UNDER YOUR ASS! If you have a boney little tush like me your bum will start to hurt in about 4 hours. For the next 11 hours you will be doing the cross legged hip shuffle-NOT COOL.

I brought some gifts with me that I bought at Duty Free in the Vancouver Int’l Airport. Gifts are very special in Japanese culture (in my opinion). It seems that how much care you put into wrapping and preparing the gift is equally if not more important than the actual gift. Nick recommended I bring a gift to give to the Japanese couple that manage the dorm I live in in Kyoto. This was a great idea- I brought them smoked salmon in a wooden box painted with first nations art. They love smoked salmon…I am a hero! It’s that simple.

I also brought these items for gifts:

Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup Cream Cookies

Maple Syrup and Rum Chocolates

I’m sure you can identify the theme here. I got a little hungry between flights (even though I managed to score two in-flight breakfasts) so I cracked open the Maple Cream Cookies. I’d never had them before and I wanted to see if there was anything to fuss about. They are like the cream-coloured Girl Guide Cookies only sweeter and MORE ADDICTIVE. That’s not possible you say. I say: I ate a whole row in 2.5 seconds. I wanted to bring some Okanagan Ice Wine with me as well, but I had a stop-over in Taiwan and they wouldn’t have let me on the plane with all that liquid. (Next time, in the suitcase.)

I just went and got one of those Maple Cream Cookies. The hair on my arms is standing up that’s how good they are. Or that could be because I set my airconditioning to deep freeze.

Kyoto is sunny and 32 degrees with 90% humidity. It’s so hot I bought an umbrella to use……………..

Sorry I had to get another Maple Cream Cookie. You can’t have just one. Holy shit this tastes amazing.

I always thought that people who used umbrellas on sunny days were crazy but now I understand. Yes, a hat would be more convenient (hands-free) but an umbrella prevents sweaty face. If you’ve seen me on a hot day, you know I have a huge problem with sweaty face. I didn’t get the nickname ‘shweaty lip’ for nothing. I also have a top-of-the-thigh sweat problem but we’ll have to talk about that some other day. Anyways, long story short: hats= face sweat, umbrella=no face sweat.

I just got the internet in my room thanks to Nick and AirMac Express so I had a lot to say in this post. I’m sorry there are no pictures, but my mom made a comment that I needed more writing in my post and you know, moms are always right.

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