Presentations went smoothly this morning, I think I did well but talked a lot longer than I thought I could so I apologize publicly to everyone for that. It was shorter in rehearsal. But anyway, we discussed our thoughts and opinions of the trip and different aspects of Japan then officially ended class. A few of us met with the Nanzan kids for lunch again, and curry again. It’s cheap and quick since we were informed we actually had to have our rooms cleaned for inspection at 3 PM. That’s just what I did after dinner. I thought it was a little abrupt of notice, especially since I had planned on going out for the afternoon, but after all the cleaning and packing, the lady was just like “eeeeh…ok”, then left. Fair enough.
Caroline and I met with Satomi once more and we went to Nagoya Station for some last minute gift shopping (I really should have been doing this most of the trip instead of trying to save so much money). I found some good stuff that I’m glad I found and then we went into Bic Camera, which is a pretty big electronics store, but I was a little disappointed by it.
Our last and farewell group dinner took place around 6 PM at an izakaya near Maruzen in Sakae. This izakaya was a huuuuge disappointment compared to the other places we have gone for group dinners. At least the times we had were better than most previous dinners. Lots of love going around. And, as a nice little going away gift, Meguro Sensei decided to pull out the funds to get us an hour and a half of karaoke time. This was pretty sweet. I think it would have worked a lot better with less people, but it was manageable. After awhile this whole singing stupidly in front of friends thing gets old and tiresome, so I agreed with the conservative time limit. Now it’s time to wake up in like 3 1/2 hours to get stuff together and get to the airport. It’s been a fantastic trips, with many ups and few downs. I’ll be back someday. Thanks for playing.

This party consists of writing a paper! So yea, that’s pretty much what I did all day. I kept getting sidetracked as I easily do, so it took me a lot longer than I should have. But it finished, and Miyamoto Musashi is finally getting the recognition he deserves: being in my Japan Practicum Final Paper. I especially liked the part where he killed a 12 year old hooligan with 2 swords and proceeded to take out numbers of others, and they had guns.
I got a break from the constant writing and researching by going to the sushi/takoyaki making “party” put together by Nanzan. So basically, it was our group and like 30 Japanese students crammed into a kitchen making our own sushi and takoyaki for each other. Mine consisted of crab, eel, egg, and cucumber and was, as I like to believe, a hit. Though this get-together was much better and less awkward than previous ones, it was still really crowded in there and conversations were dying out to the point of multi-lingual swear words again. So David, Matt, Caroline, and I went to the konbini with Nao, Ayame (that’s her name if I remember correctly), and Taka, but ultimately decided to test out the Coffee and Hamburgers place down the street. Not the best move, but manageable. I don’t think the hamburgers were real meat. Tomorrow is the final day. Will it end happily for the crew? Stay tuned to find out.

Sunday. This was the last big excursion I think I’ll be taking here. We met Satomi early in the afternoon and took off to go to the Higashiyama Zoo. This is a sad, sad, place. Though the animals are cool (besides the “common raccoon” of North America exhibit), the cages and pens where they kept the animals were just wrong. The elephant, for example, only had enough room to take about 4 steps and was pacing back and forth. I think this is one of the most fertile zoos I have seen, though. Every animal seemed like it had at least one baby. Which is made into a big deal in America. Panda Watch! Oh well, they had some awesome monkeys that helped ease the pain of not attending the Monkey Park, as well as a guinea pig petting zoo. Good times.
After jetting off to Sakae to try and finish souvenir shopping, Caroline and I treated Satomi to dinner as the least we could do for helping us as much as she did throughout the trip. We went to a restaurant (I forget what it was called) where they had a deep fryer in the middle of the table where you cooked food on a stick. It was such a sweet deal, all you can eat for 90 minutes for about $20. Can it get any better? That price included curry rice, miso, udon, ice cream, cake, and an assortment of meats and vegetables on a stick that you could fry. I immediately thought that this would be very successful in the states, until I realized that it would be a billion dollar lawsuit waiting to happen after someone reaches in the fryer on a dare. All and all a good day. Now a paper to write.

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