It’s not happening on purpose.

Hey party people.

Study abroad seems to have worked out after a year of Paperwork Hell™ and I landed safely in Japan at the end of March.

飛行機
Conceptually aeroplanes are way more fucked up than cars, however, cars are still functionally scarier on account of I’ve never been expected to drive a plane.

The timing was perfect for cherry blossom season, arriving right as the buds were starting to open, they reached full bloom a bit over a week later.

桜の花
Cherry blossom viewing.

Crossing the equator means that it is the spring semester here, while Australia are experiencing autumn. Until returning to Australia my temporary home is in Kyushu, where I am attending the university in Saga city.

佐賀大学
Saga University

The terms here are about a month behind my home university, so it might be one or two weeks into the second semester on my return, meaning I will need to coordinate with my teachers to make sure I don’t fall behind; but things are generally available online there so it should be manageable.

The study abroad team are careful to warn participants about culture shock and the first 3 days in particular were especially rough. Things are feeling more settled now that classes have started and there’s a bit more of a routine to follow. In general I prefer to keep to myself, leading to the bizarre experience of feeling “isolation” in a new and unexpected context. It’s not at all like a holiday but even then? People who know me well know I’m reluctant to take holidays anyway.

Thankfully the area is mostly flat and somewhat rural, bicycles are incredibly popular but I just walk. Some people think I’m joking when I say I’ll walk anywhere but I am so fucking serious do not fight me on this I’ve walked so hard in the past my socks have fused to my feet such that the skin peeled right off you are objectively incapable of comprehending how far I’m willing to walk and that’s okay.

Besides, there’s creatures in the irrigation channels and if I’m going too fast I might not get to see them.

アヒル
Looking at this duck has been immeasurably beneficial to my physical health and psychological well-being.

Although it was admittedly embarrassing to disclose to one of my teachers that I can’t actually ride a bike when it was revealed they would be the designated transportation to an excursion location. An alternative was able to be arranged, and there were a couple of others who also don’t cycle which was kind of a relief.

Several medical complications and a death in the family have me feeling pretty down, but I keep reminding myself that everything is temporary. The medical complications in particular have established that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for me to leave Australia long term- much less in any permanent capacity.

Probably won’t die or anything, just incredibly unwell due to one of my medications being inaccessible for reasons equal parts bureaucratic and stupid which we won’t go into now but maybe once I’m home and have, you know, had adequate medical attention. Japanese bureaucracy game is off the shits but 50% of the blame lies with Australian medical receptionists specifically. If they’re not dogshit at communicating they’re just straightup rude.

Escaping from a Saw trap would actually be easier than trying to communicate with an Australian medical receptionist; at least Saw traps have consistent rules.