Homestay In Tokyo, Japan Back In 2007
10th of December 2007
The start of my homestay programme in Tokyo, Japan began. It was a dark, rainy and cloudy evening. Dad drove to Concorde Inn, Hotel which is located nearby KLIA. I needed to attend a day of course before flying off to Tokyo. My mind started wondering off about a whole lot of things. Mainly, it was about meeting the other participants of the homestay programme. I was nervous, scared, thrilled and excited at the same time. I tried to picture how those people were going to be. Were they going to be extremely pleasant or the complete opposite? The weather didn't do much help either. It worsen my thoughts in the car. After approximately an hour or so, we finally reached our destination.
All the participants were in a formal dress. Ties for gents, dresses for girls. As for me, I sticked to the normal traditional clothes, baju kurung. We made our way to the respective halls. Parents and participants had to be separated as both were divided into different categories for the day. The administrator gave a short talk about the homestay programme that we were about to experience. All the rules and whatnot were brought out to brace ourselves in Japan later on.
To cut things short, that night we had another talk to attend to. This time around, we played games and learn basic japanese. It was soothing and I made new friends. My room partner was Arinah, a 15 year old girl from Kedah who was really friendly and despite the fact that I was two years younger than her, we became good acquaintances. I even met three seniors from my school who were very welcoming. I remembered sleeping at 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. because for us participants, the night was still young and we had to brush up our japanese language skills in order to survive!
11th December 2007
Buckle up, kids ! Get ready for the adventures of your life that you're about to experience because we're FLYING off to JAPAAAAN !
Sadly, my roommate and I got separated because she was going off to Osaka while I was going off to Tokyo. Anyway, our flight was about 11.50 PM, 10 minutes to midnight. Parents and participants had to bid their goodbyes before participants had to ride on those trains to go to the other part of the terminal. Once the gate was opened, we got on to the aeroplane.
So, I had to sit between two guys who were from the group. It was extremely awkward. Especially the part where I had to shut my eyes and sleep. Like c'mon, how can I sleep when I'm sitting between two guys? -_- Nevertheless, they were really nice. They helped take my hand luggage, haha! Oh and out of all the participants who were going to Tokyo, or probably Japan, I was the youngest of them all. It was nice knowing that. I feel protected somehow. Hehe. Anyway, the flight was about 8 solid hours. Thank God it was a night flight so I guess the only thing we all did was sleep, to freshen ourselves up for the next day.
12th December 2007
Ohayou Gozaimasu, Tokyo, Japan!
We touched down at Narita Airport at 7.30 AM, Tokyo time. Waiting outside the airport was our bus with a friendly bus driver! He took us to the Hippo Office in Shibuya. This was finally the moment. The moment of where we participants get to finally meet, know & stay with our respective foster families. The first task that the Hippo Club did was, they called out the names of the foster family and the participant together according to the name list, and both had to show up on stage and start hugging each other like mad! It was funny when they demonstrated it to us! The two who demonstrated were jumping up and down while hugging and the music that was playing made it even funnier! :D
"Helinna-san together with Takani family"!
My heart skipped a beat. I came running out to the stage and opposite me came a lady, who looked very sweet with her warm smile. "OMG , is this my foster mom? Cause it doesn't look like her in the picture..", I said in my head while hugging her like mad. When we finally broke off, she explained to me that my foster mother had work and that she couldn't get a leave for today. I learned that she was my foster mother's friend who was named Mi-chan. Mi-chan told me about my foster siblings who were in school right now and that I will be very happy to see them. Now this time, I tested on my japanese language skills. I confidently asked Mi-chan in Japanese about my foster siblings' profile. I proudly say that she was amazed and thought how wonderful it was for me to be able to speak a little bit of japanese. :D
The Tokyo Group ! :)
Moving on, we walked to Shibuya Station. The participants finally went out separately, following their foster mothers. I followed 3 of my friends from the group, along with Mi-Chan and their foster mothers. It was my first time riding on the densha (japanese train) ! Before getting down to Saitamaken (where my hometown is), my 2 other friends got off to some other city/town with their foster mothers. Down at Saitamaken, Mi-Chan, Lydia (one of my friends from the group), Lydia's foster mum and I walked together with our luggage bags to Lydia's foster family's house. The walk wasn't that far but the weather was cold to the max!
When we reached the house, the first thing that I saw was a black inu (doggie) in front of the compound. It looked kind of fierce but since it had his house pinned up with woods, I wasn't that scared to come up to their house. Right at the door, stood Haruka-chan and Sayaka-chan (Lydia's foster twin sisters) who were aged 9. They were utterly cute and they treated Lydia and I both well. I had a cup of Ocha (red tea) which was definitely right for the body with the warm heater switched on in the house.
Meet Haruka-chan & Sayaka-chan, the two cute twins that I first made friends with. ♥
So, while waiting for my foster mom to come and pick me up, I played with Lydia, Haruka and Sayaka. The twins taught us a lot of games which I find really amusing because back in Malaysia, I don't think I did ever play it before. We all laughed our butts off when I tried communicating really fast in Japanese but failed to. The twins both had on the "i don't know look"! HAHA. So in the end we all sticked to talking in Japanese really slowly and understandable. Even sign languages were inserted in too! :D
At 5.30 pm (by this time, it was already dark!), my foster mother and Kaito-chan (my foster brother) finally came to fetch me from the twins' house. Like how we were taught back in the day, I hugged my foster mum and brother madly. My foster mum even said to me "anak saya!" while hugging me. HAHAHA, it was the first time I heard my foster mum talked in Malay. I followed her and Kaito back home in their white Estima. Kaito was being all shy but as soon as okaa-san (mother in Japanese) started driving, he put on a blanket on my lap and I couldn't help but go "AWWWWWWW, Arigatou-ne Kaito-chan" ♥ :D
The first thing that I was touched right after I enter my new lovely home was this :-
HAHAHA, the T is missing but whatever, :') I still love it! Not only that but, Kaito and Aya gave me a surprise gift too! :-
They both made it with love, AWWW :). And not to mention, both their hobbies are drawing!
Kaito-chan, Me & Ayaka-chan playing cards together under the warm kotetsu. ♥
Ate dinner at 6.00 PM (pretty early compared to my daily dinner time!). After that, Aya-chan (my foster sister) came home and we (Aya, Kaito & I) decided to play cards, basketball, watch television under the kotetsu (warm heated blanket) and many more. I had my first japanese hot spring bath (jacuzzi) in the bathroom which was prepared by okaa-san. It was all that I needed to warm up my body again, haha! Anyway, otou-san came back quite late. About 8 P.M, I think. And the first words that came out of his mouth right after he saw me was, "Come to Papa, my daughter!". HAHAHAHAHA I tried so hard not to laugh but in the end everybody else ended up laughing with me. I had a little chit-chat with the family and when the clock struck 10.10 P.M, the rents' told me that it was bedtime already and I should have a good sleep. Okaa-san put me in bed at my room. While tugging the comforter, she said to me "Selamat Malam , anak perempuan saya!":D. It was sooo cute when she said it with her rosy cheeks exposed while grinning! So then, I replied back to her "Selamat malam ibuku", with a big and warm smile. :) That night, I went to sleep while thinking about the upcoming journey that I was about to experience next.
Here's a funny epic moment (well, at least to me :P) :-
After dinner, I had a really bad stomach ache and I thought of excusing myself to go to the toilet but unfortunately, that little visit had to be put on hold because okaa-san brought out desert. And it wasn't just any desert. Oh yes, it was a milky-sort-of-creme-brulee desert which I had to forcefully stuffed it in my stomach. The desert was extremely delicious but my stomach was making a really big fit so what I did was, I finished up my desert quickly (i actually stuffed in a BIG SPOONFUL of it into my stomach. I wonder if Aya & Kaito actually saw me doing it because to be honest, it was unladylike! D:) and finally, finally I stood up from the chair and confessed "I need to go to the bathroom please!!!". As okaa-san was busy washing the dishes, she asked both kaito and aya to show me the way to the bathroom. I quickly mouthed to them the word "toiree toiree!" - which means toilet in Japanese. And we quickly walked (or probably ran :P) to the toilet together and these two lovely foster siblings of mine even bowed to me while gesturing their hands towards the toilet right before I rushed in. It was really polite of them and I couldn't help but mouthed "Arigatou-ne !" again and again while chuckling even though the stomach was being such a pain. Anyhow, those nasi kandar from the airport really did me well, huh. HAHAHAHA. No wonder my stomach couldn't stand it. :P
~to be continued~
3 days in a post should be enough, am I right? :)
p/s: I know I should have posted this up a long time ago and not 3 years after the whole experience but here I am, reminiscing a past experience that I hoped I can experience once again.