Day 12: No Doubt, Study Abroad is a Test of Self / by Sarah Kakusho

You know, it’s one thing to be frustrated and being able to fully express it, but it’s another thing when you can’t. I think I’m really getting to test how well my anger management has simmered down since high school. I definitely don’t get as verbally violent as I used to and I tend to keep to myself when I know it’s not that big of a deal, even though I may not think that initially. I’ve grown to really stop and think about the situation before I get upset about it. Things are just easier that way.

But today, something hit me and it was big. And it made me mad. I know in the U.S., people like to stare, but they just shrug you off after a glimpse. Over here, they STARE. They stare when you’re walking towards them, when you’re passing them, and they even take the time to look back and stare at you some more. This is something that I’ve been noticing since I’ve gotten here, and I’ve been warned of even before arriving, but okay, I KNOW I am not the first Asian they’ve seen. Even the Asians here stare.

So I stare back at them, long and hard, until they look away.

I win.

When I went to La Rural today, which was an exposition for ranchers and such [we saw a bunch of farm animals, and lots of CHINCHILLAS!], I felt so many stares. It was really discomforting. As if they had nothing better to look at. But, I’m pretty sure it’s the culture. I stood outside the bathrooms one time, waiting for a friend, and saw this guy staring at all the girls’ butts that came in and out of the bathrooms. There are stereotypes, but to actually see people doing that is…wow.

I just need to remember, it’s a little detail. No need to get RAWR over it.

I think after today’s exposition, I felt slightly more inclined to eating solely vegetables for a few weeks. I didn’t see anything that would completely turn me into a vegetarian, but seeing all the living angus beef walking around and the living chicken breasts, wings, and thighs clucking away, I felt kind of bad…eating them. I dunno how I’ll feel tomorrow about this, but for today at least, I stuck to vegetables and bread.

Since I’ve been here, I think I can safely say I’m eating much healthier. I get served breakfast and dinner here. Breakfast is usually just a fruit, yogurt, or bread and jam. Though the portion of my dinner is slightly bigger than what I’m used to, it’s usually whole-grain something, with vegetables. Like, in the past few days, I’ve had green pasta with veggies, spinach crepes, tuna pie, and so on, so forth. And my lunch is usually just a stop at a nearby café, for some empanadas, usually caprese, and milk tea.

And I’m walking everywhere [cuz I usually don’t have any monedas (change) to pay for a ride]. Hopefully, I can take this opportunity to start eating healthier, exercise daily, and boost up my metabolism. I’ve tried doing it in the past, but it seems like here, I have no choice. Hahahah.

Spanish is also, obviously, inevitable. Some days, I get so exhausted, thinking through everything a person says to me. Sometimes, I think my brain overloads and crashes, without a doubt. It just goes FiZZ. Hearing things in a different language, and being able to completely comprehend what’s being said is absolutely the most tiring thing EVER. It’s so draining. More draining than a kendo tournament, or a flag football game, or even…not sleeping for 2 days. I think that’s why I was always so tired after a Spanish exam. I would always pass out after I got back to my room.

Bottom line, I swear, thinking in a different language triggers a whole new world in our brains. I have three wars being waged in my head. English, Japanese, and Spanish. I’m thinking in Japanese, listening to Spanish, translating the Spanish into English, processing it in Japanese, then trying to make sense out it in English…and then just a whole bunch of trilingual bullshit comes out. Erika was telling me last week that she slips “chotto” every once in a while in her sentences. Today, I did the same thing.

Being almost trilingual is very difficult. I think it’s an advantage in that it helps with understanding certain concepts that can’t be explained well in one language, but can in a different one. But, at times, I don’t even know if what I’m saying is in the right language. It’s sooo confusing. Yeaaaaa… And it’s even worse when you’re medicated. XD

On a different note, I got into the class I wanted for the one university course I have to take outside of FUC. Arte y Cultura de la Modernidad at UTDT. This school is really similar to Soka. It opened around the same time, has small classes with emphasis on academics, concentrated on students, high-tech and so forth. But, definitely it was not a Soka. It just goes to show that SUA’s physical attributes only compliment the personal connections you make. Definitely.

I win.

Do I get a prize?