This LiveJournal is friends-only - please comment here to be added.

All entries in this LJ are friends-locked, and due to spam problems, unregistered users can no longer send me private messages. However, feel free to drop me a line in the intro post to be added to the f-list - I generally friend anyone back who I either already know from elsewhere or who I share some common interests with. Defriend me and I'll defriend you back no questions asked. For more information about me/this LJ, please visit my profile page.


So I now have a cat. Well, a kitten actually, who I rescued from the road on my way back from one of my elementary schools last week. I honestly don't know how long I can keep her, because my apartment does not allow pets and no matter what, I know I can't take her back to New Zealand with me when I finish up in Japan (probably in August next year). I also won't be here at all this coming August, so I have to find a different home for her for that month while I'm away overseas. Truthfully, I'm stressed out of my mind about these things, but I'm determined to somehow figure something out.

This makes me sound like an idiot for picking her up in the first place, and maybe I was, but I couldn't just leave the poor thing there. At first I had intended just to move her off the road, but then I saw how small she was and that she was obviously sick (pneumonia, as it turns out), and knew I couldn't let her stay there and die of either exposure or being hit by a car. I knocked around on a few doors, but nobody seemed to know who she belonged to. She could be a stray I suppose, but if so, she's an incredibly affectionate one.

I was freaking out when I eventually got her home, because she wasn't eating or drinking on her own - I had to force-feed her milk out of an eye dropper for the first couple of days. Then when I managed to get her to a vet, I found out that she's actually 1-month old, meaning that she's capable of eating solid food; it was just that her eyes and nose were so blocked up that she wasn't able to see or smell the food. I've got her on antibiotics now though, and she's already doing much better, eating meat and generally being kitten-ish.

Since I found her on Thursday, I've named her Moku.

  • Current Mood: stressed stressed
  • Current Music: Lifehouse - Unknown

First Hospital Experience in Japan

I went to the hospital yesterday morning. It was actually my first time in any kind of medical facility in Japan - in nearly three years working here, I've never even had to take a sick day before, so I was honestly a little nervous and didn't really know what to expect.

Not that it was anything serious - just a suspected urinary tract infection - but the Japanese tend to take this kind of stuff super duper seriously (seriously, you should see the panic that ensues during flu season), and so I was sent not to a small doctors office or clinic but to an actual hospital... where of course, all I did was have a dipstick test done and then get my heart checked just for good measure. The test came back clear in any case, although I have to go back next month for a follow-up check. If I did have an infection (and I'm pretty sure I did, judging from the constant need to pee and the "oh dear, my crotch seems to be on fire" sensation I had all night Sunday and most of Monday), it was fairly mild and managed to flush itself out. I'm still glad I had a test done though, because those things can get nasty if left untreated, and I was also secretly a bit worried that I was experiencing early symptoms of diabetes or something.

Anyhow, my first experience of the Japanese public health system was quite positive. I showed up without an appointment and in a clear state of un-emergency, but I was seen to within the hour, got treated respectfully, and was given my results pretty much straight away. Japan has mandatory health insurance and so 70% of my costs were covered. I still spent nearly 3000 yen (about US$25) for a really simple test that I would have gotten for free at university, but in the grand scheme of things I don't particularly care, and my follow-up appointment will cost nothing.

Anyhow, I'm still feeling kinda morose and worn down, from having gotten sick as well as a few other things that have been going on, but in general I'm doing okay and am relieved it wasn't anything major.
  • Current Mood: okay okay
  • Current Music: 369 Miroku - Kasumi
Ayumi Hamasaki - 'Fairyland'

Spring Vacation pt2: Luang Prabang, Laos

They might be right next to each other, but Laos feels a lot different to Vietnam. Luang Prabang was much like being on a tropical island, only minus the water part - palm trees everywhere, sweet-smelling air, and an extremely relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It's a little strange to say given Laos' situation: it's supposedly one of the most most corrupt countries in the world, certainly has one of the lowest annual incomes in the world, and comes with a terrible human rights record. And maybe it's only because I was a privileged white tourist, but Luang Prabang honestly seemed like a lovely place. The people are much more friendly than in Hanoi, the streets are generally quieter and cleaner, and even the plentiful stray animals look calm and well-fed. There were even signs around reminding people to take their time while walking!

19 photos under the cut.Collapse )
  • Current Mood: busy busy
Junjou Romantica - Misaki

Spring Vacation pt1: Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is a crazy city. As in, full-on bonkers. The honking of cars (and/or mopeds, because there were actually way more of those) never stops, the people flat out ignore you unless you want to buy something (or are pegged as a hapless tourist by the ever-opportunistic fruit sellers and shoe repairers), and the trees and overhead cables are in a constant state of battle - I really couldn't tell which side was winning. There's plenty to see, but three full days there was enough for us to do pretty much everything we had thought of, and some stuff that we hadn't.

15 photos under the cut.Collapse )
  • Current Mood: busy busy

Friends cut

I'll be doing an LJ friends cut shortly. If you still want to stay on my f-list, please leave a comment here saying so. (People I know in RL don't need to worry about this.) Please guys, be honest. I'm not going to be at all offended or ask for a reason if people choose not to comment - I'd much prefer to have people on my f-list who genuinely care (and who are still hanging around LJ on at least a semi-regular basis).
  • Current Mood: okay okay