On Friday we had a dinner party with members of my division which I've always been reluctant about. I'm too awkward for these social events among Japanese, I don't drink, I have a strict diet, I'm not funny, I never know what to say and I never got all the jokes. The first hour was bearable, I enjoyed watching them having fun. But after 1.5 hours... and then past 2 hours time, I grew restless, I kept rubbing the skin on my arm while praying that someone will finally wrap the party up SO I CAN GO HOME. I miss my boys. I kept thinking about BTS the whole time. I went home with one other lady from the division, and unfortunately we were going the same direction. When she got off the train first, I rushed to find my MP3 player to listen to BTS like an addict on withdrawal.
On Saturday I had plans with my friend Christine who is visiting Japan with her family. She said she'll be done taking her family to imperial palace at around 9, so hopefully we could meet at around 10. The place we wanted to visit isn't far from my place, and I wanted to learn it beforehand so I will have some rough image about where we're going and what to do there. So I got out of my house at around 9 (I don't remember exactly), and wander around the area following google map's direction while taking pictures of flowers in front of people's houses like a creepy, suspicious person that I am. I decided to just walk to Nippori Station where we should be meeting even though there's quite a distance from my house (probably around 30 minutes walk). But the weather was nice, the air was clear, and it's nice to bask in sunshine every once in a while (yes, I applied my sun screen). I walked around, saw so many beautiful plants and flowers, and the place was actually quite nice. It was calm, peaceful, surrounded by nature with some people taking their cute dog(s) for a walk. The place was not swarmed by tourists unlike the most popular spots in town.
However, after walking for a while, I still haven't gotten any messages from Christine and it's already past 11. I grew impatient and felt a bit tired after walking, too. Turns out her family was leaving the hotel much later than she estimated. We met at 12, we ate at a restaurant near the station and had a great talk catching up with everything. We started walking from the cemetery and right from the get go Christine LOVED the place. It really was nice. There are some visitors and tourists, but it's not jam-packed like most popular tourist attractions. It's not a garden per se, but the amount and many types of flowers they have were amazing. We took photos of the flowers and scenery and Christine couldn't stop gushing about how cute the place is.
We stopped at an old Japanese traditional house re-functioned as a cafe and spent quite some time there drinking coffee and creme brule. We visited another old house (said to be 120 years old!) re-purposed as an exhibition space. We saw a shooting star while walking around! We went to Nezu shrine. Initially I wanted to see the Azalea festival, but it was starting to get darker when we got there and only a small portion of the Azaleas were blooming so we only looked at it from afar and decided not to get in. While walking back to the station, we found Yanaka Ginza, it was nice but again, it was getting dark and some of the stores were closing. But the scene was beautiful. We took pictures of the Yuyake-dandan steps with sunset sky in the background. After that, we went to Shinjuku because Christine wanted to visit Tokyu Hands in Takashimaya. To be honest I was dead tired then from being outside all day, but I decided to accompany her anyway. We separated as she got on a taxi heading to her hotel.
On Sunday, I decided to get my life together like a normal, responsible, functioning adult so I stayed at home. I washed 2 loads of laundry and folded everything that has been on my apartment floor for weeks. I felt like I did pretty good. Oh also, one other significant thing I decided to do was to stay away from Bangtan. I knew I will get too hyped and crazy when I start doing anything involving them so I stayed away from even listening to their songs (although they're playing in my head). I was afraid that I'm going to waste away my weekend again doing nothing and continue living half life dwelling in this filthy, messy place. I had Netflix on all day, playing something I knew wouldn't take up too much of my attention because I needed to do CHORES. It was a thriller tv series called Slasher. It was nothing brilliant or original, but watchable (small town, murders connected to 7 deadly sins, etc). The point of all thriller movies/series is the reveal of who the murderer actually is, which will always be the big ending, so the middle part was just unimportant fillers intended to make us question every single character on the show. In the end I managed to clean my room, wash laundry & dishes, and also finally wrote/decorate some of the postcards for postcrossing I've put off for more than a week (I lost a little bit of my postcrossing passion because of my brand new Bangtan obsession).
I tried to sleep early but had difficulties falling asleep (again) so I popped a sleeping pill for the first time. I've had sleeping problems for a while (not that severe, but I often have trouble falling asleep ended up sleep deprived and feeling miserable the next day), but I was really paranoid about taking sleeping pills. When I was in Jakarta, after many sleep deprived days, I went to the drug store to buy them. I talked to the drug store shop keeper, I mentioned I've never taken a sleeping pill before, I asked her which one should I take. I went with her recommendation which she said is herbal so it's not supposed to be that strong. I took one pill at 8 PM that night and it completely knocked me out. I woke up the next day struggling to even stand up, like I was paralyzed! I was trying to get ready for work, but my body wouldn't cooperate so I text my boss saying I'm taking the day off. I slept through the whole day and woke up again in the afternoon. I gathered all the strengths that I had to get out of the apartment and get food. Even at 6 PM (after sleeping for 22 hours) the effect was still quite strong and it was still really, really hard for me to walk. I was traumatized! I told my mom, my sister and my friends about the horrifying experience and they all told me not to take that pill ever again (duh). Ever since, no matter how difficult it was for me to fall asleep, I've never taken a single pill. Until a couple of months ago when I told a nurse at my office health clinic that I've had trouble sleeping for a while now, but am afraid of sleeping pills because of my experience with one. She told me there are types of sleeping pills with small dosage designed to help you sleep, but won't make your body feels heavy the next day. I went to a doctor describing that drug to get it prescribed. I've had them in my possession for months now, but I kept hesitating to take them even when I've been tossing and turning in my bed for hours, still afraid of the effect. Anyway, finally last night I took one. I prepared myself mentally for a worst case scenario, that I wouldn't be able to get up in the morning and had to take another rest day. But today I woke up earlier than usual even with less than the ideal 8 hours sleep, feeling fresh and awake. The sun was shining, I had time to prepare for my lunch box and coffee, and I wasn't late to work. I guess it worked great!