Feeling Multicultural!

Hello once again, I’m back! I’m currently on Spring Break, which is a very American thing even though it’s just a week of holidays (I’d much prefer 3 weeks off, like we have for Easter Holidays in the UK, but hey, you can’t win em all). As a matter of fact, this blog is currently being written (typed if we’re being honest) in a different state! I’m in Wisconsin right now! (at the current time of typing). I won’t get into any details, as I’ll save that for when that blog comes around (knowing me though, you could be waiting a while! 😅).

Anyways, getting to where I left off, being Wednesday the 25th of January. I had a day off! I thought it would be a good idea to do some shopping today. This was a terrible idea! I got back in the afternoon and realised I had a ton of reading to do for all 4 for my classes by the next day! I spent most of the evening in the library…

Classes on Thursday were interesting once again. In the Politics class I found out that 3 other members from the Indiana politics groups that I was in last semester, were also in this class! Then things got weird in the Journalism class when the lecturer took a turn to discuss Donald Trump’s tiny hands, which apparently is really important news. Finally, in the English class today, the lights randomly all went out. We were talking about dead people at the time, so that was really spooky!

On the 27th of January, Etsu invited us over for some food which was really nice of her. This was also a chance to meet some new people and make some friends. First there was Miriam’s new roommate: Morgan, and Etsu’s new roommate: Amanda. Then there’s Seohyeon who’s from South Korean and also lives on Freedom Apartments. They’re all very nice and fun to hang out with (plus their place is always so tidy, unlike mine…)

New friends 2017

At the front and centre is Rikako, the from left to right its: Etsu, Caitlin, me, Hugo, Morgan, Miriam, Seohyeon and Miriam’s friend (who’s name has slipped my mind)

The 28th of January was the day of the Chinese New Year, this year it’s the year of the rooster! To celebrate, we once again went over to C7 for food. This time we all worked together to make dumplings! They weren’t as difficult to prepare as I thought they’d be. It involved filling a thin dough pancake with the filling of your choice (Vegetables, meat, cheese etc), putting water in a semi-circle patter on it and then closing in and wrinkling the edges, and finally cooking. They were amazing! Some of Etsu and Rikako’s friends also came over and brought a sort of soup that was made from rice and eggs. It sounds strange but tasted very good.

Chinese New Year 2017 foodChineses New Year 2017 Friends

After food, we played ‘Werewolf’ and then an explicit version of ‘snog, marry, avoid’ which was inspired by Etsu and Rikako’s sudden Tinder obsession. Nevertheless, it was still a very fun evening, and I was certainly more comfortable being back at Albany.

On Sunday, I was very pleased with myself, as I had cooked a very tasty chicken and bacon risotto. This may not sound that significant, but last semester I was getting pretty fed up of eating the same things over and over again. So I’ve decided to change that this semester. Plus, it’s always nice to have leftovers for about 2 days and not have to worry about what I’m going to cook for the next day. Monday the 30th was Skype and shopping, Tuesday was uninteresting and on Wednesday the 1st of February I did some more cooking. This time I cooked a salmon and cream cheese pasta, at the recommendation of my Italian uncle. This too was very tasty.

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Tuesday the 2nd was a very busy day, as I already had a test, essay and reading assignment due today. Thankfully I enjoy all my classes, but boy do they pile on the work here! On the 3rd of February, there was a Japanese holiday called ‘Setsubun’. It’s like a Spring holiday to welcome in the new season, by throwing beans at a demon… you know, the usual! Now, we obviously can’t do this little ritual without a demon. So, to decide who would take on this role of the demon or ‘Oni’ (Japanese for Demon), we decided to do the short straw method but with cards. Who got the demon card!? ME, it was me…

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So, I was then weirdly ushered into Etsu’s room by her and Rikako, where I was given a little oni mask to help me get in character. All I had to do was act like a demon, have beans pelted at me and then be kicked out of the dorm, easy. The point of leaving is to then comeback as myself: Steffan, and tell everyone that I just saw a demon running away on my way in. So, what really happened that evening was that, as I arrived at Etsu’s for Setsubun, I saw a demon leaving their building. It was quite the sight!

Some more demons showed up so I did get a chance to throw some beans at them which was fun. After we were all rid of the onis, it was time for another little Japanese tradition. It involved eating a sugar rice roll called ‘ehoumaki’ in a certain direction that changed each year. You’re also supposed to make a wish with each bite. This year we had to eat our roll facing the North West, we also had to eat in complete silence and stand up once we’d finished. It was really strange, but very enjoyable. We played some ‘battle of the sexes’, still found humour in Etsu and Rikako’s tinder obsession, and all in all just had a very fun time.

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Now I’m not sure if it was on this day or on this weekend that ‘pee gate’ (I’ll explain shortly) happened, but I’ll talk about it now. So around this time in the semester, we got a new suitemate moving into the single room (the luck bugger!). I hadn’t really introduced myself to him, but after ‘pee gate’ I didn’t really want to. The next morning, I woke up and walked into the kitchen. I saw some towels on the floor and thought that someone must have spilt something last night. I should also mention that I was barefoot at this time. It’s not until my other suitemate Nate came and spoke to me, that I found out the whole story.

Basically, this new suitmate, also called Nate, had gotten roaring drunk, and as a result of this drunken state, started peeing on the floors and even on the two couches! I was, and still am, DISGUSTED!

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What an introduction, I’m just glad that I wasn’t there when it happened. So much for things improving in the flat this semester!

Moving swiftly on to better things, on Saturday we went out to an Arabic restaurant for Arabic food at Mimi’s (Miriam’s new nickname that Rikako gave her, that we all use now 😃) suggestion. It was a really old style place and had some nice Arabic décor. I ordered a lamb dish, from a numerous selection of other lamb dishes. I loved this, as Wales too loves its lamb. After the main course, we had a very intersting selection of desserts to choose from, including honey cake and Baklava! (The only reason I even know Baklava exists, is thanks to The Great British Bake Off!). They were all so good and very sweet. It was nice to go out for food, and I felt like I was certainly doing more activities this semester so far.

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The next day was the Superbowl, which we watched at Rikako’s place with nachos, chicken wings (so American!) and Sangria (So European!). It was between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons were leading for the first two/three quarters and looked like they were going to run away with the whole thing. But nope! The Patriots came back from something like 3 to 21 to win the thing at 34 to 28! We were witnessing history, as this game set many records. It was the largest deficit overcome to win a Superbowl, and the first ever Superbowl to go into overtime! It was also pretty cool that my family had stayed up to watch it the same time as me back home ,where it was pretty late.

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The whole event though was very entertaining, from the ads to Lady Gaga’s half time performance that just got memed. We ended up playing a new board game too, which involved asking personal questions about ourselves and having one person guess which answer belonged to each person, it’s very revealing and provides opportunity to learn some new things about people you thought you knew a lot about.

On Monday the 6th, I was doing my typical reading for the week, when I randomly decided to check my student emails. To my horror, I found an email from my history professor reminding us that the first part of our mini dissertation assignment was due tomorrow! Luckily for me this only involved writing a short paragraph about what our topic would be. I’ve had a topic in mind for a while but wasn’t sure If I wanted to commit to it. But I’ve gone ahead with it anyway; Cold War popular culture in America. We’ll just have to see how things go!

Well I think that’ll do for now. I know I’m still very far behind and have a long way to catch up, but at least that means these blogs will be more of a surprise. You never know what you’re going to get! I hope those of you who’ve had Spring Break have enjoyed yourselves, and if you haven’t had Spring Break, I still hope you’ve had a nice week! Until next time…

TTFN

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One thought on “Feeling Multicultural!

  1. Dear oni Steffan
    Love it all ..you would love to go to Japan to do a p/g Japanese course next. Lizzy went several times but her Year out like yours was amazing. We were there about this time in the year and had a super time with her friends (she had to come back to uk for Steven’s funeral which was a bit of a downer+++)
    She made some excellent friends during that time and has kept in touch and visited them around the world.
    Due to pick up A.Mary next week-we are stopping in Windsor for a couple of nights doing the castle and changing of the guard then bringing her back Good Friday for a few days..
    Take care and wish a chocolate Easter…xxxxx

    Like

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