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Yuji
21 June 2013 @ 01:16 pm
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Most of my artwork/photos will be public, but all personal posts will be for friends only. Please comment to be added. :)
 
 
Current Mood: chipper
Current Music: Snow Dance // Depapepe
 
 
Yuji
01 May 2012 @ 11:55 pm
L'arc~en~Ciel concert! It was an amazing concert. I've been rewatching my videos all the time. 



:) I went with Kathy. Both of us have been obsessed with the band since 8th grade, and what a coincidence that we were both on break when they came all the way to Paris to play. :3 We only waited in line for around 4 hours, but got an amazing view. There was a VIP section (which we couldn't enter as we didn't have those tickets), but were front row for the none-VIP section. (Although, to be honest, it was pretty far from the actual stage). 



They played all of my favorite songs, which made my life. :)  Hyde looked younger than ever. Ken spoke in French to the audience (though I had a reallllly hard time understanding it). Each member of the Band had their own MC/Solo (except Yuki who never said anything). Tetsu was amazing in his Bass solo! 


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Yuji
01 May 2012 @ 11:38 pm
 I'm sorry I've stopped updating! 



This is a picture from last week, a Simple Plan concert. :) I'll stop using initials for people's names because it's getting way too confusing. Recently I've been hanging out a lot with Paul, a guy from L.A. who moved to Bordeaux immediately after high school. He's been living in the city now for almost 2 years, and has been taking classes at the same university as me. We're both enrolled in the same theater class, which is how we've become friends. Since Paul has been here for so long (and since he's very outgoing and social and friendly), I've been introduced to many of his friends. 

Anyway, one of his good friends is David, a native Asian-Frenchie. We've actually met a couple weeks ago, but have been hanging out more lately. He's super cute, ahahaha. ;) We mostly talk in English because he likes to laugh at my French. But anyway, he had 2 tickets to a Simple Plan concert that his friend invited him to, except the same friend (who's a big fan) who invited him ending up bailing on him the day of. So David invited me instead. 

It wasn't a bad concert, We the Kings opened the show. The only thing was that David and I aren't exactly big fans (or um..fans at all) of Simple Plan's music. >> We were both there awkwardly amidst a crowd of screaming fans. But it was still a lot of fun. We mostly chatted throughout the whole thing. I got excited every time I heard a song that I actually knew. (David really only knew one song, the one they sing in French, haha). Also Simple Plan's from Canada, so their French was hard for me to understand because Quebecois is really not French at all...

The weather in Bordeaux has also been really bad lately. It's been rainy and cloudy a lot (which everyone tells me is not natural at all for April in Bordeaux). :( Hopefully it will stop raining soon because David and I are supposed to play tennis on Thursday! 
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Yuji
So I just came back from Disneyland Paris, an amazing place! I was embarrassed at first to tell my host parents where I was going for the weekend (because, hey, my Disney love is a bit like a guilty pleasure...), but they were really excited for me to go. :) I booked an apartment with R. through airbnb, and we got this amazing place that's only 6 minutes away from the actual park by bus. <3 The park comprised of the main Disneyland (which is very similar to the one in Anaheim), Walt Disney Studios (like California Adventures), and Disney Village (Downtown Disney).Although most of the rides are basically replicas of the ones at Anaheim, there are a couple with some major changes (and even completely different rides). The Indiana Jones, for example, is an actual intense roller coaster in France, complete with inversions and heavy drops. I really liked the roller coaster idea for Indiana Jones, but I still missed the L.A. version with the story. 

They also had Aerosmith (which I rode in Disney World), that's missing from the parks in Anaheim. <3 It's such a fun ride, goes from 0 - 54km in around 5 seconds or so. 

THE BEST RIDE THOUGH WAS CRUSH'S COASTER. Which doesn't exist anywhere in the world. It's based on Finding Nemo, and it's a roller coaster where you get to sit on a "turtle's shell." The coolest part though is that the turtle's shell spins in circles while you are experiencing drops and turns. So there's a lot of times where we'd be lurching forward, but spinning around and going on the next dive completely backwards or so. It's amazing. I loved it. Also, got to practice my French. :3 We met a couple of cool French guys who showed us around the parks (they have annual passes and are regulars), and got us to go on rides past the closing time of the parks (though sweet talking the amusement park workers in French for us~). (Although things got awkward when it was revealed that they were a year younger than us, and wanted to..uh..get more friendly). It was an amazing experience overall though!! 



The castle at Disneyland Paris is supposed to be the most gorgeous out of all the parks, and I can't help but agree. :) 



Big Thunder Mountain! It's not surrounded by stuff like it is in Anaheim, so you can appreciate the mountain in all its glory. 





A dragon hidden inside the Castle. 



My highlight was seeing the Aladdin. So cute. <3 Also I got a picture with Jack Sparrow, but R. has it on her camera. :(  This entry was originally posted at http://yuji.dreamwidth.org/115463.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Yuji
13 March 2012 @ 11:04 pm
I'm just a lazy butt who doesn't want to change all my photos from its 2000px sized glory to 500 px glory for this blog. But once  get over that, I will post some pictures on this sad, boring looking blog. Also, my internet is so crappy here that it literally days, I kid you not, DAYS, to upload 80 photos onto facebook. So...it might take a while. 

I just wanted to say that there are 2 Italian high schoolers staying for a week at my home stay. :) I think my home stay parents  are addicted to hosting people, because a month ago there was an Argentinian from Buenos Aires who stayed with us for a week. Anyhow, these two high schoolers are from Bologna (close to Florence!). 

They speak French at around the same level as me, and after dinner I chatted with them, except we switched to ENGLISH because their English is better than their French. I have to say, I felt guilty when Andreas looked at me because it's weird speaking English in my home stay house. :( But I can't help it, I have no personality in French! I make people laugh in English! 

But yeah, just talking to foreigners makes me feel so awkwardly proud to be american. It's weird because so many tourist-y sites (and people in the US in general) always say how you shouldn't broadcast being American. But honestly, everyone who finds out I'm from California or the US are always either excited or at their worst, ambivalent. These two Italians were gushing over what I watched and what I listened to. (They watch and listen to pretty much the same things). It's strange to think of America as the world's modern pop culture center. They wanted to know about my daily life and if it was similar to their tv shows (so wanted to lie and say yes!). And it's just weird, because pretty much most of the Americans I know are so jaded about our country. 

On a better note! I just bought new pens. >> And I have been drawing none stop with them. <3 

On another note! I have been talking more to A. and J. They are both very amusing, especially A., who I know likes the attention. 
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Yuji
06 March 2012 @ 10:04 pm
I'll make a more detailed post soon-ish on all the places I've visited so far. But here's quick list and their highlights so I don't forget. Pictures and things will come soon! After I upload and edit them. >> Which actually might take a while...

Porto: 

My first trip outside of Bordeaux! The coolest part about this trip was meeting 4 Belgium girls at my hostel. They were all pretty decent at English, but would speak in Flemish to each other. I got to learn a couple of Dutch words while being with them though! They are all currently studying at Antwerp...so when I go to Belgium I'll have tour guides and places to stay. :) 

Porto is known for its port wine, which I tried a bit as well. It's very good, sweeter than red wine. Another good thing about Porto was its weather. I went during one of the coldest weeks in Bordeaux, and it was noticeably 20 degrees warmer (no exaggeration) in Porto. 

Paris:

Just being in Paris was amazing. It has the same feel as Bordeaux in that the buildings have the same type of architecture (unlike Toulouse), but it feels a lot bigger, in an almost overwhelming kind of way. 

I stayed in an apartment through airbnb that was literally 2 minutes away from the Arc de Triomphe. It's hard to pick a highlight of Paris because I loved every minute of it. I think the Musée d'Orsay made everything better though. I went with J. and M., which was amazing because J. is also an art history major. We were squealing over every painting we've studied together. The whole museum is full of gems, with each significant painting feeling like a mini "celebrity" sighting. <3 

Also seeing the Caravaggios in the Louvre made my day. I totally forgot that Death of a Virgin was at the Louvre! Also saw the Fortune Teller piece. <3 <3 

London: 

BILLY ELLIOT! We bought tickets for £18.50 (and got front row seats in the second story!). Billy Elliot is so amazing. I loved it, I'm actually listening to the soundtrack right now. I'm so glad that we ended up watching a musical. There isn't much left to say about London. It's a great city, just really expensive. We got Chipotle there (because the lack of Mexican food, or I mean, the inexistence of Mexican food, in Bordeaux is starting to kill me), and all the prices are the same...just in pounds. So yeah, I really did just eat a burrito for £7.00 D: D: 

Berlin:

Getting to stay with my friend K. from Berkeley! She was such a great hostess. <3 She was also, coincidentally, in the same apartment building as R's boyfriend, so the 4 of us got to hang out together. I also got to party with a couple of German locals, since one of the guys from the program is good friends with a local German. :) So one night I got to hang out with 3 German guys (with everyone else), and learned a couple swear words in German and how to count to ten. 

The best thing about Berlin is how modernized everything is (which is also sad...but let's not think about WWII). We went into 2 museums (Jewish Museum and the Film Museum), and everything is shiny and interactive and very tastefully designed. They were the most modern and interesting museums I've ever been in, complete with many touch screens and things like that. 

Berlin is also the cheapest EU city I've been to so far. We got huge cocktails for €3,50 (think imperial pint sized), and enormous kebabs (also the best tasting kebab I've ever had in EU) for €2,50. By the way, if I haven't mentioned it already, kebabs are huge in EU for some reason. They are everywhere I go. 

Amsterdam: 

Surprisingly quaint. The buildings in Amsterdam are all sweet looking with lots of character. They're colorful and reminiscent of a fairy tale setting. The best part of Amsterdam was...relaxing. We went to the Anne Frank museum which was pretty cool (yet tragic). 

Edinburgh:

I LOVE EDINBURGH. I NEED TO GO BACK TO SCOTLAND. Edinburgh just feels like it has so much history. All the roads are paved with cobblestone, the buildings are still very old looking, there are almost no modern looking buildings there at all. Great views of everything. It was the best! 
 

This entry was originally posted at http://yuji.dreamwidth.org/115031.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Yuji
21 February 2012 @ 10:08 pm
So pictures of Porto and Paris will not be coming till a bit later. :X Yeah, I know. I suck at uploading stuff. 

This is just a post on how excited I am about everything! 

R. is as big of a Disneyland person as I am, so when we found out about Disneyland Paris we were both itching to go. We've actually already purchased Paris train tickets (68 euros roundtrip!) and have found and rented an apartment that's literally 5 minutes away (walking) from the Disneyland.  

All that's left is getting the tickets! We are most likely going to buy an annual pass (lol) because it's cheaper than getting a 3 day ticket. Also we'll be getting 10% off all stores and restaurants. :D I'm most definitely coming back in May or June, because the Disneyland will be celebrating a 20th Anniversary during those months! <3 Also for my upcoming vacation, I'll be going to Berlin for a couple of days. It turns out that a friend of mine from Berkeley is already there (K.) and so I'll be staying with her during my time in Berlin. :) R's boyfriend is actually in the same program as K. and they both live in the same apartment complex! As it turns out, R. will be in Berlin visiting her boyfriend on the same days that I'm there. :) We'll both be exploring the city together during the times that her boyfriend and my friend have class. I love it when things turn out great like this! 
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Yuji
20 February 2012 @ 11:03 pm
 
 
Yuji
20 February 2012 @ 04:15 pm
I went to Toulouse in the end of January with a couple other EAP students. The first night we stayed in an apartment, and for the next two nights we stayed at Hotel des Ambassadors. A relatively cheap hotel for great accommodations.  I would definitely recommend the place to anyone who plans on going to Toulouse. The person who worked behind the desk was very nice and friendly. He actually gave us a map and circled every place that we should go to (and highlighted bus routes to get to said place), gave great food recommendations, and even blacked out areas to NOT go to at night. 




 
This is me in front of the Gare Saint Jean, the main train station of Bordeaux. Yeah, I have my glasses on (for once). 




 
R. and I in front of a giant rooster sculpture. 




 

 

Landscape shots of Toulouse. I'm not sure if you can tell, but Toulouse is actually more "French" than Bordeaux in terms of architecture. The buildings use a lot of red brick (so sometimes I think it's called the Red City?). Bordeaux was actually under English rule for a bit, so much of its architecture and the styling of the city has a British-French mixed feel to it. To be quite honest, although I liked how Toulouse did feel a bit more "French-y", the buildings at Bordeaux are much nicer looking (and cleaner feeling). <3 This is really a long way of saying that while I had fun at Toulouse, I most definitely prefer Bordeaux. 


 

A group shot of us in front of our hotel. :) 


We went to the Musée des Beaux Arts at Toulouse (much better than the one at Bordeaux, haha). There was a Greco-Roman section that was pretty interesting. There were also a lot of paintings hung Salon style, that ranged from Baroque to Neoclassicism. The Musée was actually formed from a convent, so there's a small church inside of the museum. 








 
A hallway of the museum. 




 
A fountain!




 
The architecture inside the museum was so beautiful. Here's just a shot of the staircase on one of the levels of the museum. 




 
A small exhibit on Roman columns. Me and R. being silly.




 
A tablet. I love the typography on this! I don't know what language this is, it doesn't look French. 




 
Self explanatory. 




 
Do we copy the pose correctly?? 




 
An example of the inside of the museum (with the Salon style paintings!) 





 


 
This is the Capitole du Toulouse, in the main square of the city. Right across from this building is a cafe shop that was recommended by the hotel desk manager. :) 

There, I got a café viennois, which looked like this:



 
Yeah, it tasted as good as it looked. 




 
Group picture at the café. 




 
On the ceiling of the awning in front of the café were these amazing modern art pieces. 





 
Nighttime shot of the Capitole





 

We actually went inside the Capitole (though you're only allowed into a part of it). 




 
A staircase inside. :) 





 


 
One of the hallways. 




 
Out in the plaza was a fire dancer. 





 


 

In Toulouse we also went to Les Abattoirs, the modern art museum that was recommended by one of my French art student friends and my art professor. They were doing a special exhibition on Vladimir Velickovic. His stuff is pretty disturbing, but I absolutely loved it. He paint strokes have so much movement in them. It's great how he can capture so much with so little lines. Everything just flows and looks fluid when he paints.

 


 
Here are a couple of my favorite pieces by him. 




 

These are all the "tame" pictures that he's done. 





 


 

One of my favorites, it's very Francis Bacon-y, which is weird because I hate Francis Bacon. 





 


 

My favorite piece, it gave me the chills. 



 

This is actually a huge Picasso, La dépouille de Minotaure en costume d'Arlequin

Landscape shots of Toulouse:









 



 



 


 
Too bad it's so dark, but another group shot. 




 
The photography gallery that we went into. 




 
The French really like their carousels. 


In action!! 

That's it for Toulouse! I actually also went to their Museum d'Histoire Naturelle (I don't know why they call it Museum instead of Musée), but I don't have any pictures of it. It's very interesting though, filled with many animal bones and dead animal specimens. There were also a couple peacocks in their garden! 

These are all my small edited photos, I actually have a lot more which you can find on my facebook here 
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Current Location: Toulouse, France
 
 
Yuji
20 February 2012 @ 03:49 pm
So much has happened. I'm going to try to post everything that's gone on for the past month in the next few days. I finally uploaded the pictures I took from Toulouse, but this has been my travel schedule so far:

1.26 - 1.28: Toulouse, France
2.09 - 2.11: Porto, Portugal
2.17 - 2.19: Paris, France

And then next week it will be:
London, Berlin, Amsterdam (for 24 hours), and Edinburgh.

This is just a general post on things that happened at Bordeaux, and the next few ones will be about the trips I just came back from. :)

So far, all my classes have been amazing. I'm having a lot of fun in them. I'm only taking the minimum amount of units and I only actually have class from Tuesday to Thursday. I still have a bit of work to do though, since my classes are mostly studio classes. So far I've done a ink wash drawing 50 x 65 cm and designed 6 brochures for my classes. I still have to complete a 33x33 cm graphite piece, do a contour line drawing of my living quarters, and design 3 more brochures for design. I might post a couple of things up later.



This is a picture of Mollat, one of the biggest (and coolest!) bookstores in Bordeaux. I've spent so much time here just browsing a couple art books. They have pretty much everything in there, even a section on books in English. :)



Next to Mollat is a gelato place called Amorino. I got yogurt/mango flavored gelato, and it was amazing. Maybe the best gelato I've had so far, the mango flavor tastes just like the fruit when ripe. Also, this gelato place shapes the gelato in the form of a flower when you buy a cone.



--

Below is just a random collection of pictures I've taken at Bordeaux:


This is me in front of the Musée des Beaux Arts at Bordeaux. It's unfortunately undergoing renovation until the Spring, so there isn't that much artwork to see inside right now, but the outside is still gorgeous. 


This was taken in front of a building at Saint Émilion, a region famous for its wine in Bordeaux. While there, we also visited a huge underground monolithic church (the biggest in Europe), and the cave that the patron saint (Saint Émilion) lived in while he was hermit-ing his days away in a very Shakyamuni kind of way. 


Part of the outside of the church (the part that's above ground, obviously). 


Another angle. 


These are a small section of the wine barrels we saw while visiting one of the vineries. 


Some dead grape vines. 


This is an image of the Grande Théâtre, I actually live 20 minutes by foot from here. :) I really want to see a play, opera, orchestra live here, so I may purchase some tickets soon. Right across from the Grande Théâtre is the Regent, a grand 5 star hotel (and best one in Bordeaux), and Larnicol, an amazing bakery that sells delicious macarons.


Also near the Grande Théâtre is this carousel. You can actually see a bit of the Grande Théâtre in this picture (it's in the background on the left). I love how the carousel lights up in the evening.


This is what it looks like when I'm walking from my homestay toward the Grande Théâtre.  


This is a picture of my washing machine. What do all those things mean? I was so confused when I first used it, because I had no idea what to press. There are actually more buttons on the left side, and the dryer is even MORE confusing. 


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Current Location: Bordeaux, France