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Farewell Parties and the end of a semester

Tokyo Travel Blog

 › entry 32 of 32 › view all entries
kiel hamm, M.D.
As the semester quickly came to a close toward the end of January, things became kind of hectic. Sayonara-parties, farewell-parties, and just plain partying-for-the-last-time-together-parties were in full force. Of course, this was all around our school schedule as well, what with studying, papers, quizzes, and final exams. Top that off with packing, shipping boxes homes, and moving-out of the dorms, and you have quite the busy month. It was especially so for those of us going home after the end of the semester in February. This was only a handful of us though, most of the students would be returning for the Spring semester. Unfortunately, I would not.

Did I mention I got rather sick as well? Perhaps it was the cold weather in Tokyo.
snow in tokyo. as seen from the 6th floor of building 11 at sophia.
..perhaps it was the partying and staying up late studying. Hard to say. Anyway, I decided to sport the surgical mask while I was sick. Everyone does it in Japan, and I always get asked by friends back home why they see the Japanese running around in their business suits and surgical masks. It's simple really: when you lose all personal space, like you tend to do in Japan because it's so crowded, there needs to be some form of disease control when everyone is sick and coughing. The mask is not only stylish and trendy, but it helps to cover your cough and sneeze when you can't move your hand to cover it (because your hand is temporarily immobile when you're stuffed into the trains). BTW, there is no over-the-counter cold medicine in Japan like there is in America. Only cough drops and vitamin drinks.
If you catch the common cold, you go to the hospital and see the doctor to get medicine. It's just what everyone does. Public. Health. Care. In it's purest form.

It did snow a few times in Tokyo. It was really peaceful when it did. Seemed like the city kind of slowed down and became much quieter for a bit. Another thing that seems strange to foreigners is to see people walking around with umbrellas while it's snowing. I'm not sure why it is so strange, I mean, I think it makes sense...afterall snow is still water. Just one of those Japanese oddities I guess though.

Anyway, this blog contains some photos from all of the above mentioned, but it's mostly photos of me and the people that I met while here on the program - some of the best, funniest, most enjoyable people I've met in my life.
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kiel hamm, M.D.
kiel hamm, M.D.
snow in tokyo. as seen from the 6t…
snow in tokyo. as seen from the 6…
more snow in shinjuku.
more snow in shinjuku.
proof that i was there right.
proof that i was there right.
alan and me playing some crazy dri…
alan and me playing some crazy dr…
oh yeah, japan has mario kart, for…
oh yeah, japan has mario kart, fo…
serious mario kart action. looks w…
serious mario kart action. looks …
another awesome japanese game: the…
another awesome japanese game: th…
erika and alan decided to play.
erika and alan decided to play.
the one-liner says it all.
the one-liner says it all.
jonathan, alan, me on the chuo lin…
jonathan, alan, me on the chuo li…
a mighty fine bunch.
a mighty fine bunch.
we were at our favorite bar, a Bri…
we were at our favorite bar, a Br…
our final kanpai at the CIEE farew…
our final kanpai at the CIEE fare…
me and the director of the program…
me and the director of the progra…
me and ayako san!
me and ayako san!
keri and me.
keri and me.
me and my girlfriend, hazuki san! …
me and my girlfriend, hazuki san!…
erika. me. mortal enemies.
erika. me. mortal enemies.
the small group of CIEE students l…
the small group of CIEE students …
karaoke
karaoke
we like to make funny faces.
we like to make funny faces.
CIEE!
CIEE!
jonathan and i.
jonathan and i.
thats matt, hes awesome.
that's matt, he's awesome.
the johns.
the johns.
me and destinee.
me and destinee.
in the streets of shibuya...
in the streets of shibuya...
...and the crowded last trains hom…
...and the crowded last trains ho…
3,825 km (2,377 miles) traveled
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photo by: maka77