September Reflections

Alex Nguyen
September 29, 2015
As the summer days fade away into the nostalgic dreams of yesteryear, autumn in Japan is encroaching with a rather gentle pace. With the onset of milder days and faster-encroaching nights, I can't help but feel an utter sense of optimism for what the next few months are sure to bring. This island nation has so much to offer and I'm obviously not going to pass up on any opportunity to experience it fully and intimately. In the past month, I've done the following: 1. Visited Asakusa and Senso-ji Temple and found myself in traditional Tokyo for the first time 2. Traveled to Kyoto for the holidays with friends and had the most fun while seeing so many temples, shrines, and cultural icons 3. Ate at least ten bowls of ramen of different broths and noodle types 4. Consumed a copious amount of matcha in a plethora of forms like pasta, noodles, ice cream, shaved ice, and MORE 5. Unintentionally stumbled upon food markets and famous street alleys only to find the best and cheapest food ever aka the best takoyaki I may have ever had for the equivalent of $2 USD 6. Stayed out so late in Tokyo that I had to wait until the 5 AM train to return home and consequently wake up at 2 PM the next day (or same day, I guess) 7. Realized that my Japanese skills have actually gotten much more proficient than I thought they would (immersion is cool) 8. Enjoyed some very intimate and cozy dinners with my program friends, Japanese friends, and host family I've done much more, but these are the only things I can come to write off the top of my head. I only share and reflect on these events because 1) they were pretty great and worth sharing and 2) it's only been a month and I've done this much, so that must obviously mean that there's even more for me to do in the following three! These September moments were pretty cute, but I'm sure October moments will be even cuter. Stay tuned.

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Alex Nguyen

<p>Hi, I&#39;m Alex. I&#39;m a junior at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies and dabbling in other areas of interest like race &amp; ethnicity studies. Outside of school, I like to eat, cook, take pictures, shop, have long conversations, and travel. Food, fashion, culture, literature, and music are all things I love. Black and gold are my favorite colors. Having lived in New York City for two years now, I feel quite at home. However, living in Japan is something I have wanted to do all my life, so I&#39;m quite excited to finally live out that dream. From the local culture to the food to the fashion, I&#39;m pumped to engage with it all during my semester abroad.</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
Columbia University - CC and SEAS
Urban Studies
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