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Disturbing dream, take two

The dreams the past two nights have been unsettling, but this one just now has probably been the most unsettling of all.

Often, in dreams, one is able to have free will of some sort, to be able to do as one pleases. In the past, I've been able to rewind, etc.

This one had one moment that I can recall that was a bit fanciful, and involved me being able to do some supernatural things like fly through the air and ask trees to bend for me. But that was just that one very brief scene.

What happened after that ran like a horror movie.

I was seeing things for the most part through the eyes of a classmate. A real classmate from high school times that I won't name here.

We were in a school, but there was something unsettling about the school. Lots of unexplained things.

What I got from the dream was that this classmate had been unwittingly, and probably unwillingly, pulled into some sort of research of the evil and unnatural kind. I'm not talking stem-cell research or anything. I'm talking creatures from the underworld, unexplainable horrors type of research. The dream had her wandering the halls (because the route back to class from the bathroom unexplicably changed the past two times), and seeing all sorts of unsettling things. A dog-wolf creature in one dark doorless room that you could barely see, but knew without seeing that it was a terrible, terrible beast. The creature in the next room, you also couldn't see, but you knew that it also was horrible, this time for what had been done to it.

The main point was that the buildings there had the feeling of having been recently unearthed. As in, they had previously been buried in the ground. There was plastic covering all supposed entrances and exits to and from this area, but somehow without knowing it my classmate had found herself inside the area and had gotten out (the second time it was very clear, with the plastic and everything). She returned to the classroom shaken, but to find that she was being sent back home (another one or two classmates as well), under the pretense that she was very sick. My classmate was relieved, and happy to be going back home.

But somehow.

Somehow something happened, I guess. The man that was in charge of the school was heading to our classroom to visit... I suppose there was some sort of reason to this, such as we were getting close to figuring something out, but I can't remember it now.

Well, from a lower cupboard...

My classmate, partially naked, had been hiding there and wanted to come out to meet the man...

But for some reason, she told me to communicate for her to the class using a headphone/microphone set while she hid back in the cupboard.

The man had still not arrived.

She described the man as some sort of beast, and we could find an approximation of him in the Reading Rainbow, somewhere under "C"

I was not really sure what she was referring to, but the teacher seemed to have some sort of idea of at least the Reading Rainbow, and assigned the class to look for it... even sending a classmate out to get some sections or something that we didn't have in the classroom. (I'm not sure why we had Reading Rainbow in the classroom, I don't really know what it is, but I'm pretty sure at the age we were, we shouldn't have had it... grade-school stuff)

Anyhow, we're not able to find it, but somewhere during this, I am not getting replies from her when I ask her things in the mic, and I'm not hearing anything from the other side.

I open the cupboard, and it's her lifeless body...

I'm horrified, and scream "NO!" and her name and such... pretty much crying... (she was the best of us)

Then, from the next cupboard, the sound of someone trying to get out...

It's her body, without a head, and attached to this tray of stuff... there are little clamp-like things that can manipulate the stuff (I think it was nutrients or something) but she says (in her voice) that it's still kind of new and she needs my help to adjust the clamps around the nutrients... I do so, but

at this point my head is swimming at what must have happened

Also, headless classmate.

She explains that she's going too far into the research now, so she has to switch to this type of body...

And I'm thinking WTF weren't you going home, what research!?

And shortly after that, I woke up.
13 June - It was a wonder that I hadn't thrown up yet.

We were in a minivan, going up a very windy road up Alishan (阿里山) in Taiwan. With me were complete strangers: A mother and her young son and daughter, three college-aged girls on an outing, and the driver, who seemed to have a death wish. I actually screamed in my head, "HOLY SHIT YOU IDIOT WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE" more than once.. it was probably about four times. We were winding and overtaking every vehicle we came across.. not slowing down at all on blind turns.. About 3/8ths into the trip, the daughter started not feeling well. Her mother asked to switch places with one of the college girls to tend to her daughter. I dutifully passed the carsickness bags and tissues. 5/8ths into the trip, she started throwing up, with her mother comforting her. Felt sorry for the kid.

Thought that was it, but then, at about 7/8ths into the ride, her younger brother also started throwing up.. by now, I was used to the routine. Wait for the vomit to fill about half the bag, and then hand the mother another.

Thankfully, that was the end of the vomit escapades. The three college girls were conked out in the back, so they didn't partake in the festivities.

For me, this side excursion was a scouting mission. I knew I wouldn't have enough time, nor the walking ability (see: excruiciating pain, Day 6), to enjoy Alishan to the fullest, so I was determined to make the best of the minivan ride up the mountain (STUNNING views), and the train ride down on the Alishan Forest Railway (very soothing and green). What I missed out on, and will be doing the next time: awesome hikes, and staying overnight in order to catch the sunrise.



Some other highlights:


  • Hiroshima and my first Japan taxi ride! On the way to the hotel, we saw some food stalls set up on the streets with banners, and the driver informed me that I got to Hiroshima just in time for the Yukata Festival!


  • Tokyo, round 2: DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland with shadowfaxrider! Next time, we will find Duffy and make him ours!!!! Muahahahaha!!! Electric Light Parade!!


  • Taipei 101: Expensive but interesting stores, and a spectacular view (go at night to guarantee spectacularness, or pick a clear day)... also, the ELEVATOR!!!


  • Staying at my mom's family's abandoned townhouse-ish thing in Shanghai was good, up to a point. Nearby, couple of ex-pat restaurants, to satisfy my western food cravings.


  • Xitang, a historic old village - HOTTTT.. too hot to really appreciate the place. Also, no thank you to friends of my mom's friend's husband, who thought it was ok to smoke 6 cigarettes each over the course of a meal, in an enclosed room, leading to a completely b0rked A/C, leading to tears.


  • I FLEE to the Portman Ritz-Carlton, a hotel I'd noted on my previous Shanghai trip - very close, same neighborhood as where my mom's family's place is. Spend 4 luxurious nights.


  • Train ride to Qingdao - 18 hours. Get interrogated by an older couple.


  • Qingdao/Huangdao - Beautiful! Awesome! MUCH better weather than Shanghai. Better air does not even need to be said. Stayed with krazykased and his girlfriend Jenny. We had lots of adventures, including up to Beijiushui (北九水), a scenic mountain area.

Japan: Day 10 (and previous)

Hello, I am in Osaka. The hotel is located in a pretty good spot, away from massive crowds of people, but for a gimpy person like me, frustratingly inconvenient. Although that did help me get the rest I should be getting for my knee.
6/7 days of exciting travel in one LJ entry!Collapse )

Japan: Day 3: GYAKUTEN KENJI!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Despite the capitalizations and the numerous exclamation points, I did not come into possession of the latest installation/spinoff in the Ace Attorney video game series, which was just released today (May 28) in Japan. Why? I shall let the picture do the talking:



Ok, you probably can't see it unless you click all the way through, but the prices are 4499 yen for the game and 23940 yen for the special DSi (and I'm assuming it comes with the game too). Anyone care to do a quick conversion???

Later, I found that Book-Off was advertising the game for 3000 yen! Which, though pricey, would have really tempted me... but they didn't have it. WTF

Japan: Day 2

There was no plan for today, so I just went off of my general plans for my stay in Tokyo: and that was to visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, visit the general area of the Imperial Palace, and see Tokyo Tower. Of course when the day started out, I didn't expect to do all three in the same day, but that's how it worked out.

Painfully.

I failed (again) at getting a ticket from the Loppi machine at the Lawson Station (a convenience mart, Lawson's for short) closest to my hotel, so I just headed to the station instead (I knew I was going to to somewhere today, just not where). On the way, breakfast:



It's a "Chicken Lettuce Dog" and orange juice. The whole thing was less than $3.50!!! :D

Get to station, find myself on platform for train going to Mitaka. I get on.

I get to Mitaka station. Mistake number one: I asked an old guy for directions. I forgot that I can not understand old Japanese people. Anyway, he said a number of things, and didn't seem to understand what I was looking for, but I walked with him a short distance anyway, and said thank you. Then I wandered around randomly and within about 5-10 minutes found the Lawson's! Hooray! The lady there helped me (apparently all I had to do on the screen I got stuck on was type in some approximation of my name in Hiragana, and then for the phone number portion she just put the phone number of the Lawson's) and I got my ticket!

I had about 45 minutes to get there, but I got a bit lost along the way, especially since I didn't ask for directions from the store. But I got there eventually, and on time too! I just have one question: Does this look like a waterway to you?



There's no photo-taking permitted inside the museum, so I only have outside pictures. Here's the entrance, sort of:



Not going to spoil it, but my basic summation is that it's an ANIMATION museum, which happens to only show Ghibli work. Kind of like how I remember some Disney exhibitions/memorabilia/stuff being like. There was an awesome short film we got to watch too. :D And a Catbus that I didn't get to play with :(

Question! What is/are your favorite Hayao Miyazaki film(s)?

There's also a cafe that's part of the museum. I ate there for lunch, and made Mistake #2 - I didn't look at the menu thoroughly, just picked the first that that sounded familiar and good. I was stuck eating a hamburger steak and milk tea (although it was tasty!) when I could have been having some cool fruit sandwiches, a neat banana/kiwi/strawberry ice cream thing, and/or a really cool blue drink!

Tokyo station: Next time, look at map. Imperial Palace Plaza is boring. What one wants is Imperial Palace Gardens. Should be less boring. I don't know, I never got there.

Then, although I at first planned on catching a Metro or something to see Tokyo Tower, I decided that it didn't seem like it was so far, and started walking. It is VERY. FAR. I thought I was going to die of dehydration before I got there (remember, I was walking all around the Plaza and such beforehand). I forced myself to sit down, take a few breaks, and down some real water, etc. I finally made it! And I couldn't let myself not go up the tower. Apparently there's the "Main Observatory" (820 yen) and then the "Special Observatory" (another 600 yen). Sure, the view is more spectacular from the Special Observatory, but I'd say if it's a cloudy/hazy day (or time of day), don't bother. I think the guy in front of me in line for the Special Observatory tickets must have asked something like "Can I see Mt. Fuji today?" because whatever the answer was, he replied, "Ah, then never mind."

The whole thing is really weird, because besides the two observatories, there is also like a mini shopping mall, a food court, a wax museum, a Guinness Book of World records museum, etc... talk about weird tourist traps. Oh, and an amusement park:



But definitely if it's early morning or something and there's no haze/fog/rain/natural disasters, you gotta go up and see it :)

Leaving the tower, I had originally planned to go to the Akabanebashi metro station because it was closest, but somehow I got turned around and saw a sign for a JR station and headed that way instead. ANOTHER. LONG. WALK. I was so relieved when I finally got to the Hamamatsucho station. And then finally back to Shinjuku.

Took the South Exit this time. There happened to be a girl doing a live performance there, in front of a crowd. Nice voice!



She was doing her last song when I joined the crowd, and afterwards, a lot of people were grabbing for her flyer and buying her CDs! Awesome!

From there, I backtracked to the East exit, and I actually found the quickest and most direct route to the hotel! Ate at a "buy a ticket before you enter" tonkatsu place. Decent, but not very good.

Now at the hotel, and am dead tired. So, sleep.

Japan: Day 1

I am in Japan! And even though it's only 6:51pm local time, I am here in my hotel room in Shinjuku like an old person, because I'm so beat. Flight was long, yadda yadda. I got a bit lost getting to my hotel because I refused to consult the map again. Actually I'm not sure the map would have helped too much, because it's complicated. Hooray for random mazes of underground stuff.

First place I ate at was a sushi-go-round place. I spent about $7 and now I'm hungry again. Wonderful. It was decent, but a small place.

Then I figured I have to go somewhere and see something, even though I'm dead tired, so I got on the train. I went to Shibuya to visit Hachiko again. On my way to the statue, I see this guy with two rabbits. He's got one on his shoulder, and he's holding the other one in his hands. Weird, I think. Whatever. I go to the statue, and take a breather. Guy with rabbits comes and puts one of the rabbits (the one he was holding) on the statue, under Hachiko. Even the Japanese people are looking at him funny, so I know this must not be a normal thing. I have pictures.



Also, I found the homeless people of Shibuya, and they do live in cardboard boxes under the bridge. I didn't take pictures of them.

Tips for fake Asians to fit in here:
- Carry a large bag at all times
- Don't wear sunglasses
- If you're a girl, (pretend to) text someone ALL THE TIME
- Hats are for posers

Other tidbits:
- The designated smoking areas, and the smokers in them. SO WEIRD.
- On the flight over, I won the hair-in-food lottery again. It's getting the point where "pick/fish hair out, continue eating" becomes routine.
- Here's what a Japan Rail Pass looks like! I didn't know.


Also, I managed to get online to post this despite my internet connection looking like this:

Time's kind flying by...

Past few days have been semi-eventful, but I haven't gotten done some things I need gotten done for the near future. So I need to do those things.

In other news, I got a LOT of sleep today.

It's the end of April, coming up on May.

In May, lots of new and exciting things will happen. Expect entries regarding these new and exciting things. If not here, I shall direct you to where.

Also, Mom's leaving tomorrow to go visit Grandma again. Apparently she's back to being mostly unresponsive, except when the doctor comes in. That's Grandma for ya. She'll be good for another few years, I hope.

Also, I don't really know how to blog. So this is in secretive-I-can't-tell-you-yet journal style.

Breathe

Having that weird breathing thing (difficulty taking deep breaths) again. Did some looking online, and consensus seemed to be anxiety/stress? Only thing I can think of is that I was really irritated with a song on a CD we had playing today, because it brought back bad war memories. Hmm.

Doom and gloom!

Is the world getting crazier, or is the media just reporting it more, or am I just actively seeking out crazy news?

I'd say all of the above. No need to list anything, really. In general, the rate of incidents of mass homicides, domestic violence, other crazy shenanigans involving crime and danger to others seems to have picked up quite a bit. Around the world, and right here in Hawaii.

.... ok, I'm really not going anywhere with this.

Except that in other news my cousin Audriene is probably going to die really soon now (after long illness), since her kidneys have failed/are failing - but DON'T CONDOLENCIZE ME, because I hardly knew her (my parents claim that we met once.. when I was really young) and while I sort of knew vaguely of her existence, I never even knew what her name was until now. I'm just kinda writing it here for the "more relatives dying" record.

...and that ends today's Doom and Gloom!