Published 2/28/2013 by

Shinsaibashi-suji and Welcome dinner~

So... after gathering at Namba Station Tao gave us 1 hour of "free time" to roam around. Our big group quickly split into small groups and disappeared in the middle of the masses. HY, TY, SY and I (yes, I know it sounds strange but the initials of their names are really like that, kk) got separated and decided to check out the Shinsaibashi-suji  (the famous covered shopping street) that was nearby.

One of the ufo-catcher featuring LINE (messaging app) mascots. Seriously, doesn't the bear look like it's being harassed by the other two? No matter how I look at it it seems wrong... kkk

Actually we didn't do that much. We just strolled around, took lots of selfshots, then entered this area were you could take Purikura (which we did - of course, yay!) and also tried our luck getting some ufo-catcher plushies (We failed). SY (the glasses girl) turned out to be a huge Nameko (the mushroom mascot that is famous from a "grow your own mushrooms - app" - whatever ^^' ) fan so I started calling her Namekochan.

Japanese Purikura Booths are scary! First of all, the photos are taken much too fast, you don't even have time to change pose (just sticking out some V peace sign and that's it!), then finding the right "Corner" to decorate the photos is hard too... and lastly the limited choosing time during decoration - super stressing! After finishing and waiting for our prints we were all exhausted, haha. AH!... not to mention the huge eye enlargement which might look cute on Asians but makes me look like a Manga-figure... or an Alien.

Two photos and a short movie to give an approximate idea of how many people were around us. It was truly jam-packed and people were walking fast, so despite being a shopping area it didn't feel relaxed at all. Well, we still had a lot of fun!

1 hour passed by much too fast, we met the group at the same spot and moved to the next location for our Welcome Dinner. We entered the Italian restaurant "La Pausa" and enjoyed our first (and in Osaka famous) 食べ放題 , which means All-You-Can-Eat. We could order as many Pizzas, Salads, Pasta as we wanted and get soft drinks anytime but just for a limited (90min) time span. 

The restaurant was very small and our huge group just filled it completely. I laughed when I saw intimidated Japanese couples at the door who didn't dare to come in and take a seat since we had kinda 'claimed' it our territory. We were mixed with the Japanese language partners and had our first try to talk about any plans we had for our stay in Osaka and so on. All in all we had quite a nice time ~
Below some photos of the area around the Italian restaurant. I thought the trees were decorated very beautifully.

Hope you liked the travel diary of the first day and look forward to the next one - we'll be going to KYOTO! Look forward to it! ~ 

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Published 2/27/2013 by

Arrival in Osaka & First Day ~

So... after a long flight with a short stopover in Dubai I arrived at Kansai International Airport at around 4pm, right in time for my first photo of Japan - a beautiful sunset! The flight with Emirates was comfy and nice, I specially loved the "stars" on the ceiling and the light color change around sleeping time and waking time with birds singing... another funny detail was the "available anytime on request"- Instand cup noodles that were offered throughout the flight.

After a slow and tiring checking out process and a first small Japanese conversation with the airport staff who opened my luggage to discover kilograms of chocolate (he laughed) I finally walked through the South Arrival door and started... waiting. I had to wait for the Thai and Australian group who were supposed to arrive 2h later. The coin I am holding was the change from a vending machine and though it's just 50yen I thought it was very pretty~ Luckily everything worked out and around 3 hours later I met Hiraoka-san from the International Office and we boarded our bus to Senriyama. I was so tired I fell asleep on the way to the Seminary.
At Senriyama Seminary house we took our baggage and prepared futons in our rooms (the rooms where shared rooms with 6-8 people in each room). That's also when I met our 3 Korean roommates HY, TY and HE.
The staff had prepared bentos for dinner and I was finally able to grab a Curry bento after checking out the Seminary house and trying to find my way around.

The next morning I woke up before 7am (hello~jet lag) and started exploring the area around Senriyama Seminary. There's a beautiful bamboo forest and many sports grounds around the building.
After watching some Pokémon Talkshow (don't ask me - Japanese TV ~.~') with HY the Aussie girls, HY, Dew and I dared to go out to buy breakfast.

After walking for around 10min we found a nice combini and I got myself a Melonpan (メロンパン) for breakfast and that was the start of my love for Melonpans... I might have eaten once a day while I was in Japan? kkk 

Anyway, I also spent my first money to buy a Vivi magazine and after getting back to the Seminary I was happily skimming over it while waiting for HY who was drawing something in my (physical!) travel diary. I was also happy to be able to relate much more to Kansai's fashion (more playful and feminine) than to Tokyo's (more 'chic' and grown-up).

Around 1pm we finally met Tao, the International Office Staff who had guided me through the application and kindly replied to all my Mail inquiries before coming to Japan and first had to sign a Liability Insurance, then got a small introduction into Japanese public transportation and important subway stations we were supposed to know. We also received a list of Japanese language partners we had been assigned to. (They had already contacted us via Mail before our departure.)

Afterwards the whole group (we are around 40 students from Australia, Thailand and Korean --- and me from Switzerland, of course ~.~') took the subway and experienced the Japanese subway system for the first time. The tall Aussie guy was used as a "guide" for everyone as to not get lost. kk That's also the reason why he's faking that smile in the photo.

Yes, it was quite a mess as you can see. There were also some Japanese language partners keeping us company and starting first conversations/taking care of us. As you can see, yes, we were a lot of people. The woman in the green jacket below is Tao and this picture was taken right before our 1h break at Namba Station. She had scheduled a Welcome Dinner for us but before we could roam around freely... more in the next entry! ~ 

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Published 2/26/2013 by

3 years LAURITA.CH ~

On February 18th, so around a week ago, Laurita.ch quietly celebrated 3 years ❤ ~

I want to use this opportunity to thank all my friends for reading this blog! I know it  hasn't been easy because my publishing habits are very peculiar and I don't update often. I also gradually switched from a Lolita/Gyaru fashion-y blog to a more personal & Asia-travel-related blog most of the readers who came by because of the Jmags Scans slowly left me T_T''
I admit I don't want to upload random Jmags anymore and you can get them at many other websites but I swear I will still upload scans of my Gothic and Lolita bibles though! So please bear with me~ And I hope you still appreciate the Asian-related topics and if you have more suggestions - for God's sake please let me know! ^.^
By the way, the Secret Letters didn't die! I just skipped February 3rd because it was the day of my flight from Osaka and I was very busy around that date - look forward to my second letter on March 3rd! If you haven't signed up yet, please sign up here!

In the spirit of Chinese New Year  I  also changed the blog layout and go curious about my past layouts. So I put together most of the layouts I've been Laurita.ch has been using in the last 3 years.
Which one do you like best? 
❤ Which ones do you still remember?

It seems that I really like the heart background because I've been keeping it for a long time and just recently replaced it with the Chinese Character for "happiness". Another recurring theme is the Laurita.ch header title with me sitting on the L. I was told by several people that they liked it and I think it has become this blog's signature. All layouts are pretty colorful but the green background - pink blog combination seemed to be one of my favourites.... haha
I'm missing a yellow/gold theme or a dark one... I might create one someday! 
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Published 2/17/2013 by

Winter Break 2013 ~

Phew!! As I'm writing this entry it's Sunday, the last day of my winter break and I've finally found time to spend some time for my beloved blog. How have you been these last 5 weeks? I've missed you all! 
Below are some of the recent main events I want to write about!
As I'm still preparing the entries I'll just leave you with a sneak peek of each. Hope you're looking forward to reading all these articles and I really wish to now what you've been up to in January and February. ~ 

3 weeks in Japan
As you all know from my last entry I spent 3 weeks in Osaka and visited nearby cities. In the beginning Tao Meng from OGU's international center said that these 3 weeks would be life-changing and I just smiled mildly. After coming back I can say - they have really been life-changing for me! Travelling to another country 'alone', having to start from 0 making friends in a completely strange country with people and a language I used to be afraid of made me think a lot. I want to share more about what went through my head in another entry. Let's just say that I made a lot of experiences and brought over 3000 (!) photos home... you can look forward to them! ~

New job @ Dataquest
After looking for a job for nearly 3 months in 2012, a first rejection and then an unexpected new spot to fill I finally signed my contract in January and immediately after coming back from Japan started my new part-time job at Dataquest, a Swiss Premium Apple Reseller. ~ 

Chinese New Year
The Year of the Snake started 1 week ago, how did you celebrate it? I spend 2 days working on our new 倒福 sign featuring a Snake. This year will be life-changing and super exciting for me. I'm looking forward to all changes that are about to come! ~ 

Remembering Lichuan filming in Zurich
As a long-term fan of Asian TV dramas I was thrilled when I found out that there would be a Chinese TV Drama featuring some scenes in Switzerland and that a Chinese film crew would be coming to Zurich. Through some coincidence we not only found the film crew and stars, we were also able to interact with them and become their devoted fans! ~ 

My (hopefully) last university term is starting tomorrow and I'll be so, so, so busy studying, working, writing papers and trying to enjoy every moment while building my own sparkling future. ~ 
Let's all give our best! ~ FIGHTING!!
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