Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities with its recorded history spinning around 3,400 years. Back in the day Athens was a powerful city-state and a center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Athens is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy. Now Athens seems more like a tired and decayed city.
The city core is relatively small and you need not spend too many days there in time to see everything that you should see.
It is easy to see that the star of Athens is the Acropolis. The whole city revolves around it and you can see the Acropolis wherever you are in the city! That makes it easy to navigate in the city core.
Things you need to see and do in the Ancient Athens
Even though Athens seems tired and decayed, it is still a very nice city to visit. The amount of historical artefacts you can find in this city is beyond impressive.
Make your mark in New York and you are a made man -Mark Twain
New York is the city that never sleeps. There is so much to see and so much to do. The best part of Manhattan is that you can never really get lost. The whole city is built in a very logical way. The most important thing to remember while in Manhattan is if you are going downtown or uptown. As long as you know that you can basically never get lost. Taking the subway is complicated though but that’s not a big deal because walking is much more satisfying, there is so much to see. I walked almost everywhere.
If you need help or want to ask something the New Yorkers are more than happy to help. When I for example asked for directions they stopped and tried to help me as much as they could.
Things you need to see and do in the Big Apple
There is a lot to see and do in Manhattan but there are some things that is must-do-must-see, according to me anyways.
There is something I noticed in Japan. Some classes at the university were really big and the professor had to speak into a microphone, which was not that weird actually. But during the lectures the students were sleeping. Yes. I am talking about put-your-head-on-the-table sleeping in front of the professor. And the professor didn´t mind, at least he didn’t react to it.
I was living in Japan during some month for studies. I learned and saw a lot of new things. One of those things was the bus system, it fascinated me. It differs from Sweden and the rest of Europe, I think.
The university I studied at was located in the mountainous area so I needed to take a bus to get downtown.
And the bus system works like this; when you enter the bus you take a ticket from an orange box. I don’t know if it´s orange in all other buses. You drag a small ticket; depending on where you step on the bus you get a number. At front, above the bus driver, there is a plate or a sign where numbers from one to around sixteen is placed and under each number you have a digital box. So if I for example get on the bus when it´s on its second stop the box on the sign is going to say 140, which means 140 yen. So the minimum price to take the bus is 140 yen.
My first lesson at APU was in Japanese language and it was tough.The first thing our sensei (teacher) brought up was the instructions for Japanese foundation course 1, which of course includes rules!In this class there were seven rules. Some of them were obvious and some weren’t.
The first rule
– You should submit homework by the deadline. If you delay to submit it you will have a penalty. We do not accept your homework later than one week. We have homework every day.
Another rule that was interesting was rule number three
– If you are late for the class three times, it will be counted as one absence. Ouch! This was a hard rule to follow.
The key issue in this post is not the health examination itself, but it’s actually the process. Before school started all the new students at APU had to do a health checkup.
Before I tell you about the health examination you need to know something about the Japanese people. Everything has to come in the right order. And everything has to be right at the first time. Of course this is not all, the Japanese people and the Japanese culture are more than just doing everything in the right order.
Let´s talk about the rules. In Japan it’s all about the rules. Let me tell you about the first thirteen rules that applyed to the AP Houses.
1. Non-residents of AP House are not allowed to stay in AP House from 10 pm to 8 am.
2. It´s compulsory for all AP House residents to attend floor meeting every month. All AP House residents must perform their kitchen duty according to the floor schedules.
3. Smoking is only permitted in the smoking area located “courtyard”. Smoking in non-designated areas are strictly prohibited by Japanese law.
4. Do not do anything which causes disturbance to other residents.
5. Drinking is only allowed in personal rooms. In addition under-age drinking (under 20) is strictly prohibited by law.
6. To save electricity and to prevent robbery, please lock the door when you leave your room.
The campus I lived in was in a small town called Beppu which is located in Oita Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu in Japan. The population of Beppu is around 130 000. APU is an international university focuses on International Relations and Business. The university has over 5 000 students and approximately half of them are coming from outside Japan.
APU is lying on a hilltop and away from civilization. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Beppu, so we, the students, are kind of stuck there, but what a place to be stranded on!
Beautiful mountains are surrounding the university with a gorgeous view. The air is cold but the life here is amazing. As I mentioned before, as student you live in a student dormitory called AP House. There are two AP houses; AP house 1 and 2, easy. You can share a room with a Japanese student or live on your own, either way you are sharing shower and kitchen with the other students. If you live alone, like I did, you have your own bathroom. Both AP Houses are five-story buildings. Every floor has two so called Resident Assistants, my floor´s RAs were Manatsu, a nineteen year old guy from Japan and Yumi a twenty one year old girl from Taiwan.
The first AP House, which I was staying in, had a store there you could get breakfast and some food. At the campus you could find the famous store, or at least for students, Co op. Here you could get almost everything; food, clothes, books, bus tickets and cookware.
Let´s talk about the campus! There is a bridge to the campus from the AP Houses. From where I live it takes about ten minutes to the classrooms. Everything is connected. But there are rules, oh all these wonderful rules that you have to follow. But I will tell you about that later.
Let me tell you about the main reason I went to Fiji, the shark dive experience. I know a lot of people go to Fiji for their honeymoon and to experience beautiful beaches with crystal clear water but all I wanted to do was to dive. As I said before we stayed in mainland, Nadi town, which was great. However, if you want to do the shark dive you need to be in Pacific Harbour, it’s approximately two hours from Nadi with bus. If you want to do any kind of diving you should stay in Pacific Harbour and the hotel we stayed at was Uprising Beach Resort. Now we are talking resort! This place was amazing and full of divers. Continue reading →