Well this might be my last entry for this month, but bare in mind it’s already the 30th. Firstly I’ve put up some more pictures on the Blogspot account. Lately I’ve put up pictures from the hotel, Konan University, the "Meet The Family" shindig and also the first pics from my dorm in Kamishinjyou.
I also want to give a shout out to a friend of mine who’s come over and is studying in Nagoya for a few months. Michael ‘Kriffix’ Kacar is a manga artist from the London, UK, who was a runner up in one of TokyoPop’s Rising Stars of Manga Contests. Welcome to Japan dude, I hope you enjoy your time here!
Recently the weather here in Osaka and Kobe has dropped, and even though it’s pretty much what Summer would feel like in the UK, it still feels pretty darn nippy. My aircon’s now become my heater and I’m now wearing long sleeved tops all the time instead of noth … um … t-shirts. I also heard from Telford that they’ve had a nice bit of snow lately. Typical eh.
So last Saturday (after writing up the journal) I noticed a package had come for me. Unfortunately the office wasn’t open so I couldn’t pick it up. After completely forgetting about it and going to head out for the night, I remembered about it just as I was about to step through the door. After being handed what can only be described as a Christmas Turkey in a binbag, I dropped it in my room and headed out.
After another fun night out at Gush, Okamoto, where we discussed different areas of the UK, the pound to yen exchange rate (which has been killing me as I have some money to bring over from home), and differences between English and American (language), it was time to call it a day and two of us made our way back to Osaka. That night we needed to make a change at Awaji station; we normally get a train from Juso to Kamishinjyou, but not tonight.
At Awaji we decided to try an experiment. We’d been curious for quite some time which of the two stations (Awaji and Kamishinjyou) were nearer to home. We’d always used Kamishinjyou, but judging from the layout of the track and the little time between the two stations, we couldn’t decide. So that night after getting off our train at Awaji, we decided to take a crack at walking it.
Having never done this walk before we decided to follow the track until a familliar point showed itself; a technique that aided areas of my walk from Okamoto to Sannomiya. Thankfully that wasn’t too long, and we soon arrived back at the dorm. Problem was that we never actually timed how quick the walk was. To be honest, we’ve not timed it from Kamishinjyou either. We got home more confused than we were before, and even today we’re still not sure which is faster. We plan one day to get a train back but one of us get off at Awaji and see who gets home first. We have roughly the same pace, so it shouldn’t be a race between the two of us.
So my package was from home (UK), Momma-Darlo was kind enough to send me a huge selection of sweets (photo to come), an advent calendar (little early, I know), a castle ornament (don’t ask), some books I asked for and a nice new coat. I’ve not yet worn the coat, but it looks warm and with the weather taking a turn you’ll soon see me strutting the streets of Kamishinjyou sporting a lovely number.
Waking up Sunday’s are always a feeling of ‘eh’. Yeah I don’t have to get up for University or breakfast, but living as I do every week I catch SDS (Sunday Dorm Syndrome). SDS basically takes control of your ability to speak on Sundays when, for whatever reason, you don’t leave the house. Normally in a dorm (well this one anyway) you only really communicate with the other students if there’s a valid reason (like you’re passing a message on, or want to tell them their goldfish is on fire) or if it’s a meal time (no food given to us on Sundays remember). Besides that, you might flash a "hi" or "ohayou" to anyone you pass on your trips to the bog, but that’s it. Unless you get a phone call, you generally spend the entire day saying less than 20 words.
Compare this to the homestay. Same scenario, you don’t fancy leaving the house. You’ll still get to chat with your familly at dinner, and no doubt a familly member will pop by your room to see how you’re doing, or check you’ve not killed yourself with your awesomely complicated Japanese remote control. The point is if you’re in a dorm and are trying to save money by not going out, and let’s face it everytime you go out you do spend some money, you’re not going to improve your Japanese that day. Stick to learning kanji and forget about those vocal chords would be my advice, accept your SDS and sod showering that day … no one will be around to notice.
Or maybe I’m just ranting on that one because the longer I’m here I notice the differences between dorm and what I’m being told about homestay-wise. Top that with the fact that dorm guys are actually paying more and it’s a bit of a shot to the pills.
On Wednesday I had an exam for my business module (Mergers and Acquisitions). I didn’t get much studying done for it as we’ve started the keigo (respectful) chapters of Minna No Nihongo and it’s new and a bit complicated. However I don’t think I did … that bad. I was a bit worried that I seemed to finish quite early (we had two hours and I was done after about half an hour) so I kept on rechecking over my answers until I saw someone else hand in their paper. We get the marks back in just over a week.
I re-watched over the Miss Dynamite animations/interactive comic a few nights ago in order to relax a little. Sirkowski’s currently making episode 24, for which an animatic is available to be seen, aswell as offering an incentive for Americans to vote for Obama. His site may be a little risque for younger internet users, but I still find it funny.
Remember in the last package from home how I mentioned getting my hair clippers? Well unfortunately for me they don’t work here. Why? Because not only did I forget that it wasn’t enough to merely change the plug pins (with an adapter), but I had also forgotten that electrical equipment in the UK generally needs more power than what a Japanese plug socket can dish out. This is something we discovered tonight when I went to cut my friends hair (with permission of course) and all I could get was a slight vibrating sensation. Either I was being electrocuted or the clippers were working at a speed not fast enough to cut through a fly’s wings, but either way it left me with no means of cutting my hair, my friends hair, shaving the box-dog down the road or someone’s teddy bear and sending it back fluff by fluff.
Well tomorrow’s halloween (one of the reasons my aforementioned friend wanted his hair cutting), and even though it’s not a big thing in my area of the UK (you try telling the shops that) some of the Americans here are making a bit of a song and dance about it. I wonder if they’ll think of us as weird when we try to blow things up on the 5th of November. So there’s a bit of a shindig involved where people are coming into Uni in costume followed by a night out in Sannomiya (Kobe). While it would be nice to have the ability to go out and spend money on something you’re only going to wear for one day without looking like a complete pillock, I have chosen to go down my own route costume wise and will merely be wearing a hat.
Not just a hat, normal clothes too of course. I’ll also put that Skeleton (Gaikotsu) that I won at the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri on my balcony; it’s about time I cleared the skeletons from the closet. I have noticed a huge lack of public decoration compared to England so I’m interested to see how the Japanese do halloween, and also how they find the American’s actions for the night >_<.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to go to Sannomiya with them or not yet, but I have decided that if I do go, then I’ll be walking there from Okamoto once again! That way I’ll save 180 yen and feel like I’ve really deserved that first drink.
For now though, I’ll leave you with a youtube video of how I probably sound to a native Japanese speaker (I sound like the guy in white).