Well I’ve been back at Uni for three days and in turn my New Years Resolution has gone to squatt. Yeah I could claim that covering new Japanese grammar points or learning a new kanji character counts, but sod that, they’re boring. Except for the takoyaki onigiri, that was pretty sweet. I guess I’m just trying to get around to the fact that life in Japan is mainly now consisting of a combination of trying to learn, matched with my trait of forgetting everything … and commuting.
One of the main problems with living in a dorm compared to a homestay is the lack of information you are given or have access to. Had it not been for a lesson on popular Japanese religeon yesterday, I wouldn’t have known that there was an Ebisu Matsuri at the Nishinomiya Shrine today. I didn’t go for various reasons, but had it not been for my own complete and utter boredom and looking for a certain 100 yen shop, I wouldn’t have found out that a shrine somewhats near the dorm was also having an Ebisu Matsuri. Why didn’t I go? Well, I walked around a little but I don’t know, I guess I didn’t really feel the mood.
It would be easy to say that if you want to experience things like this just ask around and turn up to things. Trouble is, how would you drop it into conversation? “Oh by the way, are there any traditional events or festivals coming up” I’ll say to a friend out of no where while they’re trying to work. Or walking past a temple or shrine I see activity and decide to tag along, only to realise it’s a private funeral function as I’m being ushered away. Not having ‘an introduction’ doesn’t limit itself to things like this. There are a lot of small bars and restaurants in my area but without wanting to get the skipped record effect there’s no possible way to go in. At least with a host familly, a member could go with you on your first time to help people get used to you. I have done it (gone into a random place) and at first it’s always an incredibly tense and awkward feeling. Sometimes that tension eases, sometimes it does not. I’ve yet to go anywhere a second time.
Since it’s the weekend and I have no plans that involve me actually going anywhere and/or spending money, I’ll be sure to upload some more photos.