Ok, you caught me.
Through a rough combination of fatigue, procrastination and a general desire of not wanting to doing much I have put off writing up the blog. This could well be my subconcious way of trying to deal with the fact that since the change over to a new system of textbook I’ve not been retaining the information we’ve learned. But being honest this is something I cannot blame the book for, godawful as it is. I’ve realised that I’m having the same problem as I did with Minna No Nihongo; it’s new information.
For years I’ve had a problem with my memory and trying to recall things. So first time around studying Japanese I struggled to learn various things. When I started classes here at Konan because we were actually going over stuff that we’d already studied in Leeds I was able to remember it this time around … well, some of it anyway. But now that we’re onto new information I’m having that trouble once again. Despite the fact that I can try to put into context what we’re covering (for a couple of hours until I go home), it’s not sticking. So what does this mean? It’s going to take me twice as long to do my degree because I need twice as long to retain any bloody thing? God I hope not.
Ok, so here’s what happened since the “I don’t want to pay through the arse for a fish” section of the last entry, up until … well, as far as I get before I fall asleep (hence it’ll be a very brief version of events).
So one of the American guys and I headed off in search of the parks which were a short walk away (roughly Hadley Centre to Wellington Town Hall for those North Telford readers). When we reached the park we had a good look around to find it’s entrance. You see we arrived at the castle side, and of course castles come with high exterior walls, meaning we had a nice little extra walk around the perimeter. Once we’d arrived at (one of) the main entrance(s) to the park we were confronted with a sign telling us that the gates were closed for the evening (and that we’d have to pay to get in anyway ¬_¬).
Yeah in retrospect we should have had a closer look at the information we were given which did clearly say the parks opening times … oh well, diddums.
We decided to head back to town a different way as we hadn’t seen any cheap places to eat. Heading into town we passed a wedding (to contrast the funeral I’d seen earlier in the day) and also a group of very excited young girls cheering and dancing as they came out of a theatre. Maybe they finally cracked how to do some complex manoeuvre or something.
We found a nice restaurant in town that was reasonally priced and the food was good. As I chomped down my cheeseburger and McPork, I happily thought about how much money I was saving. Yeah, not the most adventurous meal ever but food is food after all. I wanted to buy some souvenirs the following day, so making a cut back was a reasonable way of doing so.
After dinner we went past an arcade, well, not quite an arcade as we’d think of it back home as this one is nothing but UFO catchers (or drop arm games, crane games, grabbers or what ever you call em). Anywho as we wandered around the arcade I explained to my colleague how these type of machines are, well, I won’t say rigged, but they’re designed to only allow a certain number of winners per players. Here’s how to be in with a better chance of winning on these.
First of all, make sure you have plenty of time. When you find the machine from which you want to win a prize, just wait there until someone else comes and wins. If you had to wait a while for that then you’re going to love this part. Keep waiting, but count how many goes people have until the next winner. Finally, continue to wait until roughly that same number of people have tried and lost. This gives you a greater chance of the claw actually grabbing the prize. Do be careful though, there’s still some element of skill to it and someone could still win whilst you’re waiting around. On that note some arcade places don’t like people lingering in there not spending money; fair enough right?
Then there’s the other method, the one that we used to win a pretty big Stitch (Lilo & Stitch) doll. Look around the machines for one where the prizes have been stacked quite high. You might be able to use the arm to push the prize down into the hole rather than actually grabbing it. There was a slight problem for us though. Stitch’s head was too damn big to fit through the hole. We called for assistance, expecting the staff member to explain to us that it didn’t count unless it came out the hole, but no, he opened the machine and handed over our new cuddly friend.
And then there were three of us.