By now Japanese class has become easy - almost as easy as classes were back home. The only difference is that the teachers hardly speak any English, and that I'm learning more new words faster. I'm still struggling through coming up with something good to say when it comes time to make a sentance, but I'm hoping that might change with time. We'll see. In Japanese Education and Japanese Politics I got assigned to the topics that I'll have to do a presentation on. In Japanese Politics, I'm doing one on the New Parties of Japan. That one's on May 19th, so I'm pretty much gonna start working on it right away after Golden Week. It has to be 15-20 minutes, but fortunately I'm doing it on multiple parties. So if I can at least get enough information on each party to last five minutes, I should be fine. In Japanese Education I'm doing one on violence in Japanese schools, which should be a piece of cake because I'm finding tons of articles on it online. That one's not until......mid-June I think, so I have plenty of time.
Unless anything specific happens on these days, I think from now on I'll always place Tuesday and Wednesday together, since on those days I have the exact same classes - only Japanese. I don't recall doing much on these days except some food shopping and eating lunch with a few friends from class on Tuesday. Okay, then I definitely need to write these summaries in advance. Even if I don't do much on that day, it'll help.
Once again it ended up raining today. It rained last Thursday, too. Bummer. Anyway, I had the Yoga class again this week. The teacher really is interesting. He's definitely that kind of guy who just goes off on tangents and talks about whatever he feels is relevant to......well, whatever is going on. It's very refreshing and soothing to listen to him actually, 'cause he has that kind of voice that is very calming to listen to and makes what he's saying seem interesting even if he's not. We did an interesting exercise/experiment near the end of class, where he gave us a sheet of paper with some kind of Arabic characters on it (after the exercise, we were told it was the original spelling of "Yahweh"), and were told to stare at the paper, and write down any and all thoughts that came into our heads on a sheet of paper, no matter what kind of thought it was. Thankfully, we were not required to turn in our lists or share them with anyone. The Cross-Communications class was interesting again. So far, each time I've been in that class (though only twice so far), I've learned about some kind of cultural aspect of another country. Which I guess is the whole point.
Thursday evening I actually did something, for once. I hung out outside of the residence with a friend I've made in Japanese class; she was going to show me a Okonomiyaki restaurant near Motoyama that she had eaten at once. But as it turned out, that particular place was closed on Thursdays. So we ended up walking down to Yagoto and searching for some other place to eat. But we couldn't decide on anything and just ended up walking for awhile and talking about anime and stuff. Eventually we came to a grocery store that she's been to before, so we just decided to buy stuff there for dinner. Then we just ate back at the residence (she made herself soup; I just heated up some fried chicken), and watched some videos. We both like those really silly kinds of parody videos that frequent youtube so we watched some of those that I had downloaded onto my laptop. It was fun.
Today I started thinking about what I was going to do for Golden Week. The way it's set-up is a little weird. Next week we have Tuesday-Thursday off - no classes. But then it seems like Golden Week is technically the time after classes on Friday to the following Wednesday. I always thought that Golden Week was one straight week, starting from Monday, of no classes, but apparently not. Anyway, Claire (the friend from Japanese class mentioned under Thursday) told me she had heard of some others possibly planning to go to Tokyo during that time. So after the Japanese Society class I asked them about. They said I could come along, but also that no real plans have been put through set, and no-one's really set the initiative and bought any kind of train tickets or reserved hotel rooms or anything. So I'm not really sure if I'm going to be able to find a group to go with. But I know I certainly don't want to go by myself, and I feel like this is the best chance I have to go out of Nagoya. This week I'm going to keep asking the guys about it to see what they're doing. Since it seems like the time to be going to Tokyo would be next Friday or Saturday, which isn't that far away.
I didn't do much on Saturday except buy stuff. I bought more kitchen utensils and I bought food that would allow to make a slightly bigger variety of things. AND I finally found jelly/jam. In the Matsuzakaya store the first floor has an International section full of imported foods, but they're all very expensive. The container of jam I bought cost practically 400 yen by itself. That section is interesting though, since there are several foods with labels made in America, that have practically no Japanese on them at all. It's actually rather refreshing to see those things, because I can actually read the labels of those. I felt good after buying what I did. From here on, I'm thinking I'll be able to make a bit better food than I was before. Just a little better......I'm trying to experiment with the limited resources I have.
Alright, that's it for information updates. Now for pictures. I have two sections of pictures this week. I like to call the first one "Foreign Foods/Beverages":
Heh, actually, this container had french fries in it that I got from a small "American Style" food counter at Lawson's.
"Calbee" seems to be one of the big brands of potato chips here in Japan. That being said, I didn't like this flavor that much.
The obligatory pocky.
Everytime I look for cereal here, it seems like the only thing I can ever find are Frosted Flakes. Or as they're named here in katakana, "Corn Frosty". (Which I guess is supposed to mean "Frosted Cornflakes") At least they taste as good as American Frosted Flakes.
I thought that these were only some kind of cream-centered cookie like Oreos, but then I saw the words "Digestive Biscuits" on the box. I hope that doesn't mean they're some type of special cookie that help digestion or something. Well, in any case, I've eaten some and have felt fine, so I guess it's okay.
Of course, I get this a lot. The label reads "Delicious Milk".
What I originally thoguth was some kind of lemon/lime soft drink turned out to be tea, because I somehow missed the giant character for TEA plain to see on the label. I haven't finished it yet.
What a Coke can looks like in Japan.
The toaster oven that I bought at the bazaar last week.
A pot that I bought at the bazaar. I was very glad to get this because now I can cook ramen/soba/udon/etc.
And now just some miscellaneous images:
The newest volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga as it's being released over here. I just wanted to see how well I could understand it; and to see what Japanese manga volumes are like.
My bathroom. No point to this; just kind of a "here it is"-image.
What you can see to the right on the small balcony behind my room.
About what my room looks like right now.
I was wondering around outside my Japanese classroom before it started and found this nice little high-up area, so I thought I'd take a picture.
The front entryway to the International Residence, at night, this time from the other direction.
Well, that's it for this week. Just to let everyone know, I'm not exactly sure how my next update is going to play out yet. Since I don't know what my plans for Golden Week are yet. If I do end up going somewhere next weekend, I'll probably do an early update the day before I go. Or I might not do an update next week at all and just wait 'til after anything I'm doing. I currently have no idea what or if anything will be going on, so just be aware that there may be an early update or no update next week. Hope you all enjoyed reading!