Anyway, hello everyone. Welcome to the halfway point of my trip in Japan. Sorry that I've been so long without updating - from now on I'd say don't get your hopes up for me to do an update every week, because I probably won't. I'll try to get at least two in for each of these last two months.
In terms of classes, for Japanese we have now passed over from Pre-Intermediate level to Intermediate level. The only real differences is that now the material we do work from is in a textbook instead of handouts from the teacher. Also, the reading lessons are now longer and with a ridiculous amount of new vocabulary. It's really just too much. How are we supposed to learn new words if we go through like thirty new words one lesson and then learn thirty new ones the next lesson? We don't spend enough time on anything in this class, unfortunately. But I digress.
As I mentioned in my last update, I had my birthday recently, on the 16th. I didn't do a whole lot, but I had a small "party". It was kind of like a party. I went out with a couple friends that evening to go to an okonomiyaki restaurant. For those who don't know, okonomiyaki literally translates as "baked as you like it", or something to that effect. Unoficially it is referred to as "Japanese pizza". Probably because the shape it takes is very much like that of a pizza, but it won't look like a pizza unless you just happen to make one with only tomato sauce and cheese. That's another cool thing about it, you can make the okonomiyaki yourself. At the place we went, all the tables have a grill in the center, and you can either have the restaurant make the food for you, or you can make it yourself and pay like 50 yen less or something. Anyway, I decided to make mine myself. So I ordered a Karubi Okonomiyaki (karubi is some kind of meat), with cheese and mochi for toppings. What they brought out for me was a bowl with cheese in it, a bowl with mochi in it, a plate with the meat, and a bowl filled with egg and some other kind of batter that would compose the "crust" of the okonomiyaki. Claire (one of the two I went with) helped me going through how to make my own as she made hers too, and long story short, I took a picture of the final product before I ate it.
Well, okay, I lied. I ate one piece, and then I thought, "Oh, I should take a picture of this for my updates," so I did. It doesn't look like a whole ton of food from that picture, but it was really good, but ALSO really filling, so I had a hard time finishing it. The others helped me finish it though, because in Japan it's more customary to not leave anything on your plate when you're done eating. Anyway, after that, we headed back to the Residence and just hung out for awhile, listening to some music and talking. Then it got late and we all went to bed. Nice and simple; but I prefer that to loud, getting drunk parties. Oh, and speaking of which, I DID have a drink at the okonomiyaki restaurant. It was.....I can't really remember what it was, but it was okay I guess. I dunno, I've had alcohol before, and it didn't taste all that different this time, so whatever.
Okay, so what else is going on.......nothing, really. I'm still getting confused by random bills or notices and what not in the mail every now and then. It's always a pain thinking you've paid everything and then finding there's some other government program you have to pay money too, even though I'm only here for four months. Seriously, I recieved a pamphlet of pension payments that last through the entire year! Sometime this week I gotta go down to the ward office and make sure everything's straight with that. I just hope they have someone who speaks English there, or I'm gonna need some help probably.
And looking back over this, I think I like this format better. As in, just giving a brief summary of everything that's going on rather than a day-by-day format. I'm gonna go with this one from now on. Okay? Okay. To end this week's update, below you will find a row of images of a few personal items I have bought in the past month or so.
Trust me, this is the ONLY time I'm going to buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards. And hey, I just think it's cool to have some of the Japanese ones. But anyway, I won't buy anymore anyway, because most of the ones that are released in Japan right now are all of the ones from the GX era, and I prefer the ones with Yugi on the cover.
This greatly satisfied the Transformers nerd in me. I also ended up buying a Jazz figure. Well, not really Jazz. Technically, I bought "Agent Meister", because that's his Japanese name.
The only thing I hated about this was a lot of those stickers they made me put on personally. If they're only supposed to go in one particular place anyway, why not just put them on in the factory? The only reason you'd have stickers the buyer can put on themself is for customization, of which this is not.
A One Piece clear file. I got this with some special deal at Lawsons (the convenience store you can find like TEN of in any town), that was called a "Genki Set" along with a couple of food items. (Actually, given the way that the Japanese use the word "set", this translates as "Happy Meal", ha ha) It also came with a poster that has the seven warlords on it. (at least, the ones that have been revealed) (Oh, and for those unaware, "Mugiwara" is the Japanese word for "Strawhat")
The main reason I bought this guy was because I looked at the back of the box and it had the Lancelot in all kinds of cool positions. So I figured the joints must be really flexible and allow for a lot of cool poses. Well, they are, and they do, but it's not totally perfect. It's a little TOO flexible, so it can be hard to get it into the position you want. But when you can, it's totally sweet.
At first I was gonna keep him in the box and ship him home by mail, but then I realize that he's so flexible, so his parts are probably detachable, and they are. Quite easily. So I'm just gonna take him home in small pieces and forget the box.
Chillin' with some tunes. And a sword for some reason.
Well, that's it for now. This Friday I'm going on a fieldtrip with one of my classes, so I'll probably take pictures, so maybe I'll actually have something to show next week! We'll see. Anyway, hope you all enjoyed reading~! =)