Archive for October, 2010

2010年10月20日

So, since the Hiroshima trip, things have been fairly quiet for me! Partly due to the fact that my knee is still healing and so I don’t want to injure myself any further. I need to help myself, not the opposite!

So this week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday has been my school’s 中間試験 (Mid-year exams) so I’ve been quite free, except for monday morning from approx. 9am10am in which I had to rush around to 6 different classes and verbally do the listening section in front of the students. I have been marking some of the exams and I’m glad that most students got all my section right, but the teachers sometimes have trouble with my accent, even though it’s not terribly a strong Australian accent.. But anyway, things are ok because I’ve managed to get half days these last few days.. but back to the crunch of things tomorrow!!

Today after travelling to Cosmo Square to get my re-entry permit (So I can leave Japan and am able to re-enter it again), I went to have a little look around Shinsaibashi and Namba. I went to the Louis Vitton store, but nothing particular caught my eye.. so I walked around a bit more and there was a random dude dressed up as Vegita from Dragon Ball Z
Everyone was taking pictures with him! I thought it was quite brave on his part, wearing that out in public.. But I guess Halloween is just around the corner! Also whilst walking around with my head phones in my ears.. I don’t know how, but this guy did the “pull out your head phones” sign to me, so I did, and then he started talking away in Japanese.. I didn’t want to listen, so I put them back in and then started to walk, but then he started to follow me and did the “please” sign (two hands put together), so I took them out and he’s like, please come to me store and just have a look.

I should have stopped here! But I went with him and had a look.. and he’s asking me if I’m looking for anything in particular , and I say nothing really.. but then there’s these cargo pants, but it’s like a marbled green colour.. so without realising, I walk over and have a look.. blah blah blah, I try them on and I want to buy them.. Damn it! Well, I was looking for a new pair of pants or something.. but I did think I would be doing it today! So yeah, I bought them. Then I thought I might go to H & M and look for the jacket that I lost when I was at Club Pure.. but they only had it in size XSmall.. which is way too small T_T

I love being tall and skinny.. but in Japan, I wish I was a bit smaller and a bit skinnier.. and I’m also not sure when people look at me what they are thinking.. good things? bad things? Does it really matter? Kinda..

But going to Yoghurtland in Namba makes everything better!
I went here for the first time.. I’ve wanted to go here ever since I saw it open, and David, another JET loves this place.. so I finally decided to stop and give it a whirl.. and yes.. it’s damn good! I’m so coming back here again! I’ve had similar things to this, but yoghurtland is so cheap for the amount that you get.. I feel like i’m ripping them off.. a similar feeling I get when I go to 飲み放題 (drink-buffet).. but I think it’s just part of the package that comes with living in Japan (from a foreigners eyes).

So I can’t really say much at the moment, but I’m not going to the Osaka Halloween party anymore… I’m going to go to Nagoya instead. I’ve yet to experience a real Halloween party, and I guess that’s going to be delayed 1 more year. But on the up side, I will get to visit my friends in Nagoya that I haven’t seen for like 2 or 3 years! Gosh.. I can’t believe it’s been that long already!! I still have to buy my shinkansen ticket, and I’m still not sure if I’m going to stay at my friend’s place.. or if I should just go ahead and book my own accommodation… hmmm..

Anyway, definitely looking forward to this Friday night, when some of the other JETs will come over to my place and have a movie night.. Raz is going to bring her HD full of movies, Ali is going to bring her computer speakers just incase there’s no sound cable and we have to play the sound from my computer and Jon is going to bring the necessary cables to connect the TV and Macbook Pro together~ We’re going to go to あけぼの (Akebono) for dinner.. just because I love that place, and I think the food is pretty good and I want others to experience it! and then movie time!! Which reminds me, I have to tidy up my place.. probably tonight, because tomorrow I want to go to Basketball club and Volleyball club and then go to the gym after that..

Oh.. and 1 last thing before I sign off.. my learn Japanese books came today (The ones we get from CLAIR).. I’m so happy that I can now really try and get stuck into studying! I think my Korean is going to get progressively worse, even though I can still help Ali with the basics.. but time to レベル アップ (level up) my Japanese I think!

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2010年10月11日

What a weekend!! Ok, so starting from Friday, school finished. I went home, packed some stuff.. wasted some time.. It was raining, so I didn’t really feel like trying to do too much. I decided to go to Umeda, arriving at 10:30. I went to go to Yodobashi Camera to the curry restaurant, but I couldn’t eat there, because most of the restaurants close at 11pm, and don’t let people enter at 10:30 ㅠ.ㅠ Which meant that I went to McDonalds for the first time (sober) and actually enjoyed my lemon and salt chicken burger. Anyway, met up with the others and caught the night bus to Hiroshima. Despite only sleeping like 2 hours on the bus, we made it to Hiroshima station at about 6am without much problem and from here we start our little adventure~!

We can’t check into our room until 4pm (It’s just the way things roll over in Japan), so we drop off our bags and head out to 平和公園 (Peace Garden) and also to 原爆ドーム (Atomic bomb dome).  I had been here before 2 years ago when I was doing a 3 week summer school at HIP (広島国際プラザ)but it is still amazing 2nd time round.

Anyway, time passed and we had a quick look through the Atomic Bomb Museum and then it was off to the 酒祭~!!
It was so good to go back to Saijo Station… brought back memories of catching the bus to YouMe Town, and catching taxi’s to HIP and also the Hairdresser that Taraちゃん got her hair cut and coloured at… So basically, when you pay and enter the Sake Festival, you get given this book about the different Sake and also a small Sake cup and then it’s pretty much 飲み放題 (drink as much as you want). I met so many people from my Tokyo orientation, friends of friends, strangers… and then eventually as I get more and more drunk I start to forget some of the night…

So apparently i met this kid (maybe elementary school kid) and I was claiming that he was my student and talking with him and chasing him around… I know.. sounds a bit.. umm.. へんたい, but I’m sure it was all innocent fun~ and also I don’t remember vomiting at the festival, or peeing on a tree.. so as far as I’m concerned I didn’t do that.. as long as there are no pictures, I can’t always believe what my friends say~

At the end of the night when we were all going home, we walked back to Saijo Station, helping along the drunk people.. and then for what ever reason, I decided to walk off and everyone else caught the train back to Hiroshima Station. I later woke up from my black zone to find myself walking with a bunch of random people back to Saijo station (again..??) and noticing that I don’t have my walled (or umbrella) anymore.. I’m not sure why, but I have a feeling that I gave it to Andre, so I’m not too worried about it. I eventually make it back to the station and realise that my friends aren’t here… I walk around for a while, but I can’t find anyone.. I then call Raz and Koko to find that they are back at the Hostel we are staying at in 中電前… Ok, so luckily みき and myself bought a train ticket to go back to Hiroshima station, and I have a 2 day pass for the ちんちん電車, so I can totally make it back home. I enter the station gates, the next train isn’t coming for a while, so I decide to take a seat – and then i fall asleep/pass out.

I wake up to the station guard telling me that there’s no more trains for the night and they are closing the station and to please leave. WTF… So I have no idea what to do… I start walking around, I’m trying to call Raz and Koko for help, but they aren’t picking up because they’re helping the drunk people with them.. I then call Ali (ごめん アリ) all the way back in Osaka for help.. she tells me of this place, which is right at the station, but they don’t have any rooms for the night.. my phone is about to die. I decide to walk around the streets looking for somewhere to stay, but there is no where for me… and then I check my money situation….. 25 YEN. I don’t have my wallet.. I’m stuck at Saijo. Apparently I told Raz and the others that I had friends here that I could stay with.. trying to comfort them so that they wouldn’t worry about me.. I walk for ages, and I find a korean church. I’m still very much drunk, so I knock on their door and then i say

“あ〜 すみません。ただおかの韓国の協会、知ってますか?”
〜 ”知りません”
“あ〜そうですか?すみません” and then I leave to roam the streets again.

I went to a temple, but the gates were locked so I thought about sleeping on the ground in front of the temple, but the concrete ground was too cold for me, so I only lasted 10 minutes there… So I walked to a near-by car park and squatted, but after a while, my legs became numb, so that was also out of the question. Eventually, I made my way back to Saijo Station and slept on a wooden bench. I slept for about 1.5 hours and then woke up at 4:30ish.. when the station guards came and opened up the station, because I had no money, I had to explain my situation..

“すみません。昨晩、駅を入ってたですけど、電車乗れなかったんですから。今、さいふは友達と広島駅にあります。今、25円だけあるから、どうしたらいいんでしょうか?帰れないんでしょう?”
~”そうみたいんですね”
”昨日の切符、新しいの切符って変えてくれませんか?”
~”…mmmm…”

So he gave me 570 and I bought a new ticket, caught the train to Hiroshima, caught the ちんちん電車 to 中電前 but because it was before 10am, the doors are locked by a passcode.. and because my phone was dead, I couldn’t call anyway to let me in… So I waited out the front until a delivery guy came and entered the building, and I snuck in after him.

After a shower and eating some breakfast, I still felt like crap, but I felt clean!

とにかく、今日は宮島に行きま〜す。

It was such a nice day, compared to the day before which was wet and cloudy, this day was bright, warm and sunny~ And such a good day compared to the night I had had.

When we were riding the cable cars back down to the bottom of Miyajima, we entered with a Japanese family, so it was 5 of them and DavidKoko and myself, and we chatted with their kids because hey, we are English teachers after all.. Japanese kids are so much more relaxed about speaking English outside of the classroom… if only we could make it like that inside the classroom too~!

After Miyajima, we went back to Hiroshima Station and ate Hiroshima-Yaki (Okonomiyaki, but Hiroshima Style) and then caught the night bus at 10:00pm. For what ever reason, the bus had stopped for like 30 mins or so so we didn’t arrive back to Osaka until after 5am, but hey.. I suppose at least the trains had already started.

So when I came back to my place, besides pretty much going straight to sleep, I did feel as though I had a good weekend, especially hanging out with the others~!! But I feel like I really really need a decent weekend of just doing nothing!! I have to try and slow down!!

After I woke up, I went to my local public bath house which was really nice, except as it became later and later, more families started to come, which made it really crowded, but there were 3 boys and they were so cute, because I was in the cold bath, and as they entered they were saying “Oh my god” !! haha.. again, English outside the classroom (And I’m not even sure if they knew I could speak English, because I don’t teach at Elementary school… and they were definitely Elementary school students~!)

2010年9月22日

Today we go to USJ (Universal Studios Japan). We decided to meet up in Umeda, because we can get a direct train from Umeda to USJ, but because I live in the south side of Osaka, it takes me about 3040 minutes to get to Umeda.. depending on how long I have to wait for trains, especially when changing lines *tear* but it’s alright.. I can survive no matter how tired or long it takes, because Ashley is only here for 8 days in total, and I do have the whole week off work!

Sayaka and I both pay for yearly tickets, because no doubt we will have friends coming over and it’s good to take them to USJ and also, if we just go 2 times, then we have got our money’s worth from USJ. As soon as we entered, we went straight to the roller coaster! I love roller coasters, and whilst on it, you can also listen to music (individually chosen). I picked EMINEM, and then we went on it again, and without thinking, I chose the exact same song (out of 5 different songs). Anyway, we went to many different parts of USJ, even some parts that I hadn’t been to before when I went 2 years ago with Sayaka. We also saw some parades and even though the weather forecast predicted it to be raining, we were fortunate that it didn’t rain until the last parade, and we were ready to go home anyway.

2010年9月23日

Today it’s still raining.. and it looks as though Sayaka isn’t well and probably won’t be coming out today and Ashley isn’t doing much in her room at Sayaka’s place. I really want to check out the Pokemon Center ever since I’ve heard of it in Japan, and when Sayaka mentioned that there was one in Osaka, the urge to go deepened! So I messaged Ashley that I would go and check it out and she replied back saying she would come.. just to check it out. So we meet up in front of Hep 5 and then walked to the Pokemon Center. It was actually quite small, but there was still a lot of people hanging around the place with their DS’s battling each other. Maybe the fact that the new games Pokemon Black and Pokemon White have just been released (even I have to wait to buy a new DS and Pokemon Black..).

When we went to USJ, Ashley saw a MOS burger place just outside of the USJ gates and wanted to eat there, but if we left, then Ashley would have to buy a new ticket to get back into USJ as Sayaka and I had our yearly passes. But at the Pokemon Center, lucky for us, there was a MOS burger place, so we went there for lunch. After eating lunch, we just wandered around a bit more and then got a call from Sayaka to go near むこのそ where we could watch some Ballet for free. By the time Ashley and I had arrived, it was up to the last of 3 different ballet’s, but it was still good. It was my first time to watch a ballet in real-life!! Also, Sayaka’s mum was there. I think it was a good experience to see it!! ^_^

2010年9月24日

This day we went to beautiful Kyoto~!! We arrived with plenty of time to go to many places, and we were fortunate enough to have Sayaka guide us around on this day. The only thing that went kind of wrong was that we got stuck shopping for the WHOLE day! We found a Village Vanguard which has HEAPS of random stuff.. looked at many different clothes stores, little boutique stores, a knife store, etc.. But the following day Ashley and I were planning to come back, so it was ok that we didn’t visit any temples or shrines..

After looking at various shops in Kyoto, we returned to Umeda and went to eat Curry~ I love Japanese curry, so I was extremely happy. Oh, also by the fact that I went to watch Biohazard 4 (Resident Evil 4): Afterlife with my new friend Kazu !

2010年9月25日

So it was just Ashley and myself that went to Kyoto today. But as it has happened with me a few times now, we arrived too early! We were both hungry and wanted to start our day off by going to this delicious ramen place that Sayaka had told us about the previous day.. but we had to wait, so we decided to go back to Village Vanguard !! Anyway, the store opened at 11:30 and we returned to the store at 12:05 and it was packed! Sayaka said it was good.. but damn! Luckily there were 2 seats left! After we finished eating the awesome ramen (because it was really awesome) we met up with Naoko who had just come back from Australia and we started to go to the temples. First stop – Kiyomizu Dera!

As we were walking from Kiyomizu Dera towards 三十三間堂, I saw this guy who was walking with his girlfriend but completely stop and stare openly as Naoko walked past him. At first I just thought that he must of thought that Naoko was pretty drop dead gorgeous (which she is very pretty) and then i realised she was carring a massive box of Krispy Kreme donuts that she got for free from the train station as she was exiting because soon Kyoto will have their first Krispy Kreme donut store!! LOL

We had a look at 三十三間堂 with all the ‘god’ figures they have there and then returned to Osaka well worn out! A good last day! I went to Sayaka’s house with Ashley and slept the night there as I would travel with Ashley to the airport and also Sayaka is going to Australia the next day, but not until the afternoon, so I feel as though I should go there and spend her last few hours in Osaka with her~

2010年9月26日

We wake up and go to the limousine bus which will take us to Kansai Airport. Oh god.. I’m just totally buggered from the whole week that Ashley has been here, but it has been SO good! I got to travel to many places again and spend time with her. We walk around the airport and find a K-pop store, but Ashley doesn’t know hardly anyone, well, not the newer music groups.. We try to call one of our other friends Shuhei, but I find out later that it’s his sports day at school so he didn’t answer and we didn’t get to chat with him together. Ashleyと一週間、ほんまに良かったやな!僕は疲れたけど、全部すごく楽しかった!!