My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan

Archive for April, 2009

Hey…you…

This is a very text-y post! I’m sorry…

The biggest problem I’m having here in Japan is remembering people’s names.  I’m approached many times a day by people, who greet me with spirited “Hey, Colin!”, or a “Hello Colin”.  I don’t actually have a problem with these comments, though the problem is that, frankly, I don’t know who most of the people are.  And many of the ones I do know I can’t remember the names of.  Which results in me saying awkward things like “Hey, you!” or a weird-sounding burst of “Hello!”.  Which makes me feel really bad.  It’s been about two weeks now that I’ve been in school, and I can count on my fingers the number of people who’s names I know.  I don’t even know the names of some of the people who come up to me and talk with me everyday, which makes me feel bad and I feel like I’m at a point that I’ve talked to them so much that popping a “Hey- What’s your name again?” would destroy all liking they perhaps had of me. 

Though, perhaps the weirder thing about the whole situation is that I do know random factoids about pretty much everyone in my classroom (just not their names).  They’ll introduce each other by saying things like “This kid here likes to steal porn. If you bring any to school, don’t tell him.” or “This kid is very lazy. He only left his house like 2 times over summer break and stayed inside and played video games.” They just don’t introduce themselves like they do in the US.

And the unfortunate thing about the factoids is that it still doesn’t leave me with something to call them.  I feel like “Hey, porn thief!” or “Hey, lonely!” wouldn’t exactly make them like me.

Plus, I don’t know how to say “Porn thief” or “Lonely” in Japanese.

 

On a side note, blackboards actually scare me and are making me very obsessive compulsive. I don’t mean that in a lame, exaggerated way, but they actually do.  All I can do when I see the remaining chalk dust on the board in a weird, not-organized erase is think about the taste of chalk in my mouth and suffocating in a cloud of chalk dust and how I want to attack the board with some 409 and a squeegee.

I actually took the time to erase the board the other day in a neat fashion, erasing in lines and erasing every part of the chalkboard evenly, even the parts that didn’t have chalk on them.

I miiiiiiiiiiss you

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My schoolbag can’t gracefully be held

I bought a schoolbag.  Because everyone at school had one and I stuck out with my backpack.  And everything fits nicely in the bag. The bag looks like this:

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(And yes. That’s a duck.  Everyone has keychains on their bags, even the guys. I like my duck. So shut up.)

The only real problem about it is that there is no possible way to gracefully carry it home each day.

There are two ways you can carry it.  One, you carry it at your side.  Though this gets very tiring. And when it rains you feel like Mary Poppins when you walk around with your bag at your side. Two, you put the strap on your shoulder.  The problem with this is that it makes it feel like a purse.  One of those arm-y purses that force you to keep your arms in effeminate positions when you wish to use the arm carrying the purse/bad/murse to, for example, answer the phone, because your other arm is doing something like holding a refreshing cool beverage or holding onto the strap things for standing people on the train.

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I can’t say that either are looks I’m really striving for.

An Introduction to my School

Well, school has started, and I haven’t really had all too much of a post on it, and thus, here it is. My introductory post to my school.

I go to a school, which I won’t name for privacy reasons, which is located in Tokyo.  It’s one of the few schools with uniforms that aren’t mandatory,  and it’s also infamous for being somewhat…laid back.  That is, you could walk through a busy hallway in your underwear and no teacher would say a thing about it.  Not that this is necessarily a helpful privilege to have, but still.

I’m in one of the classes that is renown for being one of the most laid back, and the kids seem to pride themselves on it.  Though it makes for them all being really nice, as well as makes the classes quite interesting when, in the middle of a class, for example, two kids will begin to have a screaming contest.  Yeah. That happened today. I think.

The kids are basically divided into three different categories: those who are studying literature, those who are studying science/mathematics, and those who are studying foreign languages.  I’m in the latter, and thus about 2/3 of my classes are related to either English, French, or Japanese.

I also have classes like Calligraphy, which is painfully slow and difficult when written Japanese is not one’s forte, and PE, which is interesting considering it is really quite easy.

After school on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and sometimes Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday I have field hockey practice. Mind you, I don’t have to attend every practice, and it’s only Sundays when there are games. I find it peculiar that some of the kids don’t remove their dangly earrings when they play. 

And, of course, when things go well for the players during practice they like to remove their shirts and shorts and run around on the field.  They keep their boxers and shoes and socks/shin guards on, Which makes their legs look thick, which gives them a sort of Astro Boy look as they run.  I don’t think I’ll be running around with them anytime soon.

That’s about all I can think of really to say without being repetitious.

Here are some photos.  Very, very bad ones.  It just wasn’t my day.

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Crisp, you’re-practically-there, action shots: Just one of the many things we here are colininjapan.com pride ourselves on.

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Word Game

Today, because it was raining, Field Hockey practice was cancelled and, thus, me and some friends stayed at school and played some games and ate random junk food.

The first game we played was a board game that was a dodgy complete rip-off of LIFE, though it was still fun.

The second game was a word game where you would start with “Apple” in Japanese and then the last letter would be the first letter of a different word that the next person would have to think up and you would have to draw a picture of it on the whiteboard.  The first rounds were in Japanese, and the latter rounds were in English.

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Crazy squirrel drawn by someone who’s name escapes me.  He hadn’t yet written “Risu” under it.  Sad/Angry couple kiss by George.

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I’m really proud of my Yak. Just not my spelling of it.

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Dramatic food eating.

 

I’ll have pictures that are more relevant to anything in my next post, as well as actual pictures of actual things that aren’t scenery/yachts.

Self Introductions

(Sorry about a lack of posts- been busy)

Well, today, I had an English reading class.  I know. Pretty tricky stuff.

Because it was the first day, everyone paired up, and then shared their partner’s name and a fact about them, and the class would engage in a sort of golf clap and move on to the next pair.

Well, we went around the class, and everyone presented their partner. They would say  things like “This is Yuki. He likes Basketball” or something simple like that. In English, of course.

And then it came to the group before me.

“This is Takashi. He’s great at sex”

Everyone stared for a second at the pair, then another second at each other, and then clapped and then we moved on.

I followed up with an exciting “This is Kaishi. He likes noodles”.

yeah.

note: changed people’s names

Today…I saw nature. And it was nice.

First off, I’ve been researching the stats on my blog and every since I did the post on the Penis Festival my blog views skyrocketed, and for the past week or so I’ve been rated in the top 15 travel blogs.  I also looked at the referral list (where a link to my blog is found), and my blog is now found on sex news websites and weird news websites all over the world.  The most popularly linked picture was the picture of the girl with the red shirt riding the…wooden one.

Just thought you all might like to know some stats.

Well, getting on to the main point, today, I had my first real day of school today (yes, Saturday). First class, I had computer class. Which was pretty easy, even in Japanese. Next was Japanese class with the Scottish boy, Christopher, which was fun, and then I had another Japanese class with a different teacher.  It was one of the most interesting Japanese classes I’ve ever had, considering that we didn’t really study too much Japanese and in fact went and took a bike ride to a park. 

And the park was full of nature. Wonderful, wonderful, nature.  I mean, it was pretty basic stuff like trees and a pond and a duck but really you don’t get much authentic nature in Tokyo, and thus I havn’t seen much nature-y nature for about a month.  And, of course, I took pictures.  Not great pictures, because I took them with my phone, but still. Pictures.

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I was taking a picture of a nice road with cool looking trees and everything but then I was almost hit by a car while I was in the middle of taking the picture so I got a picture of the sidewalk instead.

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I also stopped by Harajuku on the way home.  I took the above picture at a park, and also took a picture of a sign that said “NO SNORKING”, which I, of course, by accidently deleted.

School

So…yeah. School started. Yesterday. Kind of.

After giving a introductory speech in front of all 1800 students, I had a shorter one in my classroom. 

“I don’t quite know what to present about myself, as I’ve already introduced myself in front of the entire school. Does anyone have any questions about me?”

After about 10 seconds of silence, one kid raised his hand.

“When’s your birthday?”

 

No, but really, the kids are really nice and I think I’m going to have an amazing year. I don’t have anything nifty like a picture or anything.

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