My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan

Archive for September, 2009

Update before I go to Korea

Well, I’m leaving for Korea for a few days tomorrow.  I just thought I’d do a brief update on what I’ve been up to.

I had my sports festival the other day.  I participated in dodge ball.  Japanese rules are different from(or maybe they’re the same as?) the United States, and thus I found myself just getting hit by the ball (not plural) a bunch because nobody explained it.  Was still fun. I went to Shinjuku afterwards, and took some pictures. Because i could. And because it was free.

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Stupid cell phone camera focused on the tail of the dragonfly.

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Egg building and using the free content they provide people wirelessly to use on their Nintendo DS.

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Inside of some building.

I went to a friend’s brother’s school festival the other day.  It was pretty fun, I guess.  A lot of people came, though what was fun was just hanging out with my friends.

Yesterday, I went to the Onsen (hot spring) resort thingy near my house.  For some reason, I feel like explaining the process of the hot spring resort because it’s all pretty high tech and cool.

So, you enter, and take off your shoes in the entrance hall.   You put them in these small locker things, which you can lock.  Then, you proceed to the entrance, where a smiling lady hands you a waterproof bracelet with a barcode on it.  You then proceed to another counter, where a man scans your barcode and hands you a small satchel with these loose garments and an assortment of towels.

You then proceed to a changing room, where you take your clothes off and put them in a locker.

You then, you know, go to the bath. 

Mid-way through the bath, if you like, you can take a break and wear the loose garments and go to the lounge.  In the lounge, there are many chairs, which are nice recliners with swivel-out flat screen TVs with special audio so only your seat can hear.  Which are free to use.  I usually sit there with one of the blankets that are free and watch TV for an hour or so between baths and e-mail friends on my phone.

Then you return to the bathes (or not. if you prefer).

There are also a variety of restaurants, vending machines, and special bathes, which cost extra, all of which can be attended in the garment things and the bill is put on your barcode bracelet.

When you’re all done, you change into your clothes, return the satchel, and go to the counter, where they scan your bracelet and you pay the amount that’s collected.

It usually costs about 12-13 USD (1200 yen), depending on whether i buy anything.  Though you can go for as long as you like (I usually go anywhere from 2-4 hours), so it’s well worth it.

And that’s about it.

It looks something like this:

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That’s part of the changing room as well as partial view of the bathes.  I burgled it from Google. 

 

And yeah. That’s a bout it.  Going to Seoul tomorrow for three days, will perhaps update when I get back.

Well, I started Biology today

We started cell-division today in Biology.  I was given a somewhat long text explaining it, and I did my best to translate it with my electric dictionary because I couldn’t understand the teacher’s explanation.

Of course, it was written in Kanji, so I had to use the small touch-screen in order to use the Kanji-recognition program.  It went down a good something like this:

Me: Huh.  I wonder what that first word is. (Writes into Electro-Dict)

Me: Hmm.  It’s not working

(Spends a good few minutes trying to get it right)

Me: Plant.  The first word is, plant.  Now the second word…

As you can imagine, with the fact it was the first Kanji of a few dozen I didn’t recognize on the sheet, my morning in Biology went by quite slowly.

I also had Lacrosse today.  We did some crazy leg-swingy exercises, which I failed miserably at, and thus my legs are dead.

Quick update

I have some free time so I figured I’d write a quick update on my blog.  And by free time, I of course mean it’s about 1:30am and as I’m up late already, I figured I’d write a blog post.

I started my second term of school on Tuesday.  Though Tuesday was an opening orientation, Wednesday was a full day of tests, Thursday I only had two periods, Friday I was sick, and today was a half day, so I can’t exactly say I’ve felt the rhythm of how the second half of my school year will go.

Let’s see…my classes are very different from my first term.  First term I had about half normal classes, and the rest were private Japanese lessons or special courses for me as an exchange student

This term about all of my courses are normal courses.  Almost every single one of them.  Which means I’m also taking courses such as Math II (I’m still deciphering the meaning of the “II”. Whatever it is, it’s a very difficult II), Contemporary Japanese Literature, Biology, and Japanese Classics.  By the end of this year, I may not be able to say all my zoo animals but I may as heck be able to use vocabulary contained in literature from ancient Japan. 

Today, I had Chemistry (It’s not even on my schedule? Though for some reason I had it), Math II, Japanese History, and Japanese Classics. 

While the Japanese Classics teacher was explaining how the book he handed out in class would work throughout the year as well as gave an introduction, all I managed to do was translate the title of the book.  Turns out the book was assembled by the school, and thus the title was the course name.  I felt it wasn’t a good start.

I’m going to start Lacrosse on Monday.   Well, technically I’ll just be watching but that sounds really boring to write on a blog post.

Hmmm that’s about it.

Oh I saw this ad the other day in Shibuya advertising a skin lotion that raises money for a charity that combats sex trafficking. 

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I don’t know.  It just didn’t seem like the right shop to sell it at.

Yeah I haven’t made a new post in a while. And a bit of an announcement

I’m sorry to all my reader’s who’ve been disappointed by my recent lack of posts on the blog.    I took a break from blogging and from keeping track of everything for a while, and it felt pretty good.  

Starting September, I’m going to be cutting down on the amount I blog.  As much as I like blogging,  it’s been pretty time consuming, and I’m going to be actively participating in my club and school starting September so I’m going to cut down on my blog posts in order to not have to worry about that as well.

If you were worrying, nothing interesting has happened of recent since my last blog post.

Also, in December, I shall be taking the JLPT level 2 test.  Which is a test to determine if I’m yet at level 2 according to the JLPT scale thing.  Though it means I’m going to be pretty busy studying, as I’m going to have to know about 1000 Kanji (Chinese characters) as well as pretty difficult sentence structures. 

I will from time to time blog, though don’t expect it to be as frequent as it has up until now. 

Thank you,

Colin

kanji-poster

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