My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan

Posts tagged ‘Japan’

The Snuggie Hits Japan; Takes the name of “NuKMe”

Yes. This is my excuse for a New Years Post.

The NukMe, a product who’s name is just as awkward as how you look wearing it, is the recent Japanese solution to the US’s Snuggie.  I discovered it the other day at the Japanese alternative to Blockbuster near my house.

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According the description, the NuKMe is “a blanket which covers your body completely.  The NuKMe is an Extremely Popular product!!”

For all of you not up to date with the Snuggie, here’s a commercial that aired stateside.

 

The one thing is the name.  I’m guessing it’s derived from Nuke – as in, “I’m going to nuke some soup in the microwave”- and Me, but still, the name just seems like it could easily be misinterpreted, or become a bad joke, of something more inappropriate. Hmm

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Christmas

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I found the children’s Christmas book section at a store. And then under that is the Christmas Cake we bought at Baskin Robbins.

Lament for the Giraffe

There’s something I hate about myself in Japan.

To just about everybody here, it’s extremely handsome, stylish, and amazing, but to me it’s an absolute burden, both physically and mentally.

And that thing I hate is the fact I’m 6’3” (195? cm).

First off, let’s start with the (somewhat minor) physical encumbrances .  Let’s face it: Japan is not a tall country.  The average is 5ft6or7 or something.  Well, it’s metric over here so its 170-something centimeters.  My desk (and chair) at school have “this chair/desk is intended for people between these heights:” stickers on them, whose limits start at about 5 foot and end at about 5 foot 7 (all you metric people, get your calculators out.  I’m on a rant and am tired of having to go back to my calculator every few seconds.) I’m 6’3” (195cm.  I know that by heart so I don’t need to convert).  I cannot physically enter my desk.  I have to manually lift the desk up and place it on my lap.  Besides that, I frequently hit my head on doors as well as signposts, chandeliers, advertisements, the bars to hold onto in the train, and so on.  Also, when it rains, and you’re on a crowded road where everyone has umbrellas, you get stabbed in the face with numerous umbrellas, as well as get all the drips from the tops of other people’s umbrellas.  So, when I’m on those roads, the most wet part of my person is the part right under the umbrella.

Now, onto the mental strain it’s causing me.

My goal in coming to Japan for this year was to, for one year, feel like a Japanese kid.  Sounds weird, but it’s something I’ve always wanted. 

Now I, towering over all the other kids, never get that feeling like I fit in.

If this were the animal kingdom, I’m the giraffe in the herd of zebras. 

Seriously, it’s the worst feeling.  Not being able to talk face-to-face with friends or to stand with them and just feel like the complete outcast.

It destroys me inside when I see a friend run up to another friend and put his arm around his shoulder, as friends do (How merry. Sounds old-fashioned, though this is Japan).  They never do it to me.  How could they? They can’t even reach.

When you can’t speak in normal Japanese with friends, you rely on those little physical gestures, the friend’s arm around your shoulder, friends running up and jokingly half-tackling you from behind, to feel accepted. 

I get approached by model scouts all the time as well as random people on the streets, all praising my height.  Though to me, I’d give my height just to fit in. 

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I drew this picture (on the back of my French homework, I might add), to try and illustrate my point.  It does a terrible job illustrating it, though it does an OK job illustrating what Zebras and Giraffes might look like if they were to walk on two legs. Not that that’s at all related. 

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.

Earthquake struck today

Today, I experienced my first major earthquake.  It occurred in Shizuoka, and while I don’t know where that is in Japan it was strong enough to register as 6.5 and to seem pretty darn scary when it struck at 5am this morning.

My phone, which has an earthquake alarm mailing system, sent me an email notifying me of the earthquake just seconds before it struck. My phone then sends off a special alarm, notifying me of my potentially impending doom.

I, ironically, had my phone on silent mode.

So, when my phone began to madly vibrate at 5am in the morning I angrily went over and picked it up, wondering why on earth somebody was texting me at such an early hour. 

Then the whole house began to shake violently side to side and I thought I was going to die and when it all ended I fell back asleep because it was frankly 5 o’clock in the morning and when I’m tired, for all I care the tripods could be invading and I’d still rather just go back to bed.

Now, had I not been in my home, sleeping, when the earthquake went off and had I been in, say, a crowded train traveling beneath Tokyo, I probably would’ve been freaking out when my phone alarm went off and said “You’re about to be hit by an earthquake. Take cover”.

But hey, it was a strong enough earthquake to do not very nice things to this wine:

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New Favorite Commercial

That’s the thing about summer break.  I havent done anything significant and thus have nothing to blog about…

This is the new Softbank Commerical. Featuring Brad Pitt. Enjoy.

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