Friday, November 19, 2004

Mita-Sai is here

Went to school, went along to Simone and Asli’s conversation partner meeting again. We went to the Excelsior Café near the train station this time. Most of the time was spent learning apparently ‘useful’ words in Japanese. Simone and Asli had their notepads out most of the time writing down everything. Somehow we got onto the topic of 変態・スケベ・チカン (perverts and weird people on the trains) though – and it sounds like a fairly common problem here in Japan. My friend Ji-Hee was there and said she’s unfortunately met a few of them on the crowded trains to and from her place. Both the conversation partner’s have also had similar experiences when they were in high school…

Only had class in periods one and two. Class was entirely dedicated to speeches though so it was quite fun since you just have to sit and listen and ask a few questions. Had lunch at a tempura place near campus (it’s almost a fast-food chain – you can get take away tempura too). It was good none the less – and only cost like 500 yen for the meal! After that I went straight home to learn my speech for Wednesday class. Probably spent about one hour altogether doing it with all the procrastinating, and then headed off to badminton training. Training was easier than normal because they had a tournament on Wednesday. I broke the strings on my second racket unfortunately however… Afterwards I went with some of them to eat some dinner – and I finally got to try this Chinese place they always go to (since we got there before they closed this time). I had some spicy fried chicken with rice and cold udon set. If you have never tried cold udon I highly recommend it – although I’m not too sure how easy it is to get outside of Japan.

Gave my speech in class. Was pretty bad I thought since the topic I’d chosen was originally for an essay – and I had no idea we were meant to use it for a speech later. If you’re wondering my topic was the ‘Bionic Ear’ – go look it up in google if you don’t know what it is. The two other people from Australia in my class talked about the Sydney Opera House and koalas hehe. Anyway I tried my best to explain as many of the weird words I used – but I still think a lot of people didn’t understand much which made it a bit boring. I was extremely tired after class finished since I managed to go to bed at about 3am on Tuesday because I was looking for pictures to use for the presentation. BUT, I finally decided that I would take a trip to Yokohama to the badminton store so I could get my two rackets restrung. So with the help of some directions from Kogai-kun (badminton friend), I made it to the shop and got it done. I helped Kris (he lives opposite me in the room opposite me) get a racket there too since he’s been just borrowing people’s rackets at the badminton club that he’s been frequenting so far. While we were waiting for his new racket to get strung, we found a place to eat where I tried this variation on maguro-don (tuna-sashimi on a bowl of rice basically) which was called マグロ利久丼 (maguro-rikyuudon – at least I think that’s how you say it) which was really good. Kris had some eel thing which I can’t remember the name of.

We almost didn’t make it back to the shop in time to pick up our rackets – since we both didn’t look at the time while we were having dinner. They were still open when we got there though so it was okay. After we went looking for a game arcade, but didn’t find one which had anything we felt like playing. We did find this weird multiplayer card game though. It seemed to be a bit like magic the gathering – where you buy booster packs and things, and there’s different sorts of cards that you use. But the catch is, you play with the cards at this arcade-machine thing. You actually insert them in, and I suppose when there’s other people there they insert theirs. And there’s a screen – so while there was nobody playing it at the time, I’m guessing that there’ll be some sort of animated thing happening there when you’re creatures fight with each other…. Quite interesting I thought.

I took a few photos outside for everyone to have a look at too:

Outside Yokohama station at night

Another random shot

A side street in Yokohama somewhere

Enough random photos yet?

I woke up at 4pm. That’s definitely the longest sleep in I’ve had since I’ve arrived. I guess all the days of having 3 or 4 hours sleep finally caught up with me. Today was the first day of the Mita Festival break so I made the most of it. Although, come to think of it, I normally don’t have class on Thursdays anyway. I have until next Thursday off from class - and a lot of my friends have all disappeared off to various parts of Japan (and a couple off to Korea) for the week. I however will be staying here in Tokyo to hopefully get a look at the place a bit better. Oh, and Hanson is here for 4 days as well - so i'll be meeting up with him tomorrow for some sightseeing too i think.

As for today, I pretty much just had time to roll out of bed and make myself some instant noodles before it was time to go to badminton again. Training is back to being really hard – I didn’t even try to do the shuttle run with the rest of them tonight – was starting to hurt too much just doing the multi-feed. Went to eat with them after again – I think I probably learn as much Japanese at badminton training as I do in class. The listening practice is really good – I think I’m slowly starting to understand more and more of the conversations now… Hopefully I’ll actually start to understand all of it before I leave hehe. Anyway that brings me right up to now as I sit here typing this blog. Till next time.

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