Wednesday, January 26, 2005

End of Semester

“I’m sitting in the lounge at the moment with some of the other guys. Aaron is quite drunk. He’s just walked himself through the river near our place and is trying to convince the rest of us to come cross with him. He’s quite convinced that it’s quite an uplifting experience at the moment. To me it just looks like he’s made the carpet quite wet.” – that’s what I wrote out last night but didn’t get a chance to post. I was up way too late last night and having nothing pressing to do this morning, I only just got up. There’s nothing like having cereal at 3pm because you can’t be bothered to go out to find something else to eat hehe.

Yesterday was our last day of tests. We took some random photos when we finished but after standing around for a bit as we tend to do, I went to Shibuya with Matthias, Simone and Grace (one of Simone’s friends) to have lunch.

Random Group Photo (Asho, Matthias, Ben, Francis, Carol)

We went to a really nice sushi place and had – you guessed it – assorted kinds of sushi.

Grace and Matthias at the sushi place

Simone and I


It was really good - some of the best sushi i've had here, and it was filling too! Possibly a little on the pricey side but still it was definitely worth it. However... See that prawn/shrimp in the middle of the plate? Well it looks really nice and tasty until you remove the head. This is what was inside:

It looks even worse if you look closely :)

I’ve never seen a prawn brain still intact like that before. But it wasn’t the most appetizing thing in the world, especially when it just sort of burst and turned into mush when I tried to move the prawn. And no, I didn’t eat it. After that the four of us went and took some sticker photos (I think that’s the first time I’ve actually taken a sticker photo in Japan… but meh, not exactly an incredibly different experience if truth be told) before I went off with Matthias to get some music while Simone and Grace went shopping somewhere else. I’m not sure how, but Matthias and I ended up playing table tennis at the local table tennis centre after that. Was quite fun – it’s been a while since I’ve played, but Matthias was about ten times too good for me… After that I was about ready to go home and just nap – but I thought that seeing we’d just finished the semester, I shouldn’t be home sleeping. Instead I followed Matthias to Willing Setagaya (the dorm in Sangenjaya) and spent the next couple of hours there trying to play the ‘train game’ for PSone. Basically you are driving one of the trains in Japan, and all you have to do is accelerate and brake. It is incredibly difficult though. You have to arrive on schedule to the second, not break the speed limits, and actually stop at the right place at the station so people can get on and off. Even Matthias can’t do the second level.

The PSone eventually stopped working for some reason, and by then it was about time to go back to Shibuya for dinner. Souhei’s friend Philip from the Netherlands is here in Japan at the moment and Souhei very kindly invited us to eat okonomiyaki (Japanese style pancakes) with them. At first I thought how can I possibly be full from a dinner consisting of one pancake. I was pleasantly mistaken however. Those things were huge. And really tasty too ~

This is how they make them

My chicken and cheese okonomiyaki

Souhei, Maki, Philip, Me and Simone (and Grace is taking the photo)

Sat around chatting for quite a while, but eventually headed home to the dorm where I found quite a few people hanging out in the lounge. The little episode I wrote about at the top with Aaron happened sometime after that – but what I didn’t get a chance to write was that Ben actually eventually gave up and went with Aaron to walk through the Yagami river near the dorm. They both came back quite wet…

P.S. Being here in Japan has improved my conversational Japanese somewhat I’m sure. But obviously it would have improved a lot more if I was doing home-stay with a Japanese family and had to speak it all the time at home. I don’t know if I’d rather have done that or not though now – living in a dorm full of exchange students is a pretty interesting experience too. And it’s not like we don’t speak Japanese at all here – there are a fair number of people with whom the only language we have in common is Japanese…


Ez said...

Never seen prawn brain? Gee... missing out buddy. Hope you have fun tonight!

quebeck said...

Those okonomiyaki looks like head crabs from Half Life!