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Posts Tagged ‘hanga’

Good things that have happened recently:

Went to a free food tasting event for the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture of Japan, where I was presented with an array of about 30 different types of Japans finest exportable goods. It was slightly scary when they interviewed me and took about a thousand photos, and having to explain why the food was good/bad in Japanese but I got paid 3000 yen (£18) for my gaijin opinion on whether things were good enough to be exported to Britain-land, not to mention all the free samples and goodies I got given, and the added bonus of not needing to cook dinner that night!

I found the illusive 100yen Lawson shop. This is going to revolutionise my life. Almost everything is 100yen and you can buy everything from vegetables and meat to batteries and stationary. And its open 24hrs! Its the ultimate student budget shop!

Planning to go to Osaka this weekend to see もみじ – all the autumnal colours of the changing leaves. Really excited as I’ve never been to Osaka before and as there are 7 of us going then hopefully it should be a fun time!

Bad things that have happened recently:

My teacher adding “improvements” to my woodblock print and making it look bad 😦 Somehow I couldn’t find the words to say “Please stop you are ruining it!”

Doing a role-play of working at McDonalds* in class. I am not learning Japanese so that I can get a McJob! My aspirations run a little higher!  The worst part was that it was right before lunch!

Getting my phone bill…

(*On a vaguely related note, McDonalds in Japan are a taste sensation. No, really. When you get one, the burger is HOT rather than soggy and luke warm, and always actually tastes like meat may have been involved in its production at some point! They also have burgers like the teriyaki burger, the king prawn fillet burger, and the ultimate Mega Mac which is made from FOUR BURGERS. Its like the burger that all other burgers want to be when they grow up.)

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I’m already feeling very settled in my new life here, I cant believe its only been a week. Settling in has been very easy as the Japanese students in my dorm have made me feel so welcome and helped me all with getting to grips with everyday life. Some things are incredibly different (like recycling) and other things are surprisingly similar.

Yesterday I went with a few others to get registered as an alien (still makes me giggle a bit!) and to get health insurance. So now I am officially allowed to be here and once I receive my 外人カード I will be able to do a lot more stuff like open a bank account. After that we went to get our 携帯 cell phones. Although it is essentially a very simple process (you pick a phone, you sign a contract, everything works) it was made so much harder by the sheer variety and choice of phones on offer! They all come in about 5 colours and have so many features that I’ve never seen before. For example, on my phone, the screen rotates 90 degrees to the right to make it wide screen which optimises TV viewing. It has a camera with a macro and a standard lens, it subscribes to Asahi news which scrolls across my screen every couple of hours with the news headlines, it can play music, blue-tooth, and if I wanted to pay extra, I could use it like an Oyster card at convenience stores or on the subway. But the best part is how cheap it is; it works out as around 5 pounds per month on a contract which I can cancel at anytime for free. Now I no longer have to rely on fate to meet up with people since calling all my friends on the same provider is free! We even got given a free 1GB memory card and a whole goody bag – if only getting a mobile at home was so easy!

I’ve registered for my classes and other than the compulsory language classes, I’m taking Hanga (woodblock carving) , Shodo (calligraphy) , a seminar on War and Peace from a transnational perspective, and Japan and American foreign relations. I could have taken another class (or even done one less class), but I decided that would be enough for the moment and I will see how it goes. Tomorrow I actually start classes, and Im excited to see what its going to be like.

Right, well I’m off to the cafeteria for a bowl of ramen. GB 1.50 cant be wrong! It feels slightly extravagant eating out so much but when its so cheap AND delicious…!

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