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This week is a very welcome week off whilst the University entrance exams are undertaken by scores of terrified looking High School students from all over Nagoya. I was unfortunate enough to be walking the wrong way back to the dormitory on Monday afternoon just after 5pm faced with a stream of about 500 students, some talking and laughing, others looking petrified from fear. Unlike the UK, you take an entrance exam directly with the university; it is said to be the most stressful part of Japanese childrens lives. After you get into your chosen university the work is relatively easy, you have free time, you can wear what you want, you can dye your hair etc and jobs are won on the university you go/went to rather than your degree, so getting into the right place is pretty much the most important thing. To pass these exams, kids got to after-school “cram-schools” from the end of school till 9-10pm most evenings during the week!

Anyway, we get the week off which is fantastic as I have time to recover from all that party planning! Luckily everything went perfectly the other night; people liked our goody bags (5000 yen vouchers redeemable at a local hairdressers, free food/drinks vouchers, chocolates, hair wax, shampoo etc) the red carpet, the prizes – concert tickets, hair straighteners, clothes etc – and everyone said how professional it was. Judging from everybody’s photos on Facebook, it looks like everybody had a good time! People are already asking when the next one is… Between George and I we know most of Nagoya so we are thinking of making it bigger – maybe 300 people!

We even made enough profit to pay for a thankyou slap-up meal at Outback Steakhouse for our closest friends who helped with the party preparations – currently still full of delicious ribs!! That place is a saving grace – although I still can’t believe that the finest fillet steak comes chopped up in little chunks just because Japanese people can’t use knives and forks! And whilst fish/eggs/horse meat/everything comes raw in Japan, steak comes medium rare even if you ask for it to be still moo-ing. Still I’m not going to complain, as where else can I get such decadent Gaijin Fodder?

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Amongst all the flower arranging (Ikebana), Japanese Foreign Policy studying, Business Japanese skills developing, Sumie (chinese Black ink) painting, Japanese Language learning and extra-curricular-socialising, I am currently occupying my time organising the party to end all parties!

Over the last 2 months my best friend George and I have gathered 7 different sponsors (two hair salons, a restaurant, a magazine, a concert venue, , organised the music, made tickets, negotiated the socks off the owner of the venue to get a really good deal, bought the champagne, and run around inviting all our friends to come to what should be an absolute spectacular! Its going to be for about 100 of our friends, lots of yummy food, all you can drink, fabulous music, amazing prizes (like a meal for two at a rather classy restaurant, hair straighteners, concert tickets etc etc) for the best dressed girl/guy, best hairdo and best dancer, and we even got a Japanese drag queen to come and make an appearance! We also managed to get ¥5000 haircut vouchers for everyone who comes, plus, a really well known magazine for our prefecture called SpyGirl is going to come and take photographs of the event and feature us on a whole page in glorious technicolour! So I am very very excited!

This is the first time that I have ever organised such a big event, and I’m definitely learning a lot… Its even more exciting doing it in a foreign country – something I never imagined I would be able to achieve! Hopefully it’ll be alright on the night…! One week left to go and so much to organise!

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