April 4, 2006

Day 2 - sleep is my friend

Woke up at about 3pm today after going to bed at about 9pm the previous evening. Spent the next few hours pottering about at home, unpacking and watching kids TV and a program that demonstrates to Japanese people how to pronounce various English words. The kids TV here is fantastic in ways I can't possibly describe, and was actually kind of educational, even though my language level is far below that of the average Japanese 5 year old.

Am still not to grips with everything and am quite jetlagged. Don't really know what to make of everything right now. The school is giving an orientation seminar on Friday which I am really looking forward to, as there are many many basic things I haven't got my head around and I have a ton of dumb gaijin questions that I'd like answered (how do you use a rice cooker? Which TV channel is which? How does the aircon/heating in my apartment work? Is it OK to blow my nose in public? What do you say in shops/barbers/post offices/tran stations/etc? How do I set up a bank account? and so on and so forth). I am also really looking forward to learning the language as quickly as I can, mostly as a means of being able to survive and socialize (as opposed to back home, where I was just studying it out of interest).

Haven't really had the opportunity to meet many people yet, partly because most of them will insist on speaking Japanese. Hence I've been watching lots and lots of TV. Not to get all Bill Hicks or anything, but back home I tried to avoid TV as most of it is very stupifying and lowest-common-denominator, and I mostly found TV (and other) advertising offensive and brainwashing, and tried to avoid it where I could. However, here I find it fascinating and frequently amusing. Probably because I can't understand most of it, and probably because it provides a bit of a window on the culture. Plus I guess it's good for me to hear as much Japanese as possible I suppose.

In the early evening I took what will doubtless be the first of many trips to Seiyu, the local
supermarket-cum-shopping mall. The supermarket bit is on the first floor (they call the ground floor the first floor here, I think) along with a travel shop, a Maccy D's and an Ice-cream Parlour; on the 2nd floor there's a homewares store and a very noisy amusement arcade; and on the 3rd floor is the 100-yen shop Can Do! After much confusion, pottering about, and marvelling at some real-life Engrish, I was able to acquire some basic food and cutlery items, including these (I just had to) -

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Then I came back, watched some anime (Bleach, no less), and am going to get something to eat before going back to bed again. I have a placement test with the school tomorrow morning to determine my current level of ability and which class I will go into.

Minna-san, kyotsukete!

PS if you want general info about my local environment, try here

4 comments:

tom April 05, 2006 1:48 AM  

It's easy to forget just how much basic stuff you have to re-learn when you come to a new country. Weird that they make you wait until Friday for the orientation seminar! I am sure you can ask a ton of questions there though.

Love the new crockery! Do you think "clickery click" is self-parody?

ajf April 05, 2006 11:57 AM  

Hmm, could well be...there's a ton of Clickery-click crap (clap?) at the store. Each of the three characters seems to have it's own line of engrish-tastic products, such as this pinku bento box.

Yuka,  April 05, 2006 7:54 PM  

Hey ya! How are you feeling, Andy?
Glad hear that your all of imformations.

I could have understood your feeling coz when I came to UK same as you, really.
I exactuly didnt know anything, nothing;

Imagin...what would they want to say to you. Then look at their mouth how to move which word is coming.

By the way Okazaki seems such a rural, isnt it?
I will show you Tokyo in July. Wait for me x

tom April 06, 2006 6:55 PM  

My name is Tom.Favourite food is Jaffa Cakes and the lime pickle. Verry nice.

P.S. "the white cake" - a thinly veiled drug reference, surely!?

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