July 30, 2006


Yep, not much happening really, sorry. Thought I'd better write something though.

I understand Britain is in the midst of a heat-wave? Well we're kind of having one here as well, except it's called "summer". So don't expect any sympathy from me. Plus you don't have the constant chirping of crickets day and night. The average daytime temperature here is about 35°C, but as it's been quite hot generally for several months I think I am a bit more used to it. The humidity hasn't been so bad thus far but we have the whole of August to go yet...

But enough about the weather. Course is going well, new material is interesting, but I don't know how I'll ever get my head around transitive/intransitive verbs. Had a written/listening test last week, speaking test tomorrow, tests tests test(e)s. Still no job but I tend to keep putting it off.

Also I think now that I am going to stay here for another term (i.e. until January) or maybe two (i.e. until April). Hopefully I will be able to come home for Christmas as it would just be too depressing spending it alone in a country that doesn't really celebrate Christmas (apparently Christmas Eve here is a kind of Valentines Day-esque celebration for couples, and then Dec 25th is business as usual- however, the commercial sector still has a large hand in things, it seems).

So what's on the cards for the next week or two? Study and heat, pretty much. Next weekend is the grand Okazaki Fireworks Festival, which I think I'm going to. Okazaki has the country's leading firework industry and the festival is usually attended by about half a million people. Apart from that, there is another string of bank holidays coming up in the middle of August, maybe I'll do something for that.


July 15, 2006

Keitai woes

First week of term went well. New class and new teachers all seem really cool. We are covering the entirety of our textbook this term, which was a suprise; I was expecting that we would only do half of it.

Went out last night to celebrate my teacher-from-last-term's birthday, which was fun. Afterwards went out with a friend from my old class to a small pub. The pub in question has it's own darts team, and they were showing televised darts; I didn't realise darts was played professionally here, but there you go. The games on TV were soft-tip darts, which is a bit of a travesty really. The players all give themselves comical l33t-speak pseudonyms, like "D-SK" and "Ultra"; they also kept flashing completely incomprehensible terms like "WHITE HORSE" and "LOW TON" on the screen - I assume these are the equivalent of 180s, bulls-eyes and so forth. Could've benefited from some Jim Bowen/Bobby George action if you ask me.

The only other news really is that I've bought myself a mobile phone. I figured I could really use one if I want to get into teaching English, so I went and acquired a cheap pre-pay thingy. Now, I come from a country where mobiles are very simple - as far as pre-paids go, any old Tom Dick and Harry can buy one, put some credit on it, and bang, they're sorted. They can send texts and their credit doesn't expire. Not so in Japan. Firstly, I steered clear of subscription phones because frankly the price plans were just completely bewildering (despite information being available in English), and for me, as I won't use it much really, it probably would've wound up being more expensive; despite the fact that (I think) there's some kind of student discount, but you have to sign up for a year or more to get it.

So I went for a cheap-ish purii-paido. And I'm sorry, but the system here is really pretty riduclous. Exhibit A: the credit you buy expires within 3 months, whether you've used it or not. Exhibit B: the text messaging system is completely retarded. There are many different types - "Sky Mail", "Long mail", "Long e-mail" and quite possibly others. You have to set up an e-mail address (different from your number) to which texts are sent. There is an extra subscription charge which you have to pay in order to be able to receive texts. When a text is received, you are sent a message by the centre informing you of this and showing you the first few lines of the message; you then have to send them a request saying that you want to receive the message; the message is then sent to you at a cost. Exhibit C: No games!!! Exhibit D: the system for the Tokai area (where I am) seems to be completely different to the rest of the country for some reason, and I don't think I can buy credit anywhere else. Exhibit E: after your credit has expired, if you don't buy more within a set period of time (several months, I think), your phone becomes invalid and you'd probably have to buy a new one. Exhibit F: there's a whole application procedure to go through if you want to get one in the first place. And I could go on but I won't.

On the plus side, my phone does some pretty illin' ringtones, my favorite being one entitled "THE JAZZ MAN".

Also, it's really, really hot here at the moment. Curse you, summer.


July 8, 2006


I apologise that the last post wasn't quite in keeping with the sophisticated highbrow travel musings that you've come to expect from this blog...it was 2:30am, I'd had a few cans of "the third beer". Apologies also that I once again haven't been writing much, but life has (once again) been uneventful recently.

Wellll the summer break is just about over...back to work on Monday...I've picked up next term's textbook, it looks scary...imperative and prohibitive forms, interrogative conditional forms, transitive/intransitive verbs, volitional forms...no I don't have much of an idea either, but I'll soon be studying them, and in Japanese no less...

I'm glad to see that we'll be covering a few giongo (onomatopaeic terms) as well. There are hundreds of the buggers in Japanese and to the average westener (well, me at least) they seem completely abstract and arbitrary, but at least they are usually quite cute and funny. For example, cats in Japan don't meow, they say nya-nya; and footsteps make a teku-teku sound. They don't just have words for sounds either - they also use onomatopaeic terms for emotions and states of being: for example peko-peko is the "sound" of being hungry; kyoro-kyoro is to be restless/looking around frantically, and waku-waku is to be excited . As in: "I'm feeling a bit waku-waku". OK maybe not then. Here's a page of them if you're at all interested.

But anyway, I haven't done much with the break, other than sleep, revise and attempt to look for jobs. But it's kinda hard when you can't actually read job adverts, and I haven't really come up with much. So I'm still broke off my ass and at the moment it looks like I'll either follow the stereotypical gaijin route of teaching English, or I'll be working in McDonalds or something. So I know which one I'd rather do. Although, if I worked in Mc D's, maybe I'd get the chance to meet Ebi-chan.......oh, Ebi-chan......*sigh* . Anyway, does any of my faithful readership have any work I can do for them online?? :D :D :D Proofreading, anything? Me is gud at teh english.


July 2, 2006

Luiz Felipe Scolari = Gene Hackman?

I was watching the England-Portugal match and I happened to uncover a conspiracy of X-Files proportions!

Also: England, losing a penalty shootout? Surely not!


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