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.


Jonathan August 02, 2006 10:30 PM  

I just got a keitai too and me, being a geek, want the "Final Fantasy" battle theme as my ringtone. But my phone is Japanese only, so using this mofo is a pain.

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