30 August 2007

Waiting in the park...

Just a walk through a park in Akashi when I was waiting to meet up with the friend. The castle is not real. Just like disneyland.

and here are some photos of the park. It was quite tranquil. but hot! as you can see from the pond.

-ill add them later...my web connection is being goofy

I spend Gs E'ryday like it's my birfday.

I still get mixed up when I talk to people about how much things cost. "I just bought some food for a thousand bucks." I meant 1000円(yen). So about 1000 yen equals about 9 bucks plus or minus. I bought chopped up watermelon for 680円。 Yeah, i think I mentioned it before fruit is crazy expensive here. I need to start planting some seeds.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me birthday wishes and champagne dreams....!? I will take photographic evidence of my enjoyment of the various gifts. So what am I doing on my birthday in Japan? Well, I am going to go see an apartment in Tennoji and then go exercise in the park. It's gotten a little cooler recently so I won't evaporate while I'm out there. I'm sure I'll go check out some cake shops too.

Here are some pictures of my recnet trip to the beach with some friends.

Yes I realize this doesn't look like a beach but the camera man is facing the wrong direction. We were hiding under the boardwalk from the sun.

13 August 2007

08 August 2007


Yesterday was Masa's day off from work so, we decided to go shopping. Well, He got paid and wanted to spend some money. So we went to Shinsaibashi and perused the arcade (in both meanings of the word, arcade that is). We checked out a bunch of shops just looking for some clothes and what not when I came upon <---this! It's kind of outfit that most guy's wear in the summer when they go to the festivals. Yes, it looks like pajamas. Very light and comfortable pajamas perfect for walking around in the hot humid weather. I just need to find some sandals to go with them. It's crazy how the prices vary from store to store for the same stuff. My outfit here was only 2000yen (less than $20) but they had Abercrombie and other american fashions that were disproportionate in price when you went from store to store. For an Abercrombie polo prices ranged from 8000yen to 12000yen! So after wading through the crowds we headed toward an arcade to play my new favorite game Gundam. However before we reached the arcade we stopped at good ol' MickeyD's as there is one about every 500ft in shinsaibashi. Yes, it is the same as back home but the people that work here are much nicer and the fries are always tasty. I ate a てりやきマックバーガ (teriyaki mcburger). It was Mcdelicious :) After food we played some games. Japanese arcades are far superior to any arcade in the US. The people that go there smoke too much but at least they aren't little 13 yr old punks...they are 20-something punks who constantly play video games and always beat me...

07 August 2007

How's your Kung-fu?

よぶん?もやし よぶん? 
I didn't know what that meant last night either when I went to go get some Ramen during my lunch break. I went for a little walk around town trying to think of what I wanted to eat. I settled on Ramen as there are about 100 of them open at that time of night and they are pretty tasty. Unlike the nasty dried noodles that you buy for 50 cents. I order Kimchi bean sprout ramen with extra bean sprouts. The place I went to you have to pay first by buying a ticket for the food you want from a vending machine outside and then go in and sit down and give the cook your ticket (most ramen places are like this actually). So I bought one ticket for Kimchi Bean sprout soup and another ticket for extra bean sprout because I love bean sprouts...actually they usually don't give you a lot of bean sprouts. So the cook looked at me weird when I handed him my tickets. He said those words in Japanese up top. I sort of knew what he meant because of the context of the situation so I said "Oomori." which means extra..sort of. So after all is said and done I got my Ramen and my kimchi and a side of よぶん Oomori bean sprouts....! extra extra extra bean sprouts! Yobun (よぶん) means extra and Oomori means extra but in the sense that I already ordered it but "Can I get a little extra?"

So my Japanese still sucks. I am planning on taking the JLPT level 4 in December. I don't think I'll have a problem passing it but I feel like I have been wasting my time considering I have been studying it since high school (which is almost 10 years...yeah I graduate in '99 but I have been taking it since Junior year in high school '97). I feel like I should be much higher than that but then again I haven't put much into the past 5 years or so. I got bored with it and moved on to Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in college. Regardless, I shouldn't feel bad as some of the students I teach have been studying for longer and aren't really improving. When studying a language you really need to envelope yourself in an environment where you are forced to use it. This is one of the reasons why I want to move into my own place. I am taking private Japanese lessons once a week but that's not enough. I need to be talking with more Japanese people. However, whenever I talk to one they start trying to talk to me in English. I work that job 8 hours during the night I don't want to do it when I'm not getting paid.

There's something wrong with me too. I can't stand it when I hear other foreigners trying to speak Japanese. Or tonight when I heard about some other guys wanting to take the JLPT in Dec. I just can't imagine that they are any good. It's my ego I guess. That's why I need to be doing kung-fu more often. It helps surpress my ego. And that's why kung-fu is so great because that mind-state that you get when you are training really hard and staying really focused translates really well to studying a language. No matter how intense the exercise (or frustrating the situation) you just have to move past it and train harder so the next time it jappens it becomes easy and gradually it becomes second nature and its as simple as breathing.

06 August 2007

Fish market

So my Sundays are usually my totally free days. No work, No private lessons, I can do whatever I want. So Last Sunday I went to the Aquarium and saw a whale shark and rode one of the world's largest ferris wheels. This Sunday, however, is a little more typical.

After a 12hr rest (I have to catch up on sleep I miss during the week), I ate some delicious cantaloupe (250yen (about$2) for half of one!), toast, and tea. Then I headed out to go get some exercise. Umeda strikes again! I have to change trains in Umeda and I got seriously lost for some reason this time. after about 30-40min of walking around, buying the wrong ticket, and generally looking like a lost puppy I found my way to the Tanimachi train line. I showed up an hour late to class but no problem they just beat me up anyway. It was fun as usual. None of the guys in the class speak english very well (which is good for me because it makes me practice my Japanese). The guy who teaches me tries his best to speak english. He always says "I'm sorry for my middle school english" referring to a Japanese kids english level in middle school. If only kids in the US could speak another language that well in middle school....!

After class I headed out to meet up with Master And Super Awesome Sushi Head chef In training. We made plans to go with our friend to the local fish market at 5am. So we stayed up all night watching Gundam and talking about how great it would be if Japan actually had Gundams. At 5am we woke up our friend and headed to the fish market!

The fish market is not far from my house as I find out so I'll be sure to go again and take more pcitures of guys with swords! cutting huge fish in half! and of all the other crazy stuff there. It reminded me a lot of the eastern market in Detroit

So, today I think I will take it easy...maybe a little work out then a nap then off to work.