Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003 at 1:57am by Brett.
(Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003 at 2:57pm Japanese Standard Time)
Today is (another) national holiday in Japan. Again classes are canceled! Today is the autumnal equinox.
Speaking of autumn, the weather here has shapped up. It suddenly realized "Holy CRAP! It's the middle of September and I'm still running at 90 degrees F with a relative humidity of 400%!!! COMPENSATE!!!" It's been a nice, but slightly damp, 65-60 lately. Much better than the previous week. It was like...unbearably hot, unbearably hot, unbearably hot...earthquake, typhoon, cold. But it's a good thing! Feels like autumn.
Only problem is that I've somehow managed to bring only 2 pairs of pants. This statement seriously confused my friend Kate from the UK. Apparently, "pants" in the UK are what we call "underwear" in the States. So, I only brought 2 pairs of trousers. So Mom, if you're reading, I need my winter clothes!!!
Nothing overly exciting has been going on lately. I got carpet for my room. That was lots of fun for me. It makes it feel a bit nicer than the old, filthy tile floor.
I have this large florescent light in my room. From the first day I've been here, if you turn it off, the light turns blue. The light would never turn completely off, ...(More)
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Earthquake!!!! ...and laundry
Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2003 at 11:31pm by Brett.
(Saturday, September 20th, 2003 at 12:31pm Japanese Standard Time)
I was just in my very first earthquake. It wasn't fun. I don't like earthquakes. The ground is something that isn't supposed to move. I was talking to Jason at the time....urm....the ground moved. No, you don't understand. The GROUND MOVED. It was probably only like...a 0.05 or something. But still. The ground, people...it moved.
And life goes on...
If you don't know, my laundry (at least) is in the same building as my room. For some very odd reason, you don't have to pay to wash and dry your clothes, but you do have to pay to shower yourself. Those kooky Japanese.
Anyway, this morning I woke up and realized that I had nothing clean to wear. Now, I'm not a skank. It wasn't like I couldn't re-wear some pants and a shirt. But I generally don't like doing that. So I decided to wash all my clothes. I went to check to see if there were any unused washers and driers, and there was one unused set. You don't want to start laundry if there isn't a drier there because it's so humid your clothes will stink.
I went back to my room to get my clothes...I had an armful with my laundry detergent carefully balanced on top.
I made my way back to ...(More)
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Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2003 at 8:51am by Brett.
(Wednesday, September 17th, 2003 at 9:51pm Japanese Standard Time)
The classes here are a bit hellish. They are 75 minutes long, and my language classes are mostly doubled up, so I get a fun 2 and 1/2 hours of class. It hurts a lot.
There are people that are like "My *so-and-so* went to *some romance-language-speaking country* for *short period of time* and came back fluent!" as through they just accidentally stumbled into fluency. I'm sure with Romance and Germanic languages, that's entirely possible. With Japanese it isn't. At all. You seriously have to study. The classes are very important.
I'll not say my classes are poorly operated (yet). But I'll just say they're different than what I'm used to. They're teaching Japanese from a Japanese point of view, which does little to help any one else but the Japanese. We're actually using what appears to be Japanese Grammar books for elementary children. We'll be reviewing something I've known for 3 years, and I'll only just realize that I understand completely what she's talking about after she stops explaining it and has us do the drills. Things are so different on this side...but like I said, I'll not say it's bad...just different. And I'll definitely NOT make the rash ...(More)
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Posted on Tuesday, September 16th, 2003 at 9:09am by Brett.
(Tuesday, September 16th, 2003 at 10:09pm Japanese Standard Time)
Well, two weeks and a lifetime ago I moved to Japan. Things have been going very well. I've made many friends...a broad range, I like to think, and I've gotten used to things here. I'm not sure if it feels like I've been living in Japan forever, or if I've just only moved here. A little bit of both, I suppose. There wasn't really a "transitional" phase. It was much more like "this is your room, this is where you shower, this is the toilets, this is where you eat," and it's either accept that straight up, or pout for a while until you decide to accept it any way.
British Kate had a moderately bad day today, so we went out for cake and McDonalds. I paid 630 yen (about $6) for a Big Mac value meal. It was expensive, but oh-so good.
I have an address!
Oikoshi 22 Room 327
Tsukuba shi, Ibaraki ken
This SHOULD get a letter to me.
I have a phone!
81 - 090 - 6678 - 7529
The 81 part is Japan's country code. Please dial accordingly.
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Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2003 at 7:52am by Brett.
(Sunday, September 14th, 2003 at 8:52pm Japanese Standard Time)
I've put up more pictures! You can see them at japan.narnarnar.com/brett_pics/
I'm using a terribly buggy and incomplete version of a program to display them. Hopefully it'll work well enough, though.
Most of the pictures are from my trip to Tokyo with Yuki. That was great fun!
Oh...I haven't put many other pictures up yet just because the program I'm using was making it difficult. So I do, in fact, have more than two friends, and campus is larger than my building and a sidewalk...I'll put more up as I get the program working better....
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Tsukuba City Festival and Placement Tests
Posted on Monday, September 8th, 2003 at 5:04am by Brett.
(Monday, September 8th, 2003 at 6:04pm Japanese Standard Time)
A couple days ago, the exchange students and their tutors from the college of international studies (that's me) went to the Tsukuba city festival. It was really fun. I forgot my camera, so no pictures...grr
After the festival, the tutors had a BBQ for us. It was really fun. I learned a new word! "Yopparai" It applied to a few of the people there....
Today was the placement test for the Japanese language courses. You have to pass the test in order to be able to take any language classes that give you credit, so it's a bit important. Imagine, if you will, the hardest cumulative final you have ever taken. Multiply that by 2. Now imagine that beast-of-a-test in a language you only just know. Now imagine that it is dictated to you from an audio tape. That's about what this placement test was. It was some of the fastest Japanese I've ever heard. Within 15 minutes, my brain was begging for mercy. It was a two hour test.
Luckily (???), after the first hour, they had half of the students take what they called the "yasashi test". Basically, it was for the students who didn't know as much Japanese...like me! It wasn't as bad as the first half, but it wasn't overly ...(More)
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Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 11:36pm by Brett.
(Saturday, September 6th, 2003 at 12:36pm Japanese Standard Time)
I've put some pics up of where I'm staying. They're not on a pretty webpage, because I don't really have time, and didn't get that working on this site...
The back* pictures are of what I see out my window from my room. The front* pictures are what I see from the front door. inside* is my room. Enjoy
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???? (Nihon kara)
Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 12:44pm by Brett.
(Saturday, September 6th, 2003 at 1:44am Japanese Standard Time)
I am in Japan! I can't write much, but I'm here, I'm ok. And the Japanese Keyboads are weird. 4 characters to a key....
Anyway...must run. At an internet cafe and have gotten 4 calls within 10 minutes. More and better updates soon!
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Getting things working
Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 6:16am by Brett.
(Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 7:16pm Japanese Standard Time)
Alright. I have discovered how to connect from my laptop at the internet cafe. The lady working here spoke no English. WEEEE fun. heheh
I've already made a fool of myself once, and it was trying to get into this internet cafe. This is a place called "Manga and Internet: Cube". It have pretty flashing lights on the outside, but is a standard cafe on the inside. Well, the first time I tried to get in, I saw this futuristic looking door that was all light up with a big logo and then "CUBE" written on it. So I walk up to it, and there is a little platform that you go up right before the door, so I walk up it. Now, this door didn't have any handles or anything...it didn't open automatically. So I'm standing on the platform thing, all lit up, and start feeling around on the door. I start pushing on it in different places, and this was about the time I realized the futuristic "door" was really..a sign. Just...a sign. Light up. Ah...anyway. The real door was much less interesting, and hidden back behind a couple of stores. Good times...
Btw. There are time issues with this site. I just found out before I left, so I didn't have time to fix them. Sometimes the AM ...(More)
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Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 9:58am by Brett.
(Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 10:58pm Japanese Standard Time)
In 24 hours, I will be on a plane going to Japan!!! W00t!
And these drugs they gave me...MAGIC. I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in about a week!
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