Monday, October 11, 2010

Pointing is the universal language!

Hi All,

It’s been another week?

Things are starting to fall into place and making a “daily routine”.

My schedule is finally finalized, and I *will be TAing a Spanish class –sweetness. Thanks Ms. Lindsi and Yoko-san. I still have an upper division art class to worry about, but there’s still next semester (and because I try not to leave important things chance, I got in touch with an ARS professor and they are willing to work with me to do an upper division ARS independent studies should things not work out- But that’s all for next semester).

Also before I forget- I did say that Mt. Fuji is the only active volcano in Japan? I lied. There are about 108 active volcanoes in Japan. Now you know.

Let’s see…

This week we continued to make tremendous progress in making Japanese friends. Why? Because we have ‘officially’ joined a club—or two. We went to ESS (English Speaking Society) and we stopped by the ‘Traditional Tea Ceremony’ (otemae ,お手前) club. Which is a difficult very delicate “step-by-step” activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of powdered green tea (matcha, 緑茶).

The club will be performing at a coming school festival (I *cannot wait for that!!) so I will have pictures then because it's a bit rude to take pictures.

We finally stopped by and met with Koshiro’s seminar class and met some pretty cool people whom we will see next weekend when we go rice farming and sweet potato BBQing.

Our multi-level Japanese class was treated to lunch by our professor, and we went to the nicest place on campus. A cafeteria on the 6th floor that when it’s a clear you can see a very good view of Mt. Fuji—it was awesome.

We went to an Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) place (which is a Japanese pancake that as a lot of ingredients similar to an omelet, and it’s name comes from the word okonomi, meaning "what you like [好ーkanji for like]" and yaki which is "grilled"[焼ーkanji for grill]). Very yummy~ especially since you can pick and choose what is in it, it’s quite good! We went with our new friend Yuriko and some of her friends. Bonding over food—who’s complaining?


We also went to an Izakaya (bar) and karaoke again. Just as fun as the first time? Oh very much so! Having your peers butcher top hit songs never gets old.

Drunks playing charades at Izakaya- funny? Oh yes!

.... Singing crosses over to screaming.

The random old lady that stopped to take our picture gave us each a copy of the picture –wow. So we went to the International office and asked about how that gestured is rewarded in Japan and we were told that a nice but modest gift is to present her with handkerchiefs—so we bought her handkerchiefs. We’re still working on learning her name. When we finally asked her, no one her it correctly so yeah-- "Obaa-san" (Japanese word for Grandmother/ Polite way of addressing senior ladies) will work for now.

Been learning how to cook faster more efficiently -while improvising cooking material deficits- the hard way... And did I mention you can cook only one thing at the time on the stove?

Attempt at beef broccoli-- How was it? Dry, like the dessert.

Chicken in butter and lemon with onions-- Surprisingly not bad-- surprisingly.

Accidentally bought the wrong type of mayo and salt (reading Japanese is HARD!), one was like mustard and the other turned out to be a food addictive respectively. Great.

Finally got the rented washing machine delivered! Yup and I took me all of an hour to figure out 80% of the what the buttons meant—the other 20% I couldn’t find in my dictionary.

So dormitory fees here are paid differently. It’s like paying rent rather than like at SBU for example where you pay tuition/meal plans all in one bill at the beginning of the year (not to mention that you can do all of the above online). So here you get a slip and take that slip to the bank and pay of your rent monthly or as many months in advance as slips that you received. I received 3 so I paid three months in advance. TAP (State Aid) came through! Just in time to pay all this -- Thank you. Thank you very much.

>> But let me not get started on the funny but tedious ordeal of explaining at the bank what you are there for with a limited vocabulary.

Something like:

I (pointing at myself) look in the dictionary for the word ‘pay’ (point to it). Take slip out (point to it) and here to pay (point to the ground). These usually get followed by an “Aaahhh”…

if not, repeat.

Pointing is the universal language! –Along with dictionaries.

Well That's all this week.

Until next week maybe?
I hope you're reading!! lol


1 comment:

  1. That food looks yummy, even the "dry" dish lolz. You must cook that for me when you return