Thursday, 20 December 2007
- The traffic signals
I think it depends on the orientation of the crossing, but at some crossings when the green man lights up a bird noise sounds.
- The midday noise
At midday there is always some kind of signal. Out at some of the rural schools sirens sound out - actually, on my Island school the siren sounds like it is coming from everywhere! In Hagi I don't notice it very often because there are other noises of people going about their lives, but there is always some kind of music.
Every night at 9pm in Hagi I can hear some music for a minute or 2. No idea why.
- The music in the supermarket/most shops
So most days at school I have one that I carry around! Apparently, the Junior High kids are not allowed them, but a few students have gestured that they are carrying kairo too! Apparently you can get kairo that you stick to the inside of your clothes (if you stick it to your skin you may get burnt) I haven't tried them yet, but I have no doubt I will progress to those very soon!
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
However, as you can see, at Sun Live there is a LARGE range of soy sauce. I stood in front of the shelves for a few minutes, but I couldn't figure which to buy. So I grabbed a guy stacking shelves and said to him "korerano bottle wa shoyu des ka?" (are these bottles soy sauce?) and he indicated yes. So I said "onaji" (all the same?) and again, he said yes. So finally I summoned my reserves of Japanese and said "kono shoyu wa ichiban des ka?" (which is the best?) so he wandered around, and said "cooking?" and I said yes, so he chose me a bottle. Then he pointed to himself and said "ichiban des" which i think meant, "I am the best!"
I was amazed that he had been so talkative, and then made a joke! Most Japanese people are a little (or a lot) scared of foreigners!
Sunday, 16 December 2007
However, some mornings I see the cars arriving. You notice that they all just park each other in, so there must be some serious negotiation at the end of the day - who wants to go, and who is trying to impress by staying the latest... I seriously don't know why they don't just mark lines, and give each other some access!
In Japan it is really important to be seen to be busy - Japanese people often talk about how busy they are, while they are sitting in the staffroom drinking coffee. Or they do this funny run/walk - moving their feet quickly but not moving anywhere fast! And, all the staffrooms are packed full of 'work' (piles and piles of papers). So I suspect parking the car closest to the building is a sign of working the hardest.
The ALTs were invited to a Christmas party, but there was no address on the invitation, so at the Board of Education we used this map to find the house!
Can you imagine how much effort it must be to make this??? So obviously my name is not on there - but my building is marked - right next to 'Gusto' (a Japanese fast food place).
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Brent - pictured - was probably somewhere in the top 100. He's an American exchange student at a Hagi High School. There were well over 2500 runners though - and a fair few foreigners, not from Hagi!
Actually, there were some beautiful outfits - totally 80's style. And one Japanese man was sort of dressed as Santa. Some of the runners were totally focussed as they ran past, some with music playing, but others really enjoyed themselves, high-fiving and waving!
Anyway, there was flamenco dancing, our chorus, random games (I won some tomato flavoured Korean biscuits) and then the JETs from
Possibly the worst part were the Japanese people who, having been encouraged to talk to the 'friendly foreigners' by the MC at the beginning of the party, decided that 'talking to me' meant listing all the places that they had seen me in the last week. Stalker much?
Friday, 7 December 2007
I met Tsucky down at the HH Eki, and shortly after
We ate a magnificent Japanese spread – and in true Japanese style we got about 4 mouthfuls of everything, all on separate, beautiful plates! Drank some hot sake too…