Saturday, July 10, 2010

YFU stuff at MeySen

As the title suggests, I went to MeySen (the Takamori campus) once more to attend the YFU meeting with my host brother and mom, as he's going to America in August. I also saw a friend from YFU there with her host sister. THE SLIDES THERE ARE RIDICULOUSLY LONG AND THEY HAVE HUGE PLAYGROUNDS. One of the many (probably around 10+) slides there was 23 meters (~75.5 feet) and the other 29 meters (~95 feet). So fun. It took me 8 seconds to get to the bottom... and it was FAST. And then there was this one slide that had this HUGE drop-- it scared me. :P You see a couple huge slides and a big playground (and a beautiful waterfall, too!) at first, but once climbing through the trees in metal-bar tunnels and such, you see there are tons and tons of more playgrounds and stuff. It's just... ridiculously cool. I walked the long path around the lake too. :) It really was beautiful. ...and of course I did all this during the meeting which was all in Japanese (the principal told me to "feel free to step out"). There were also ponies, a goat, a ram, some birds, rabbits, chinchillas, a prairie dog and a super loud bird that was going to be returned to the petshop because it was too loud for the kindergartners ( :( ).I couldn't take any pictures though as I forgot my camera... AGAIN. My host brother sternly told me that "I didn't need it"
though, and hurriedly rushed me out of the house before I could even put my socks on.
I also got pictures from the high school camp at MeySen. These four that I'm posting are online on MeySen's website too, so I don't think they'll really mind if I post them here, too. :)

I also saw some 学園祭 (gakuensai, school festivals) going on, but I didn't get to go to any.

...and that's all that has really happened in the past few days that's been all that exciting. I've gotten to page four in my Oreimo book (WHOOP WHOOP)... considering I've been translating EVERYTHING I don't completely understand, along with finding out how to pronounce all the kanji without furigana. (And in case you don't know, furigana is tiny little hiragana to the side/on top of kanji telling you how to read it.)

There's talk of karaoke and purikura next week (again, that's a link, so click if you don't know what it is), and I'm pretty sure we're going to a shrine/temple tomorrow with my host mom's mother. I'm excited. :D :)

Bai bai for now. :3

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ikebana & Movies & Books & School (all very related, of course)

After school yesterday I (along with the rest of the 留学生 (ryuugakusei, exchange students)) participated in Ikebana club... flower arranging. It was actually very fun, and I found that Ikebana is very very beautiful. :) My host mom has an Ikebana license (licenses exist for everything in Japan, 本当) and had me arrange the flowers once again once I got home!!

Last night I went to a movie/music rental shop and a used book place. :D I saw lots of stuff I recognized and it was fantastic. I didn't bring my camera though. :< We rented Summer Wars as I wanted my mom to see it... not sure when (or if) we're going to watch it though. Best thing of the night: the movie UP's Japanese title: カールじいさんの空飛ぶ家 (kaaru-jiisan no sora tobu ie) meaning Grandpa Carl's Flying House in the Sky... HAHAHA SO FANTASTIC. My family finds it funny too. :P "Cheaper by the Dozen" in Japanese is "12人のパパ" (literally: 12 people's papa) and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is "くもりときどきミートボール" (kumori tokidoki miitobooru, literally: cloudy sometimes meatball). Also "Where the Wild Things Are" is "かいじゅうたちのいるところ" (literally: monster's existing place)... :) (also: Anna-- 時々/tokidoki :D )

I bought books for like 100円 each and it was fantastic. Here's a picture of all the anime stuff (books/magazines/manga/etc.) I have... as of now :D

My family is VERY rushed (or so it seems), and I can't go on the computer a lot... my mom says I can only use it for an hour... (I assume that means daily, or something?) but I'm not going to check my email or make blog posts every day. (regarding your comment, sorry Michael :P ) My host brother turns on his desk light early in the morning (aka around 5) or late at night (aka around 12) so he can sit there and do his cell phone... what. It's kind of annoying me. Next time he does it I'll complain and then pretend to be asleep when he answers in a monotonous voice.

Now on a more positive subject... Today in school I exchanged "info cards" with my classmates (for the record I'm in 1年5組 (class 1-5) ... 1 being first year) and right now a few are emailing me. :) Japan cell phones don't have texting, so everyone sends mail on their phone which is their kind of text messaging... so "emails" oftentimes only contain a few words... or characters. Some of the drawings (for the portrait section) on the cards are very funny... most very terrible... but some super cute and amazing. :D About half the people wrote down "Listen to music" "I like to watch movie" or "I like to watch TV" on their cards under the "hobbyies/interests" section (yes, hobbyies). :) And one person wrote down "socoer" under that section which made me giggle inside.

Sorry for that lack of pictures again... >_>

Until next time, bai bai. :D

Monday, July 5, 2010

ANIMATE & MeySen & School Today

MeySen was SO fun. totally worth the 4000円 I paid for it (hah, first time mentioning that. about $40)

Well, Shun and I left at 9:40 AM to go to the Marayama MeySen campus... though Shun's mom didn't know that it was moved to the Takamori campus and starting at 3 PM... SO INSTEAD WE WENT TO ANIMATE. OH MY GOD. love. Animate (アニメイト, animeito) is that store that I went to in Akiba back in Tokyo... and I was like oh my god heaven. We also went to GAMERS, a store that sells basically the same type of stuff. :P I bought magazines. and some other stuff. OH AND I ALSO BOUGHT THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE OREIMO LIGHT NOVEL (which I can barely read). :D Oreimo, in case you don't remember me saying before, is short for "俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない" (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai ... meaning "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute" of course. :)

After Animate and all that stuff, Shun, his mom and I walked around some. I got to eat ひょうたん揚げ (hyoutanage), which is, well... this stuff (that's a link-- click it for a picture!). It's two balls of fish paste surrounded with some cooked... dough, or something... shaped like a gourd. :D It was SUPER delicious. We also did a little prayer thing where we put in 10円 and rang a bell. :) very fun. Also, Shun's house is AMAZING-- they have a cabinet in the dining room with TONS of those Japanese dolls in them, and under the table is a space for your feet. and in that space is a thing for you to play with with your feet (don't correct me about the two 'with's in a row, MICHAEL).

Anyways, back to MeySen stuff... SO FUN. All the teachers were really nice and funny, and so were the kids. :) There were about 60 people at the camp in all someone told me... but I also remember there were 27 boys and 17 girls. does that work out. were there really 16 先生 (sensei, teacher) there? hmmm...

BUT YEAH. First, since it was so hot, we had a water fight for an hour. and it was super fun. After camp I learned that you're supposed to say "hen na kibun" instead of "hen na kimochi"... "hen na kimochi" is usually used as a phrase meaning "sexual excitement." maybe I shouldn't have said that when multiple 13-year-old girls were dousing me with water .___. or maybe I should have? :D (just a joke - WEEEOOOHWEEEOOOH SOMEONE CALL THE YFU POLICE!!!11111oneonetwo) Oh God but the best thing was when during the water fight; everyone had huge water tube guns (like the ones from our Grand Canyon & Colorado River rafting trip last summer, Mom) and buckets which they filled with water... after blasting a teacher from afar, he filled up his bucket, chased me, and dumped all the water on my head while screaming "I LOVE THESE BAPTISMS!!!!!!!!" oh my god I laughed SO HARD for so long... I'm laughing now while my host mom in the other room is telling me that I'm strange. :)

Then it was time for foodstuffs. but before eating dinner, we prayed over our food. lol. most everyone was quite srs about it. (Y SO SRSですか。) After dinRAR, we had a treasure hunt in which my team got first place as we were the fastest. :) "Stations" included finding $3.00 in coins in slime, filling bottles with water from the WATERFALL (which was super cool, since it existed :P ), getting a clothespin from the pool and rearranging the English words to form a sentence. that last one was pretty easy for me until the teacher said that I couldn't do all the sentences for my team. :P That night we watched "Rainy with A Chance of Meatballs" with Japanese subtitles and stayed up until 1 AM watching the World Cup. :)

The next morning after not eating the eggs made with strange Japanese gummy-cheese, we went bowling which was really fun. :) I learned that most Japanese people are absolutely horrid at bowling, but those who aren't are amazing. therefore I didn't win a MeySen T-shirt (cry cry) but instead I won some PRETZELS, YAY. As my host mom was all paranoid about me bringing a camera (since the sheet said no video games or cell phones), I didn't get to bring my camera... even though it turned out to be allowed. Hopefully I shall get some pictures on a CD very soon. :)

Oh, and one more thing: all kindergartens, and many schools in Japan, have HUGE slides. LIKE, HUGE HUGE HUGE. The MeySen Takamori campus had this super long and high gorilla one. I didn't get to go down it at all though. ;_; They had ponies too. Like, real ponies. Here's a picture of the slide that I took off a YFU alumni's blog post:

More pictures here (the original blog post).

Everybody there was super nice and awesome (for lack of a better word). :D Especially Hinano (Hina-chan), who was omgsupercute too. :3 (she was 13-- have the police move down four paragraphs before it's too late!)

After MeySen, my host brother and Shun and I had to go shopping as he's going on a school trip for 3 days later this month in which he will climb a mountain. (yeah, high school trips in Japan are like that... and for ELEMENTARY school trips, they sometimes go to another country like America for a while... and if not, then they go to Tokyo Disneyland or something. but still totally different from America.) So we had to buy some shoes. In the stores I saw some pretty funny slogans, including "YOUR FIELD TURNS IT ON" and "Fresh up your life." And then I saw a kid wearing a shirt saying "Good dread DMC sister" ... don't even want know what that is supposed to mean.

* * *

AND THEN IN SCHOOL TODAY! (phew, I'm getting tired) First period was super fun with Bushaa-sensei-- we analyzed dialogue from Avatar. We learned words like "screwed," "damn" and "ass," but only after everyone being confused when a torch was thrown in the water and the character said "Oh, great" (sarcastically, of course... they don't use those types of expressions in Japanese). And then everybody took it literally when the line "Wait up!" was spoken... "why up??? a direction?? the sky???" as I thought about it, it actually does make no sense whatsoever. :) Language is truly fascinating-- perhaps I'll study it in college someday or something.

In computer class, I researched why people go to school and why people eat. I wrote about how we need to eat so we can get energy to ask questions such as that, and go to school so we can gain the knowledge to eat to ask questions like that. Then in math, I was the only one who knew the quadratic formula which we learned for the first time.

Language club after school was also fun, and since it lasted until 6:10 or so, I took the subway home (buses are at 4:07 and 5:07 only). On the subway (which actually doesn't run underground at all-- only the stations are underground) there were lots of adults playing Nintendo DSes and other gaming consoles... I don't think one sees that too much in America. :)

...and that's all for now. Sorry for the lack of pictures-- I promise I shall post some soon! :)

Byeeeeee~ :>