Tag Archives: ichigaya

Total Eclipse

We were intro­duced to some Japan­ese vol­un­teers today and giv­en a chance to talk to them about their lives in Tokyo. A lot of them felt that Tokyo was too over­crowd­ed and busy, and that they would pre­fer to live in a more qui­eter town. This is not an opin­ion I share! They were all extreme­ly nice and I look for­ward to spend­ing more time with them — I’ve been spend­ing a lot of time with Euro­peans, and whilst I very much enjoy their com­pa­ny, I have to remind myself that I am here to learn more about Japan and about Japan­ese peo­ple. Can I have it both ways? ‘Not speak­ing Japan­ese’ is a minor set­back that I am try­ing to over­come… One of the Finns decid­ed to wear a t-shirt with an inter­est­ing slo­gan on it [‘Eng­land can go to hell’]; after a few min­utes of protests and com­plaints from the very vocal Brits he promised nev­er to wear it again 🙂 Why he had such a t-shirt in his wardrobe is still a mys­tery!

Can’t we all just get along?

One of the vol­un­teers I met plays in a band and is due to play live tomor­row — she invit­ed us all along to sup­port! If it doesn’t clash with class­es, I think I would love to come and watch. She showed me the songs on her iPod and I was sur­prised at how much west­ern music she lis­tened to — she even knew some brit­pop bands which I didn’t expect to have any expo­sure out­side of the UK! She also lives close to our accom­mo­da­tion and works part-time in a near­by con­ve­nience store, so we may see her around quite often.

Enjoy­ing dessert with the vol­un­teers.

In the evening we decid­ed to go for some karaoke! The first offi­cial day of class­es starts tomor­row, so we didn’t want to stay out too late. We decid­ed to go to a place in Shi­mo­takai­do that we had seen ear­li­er today. Since we were there for the first time, we need­ed to reg­is­ter and we were pre­sent­ed with an extreme­ly con­fus­ing appli­ca­tion form. Luck­i­ly, the Ger­man girl, Nina, was able to speak Japan­ese well and com­plete the process on our behalf. They decid­ed to use my phone num­ber since it was the only phone that actu­al­ly worked in Japan; I look for­ward to answer­ing mar­ket­ing calls from some hyper­ac­tive Japan­ese! [moshi, moshi!]

The machines had a choice between Japan­ese, Chi­nese, or Kore­an lan­guage for the menu sys­tem, which is indeed like try­ing to decide between a slap in the face or a kick in the shin! We even­tu­al­ly fig­ured out how to use it and began to bel­low out some karaoke clas­sics [after an ini­tial tense peri­od!]. I was hap­py to see every­one get involved, par­tic­u­lar­ly since many had not been to karaoke before. The two hours went by real­ly quick­ly, and we end­ed with a par­tic­u­lar­ly enthu­si­as­tic ren­di­tion of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. The karaoke cost us about 1200 JPY each, which also includ­ed unlim­it­ed soft drinks [alco­hol was extra]; amaz­ing val­ue! I sus­pect karaoke will become our reg­u­lar enter­tain­ment 🙂 Only Phoebe brought along a cam­era so check her blog for some [high­ly embar­rass­ing] pic­tures.

Category: JLSP | Tags: , ,