Me in Japan: October 2003

   Rotary Youth Exchange student Dereck tells all of his trip to Japan for a year. Can you manage to figure out the typos???
Friday, October 31, 2003

Ok, my japanelse hasn`t impoved much at all, i can understand a lot more that i can talk, thats for sure. I`m starting a special instructiion with my english teachers to learn Japanese. but it@s only 2ce a week!

I`m also in keudo now, but thats not working the best. It`s gonna be 2 monthes befor i can touch a bow. Oh, keudo(quedo) is archery, japanese style. the bow is more that 2 meters tall and there is a strick position you must keep. shooting it requires 8 steps. its nothing like 'normal' archery. except your tring to hit a target with a stick...

Were training agian for another event.... the 21K marathoan thats 21 kilometers! I have PE 3 times a week now because of the english lessons taking up the space of a PE class. 2 are for running 5 kilometers, the other one is for Judo. Judo kicks. We get to throgh people across the room and pin them to the ground and stuff like that. Yes, peole can through me across the room with judo technics, just take a moment now and picture me flying across a basketball coart wih pads on the floor. Yea, it hurts... I got some nice injurys on my hands from hiting the floor a little hard. ;P

well. i`m off to shimatori agian. CYA!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Finally, i started japanese for americans class today. I`m the only student. It`s so informal and kinda wierd, i get taught with the books i choose and i read a book and repeat after the sensei that is teaching me that day. I got 2 book sfrom danial that i think i like, and then a kanji book that was given to me in febuary. I have to write a bunch of kanji for an hour and then at home i have to read a book an memorize a million things for each chapter. what a releif... ;P

i wonder how tha japanese is coming at Sault high in the ITV class i got going before i left. witha little helfp from Ben that is.

my japanese just progressed quickly today, i got a whole new sentance i can use, N1 is in/on N2. and i learned how to use 'or' plus some japanese only thing taht dosn`t really translate to Ego(english) its like a comma bbut its more than that, I geuss the best way the book explained it is N1,n2,n3, and others. Yeah, its great

i forgot about a 7 page report taht i had due today and had to stay up for 3 hours last night and finish it. no problem, i woke up this morning. witch reminds me, i have to send out the report for district 6290 right now, JA NE!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

just so you know i worked very hard friday and saterday and got a lot done with the pictuers. i also got the good digitial camera working. but the program i was using to make the photo album page dosn`t work now and all that typing i did on detials for the pictures is gone. I have a new page almost ready, but its not. it looks good and if easy to update, but it`s not as good as what i have now.

I did all the coding my self minus the template, witch was really the hardest part. I don`t know how to make templates and found a freebie i liked. I have a preview on the web. but i don`t want to give you the URL... ;P but i have many interesting and embaressing personally, pictures from the sports frestivial from the digitial camera that i can`t wait to show, but i have to get them all formated and shrunk down to internet size. You don`t want to wait 5 minutes just to see my farmers tan(or mabye you do, it was pretty bad...).

Today i broke and whent to shimotori. gomen ne. I met 3 3rd year students and we got our pictures taken in a photo booth thing, it was funny, because it started going off anf noone moved the camera to point at us. They were on there way out as was I so after the pictures we left and i walked for a half hour to the other end of shimotori and realized my bike was on the other end of the place.... I found it eventually and got on my way. the wrong way. after i turened around and got back on track i missed my turn and had to go back a block. after that i made it home just fine.

we switched over to the winter funiture last night. kinda funiture i geuss, we rolled up the bamboo mat that was down and put down a heated carpet and then a soft carpet rug thing over that, it works REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAL good. and allso we took the top off that table and put a blankey on it and put the table top back on top of the blankey. blanky was a typo, but i like it so i`ll leave it.... ;P I been watching out for typos more, just for you! (I i typed that in japanese my accedent and had to erase it) lol

its cold near the computere, i`m going under the table to sit on teh heated carpet, Ja ne

Friday, October 24, 2003

pictures up, and this time i think everyone should be able to see them. if anyone uses netscape please e-mail me to tell meif it works ok or not! I used an IE peace of cod e and don`t knwo what will hapen if a netscaper walks along... i`m interested...

There it is. I didn`t get an new pictures up but i did spend a lot of time typing in discriptions for the pictures, most of them should make scence now if you have a look. You will not be able to see the picture untill it loads all the way, so just wait a while. THe school server isn`t the fastest one in the world.

ok, ja ne! oyasuminasai

Midterms are over now, i had 7 tests total. Math(mata), Nihongo(Japanese),social studies, densha(electicity),C programming(same as in English), Ego(English), and chemistry(Kagaku). Math i did about the same as i would in the states(bad), Nihongo i did my own thing for a test, I got an English test for densha witch was ok. C was great, if i could remember what code i needed. Ego was not as great as i liked, but still good. Chemistry was weird.

Social studies was a complete bomb. I had no clue what to do so i filled in 20 boxes with random T or F. I know it was a vocabularay section but i put T or F in there instead, the next section i found a vocabulary box and just randomly put the vocab in the boxes, I carefully traced the kanji though, so it was half an attempt. The next secion was more A,B,C,D,E randomly guessing, followed by another vocab section that i had the kanji for, so i traced that section again. The last Section was long answer, and i wrote various things and took the time to draw little storyboards in the boxes to use up time. I study a book Daniel sensei gave my during social studies class, i don`T think i ever payed attention except when they wanted to use my knowlage of America.

There was a Kanji proficiency test that everyone had to take. It`s government issue and is much like the SAT or something, only it`s only for Kanji. I was advised to go to the library and that i did, there was a bunch of people that had already passes the highest Level of the test and didn`t need to take it anymore in there. I had fun talk ing to a bunch of people; and never even opened my book.

I`m gonna get the photos reorganized fro you all now, or i suppose organized, they never were organized in the first place... ;P

If you ever go anywhere in japan that concerns noodles of any type, you do not need to know the words once more please.... That was a lot of padi-padi.... OISHI DESU YO!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

yay! i made it to shimatori! It was only 3 blocks away from where i turned around yesterday! but 3 big city blocks i might add it takes almost 5 minutes to get down the street... I was luckey, because most people are at work or school and there wasn`t many people to confuse me.first i crossed the bride as i did yestedday and took a right. I whent under a briges and then kept going, after about 1/2 a mile i decided that this was turning into resedential area and turnd back. i got back to the bridge and saw the street car rails. I know these got past 2 places, shimatori and Kumamoto station. i crosse the street and took another right. followed the train tracks to Kumamoto Station. ok, that was the wrong way, as i turned around and followed them back about half way i noctice there was the bordwalk i was riding my bike on a little while ago. i crossed the street whent back to the bridge and started over. this time i crossed the street were the bridge came to a T with another road. I didn`t see the crosswalk the first three times by. after following this road about a while i seen the streetcar rails agian and after crossing one more road i say shimatori. I had been here before and just to test my knowlage i whent by Kumamoto (jo/castle). being very happy now, i turned back and parked my bike. Its a school rule not to bike though ginzadori and shimatori. I thought this was common scence. I locked up my bike under a brige crosswalk thing with a million other bikes.

I crossed over the huge bridge thing and took a picture with my palm of the main street. I never seen biuldings so tall, i can`t even imagine seeng new york biuldings. a 17 story biulding made me stare, i want to see the sears tower and empire state biulding more than ever now. I have been on this brigde too, i kinda felt like i knew what i was doing and then i walked down Ginzadori, the feeling of knowlage left me right there. Ginzadori has a million stores but dosn`t have a roof the stop the rain, it just a plain street that was painted blue. After getting half way down this road i was compelled to turn right and go down another road, which led me right to shimatori. I began to walk the VERY large shimarori, i bet if this bart of town were baught by one company and formally called a mall it would make the mall of america look like walmart. Its huge but really it it isn@t accualy a mall, its just a secion of the city a bunch of people biult shops in. there are 2 Mcdonalds in shimatori, one at each end. one of them is really small and dosn`t even have anyware to site, but the other one is 2 stories tall with a nice pace to sit and watch people on top.

Oh, incase it wasn`t obvious, Shimatori has a roof that covers the whole street, no cars are allowed to go on it, but there are cars taht cross it. you have to watch out, because it is just a street, and cars do use streets. I have a few picture from the day, look for them soon, i have lots of time tomarow to just get the photos to load nicly. i should also have time to get the good camera working too. I hope. who knows i might even write my own code, i have learned much in my Java programing class, but not all computers have Java. &< Idealistic dream, i`ll probly end up with another freebie peice of code agian that does a half-cooked job.... CYA

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

ok, there were mid terms today. I was sure that all i was gonna end up dooing was drawing pictures all ver the answer sheet, but accually i understud much of it. English was all good except 2 sections i couldn`t figure out what they wanted. Chemastry was a pain, i got 2 of 7 sections then the chemestry teach accually cam into the room and asked me a couple questions and seid ok, you pass. just like that. i think at least. C programming was great, kinda. I knew excatly what they wanted to know, I just didn`t know it. It was just like the states, Oh, i don`t know this one, come back to it later. I passed it offa s not understanding the question though. That is a great advantage of being a ryougakusei. ;)

It was a half day today s i when hom, surprised my host mom, then when she left i got on my bike and rode. Fisrt i went past the red cross hospitial then i went to a stor called Best. It is huge and is like circuit city and hom Depot mixed together. I never seen so many tiolets! there must have been a hundered or so of them. Monday i went to a computerstor that was next to Best. It was a circuit city stacked 2 hight with more computer stuff then a dell warehouse. THe computers in this place were extreamly well made, most of them were open so you can see inside and then they plastic wraped the opening so you couldn`t touch. next door was a small used computer parts store. it was interesting. I estemate you caould biuld a decent computer for under 100$ there were boxes of components with a 200円 sign above almost everything. CD-roms were in abondance fore sure, every were you look there are CD roms stuffed in a cornor, i think you can sell your old stuff there, i seen somone bring in a bunch of old parts on a dolly as the staff looked it over. I though it was interesting, i wish i could have that stor in the sault. ;D

I also went down a long road. i must have a good hold on how to ride a bike in japan now, no car accedents. i did see 2 little kids almost get plowed over(the one girl jumped out of the way, she would have been topled if she hadn`t) and i wanted to take my bike to the guys windshild, he was at fault obviously, too fast, didn`t have the right-a-way, and was talkign on a cell phone. but it was all good, they made it across and i kinda laughed because right after he tryed to hurry past them, some old lady, barly making a pace walked out and he had to wait for her now. :P

I kept going down this road, hoping to find shimatori and ginzadori, both are huge shopping streets. I kept going strait trying to remebmer were to turn and found what i though was right, It had the red bus loadign zones on the side of the road, but after going about half a mile down the buss loading zore dissapeard and i whent back. I decided to go the other way down this road and eventually met a bridge. The crossing light at this huge confusign intersection had a timmer bar thing taht shows how long you have to wait for the light to change. that was cool. I crossed this bridge without a hitch and realized i didn@t have clue it i have been here or not, and i had been bikeing for an hour just down this one road. I turned back and got home no problem, that was nice.

ran another 5 kilometers yesterday, about 3 miles. Taht really bites, it took about 30 minutes. I was 4th last but had almost one lap head start. :P these japanese can really move! i don`t know how i`m gonna survive 21 killer, i mean kilo, marathon....

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! we are going somware, cya!

Saturday, October 18, 2003

see yesterday`s post, Pictures! E-mail me to tell me if it works!

Today Iyaka, Masashi, me, and some one i don`t know whent to a resteraunt named Joyful. thats not the interesting part, the funny part is ther were 10 small kids running around like the eat a puond of sugger. I whent up to get a drink and they all swarmed around me and just stood there. All looking up at the tall white thing. It was hard to move without stepping one one or two of them but by the time o got my pepsi they were back running around the place except 2. I thought that was really funny.

I never noticed how short takashi was... I thought he was about my height, but he put on his winter uniform and sunendly he was short. not even close to my hieght. It was another funny thing for a funnny day.

This night we went to another resteraunt, Julious. Everyone went and it was like a bar i guess, the was a bar on one half and then small sectioned off rooms to eat and drink. Wemet someone ther and his 2 kids. VERY GENKI! The one little girl decided it would be a good thing to stand on the table and jump into my lap. the boy was older and more calm but he got up andn found a TV, all the kids when to watch tv after this discovory. Note that didn`t include me. I like trying food like clams, horse somthing(it wasn't good and i don't want to know what it was), chinese ebi (pronounce A BE, shrimp), and other good foods. When we left, we had a "rent a designated driver" take us home. That was kinda cool. A taxi followd us and he took that back to the resteraunt i presume. There were so many people out front of the resteraunt/bar. and one person was almost passes out infront of our car. he had 2 friends with him and the rent a driver guy had them move him out of the way. that was funny too.

When going home, Kouji was asking and talking in English the whole way home. and i began to thing that being a rent a designated driver was probly a humorious job. I seen him smile a couple times but he tryed not to laugh. Kouji persisted to tell him with way to go in English(whitch he messed up, like left and right, and insted of go straight, never go stright. My host mom talked in japanese. and i pointed witch way to go. that was just fun.

Tomarow is a rotary conferance. another dosage of repeditive information and a japanese laugage proficantcy test. we have to bring out yellow book things an di know why, there is a section that sayes you must learn Japanese, and when I fail hes going to make me write it out a million times.. ;P

Friday, October 17, 2003


yay! i got a couple pictures up finally. The zip file might be better than the webpage, so you can read the file names for the pictures better. The webpage works too, but it's a shareware Javascript that i took 1 second to Download. I`ll make somthing up myself later. If you look at the web page you probly have to hit pause as soon as the first picture loads. The file name is in a small box under the picture, witch i tryed to give a discriptive name.

i didn't get my good digital camera working yet, didn`t try tonight, the earthquake got me all Genki and now I want to sleep.

OYASUMINASAI! (OH-ya-su-me-na-sai)

Just being able to say, "Oh, yea, I was in japan and lived though an earthquake." is the best thing ever! It lasted about 3 seconds i`d say and everything shook. it was so small though, nothing fell, down at all. I mistook it for a big truck at first. I`m sitting here doing the photos for the web and rumble rumble. THAT WAS SO AWSOME! no one even preteneded to notice. It was a little scary, but rollor coateds are more scary than that. I how to say i did take a peek out my window to Mt. Aso (the local volcano) just to make sure. although, nothing you can really do but post a blog. really, no way your getting in airplain, roads would be jammed pack, more moped that anything would get locke d into the mess.... Yea, I@m excited, i got to feel an earthquke..... i bet there will be more too, just last week the was one in north japan that shook tokyo a little.


lets see, one week scince last post, I don`t feel like a week, it feels like 4 days.... I still am shocked that it is friday...... I thought it was thursday. and were did my Java class go? *loud booming anouncer voice* What does this mean, wat is he talking about, who is the announcer? stay tuned to find out! *end anouncer*

AHHA! I just figured ou, after typing a paragraph and deleting it, why i`m set back a day. monday was the first day of fall holiday. no school or anything. I feel better now that i`m *kinda* back on track. That day we went to have lunch/dinner with my host mom`s parents. It was gonna be lunch but this resterant was so bissy that we took a plac in line and whent for a drive to some water fall. It was a good size one too, about 50 - 70 feet maybe. Then up to the top of a mountian( and saw this walk up a hill and slide down to your death thing. kinda funny to see people sliding down a grass hill, i think it would be better after snow starts personally. . ther were people trying parachuting of the top of the mountian down about two or three thousand feet. "the bunny hill"

I was really excited cuz i thought we were going parachuting off a cliff somwhere. Then i wondered if my insurance covered parachuting. I though i remembered the polacy saying no. but right about that time we just watched for a while and turnd around. :| I kinda wanted to jump of that cliff, but oh well, maybe next time. ;)

Whe when down the surpizing wide road. it took no time to get down and Masashi got motion sickness, didn`t puke though. He was in the back too, couldn`t imagine if he got his way and had been in the front. :S ewwwww

2 hours after starting the littl edrive we got back to the resteraunt and we still had to wait about 10 minutes for the next table. It was a small one room traditional restreaunt, i think. It sat 7 tables 8 people a peice. the food was so good. The courses that preceded the main dish were less than delicious, but the main spagetti noodle thing was grreat! It was green noodles served how, still sizzleing, on a house shingle. yes a masive house shingal. Its not like what youd put on an america house it a curved peace of ceramic i thing. its very hot and the watresses use wood blocks to cary them. they look decently heavy too. YOu take a chopsticks full of noodles and put them in a cup of "teh special sauce" and eat away, the sauce makes in nice and soft with a hint of jucyness. :)

After finding out why the wait the wait time was over 2 hours, we headed for my host moms parents field. Wee harvested som potatos and various little things. Just a few that were going to be used soon. for there age they have a lot of land. its more like a really big garden than a feild, maybey 300 feet by 600 feet, I`m bad at estimating distance. half was already harvested, i bet it was rice. they plant a lot of flowers along with the vegtiables. I seen and recognized red peppers, green peppers, potatos, and carrots, the rest were all new plants to me.

We left my host mom`s parents in the field and took a 30 Kilo bag of rice to this littl booth on the sid eof the road. I was ding the carying of course. ;) that is a good workout moving that thing. i untied the bag and poud it in the machine. 300 yen was put in and it started up. It turned the rice from yellow brown to white, i presume it ground off the shell or somthing, havn`t a clue. After the macing finished i picke dup the bag agian and that was the excitment for the day. I like that machine, it hums a nice song. kinda like this, grrrrrr r r r rrrr r r r rrrrrrr rrrrrr rrrr rrr RRRRRRRRr DUMPA DUMPA. yea, kinda like that

tuesday was shcool and we started on tuesdays schedual, imagine that. but becuase of the holiday i forgot it was tuesday, remember i just found out it was friday about an hour ago and figured out why i was so screwd up about 10 minutes ago. the next day, wendsdaay, was mondays schedual, whitch just made the confusion double. Also we got a nice dosage of runnign in PE, 5 kilometers!!!! I bike 2K to school and 2k back. and then they want me to run 5!??!?! crazy people. but these japanese never walked once, they always ran and competed the distance. it was impressive. There is a marathon coming up soon, the sooner the betting i think, soon it is done the sooner we can focuse on Judo and less praactice for the matathon.

thursday was thursday`s schedule, not surprizingly, but this was jut another dosage of why did they mix up the schedual to me. and of course to day was right on track. Even if i was on the wrong track. PE was JUdo today, always on fridays. all the time i asked why is the scheuald messed up this week to my HR sensei and he just gave me weird looks and change the subjet to next week`s mid terms. I could get out of them, but am going o take them all, that shocked Matsushima sensi almost to the gound. He wanted to make sure i knew i didn`t HAVE to by reminding me 6 times in 15 minutes of homeroom.

OK, Judo kicks @$$. Were else other than japan can you though midgets around and get yelled at for not being hard enough? I have a full judo uniform type thing and one scine form the matrix wont stop coming into my head, the scine were Neo flips his had up and siglnals come on to morpheious. You have to see it i geuss. It was my first time really doing judo, last week i did a little, but my sunburn and the fact i had to judo uniform had me not doing much. I think the point of judo is to hit the floor as hard as you can and make the biggest bang with your hand when you fall.

I should have pictures latter tonight to show. I have ll my pictures from my Palm ready, but my digital camera that is accually of usefull quality is not talking to the computer in my room. that is just a minor fix i hope. I`ll have apost up as soon as i get even one picture up. I`m using Sault High`s FTP taht they left open for me. ;) and with FIBER INTERNET i can upload all them picts in a minute, OH YEA! i just feel sorry for you 56kers and below...


Friday, October 10, 2003

no wonder i‘M tiered of typing, 5 pages of typeing....... have fun.... :) hope that dosn`t hapen agian.... actober 5th`s post is most important though ;)

Ah, finally UP2DATE! all blogs from the week that i couldn`t post are up NOW! after a long time typing and a whole bunch of wondering where anyone can find the time to read these. I think my typo rate is down today. Eye still huts and is half red half white and just realized blue in the cented!!!! RED WHITE AND BLUE! LOL!

after 2 hours of my host mom driving around we finally found the bank she called that SEID they took american cash cards. but they didn`t take *credit cards* she never even checked just saw the Visa nad Mastercard loga and seid no. I noticed a post ofice as we walked back to the can and got her to come in. the ATM was right inside the door, I put in my canrd seid English help, and it almost when smooth, but i forgot my pin, 2nd try no problem, but i can only take out 10000 yen at a time. so thats what i did, I don`t need much, just enough to pay a hospital bill should i need to. thats expencive. I have NO CLUE where i been spending money. otehr than the hospitaial, it just seems to float away! The whole culture shoock thing at rotary pops in my head and this one line repeats it`s self "real world living expences". blah.

I think i can read teh insurance form now too, so i`tt give that buracracy a try, i hope this rotary insurance is a `simple` process. hope is a keyword...

My host family got FIBER INTERNET! Its so fast. I havn`t found any reall testing solutions. i know i can download 14 megs in 20 seconds off microsoft. This means ass soon as my computer in my room is fixed i can put up pictures!!!!!! and that is a good thing, my palm is loaded with them from shool and i got a few from the sport festival that my host dad took. plus ifi can get my hands on a scanner, my home roon teacher took a bunch of film picture on one HUGE camera of his. the lence is at least a foot long, and the profetional photographers that were moving around had some bigger ones. the pictures that came out are really good though. Profetional quality. go sensei go!

carpiltunal syndrom setting in i have to stop typoing now and go t study som more, after taking out my contacts of course.

sayonara, *takes deep breath and clicks publish*

Thursday, October 09, 2003

WHEEEEEEWWWW my eye is much better, i can`t see with it but i do see white around the edges now. and i can open it too most of the time... Tryed to find an ATM that take American cards... HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA 7 machines later its time to go home and eat. My host mom says she`ll call a few places to see if they tack american cards. I think we just need to go to a post office like they seid at rotary meatings, but my host mom thinks you need to go to a bank, we`ll see....... :)

Had a test on the sorabushi in PE today. Good thing i have Diplomatic immunity ;) that was horable....... wihtout peopl in front of me to copy, i`m almost clueless except for a few parts.....

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Went to the `eye hosplitial` Danial Sensei when with to translate mostly i think. My eye got REALLY bad, I couldn`t see anything out of it and it was a pain to try and open it. The clinic was really cool though, now that i`m not in pain. you go to the counter, write your name on a peice of paper get weird looks because its in english. and then you sit. It was nice an quick, 5 minutes and we were in. There is one big room were everyone is gettnig examined, you first walk in and sit in a chare and lok in to a machine. ther is a baloon at the end of a long road, i think is test your focas and depth perception but i don`t know. after that you go and get a vission exam with a machine taht lighs up a paticular `C` that is tiltied 90 degrees in various directions that you can point for the direction of the opening. Insted of the T S D O chart you get in america. after almost completely failing my left eye exam I to the eye presure test, the "blow air in your eye test" My right eye was fine but there was no way to open my left eye and it kept buzzing. he oked it and just went off to wait agian.

I had to go back in and get microscoped and have my medication perscription writen out, the guy also put a pice of red paper in my eye, I think som sort of test stip. Then he oked me to go on to the scary place of needles and wierd japanese style insterments. She wiped out a patch for my left ey, whitch i expected completely, and 2 eyedrop medications. she got them both in after my eye finally opened. and then decided to rince it out with water. dan and my host mom were laughing pritty loud so i must have be doing somthing weird. my eye wouldnn`t open for anything.

Ok, all done, whent ot the counter to pay, no credit cards..... ok, cash, 8500 yen.... i got 7000 on me, my host mom lent me the extra. After getting home i paid her back and noticed that i`m almost broke, 4000 yen left. about 40$. time to hunt down an ATM. also got to get this insurance thing filled out.... tomarow hopfully i still can`t see but there`s no major pian now with the eyedrops they gave me. 2 drops 4 times a day. WEEEEEEEE i hate eyedrops!

Monday, October 06, 2003

AHHHHHH!!!! fell asleap with contacts in while studyiogn Japanese last night after sports festavail and my Left eye is compleatly red! and swollen and throbling. It dosn`t look good, but its betting that what it was 2 hours ago, i`ll hope for the best tomarow.... This is what delayed the Update for yesterday all the way though friday of this week. just to note, couldn`t see the computere screen and it gave me a head eche any time i used the computer more that a couple minutes. :P

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Wow, Just finishecd the sports festival. It was amazing, so many people came, I@d say at least 1500 people but i think that is on the sparse side even. the spectators could have gone up to 2000 or more by the looks of it. Millions of people had cameras and the school had a few students out there with some nice equipment. I hope i can get a video. Lets remember now how things played out

6:30, Wake up eat out the door at 7:00 no big deal. Pep rally and one last ditch effort to perfect the cheering `thing` It is all the Joho(Information System) Students sitting on a temporary grandstand/bleacher. Everyone has an ornge cloth that has two stick at each end so you can make it nice and tight. Isa a moving picture display that goes along with drum beat,.... Kinda. After 62 pictures/Frames we transphere over to pom poms and do a smaller display with them. THen its the school song. over and over and over. It goes on forever I@m sure. Like the song that never ends.

Ok, people are here, time to start, no watches to be seen for the rest of the day, so no accurate timing. everyone marches out at the same time to the center of the track/field, and marches in place while the band plays. After a while the cerimony of bringing out the awards for display ooccurs and everyone sites down, the principal and a few students make a small speack, well the students make a small speack, the presedent, i mean prinsipal has a book hed like to read. I`m sure it was facinating, I got about 4% of it . The cerimony is done, flags are flying, songs have been song, time to stampead back to the stands.

(I don`t have my program from earlier now, so i can`t tell the exact events, but there was a couple track events and no field events at this time.)

Time to rally, various chants are repeated over and over when a teamate runs past out stand.
Many things hapen that didn`t concern me and i can`t remember them now without my program, but i do know of one good story. I was walking back from getting water befor the sorabushi (SO + ROM + BOO + SHI) and a classmate comes up and asks me to fill in for him in the even RIGHT AFTER THE SORABUSHI! People are preparing to run out on the frield now for the sorabushi, as am i. "Ok, no problem" He had a huge bandage around his ankel , I probly should have too, but oh well. On the field we go to the sound of a train whistel, on the very nice PA system.

First is the gathering in the center of the field. and almost imeditaly after we run out and disperc across the entire 'stage'. There is a nice Wheel of fortian type mice playing and everyone goes in stict formation(image of military balarina school) though a elaborate dance. Next if gymnastics type formations. (music changes to "Its all about the money", American song. There are several human pirimids and the climax is a 12 person pirimid that is 4 people high. Music stops and There is a gunshot, All the student run to the Hana (Flower) formation. 3 HUGE human circials with multipale rings that fan out and colapse back in with various rythems to a song by nsync. Yet another formation follows this and i have no clue what it was suposed to be, but the was a huge humand temple, pirimid thing in the midle, at least 50 or 60 people stacked up 7 standing people tall. There was alos people being thown in the air in various places accross the field. Finally the sorabushi itself.

The thing is translated to somthig like the fishermen`s dance and there are many vertions. our paticutal one if a fast pace confusing rymthmic thrashing of the body. But it is great to watch, I really want to see the video of this dance most of all. Its not fun to do but it looks great. Unless you only had a month to practice and you still realized that they seem to have added in a new step or 5. The students that could see me must have had a good laugh at that. Run into the center agian and then back off the field. Just enough time to grab a drink and get back out to run in an event i had never practiced or planed for.

It was a 50meter sandbag relay. the bag weighs about 40 - 50 pounds. You cary it on your sholder and run.... tahts it, 50 meters with 50 pounds of sand. I really noticed my sunburn after it hit my neck and scraped it. Nothing serious, we had such a huge lead that even though i never practiced only one person pasde me. It was weird i was telling my regs to runa nd they just kinda walked fast is what it felt like. the person after me that i handed the bag to feel over and we came in 6th or 7th. I think i probly didn`t hand it off right, scence i never practiced, only kinda seen what to do.

WEll taht was the last event untill afternoon, The centipied race is what i was suposed to do and it was much difernt that what i expected. There was a rope 4 people and no timing what soever in my blood, or any of us for that mater. We came in second last. it was 100 meters and a realay race. some of the teams were EXTREAMLY fast they were at a fulll sprint and fully syncronized.

The last cerimony came around at 4:30, i know because i could clearly see the clock and the principal just kept talking. My sunburn was really hurting now, i could feel it in every part of my arms and sholders. My forarms have been burn so many times they are now imune to burns and heat. all the nerves are dead.

5 O`clock finally ge tto leave for home. AHHHH sweet massage chair take me away!. It was hot today, Very hot. 30 dergees Celcious or more at least. 90? F

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I wrote a book today.......

WOW< thanks Max! My Sponcer Rotary ex-presadent, I don`t know her current position, e-mailed me asking about my family, and then i read back \though my posts of past and realized i had a total of about 3 sentances concerning my family. thankks for the minder! also realized that my typos are horable, GOMENASAI! It almost makes ya sick trying to decript the words. ;P

I have 1 host sister, Iyaka, who is fourteen and does horable on tests. I seen one, it was bad. She always has friends over. in the mornign at night, during the day. She also is a densha-holic (densha means phone). I never thought you could talk on the phone that much, just like on TV. It the phone rings everyone just yelles for Iyaka, its more than likely for her anyways.

The oldest of my host brotheres is on America right now. Seatle to be exact. they had me look up a map of his adress and he is dead smack in the middle of the city. I@m in his room right now. He just got a new remot for his room, the old one finally putzed out completely. :P

Second oldest in the chain is Takashi. He`s some sort of smart, he goes to a private school and stayes up to 1 in the morning doing homework on average, but dosn`t start untill 10 or 11 o`clock. [aside: Oh, you have to push shift for the ` or it turns into and @, good to know] He has a bunch of friends over after school often, but mayby 3 times a week only. Never takes off his school Uniform eather. I thin i seen him once out in 'normal' cloths. [Aside #2: theres 2 ' and ` on this keyboard, Musukashi!] He has an obseccion with Gundam and likes Dragon Ball (z, GT). He must have 50 GUndam Figures ad 3 PS2 games. Plus anything that is branded gundam. WAtches the show daily along wiht dragon ball (z, gt). No one makes any signification to a diferance between the 3 dragon ball Animes, its all Dragon Ball.

Third and last in the succession is Masashi. He`s 9 and pritty cool for a little kid. Don't make him miss Dragon Ball though, he just mike kill you. He`s has 7 friend over at once and they all sneak in with out notice. The first time it happened i thought i was seeing things. there were 7 little japanese kids bouncing off the walls and climbing in ever cornor you can see, plus 2. Hes got an orgne belt in Karate, has a really good kick up high. he always practices kicking the small knob at the end of the string to turn on the light in the living room. He and I always practice kanji together with his school books, it`s funny, were at the same level. I know more than him now but i can`t read even with my 350 kanji now. Individual Kanji are Useless unless you speak Japanese. you have to combine 2 to make a word that is usefull. I can understand some things though. the electronic dictionary is useless with masashi because it outputs kanji and neither of use know enought to read it. I have to use my Palm to get any english though him. He does know some good Ego though.

Momo (peach) is the dog. A small brown fluffball. I don`t know the bread but i don`t ever remember seeing one in America. some weird breed, i think it's accually Euopean. She just helps herself to the table during meals, often getting a hit on the head or a laught, I thought this was weird, but i see why she does this, they triand here to eat foor off the table after saying YOSH(i) and she now thinks ok, all plates, bowls and glasses ar my right as long as they are close to the edge. She has a huge fear of the outside world and hieghts, you put her up at any height taller than here and she just shakes, but i got her jumping off my lap and going down a couple stiars. SHe has a big ol cage to play around it and when ever possable wants out,�@of course. she never eats dog food, although it is their. Why whould she, just a lettle while longer and there will be food on the table to steal. Once i was rudly awaked by momo cleening out my nose. I was so startaled i almost jumped out on the floor. I make sure if i go to sleep she is in her cage now.

My host mom never sleeps. I wake up and she`s already up, When i had jet lag i got up at 5am and she was wide awake making the days breakfast and lunch. She works untill 8 PM every day at her company, i think this must be were she sleeps, I never see here sleep here. After she gets home she starts dinner, serves a snack type thing and starts laundery. Then after that she finishes up dinner and Kougi gets home. (host father) Serves dinner and keeps cooking. after everyone is eating and all food is served she sits and finishes up koji`s beer, or opens a new one if it empty, he has already moves on to the shonen by then. There she eat up dinner and clears the table. I think she does dishes or somthing next and makes sure the bath is ready. Maybe she sleeps while i take a shower/bath. She usually watches TV about now and then i go to sleep. I think she flods launder at night, it`s read the next morning after breakfast. SO busy I don`t have any clue how she does it, truely amazing. Also takes care of most anything that needs doing that dosn`t require me present without my knowlage. "Oh, I have to fill out this paper and send it to ----? no, Already done, here`s a copy." I just blink in astonishment here.

Kouji (host father) must be 45 or somthing, he told me once and it was someware around there. He smokes but i`m sure its not that much unless he lets em fly at work. Hes pretty cool, every night he has half a beer and then 3 or 4 glases of shochu. He gives up english after that. He`ll just punchi anyhting into a dictionary. He enjoyes learnig english though, he`s very good, but dosn`t really know. He`s funny, no mater if he knows a person or not, he makes them laugh. He always shows me a new cell phone and lets me play around with it. I learned a lot of japanese from the menus, nost the ones that lead to the BIlingal feature in all docomo phones. I like findin the english feature, especially when they say that a phone has no english in it. I forgot to turn it back to Japanese one and he had to bring it home and ask me if i could put it back. We both laughed. I tryed a video phonea couple times, thos things are amazing. I really like the N2102. THat thing does everything except make toast for you in the morniong, internet, Movies, Memos, MP3s, streaming Music, It`s a camera and a video phone, it also has a little feature of being a cellphone too.

My family is roling in yen. Their house it Huge and western style. AC and heating in all rooms. its close to a park, witch is amazing after seeing no grass at all then, BAM a field. thers a ramin resteraunt next door that i havn`t been to yet. TEh florecent light is really bight 10 feet from my window. It lights up my rooom really well if i open my curtian.

WEll that`s beter, I can`t beilive i forgot to write about my family in Japan. I`ll get picture up eventually. I`m still waiting for the Fiber internet so i can put up all the pictures. I did find a place, MY school left my FTP active in the states. I can Just use that for now, make a little website. the fiber is coming this month, or so kouji says, he sied that in september too, I might just Use the slow ISDN if i have too, but thats to worry about later.

sayonara, alot happened today, who knew, tomarow is probly gonna be a dosy too, BIG reheasal for the sports feastaval. I hope it stays nice and cool all day, It wont but i can hope. JA NE!

WELL, that accually went well i think. I got my hair cut, Japanese sytle. IT was really weird, i saw somone sitting down and reading a manda so i did the same. After about 7 minutes he got called up and i sat and read a copy of GTO. Well, looked at the pictures, I�@suppose it isn`t really reading. After 4 or so minutes o picted up a style book i overlooked and flipped though it. about half way though it i got called up. MY barber was a reallt old guy, thought he might die while cutting my hair. He did a good, slow 45 minute, job.

The seat is heated, when i sat down i was surprised and almost jumped back out. It also relices all the way back. very comfortable. He was very carful not to get any hair on me, with one towl in the back of my color, then the aperen, then another towel on the aperen. Out came a nice set of siccors and start clipping, it was reallt scary, he didn't ask what i wanted or anything. After going around and cuting the major portions off, he showed me 2 clipped sizes and i choose the bigger one, He VERY GENTALY trimed al the way around. at some point he did the back of my head but i don' remember his going anyyware near my back... Using a big ol mirror i nodded to conferm that it was good.

He then took out and OLD STYLE razor, the kind with the hot lather and one blade. He shaved teh back of my neck and behind the ears, also the sideburs wiht this. Then, almost as an after thought, he grabed the clippers and buzed my neck agian.

The whole time i wondered what the litte cabnet was for in front of me, it obviously foled down, but what for. my thought was a foot rest thing for laying al the way back, Almost as if he knew i was wondering he opend it up and the was a sink, got myself a shampoo and conditioning right there in my seat. After that he pointed to the runnig water and i rinsed my hands, I'm not sure if that was what i was suposed to do but he turned the water off and handed me a towel.

After that he took a bodle of the shelf labled(English only) Kent face lotion. He aplyed sparingling to my hair.

He then seid somthing and i knew, ok time to get up and go. Went to the register, payed 1700 yen and left on my bike. IT was nice and easy riding, must have been less wind resistance.

I thought the whole process was facinating, and even more so that i did it alone, without major problems.

One note; Connie, your too rough compared to this japanese barber shop. ;P Hardly knew he was cutting.

I just got home from school, No one was home and the door was locked, I tryed to use my key and it too 7 trys to use the funny locks. you don't turn then turn back you jus turn and pull out. THat was a hassle while holding a million things and cathing my bike after falling over on the stairs.

Hopfully that is all the bad luck i'll hjave for the rest of the day. I`m about to go get a hair cut by myself. the onlything my host dad seid was that the barbershop that says 1500 yen is a good deal and the one that is 3000 yen is a rip-off. With all that information, i hope i can remeber ALL of it, I'm off. see you in an hour or 3.


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