Me in Japan: March 2004

   Rotary Youth Exchange student Dereck tells all of his trip to Japan for a year. Can you manage to figure out the typos???
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Ok, well the closing cerimony for school was boring as usuall. nothign spectatular.. just sat listening to awards and speeches for 2 hours and had a half hour cleen up.. I thought there would be mroe, but oh well... OH! now were ar a grade up so we get tou use the shoe lockers that are near our biulding! YAY! that cuts about 4 minutes of walking off my day!

I' m heading to Osaka now for my schools base ball game! Wish Kumakou luck!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Time flys so fast here in Japan! Where did the weekend go??? And the end of last week too while I'm looking for lost time.. oh well, I could go back in time and write a few posts,b ut I won't bend the space time continum for that...

well, In Kendo I have all my armor and people are hitting me on the head and stuff. I hit them back, all teh same, Usually its me getting hit a million or so times befor i get in one. The other students have trained my longer and harder than I have. The captian has been playing for 12 years i think he said. that means he started when he was five years old! Thats a lot of practice!

Well, I maaged to win a match agenst 2 people last week, Both times they both hit their head in schook that they got beat by someone that has been playing for about a week in the ring. The teacher then yelled at them after for being so weak that I could beat them. It was funny so I didn't mind the insult. This was all last week.

on saturday we did what my host father loves and did nothing! Both of my host parents fell asleep oon the floor. Then after they woke up 6 hours later, Me and my host father went to the driving Range and hit a few balls. We go every Friday too it seams. My host father loves golf. He used to do all the things young men do like smoking and going to the casino and making freinds in the Japnese Mofiea. But he quit smooking 2 years ago and stoped going to the casino and started to golf. "Golf is more fun, you win a WHOLE lot more, and it dosn't cost a 1000$ per day."

Sunday we took a drove out somewhere got off the rode somewere else, and just drove pretty much all day. We stoped at som ecaves and went in... I should have known, It was all paved sidwalks and stairs going thought the caves. and ther was all nice lighting in though out the cave. It was still kinda fun though. next we drove some more. There is suposedly some pork that is only in the mountians that is really good but we couldn't find any and choose a noodle resteraunt.

Right next to the resteraunt was an Onsen, wiht REAL mineralwater coming out of the gound and stuff, not the fake stuff that I think is at most of the Onsens now. The water felt really differant there. I don't know, it was weird. How can water feel differant??? It Just does. Thats how. I almost left my Jacket there, that was the only excitment for the whole day really. Becase of out late lunch we ended up going to Joyfulls and getting a quick bite fore supper at 9:00.

Today I had my last Java Class for the Year. I don't think I have it next year though.... In case you have no clue what I'm taking about, I have explained it in the past, The japense shool year starts in April. The Spring vation is 2 weeks long and when we go back we are a year up and there are freshmen to tourcher! In japan you really do get to Tourcher the Freshmen and the TEachers are there only to help you in doing so. from whatI hear at least. I plan on makeing sure a few of them know Who I am during the first week. Don't bow to me when you see me in the halls and you die freshie! Japan has perks.

Tomarow is the last day of class, Then there is a cerimony and half day of school on wendsday. After that is spring Break! I still have to go to Kendo though... School clubs never sleep! I have feeling they will take a short cut and have an hour fo practic or somthing like that.... Kendo is great.

My school is going to Nationals for Baseball, as some may recall from long ago. the game is on the 28th of the month during Spring Break. they are takign all the busses and loading them down to the max with teachers and students and a few of us are going to Osak to see the game and be on TV. With 2Americans in the cheering section of the school, We'll get on TV, no doubt. A lot of people are going too! Almost all of the Kendo club, a couple cute girls from the second Year JOHO class, Danial sensei(I said 2 Americans will be there, This is the other one), and a million Teachers.

should be interesting... I'm working on somthing nifty now, Time to get craking and codeing!

matta ne!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

ok, Last week there was no school for 3 days and then a half day on friday. nothing teribly exciting happened. I should tell you al about white day though.

In japan there is Valentines day and White day. On Valentines Day girls give boys chocolate. Guys do nothing. There are no little cards that you give everyone you see in Japan. What color do you asosiate with valentines day? Red. Ask a Japanese person what the oposite of red is and they will say red. look at the Japanese flag. It is red and white. so they made a day called white day for the guys to give back to the girls on. But It would seem that not many accually do. But, insted of chocolate the guys give cookies instead. This all happens on march 15th by the way. I, being the nice guy that I am, bought all the girls in my class(there are 8 of them) cookies and had them individually wraped and all the Japanese custom stuff. nothing big, and I gave 2 friends in Joho 2 nen sei(Equivilent to Juniors in my class) cookies. I got speical little baggy things for the managers in Kendo and my host mom. ran me 15$ for a whole lot of individually wraped cookies. It did take me 3 hours to find the place to buy them though.

During this day I also went to Kumamoto castle and took a bunch of pictures with me palm camera because I Just thought I would. I will get them up soon. VERY soon, I'm working on them now. Well accualy I'm typing in my blog right now. I have neglected it in the past week. along with My Kanji Studying... I'm getting in to it agian though. It'll(Is that a new word?) just be a couple days.

today was the class match. All the classes have a tournement agenst each other. The frirst year students played basket ball and the second years played soccor. All the girls played dodge ball, and it was a mean game i hear.... Well anyways, we came in second place.....from last.... Interior came in last, not saying much for My class, Joho.

tomarow is like the last day of class. I think. next week we have closing cerimony and then spring break. After that we start a new school year. It is the Japanese way to start in april wiht the bloming flowers of spring I suppose.

Ja ne!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Well I have today, tomarow and thursday off... what am I gonna do??? I havn't got a clue.... yesterday I went to the driving range with me host fater and shot 300 balls. staring to understand now, I hit quite a few straight, but the rest were all way off.... oh well. He's in a tournement tomarow and off praciting right now. Masahshi is gonna be with his girl frind all day, there is no kendo and nothing really interesting to do today, maybe tomarow will be better.

I'm studying Japanese today with all my spare time... its not sticking though.... not today, not right now...

Sunday, March 07, 2004

I did somthing rotary today. we went up to som muntian and planted trees. lots and lots of trees. took a few pictures that are still on the camera, I'll get them eventually. I have to put someting on page 19 really quick, I just found out that I made a mistake and added 19 pages of pictures when I don't have 19 pages of pictures... opps...

well, that was all intersting and stuff, and the we eat some hot food thta was realy good and i eat an umeboshi. (they are not very good) We got home at about 1 in the after noon and we all fell asleep in the living room. I woke up and went to my bed, it was too cold downstairs. it snowed a little this morning and a lot on the mountian. i got a mouthfull of Michigan in Japan.

did The usual Sunday thing after we woke up 3 hours later, went up to the mountan onsen(hot spring for if you havn't figured it out) I want to add Onsen to english, in two years Onsen will be in the websters dictionary, you just wait and see! We had okonomiyaki for dinner and that was REALLY good. missing Lunch yesterday seems to have put me back in cycle of being hungery around dinner. Okonomiyaki is noodles with some stuff on top and an egg fried on top of that. then you have some mayonasai i think to spead over it with ketup possabley..... REALLY good, possably my new favorite food.

now I'm going to practice Japanese. Ja ne!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Today was one of those days that you just have to love. First I woke up late. Realized the time and dicided not to go to kendo. It was almost half over. After eating breakfast I went to kendo. Today was a traing day. so all we do is strenus exercize. and it feels noce for once in my life. being with friend and doing it on self motivation is the best thing in the world.(typing with cold finders it the worst thing, I will make a heated keyboard someday)

So I left completely exausted and be and the two managers went to a hair cut place that was close and they chose a style for me. I won't bother doing that again.I told them I was getting a short hair cut right down to Kumakou standards. REALLY REALLY short. they wouldn't hear of it. "your hair is beaiful, you can't do that!" If you havn't guessed yet, they are girls. so I have long(er) hair now. Its ok I suppose.

After that was finished they went home as did I. It started hailling REALLY bad just as I left. That ruined by hair just after gettind it "done". I htought I would go to a ramen shop and eat lunch to get out of the now rian but couln't find one. Theo only street in kumamoto without a ramen shop. so I just went home. remember this was a good day. It just started out kinda rough. at that point my only expence was 1500yen for a haircut. another bad thing is that money flew out of my pockets like watter today. Although I havnet accually spent any money in a long time.

Got home and Decided that the rain had stoped i would got to Shimatoroi to get a book for school and contact lense solution. If I could find a new case fro them too. I was gonna use my new buss skills to get there but just so happens my host mom had to go there just as I walked in the door, Hitched a ride, saved 370yen. found out it is Momo's birthday today and we are goning to dinner. I add a small gift for her to my list of things to look for. Also remembered a couple peole who I should probly get small littl trinkets for. One mentioned chopsticks with a case. I'm a guy so to save time looking endlessly for gifts I add 2 chopsticks with cases to the list.

I get to walking down the main shimatorio road and see KFC and thing a twster would takes good now. Never did find time to eat breakfast today. I was walking for about 3 minute from gettin gout of the car and what do I here? "JOHN!!!!!!!!" here is a second year Kumako friend of mine and her friend walking the strip. John is somthing she just ramdomly started to call me, so I call her sally. I'm fairly sure Its out of the English practice books. We start walking and talking together. She wanted to take a picture in the one of the photo boothes that seembe self breeding all ofthe the place. more and more new ones just seem to pop up everyday. Finally get to the photo machine thing and take a few pictures. do the whole drawing thing and lukly they did all that. I hate having to think up witty things to draw to the pictures. I then realize I'm a little more lucky that I ran into these girls... girls are good at shopping! and Japanese girls know where things are. BINGO!!

You might remeber this picture, Miho(Sally) is the one in the middle
[Picture Page 13]

Look! I'm really starting to use HTML and care how thinks look now. (Picuters, tables, links, thumbnails) I'm good. ;)

I talk them into helping me find the chopsticks at some little place and they point me to the shelf with the nice case sets and I grab the first 2 I see.(they guy shopping instinct. They then yell at me for not thinking and we stand there talking for about half an hour on every possiblilty and color of them. Girls seem to know this kind of thing so I just do what I'm told and change "my" mind a good 20 times. (There were only 7 kinds) I endo up gettin a tird set for onther frind I forgot about they reminded me of. Finally I get awy from them and pay really quick before I,rather they, change my mind again. (1800yen) chopsticks are expencive for plastic(they last forever in America though)

Got out of there and now where I REALLY get luckey, Momo's gift. she is now 6 years old. Without the professionals I would have walked home empty handed and not bothering with it more than likely. they lead me into Kiddy land. I did wonder what was down there anyways and with 2 girls wihtme I felt a little less dumb being in a little girl's store. They point at some stuffed animle things and I agina grab the first kinda intersting thing and am ready to leave and they just say "no, put it down" quite blankly. I obayed. ended up in there for way to long and left with nothing to the Disney Store at the top of Tsuraya(biggest department store in kumamoto).

Get up there and they look at every little "cute" thing in the store. There were lots of "cute" things. every time I thought that was the end of the adventureI would have my mission fufilled. but no, they would see somthing even better on the otherside of the store with shopping-hawk-eyes. After criscrossing the store a dozen times finally got one thing... "OK were done I'll go pay now... " I say.... They just give me a weird look and start talking about what else I should get.... the second thing dind't take as long. With math I was able to say look this is close to 1000 yen so it should be fine. and they agree thankfully. I pay ask for is a gift and we leave. I grab some contact solution on the way out. I din't see any cases her and my guy shopping instings took over wihtout girls around noone was albe to stop me. I bought some renu soulution two pack thing that was on sale they pointed me at from outside the shop. I seen Opti-free witch I nomally use but It was WAY WAY more expencive.(5000 yen ) the renu was 1700 and that is what my American mom uses so it should be fine.

So, all I have left is a book and a contact case. we start walking to a book store they recommmend and I have to leave in 45 minutes. but The store they led me to I hade already been too andthey didn't have anything. I decided to go to the one I knew about with lots of books in English. They went to take more pictures. By the time I would finish getting my book I would have to hurry to the bus they seid we split up there. I d get my book at that store I went to and It only took 10 minutes to find and get to it this time. It is really hidden away. I only went across a road once that was wrong before realizing that is the wrong side. normally it is 5 times or more before I remember which side it is on. I was gonna get another theretical physics book but I seen "DUDE Where's My Country?" sitting there ant the first page was kinda funny. I bought that. (1700yen) I get back to the bus with 10 minutes to spare.

There is a huge foma 900i diplay up nead the the buss stop so I go and take a look and get a bag of information they gently force into your hand. It had an dawsome dog on the front of it so I took it. Nice bag, nothing interesting inside. the new phones are just so awsome. the cameras they have on them are smaller and tehn same quality as my GOOD camera that I brought from America. I do with they had a nice trade in program I have to admit. "I don't NEED it. I DON'T NEED it. I don't need it." I have to say that to myself the whole time I drool over the new tech gadgets.(one of my reasons of come to Japan. Tech stuff) I still love the N producion best even in the new models. I wish I could find someone that had a foma phone that I could call. I want to use my Video phone so much. But people are reluctant to switch becasue their image is the coverage area is small. I have yet to go out of service as long as I'm not on a mountian.

I think DoCoMo needs to post the maps of coverage all over the place. not the features list. The features are nice but the coverage is what people want.

I get on my bus which comes about 10 minutes late al leaast I think. I may have read the chart wrong. in that case it would have been 2 minutes late(more probale, I don't remember the other time exactly but I do have a picture of the chart to look at later.

I got all the things I came for except the contact lense case. The old ones seam a little dirty, can't really cleean them out well for some reason. On the bus I start reading the bok I got and its bashing bush and the author is a democrat trying to get Bush out of the office. didn't make me to happy, thought it was suppposed to be funny. I suppose I'll get to see another point of veiw on the situation. It you can't atack the polacys attck the politic is what I see in the the few pages I read so far. I personaly like the job Bush is doing. He has to finish what his dad started in the gulf war. Even though he used some crude tactics to get there. War usually make jobs and thats what I think He was hoping for, dind't work thats all, the economy changed since WWII. I am kinda looking forward to laughing at the stabs at bush. Like heis "links to the Bin laden family". that is was great. to make it look more credibal he adds tons of sources to everypage. on average it seems that half the page is writing and half is sources. Aparently that goes away after the first chapter.

I get home and we are almost imediatly off to eat dinner for momo's b-day(did I write tanjobi up ther somewhere, I'm too lazy to look at the moment, if I did tanjobi means birthday). Yakiniku. Were you cook your own meat on gas burners biult into the table. I think they might have got a little bad meat. I had a small sumic each after and didn't eat all that much. and aparently while i was in the batherroom someone dind't make it to a toilet and got sick in the sink. eeeeeewwwwww

They had a whole pile of meat waiting for me when i go tback which I had a hard tiem gettin gother people to eat because they were full. didn't mentin the bathroom and got my host father to eat it. It was horse i think so It was probly ok. I was really full at the time anyways. Come home and say I donw want Icecream tonight and they ask if I'm ok. then my host fater alsa says he don't want any becasue he's full too. and I call him a lier as well. My host mom does eat Ice cream. and after that Incredably good day I am here typing and equally incredably long blog. It's been a while so its ok I think.

JA! mata ne!

Friday, March 05, 2004

look at that now would ya..... I accually DID finish off the monthly update to all the pages and got the new pictures up. I found a couple from last december floating around too.. I thought I had them all!. There were only a couple. and the one of momo in the massage chair was nice. looks like a little puff ball.

More improtantly this picture, taken today. fresh off the palm. Its really bad becase we couldn't let the teacher see the camera when taking it. Later I'm sure to take more. [Picture Page 18]

Today was even better! In kendo at least, I wa in full rotation and doing all kinds of hitting! and more getting hit than anything. THe gloves are smaller than they should and so when i get hit there it hurts... i accualy have a few bruses from the gloves. I mostly practiced mei witch i hit the other person on the head. I did that alot today. and a little hiting on the wrist. i tryed dou(stumic) a few times too but it just didn't work. These people are so fast. I get hit 10 times in the time that I start to swing my stick. It hust for a while getting wopmed on the head but its all good now. NOOOOOOOO PAAAAAAAIIIIIIIN! I also got into my full armor and sunck a Picture in while the teacher wasn't looking. Weather I get that up tonight demends on the storm and the cold. IT's cold now and I can barly type, as if I ever could type.

I think today just seems al the better no thatI accually get to fight in Kendo! for 3 months I had to earn this buy pracicing by myself. now I can't hit people without annoying them. But I missed pretty bad on the last fight with the captian. he dogded by leanign back and i got his wrist that you usualy never get hit with a mighty blow. sent him running arround the room a few times I could imagine that would hurt.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Ok, well today was awsome.... kendo was awsome I should say. The teacher seid that I should put on some armor and go hit people.! OK!!!!! I have been praciting by myself for what,? 3 months, 4 months and i finally graduated up to getting into rotation. accuall rotation. working harder than I knwo why. I got my helmet mask type thing and put it on and it is REALLY uncomfortable, I'll get uesed to It I suppose.

I missed someones head completely and hit his shoulder. that was a bad thing. I cccam instucted to only hit on the head for now, no wrist neck or stumic hits for now. I might get to do them in a few weeks i guess. I got my "present" form kouchi today at rotary. my Cell phone bill. not bad accually, no extra charges for over use this time! only 55$ for broadband in my pocket, THat is accually good compared with a lot of other people's bills that are on the old system. usually around 100$ a month or more. thats expencive. I Have a huge rollover i have to use up this monthefrom not using it much the last 2 monthes so I downloaded wom melodys. they are cheap, 300 yen for 15 songs. they are ok i suppose. sent a few e-mails. you know, the usual. games got boring. i am sucha a tech lover! there is a new foma cellphone out now and it is calling me!!!! oh it looks so nice!!!!! oh well, i don't need it, wouldn' really use it.

Oh, I can kinda speak japanese, At rotary i spoke for at least 20 minutes with some lady rotarian that was collecting money. it was intesting. and then I gave a short speach and it was no sweat.

Oh, and watching the news recently... does Kelly think he REALLY has a chance agenst Bush? come on, Bush id doing fine as he is! You put a democrat in the office and what does it do but cause al the military movments to be useless, you pull out or Iraq and the Iraqis will feel used and mistreated and abandoned. not a good thing. GAW at least one of them guys came to the realization and left the race while he was behind. Bush for a second year Is what I have to say.let him finish what he started.

My 2yen for the day. BYE BYE!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Thank you to the people that helped me with my little webpage problem I think if it works I will leave it then.

If you don't know what HTML is then stop reading this post right now. Your head will hurt after. The rest of the post is technical stuff.

When I originally put up the site I set my encoding to what ever blogger decided to use and that obviously didn't work for putting English inline with Japanese on the net right? well I found out that UTF-8 worked. I put it in my meta tag for the encoding and it worked on all the computers I got to get on in Japan. But I thought Unicode might be the default charictorset in The computer and a US computer wouldn't need these Japanese charicters so any other computers would make any Japanese apear as boxes or question marks. But It apears that this isn't the case. when you install Asian Laguage capabilities you also enable the UTF-8 Japese any computer can accualy handle the UTF-8.

What I changed the encoding too during this misunderstanding was Shift-JIS. This is accually a pushed encoding my Microsoft that they want the world to adopt. This page happens to be encoded with UTF-8, inthery what should really be used and the Japanese Page is encoded in Shift-JIS. Witch should YOU use when making a web page? what does your computer make easier for you to input? that is the real question. MS pushed their encoding out and it is on most computers that have any Japanese display support so if you must then do. The first standard and some would say the REAL standard is UTF-8. Do your own research, which page looks better and is easier to input, probly Shift JIS if you use Windows.

To set your encodeing to UTF-8(this page's encoding) insert this code into your head statements
<META HTTP-EQUIV="content-type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

To set your encodeing to SHIFT-JIS(this page's encoding) insert this code into your head statements
>META HTTP-EQUIV="content-type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=shift-jis">

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Getting help from people other than the people that already come here. Don't mind this message.
Thank you LRNJ users!

Monday, March 01, 2004

I finally got a page up for Japanese people to read. You can look at it by clicking the japanese flag on the panel to the left. there isn't much to se I warn you. some really bad japanese, a couple kanji I geussed on or looked up. I got the template translation in progress right now to make the left sidebar in Japanese too. That SHOULD take about 10 minutes and i'm off for now.

Try the link and see If you see Japanese there. I think you should. I figured out how to make it all work but.... to make THIS english site work i have to redo or remove all teh Japanese that i typed or you will see chinese that really isn't chinese... or boxes in some cases... I'm not worryed about it. only on eperson e-mailed me about not seeing it so I suppose no one really wants to; or reads the posts this far down.


Blog Archives

Picture Navigation

Link Box

I Power Blogger

© Dereck