Thursday, December 11, 2008


So, this will be a fairly bare-bones recital of the last few days, because it’s late, I’m tired and annoyed. Being poorly-organised must be a universal condition of most tertiary institutes...

So, Wednesday. We started the day with an intercultural communication class, which was… interesting. We just spent an hour and a half talking about the differences between Japan and Australia. Fun. We then had tennis, which actually wasn’t too bad, I didn’t nearly kill anyone this time. After lunch we went to another elementary school, met the kids and played with them – my class was doing Jump Rope and so I had to join in. I haven’t skipped since I was in grade 9! So, that was interesting.

Wednesday night, we went with the ESS – English Speaking Society – to Kobe, to see Luminarie. Luminarie is a big light display in memory of the victims of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. It’s pretty cool. We decided while we were there that, once we were finished viewing Luminarie, we’d like to go shopping – just window shopping, but we wanted to look around - this may be our only chance to see Japan. Our escort weren’t having any of that, though. Citing reasons such as “It’s too dangerous” (firstly, our home cities are all probably 50x more dangerous than Kobe, secondly, we spent 3 nights in the seediest part of Osaka, literally around the corner from the yakuza-controlled red light district, so the CBD of Kobe would be a nice, happy and friendly place by comparison) so we ended up having to just go straight home. It was nice but the restrictions made us all feel like we were about 6 years old on a school excursion, not legal adults out for a fun time. Meh…

Today was… well, not a total loss. We went to a middle school (Japan has 3 levels of school – elementary (years 1-6, ages 7-12; middle, years 7-9 equivalent, ages 13-15; and high school, years 10-12, ages 16-18) and did some cooking – we made dango – Japanese chewy dumplings in sweet soy sauce, and crepes. Then we came back to uni where we had a briefing about our homestay in Tajima. Of course, it was a very brief briefing, as Ono-sensei had very little information to give us pertaining our homestay families. We leave tomorrow.

So, after our briefing, we went off to Japanese, where Fujiwara-sensei threw us a little party, with all sorts of funky Japanese sweets and drinks, and it was fun. Afterwards, however, was not fun. We went to a class about childhood development or something. Either the teacher hadn’t been told to expect us and prepare accordingly, or he just didn’t care. Either way, we came in, sat down up the back and were totally ignored by everyone. Teacher didn’t acknowledge us come in, and when we finally got sick of being ignored, not understanding a single thing he said (it was all in rapid, highly academic Japanese) and left, he didn't acknowledge that either. It was a waste of time. No, it was a complete and total decimation of an hour, that we can’t ever get back. My gods, it was so stupid!!

Tonight, Miki had a bit of a Christmas party. I learned how to make Takoyaki (really easy if you can get real octopus) and we had Takoyaki, pizza and pasta! It was pretty cool. The neighbours from upstairs, friends of Miki and Sogo’s, came along, with their 3 small kids. It was quite fun.

So, it’s quite late here, and I need to be up relatively early tomorrow. We’re off to Tajima to the snow, and I’m not sure whether I’ll be bringing my computer with me. I’m leaning towards not, but there are some compelling reasons why I probably should. Namely being able to put my photos on the computer, and being able to update my blog as word docs and just upload the whole lot when I return on Tuesday. Hell, I might even luck out and get a place with internet… who knows? Maybe I will bring it…

Anyway, I digress. Going to bed now, or as soon as I finish my Umeshu (apricot brandy).

G’night all, and if I don’t see y’all before then, I’ll see you on Tuesday, with a big fat update!


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