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Sunday, December 7th, 2008


Yeah I’m praying that I didn’t do as bad as I think on the listening section. I missed most of it, they just flew over my head.

I’m really really hoping my grammar and vocab can somehow pull it up.. GAHHH.. I think I got maybe 40% of listening… ughhh ughhh ughhh!!!  The vocab at the end was really bad too.. ughhh… ughhh

Well.. at least i made it to the test site without much trouble. I never saw so many chinese and korean people all together at once.. kind of reminded me of an engineering exam..

ughhh don’t want to think about the test.. the results are in february :/ mega eeeeeeeekkkkkk

Last Week

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Sun, Nov 30  - Went to get a haircut, my final one in Fukuoka. I dyed my hair darker. My hairstylist and I went through the usual talk, and it was really relaxing and fun. When I left, he gave me a bag, an early Christmas present, he said. I told him I would write to him once I get to Canada. He is such a nice guy. He wished me the best of luck and kept bowing as I left. In the bag, was a handwritten card, bookmark, and hair product. Well, all customers get such gift, but it’s really nice to have such a personal touch from a hair salon.

Right after that, I met with Yuuji sensei’s friend. Well, it was quite a bad time to meet her, since I am leaving soonafter, but having coffee with her was fun! We spoke mostly in Japanese. She talked about a lot of things about herself- her family, boyfriend, etc. She had bright dyed hair, fake lashes, and shorts, so definitely the most trendy girl I’ve thus talked to. She also showed me her French boyfriend- who surprisingly works at a shop at Shintenchou!

After coffee, I went to meet with my female Mixi friend, the one who had invited me to her house a month before. I texted her the day before and told her I was leaving soon so the only time to meet was Sunday. It turns out she just had surgery and couldn’t leave the house, so I went to pay her a visit. We spent a really nice evening together. I bought her a gift, and when she opened it, it seemed like she was going to cry, which completely blew me away. Actually, the real purpose of me visiting her was so that she could gave me a kimono. I kept refusing before because of the value of the kimono, but she kept insisting. That’s why I didn’t understand her response to my present, especially since she has been so nice to me. We ordered pizza and drank wine while chatting. I was really sad to leave her.

Mon, Dec 1 - Went to the gym with H. HAHAHA It has been such a long time…. so out of shape…

Tues, Dec 2 - Went to eat pasta at Imus building and Starbucks with H. :D

Weds, Dec 3 - Went to eat dinner with Japanese guy. We went to a really nice place in Tenjin called Tomoru. The tables are arranged really intimately- there are actually curtains for each table for two. It’s a fusion restaurant so there were a lot of nice combinations. We talked about, well, what if I were to come back to Fukuoka. Which, by the way, may be a possibility depending on some things decided by Genki Jacs. I am crossing my fingers that it turns out… I will also miss him as well :( He’s been really, so nice to me, spending so many weekends showing me around Fukuoka, and helping me with my Japanese. He said I was the first person he’s contacted on mixi that he’s met randomly, so I guess it’s good we got to know each other!!

Thurs, Dec 4 - H’s host family invited me over for dinner and stay overnight :D :D I was really looking forward to it all week! H promised the family to cook Dutch food. The family has two young boys who are really cute, and the parents are super nice as well. I (kinda) helped H preparing the food, but I was impressed, because he said he never made the food before. So I finally had tons and tons of mashed potatoes after 3 months and was sooo happy. And French toast… Mmmmmmmm………. We all ate until we felt like exploding. And I was spoiled being able to stay over… their futon is soooo nice. And it was nice to stay over with H ^^;

Fri, Dec 5 - H and I took the bus to school together. After school, I did my speech (though it was written down), and the people who were taking the JLPT (me and another guy) got a special cheering ceremony. I said goodbye to P, and she ran off in tears :( :( As for the evening, the GenkiJACs event was karaoke. Actually, this time, I think I had the most fun. Everyone drinking got pleasantly drunk and teachers even showed up (they say to hear me sing …. i hope they weren’t too disappointed hahaha). I took a lot of pictures, and everyone was being so nice to me. A actually gave me a good luck charm for the test. I will miss everyone so much!!! :(
Afterwards everyone went to Fubar, but H and I went to a, as one of the teachers calls it, a ‘ha-ha hotel’. This one had karaoke!! And the price for overnight stay was the same as the short stay in the first one!! :P

Sat, Dec 6 - Had to check out of hotel by 11. We went to eat Indian for lunch. Then went home to study/sleep. Since H moved back to the dorm, we ate dinner at the omuraisu cafe nearby. Was totally not in study mood.

Second last week

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

I can’t believe how quickly time passes. In one week I’ll have the test and the day after I leave Fukuoka. It’s been hurting inside me since a month ago, the feeling of breaking away from excitement and happiness and back into the mundane. I wonder how I’ll handle the transition…

Mon Nov 24 - I met up with Danish guy today for lunch. We didn’t know where to go at first so we wandered around Daimyo and entered a random building. We chose a really nice cafe located at the top floor. We sat on sofas by the window and he talked about his life and goals… which is so interesting because he is quite younger than me but already has things figured out. So he gave me some advice and seemed pretty excited that maybe we could collaborate together someday (he is in the media industry). After that we met up with N and hung around a bit. It was really rainy and wet and I was a bit tired so I went home in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, I got a phone call. So… apparently something we ate made H sick and he had to go to the hospital for food poisoning :o I actually felt fine… so I am suspecting it was the chicken nuggets he ate at McDonalds… :P

Tues, Nov 25 - After school I hung out with H a bit, who wasn’t in top shape but still insisted on eating McDonalds again… hahaha… but he had to go home because his host family was worried about him.  I went to eat dinner with a Japanese girl I met during my clubbing adventures. She is quite infatuated with Danish guy, and she used to live and work in Alberta, so I guess that’s our connection XD She’s really friendly and knows quite a lot of students in the school. We went to a really nice place in Tenjin called Tattoo. We didn’t order that much food, but I got some sort of caramel almond ice cream for dessert and oh my god.. that was soo good. There were lots of crispy sweet things inside it, and lots of caramel.. mmm… We did lots of girl talk mostly in Japanese, which was fun!! :D

Weds, Nov 26 - My American classmate, Danish guy, and German teen spent their last day in Fukuoka today, going to Tokyo for the next month. Well, all of them are returning to Fukuoka one date or another but they had a goodbye dinner. We went to Nanuk, because my classmate knew how much I am obsessed with Indian… Quite a lot of us went, and I ate so much.. hahaha.. ordered extra naan.. but it was a really nice time… I will hopefully meet up with those guys when I go to Tokyo!!

Thurs, Nov 27 - Umm… what did I do… I don’t remember! I think I went to eat omuraisu with H and then Starbucks afterwards. So… it was sort of a date? :D You know, I notice then whenever I speak English, the tables next to me automatically start talking about America or English or something to do with gaijin or foreign countries. It is natural for us to pick up conversations from surrounding tables and proceed on with that as a new topic. I do that all the time in Canada. But it’s especially noticeable in another country, because suddenly you hear words like 外人 and アメリカ drifting through the flow of Japanese conversation.

Downtown has been nearly complete as far as Christmas decorations go. During the past few weeks, actually, right after Halloween, I noticed at first, small pieces of lights being set up. Then day by day, more and more lights and decorations get put on. By now, most of downtown lights up in many colors at night. It’s a really pretty sight! They must spend so much on electricity… Calgary maybe has 20% the amount of Christmas lights in downtown as compared to here.
Fri, Nov 28-  We went for yakiniku/shabushabu today for a school event. By 6, it had begun to rain horrendously.. it was literally ザーザー雨. All our coats got drenched, even with umbrellas. The meal was alright, not terrific, but it was all-you-can-eat so I got pretty full. Well, I was handling the grill most of the time so I didn’t stuff myself as I would usually (which is a good thing). Afterwards we split up into half, one group went to bowling and the rest of us went to karaoke. We couldn’t stay there very long (2 hours) but I got to sing Within Temptation so it was YAY :D Afterwards everyone started to get grumpy (I blame the stupid weather). We went to Small Spaces but because of some group tension people kept splitting up… some of us went to Haze dance club after… but there were no people so it sort of sucked so we left… then by the time we got to Fubar I was also getting tired of it (there were only 5 of us) so I wanted to leave. Everyone else left but H and I opted to not spend a lot of money on taxi and go to an internet cafe instead.

I haven’t gone to an internet cafe during this trip yet. We stumbled into the Media Cafe Popeye in Tenjin at 2.30 in the morning. Surprisingly I could handle all the Japanese in my state. We got a private pair room for 5 hours… man… SO SUSPICIOUS!! XD I know people have sex there but it’s like they are made for it… seriously, what else would you do if you could order a private pair room for 5 hours…?? :P Rest assured we didn’t do anything but while H was sleeping and I was still awake I could really hear terrible noises all around me.. I feel sorry for the staff who have to clean everything! I couldn’t fall alseep in there, so I wasted my time there.. like watching Rite of Spring ballet on youtube and reading the news… when I typed, you could hear it clacking loudly across the whole space.. I was the only one using the room for what it was meant for!! :P   Aside from the media stuff, you can also use the suntanning booth (huh..?) and shower rooms for free. And there were drinks for free too (the lattes were nice). They provide towels and toothbrushes too, so I took advantage of that. I was too tired to watch dvds/get comics, but I think it would be nice if you were super bored to spend a day at an internet cafe.

We left at around 7 and I took the train back home. The dorm managers were already taking breakfast meals.. I said ‘ohayo gozaimasu’ and stumbled into bed.

The Days Pass..

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Tues, Nov 18 - Met up with Tommy, Canadian guy, and H to eat dinner at a Mexican restuarant. Before that, Tommy, H, and I went to wander around Tenjin Core because no one was really hungry yet. The Mexican restaurant was located near school, and delicious, but the servings were really small for the price, I thought. 2 small enchiladas were 700 yen! (without anything) :(

Weds, Nov 19 - The school had an outing for Ethiopian dinner. I didn’t really like Ethiopian when I tried it in Calgary, but this restaurant was much more delicious. I ate a lot… (other people couldn’t finish their servings so I was stuffing a lot of bread in my mouth). All the teachers seem to think Tom and I are a couple XD And one of them thinks Tom looks like a celebrity (but she still cannot think up of which one). It was his last night in Fukuoka, which was a big shame because we didn’t karaoke together and the weather really sucked the past few days. It was cold and wet most of the time. :(

Thurs, Nov 20 - Skipped morning classes because of… stuff the previous night. Went to Indian food with American classmate, a teacher, and H at a place called Zaeka. I honestly didn’t like it that much, but that really doesn’t matter when it comes to Indian food… I’ll eat it all regardless!!

Fri, Nov 21 - In class earlier that morning, P asked me to sing.  The day before, I started singing Phantom in the lounge at the insistence of my A. classmate and all the teachers were hiding in the corridor listening… HOW EMBARRASSING >_< I really didn't want to, but then A classmate promised me FOOD if I sang so I thought, what the heck, and warbled out a line. So after class, he came back with a box of really yummy cake (this lemon tart was sooo good) and mochi. Yayyy!!! Later that night, there was also a GenjiJACs party, and I requested taiyaki. The party was pretty tame, because most people were tired or still semi-sick, I think... A. classmate told me he couldn't get taiyaki because there wasn't any... but then, the sharemate of a student came and brought in a box!!! I was so happy :D

Afterwards, everyone went to Fubar... I was really not in the mood... so I went to Starbucks with H and went home with him early.

Sat Nov 22 - Woke up really late... had breakfast/lunch at cheap udon place with H at 1pm. Afterwards, met up with Japanese mixi guy friend. We went to Dazaifu, which I was really happy about, because everyone seems to have gone except me so far. It is about a half-hour train ride from Ijiri station. The train was super-crowded, and most people were heading to the Dazaifu temple also. The afternoon was nice, with the sun shining between clouds.

The path leading to the temple was really lively, with street vendors selling mochi cakes and temple-related goods. The atmosphere was really nice, and it was almost like walking in the local markets in China.

The temple was bustling with people, but I was able to get to pray to Tenjin-sama, the god of scholars/studying, and read my fortune (which wasn't that great). My friend bought me a good luck charm to study, which was so nice of him (though will it work? studying to me, is someone's own mental state that no one else but them can control.. but.. hopefully!)

We then went to the Kyushuu National Museum a few minutes walk from the temple. Since a few months ago, they have been holding an exhibition on Tenjin-sama, who was a real person named Sugawara no Michizana in the 9th century. We were able to see many of his writings, as well as multiple painted manuscripts of his life. It was really interesting, and amazing how preserved these texts are - the colors of the paintings are nearly perfect. We came to see this exhibit during it’s second-last week… so we missed the past 8 episodes of Sugawara’s life… apparently there are so many artifacts they have to rotate from week to week.

Afterward we went to visit a nearby temple and see the color of changing leaves (kouyou happens very late in Kyushuu, as it is the end of November already). Then we ate hot cake with macha at a nearby shop. We went back at around 5.30 because everything was closing down. He suggested a place in Yakuin station to go to, an Italian restaurant.

It was soooo yummy!! It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere but… soo good. Appetizer: spicy fried shrimp, peppers/olives, bean salad, dipped bread. Then tossed salad. Then seafood baked in cheese and garlic (scallop, mushrooms, fish, etc). Then sea urchin cream pasta with garlic bread. Then roast chicken with peppers/mustard. Then dessert: white chocolate tiramisu/ italian cheese dessert/fruit and sherbert. It was 3300 yen though… but worth the fancy dinner. There were only two cooks working, and as we sat by the counter, I could see them working nonstop as they made everyone’s meals in short order. I’m so grateful to know someone who knows all the really, really good restaurants in Fukuoka…

Sun, Nov 23 - Met up with H at noon today. I brought him to Fukoka Tower because he wanted to see the sea, and I wanted to see the view in the daytime. Somehow, we managed to get there by bus without any trouble. The afternoon was quite warm. We had lunch by the seaside at an Italian cafe. There, we accidentaly met up with a student (Scottish, and pretty new to the school) and a teacher, who were also sightseeing that day. I didn’t mind going up to the tower again, because the view was worth it. Also, when I was taking a picture, an older man tapped me on the shoulder and insisted on taking me and H’s picture together. I must’ve been looking flushed because he gave me a light slap and said ‘don’t be shy! hahaha!’ and then when he took our picture he shook our hands and said ‘i pray for you two’s happiness!!!!’ hahaha! I think he was joking the whole time and probably laughing at us, but the whole situation was quite funny in itself :)

We went back to Tenjin and wandered around the InCube store in Solaria Plaza a while. I’m sorely tempted to buy a keychain with the Ijiri station sign on it… or buy the Nimoca Nishitetsu mascot, a happy little mongoose. Maybe before I leave?

Went to dinner at Canal City, at the same Japanese restaurant I went to before I watched the Lion King. Their steak was sold out … but the teriyaki chicken was just as good, I guess!

So I guess the big news is that I went to a love hotel for the first time this weekend.

It was.. entirely too expensive… and altogether weird.

The reception was asking for point card… and I was thinking ‘point card??!!!’

What else was weird? They lock you in the room until you pay money through those air tube things!! There was a slot machine in the middle of the room (wtf!) There are over 300 channels of music to choose from! You can rent DVDs like Lord of the Rings! Ummm if it weren’t so expensive I would’ve explored a bit longer.. :P

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Friday Nov 14 - went out to karaoke (same place as we went to on halloween) with the school. It was fun!! I tried to sing ‘con te partito’ and failed badly on the verses. Don’t think I can practice in my thin-walled dormitory so.. well.. maybe I can sing it again someday.. haha… The best/worst song sung over the course of the evening was the last one, Lordi’s rock hallelujah or whatever it’s called.. After the 2.5 hour dinner/karaoke, we walked into a guy advertising his club so we all followed him to Haze, which is fairly new and that night was free for foreigners. It was totally empty but the place was set up reallly nice.. and the dance floor had all these nice lights/lasers/smoke machines. So it was a shame there weren’t more people there (we were there very early though). I think I’ve lost all my shyness in dancing by now haha because it was just me and two or three other people dancing on the stage for a while. I also got a really nice dessert toast there! After a few hours, we headed to Fubar (well, more than half the group left for home at this point, due to sickness or curfew). Nothing too exciting happened at Fubar… it was quite dead, actually, but I ended up leaving at 5am.

Sat, Nov 15- Planned to meet at 2.30 for Mixi guy friend. It was raining all day :( We went to check out a cafe that my hairstylist recommended, called Cafe Teco. We walked for maybe 15 minutes and finally he spotted it… I would have never.. it’s on a small street and the sign is sooo small. We walked in and the cafe was full of women hahaha! My friend was the only guy there… I had some chai tea and cake. Then we walked to a bookstore/cafe. He helped me with my keigo questions and recommended some books for me. We also looked at some books about Canada and I looked at things to see in Calgary. Wow.. there is nothing hahaha… We stayed there until 7 and then went to eat ramen :D Spent the rest of the evening with H.
Sun, Nov 16-  On Friday night a former student from Denmark, (he can be D!) invited me to go on a drive with him on Sunday. Five of us assembled at noon and we drove off to Itoshima Beach about 45 minutes away from downtown Fukuoka. The weather was still crappy but by the time we arrived to the beach it wasn’t raining. We ate lunch there and walked along the beach to take pictures. They have a shrine on an island several hundred meters from the shore and a torii right on the beach to frame it. It looked really nice! We then drove back and I had coffee with D and his Japanese friend before I left to go home. I really enjoyed the drive….first time for me in a Japanese car aside from a taxi! Ate dinner with H at the dorm and we attempted to study later that night.

Mon, Nov 17 - Tommy has arrived to Fukuoka!!!! We met up in Tenjin. Ate ramen with a bunch of guys from school and then went to ice cream place. Looked around a bit in the Imus building, including pets and musical scores. Then we attempted to go to Three Kings pub but it was closed so we ended up going to Broadway… my first time there but it was a pretty cozy place. It felt so natural to see Tommy there haha.. it’s like he was always just a few minutes away from Fukuoka, not like we’re meeting across the world!! Anyway, at Broadway, we met one of the new students’ room sharemate, and he revealed he used to be a host! My first time meeting one :o He was showing us magic tricks and all this stuff, no doubt remnants of his past? Hah hah hah… I hope Tom wasn’t too embarrassed/weirded out by everyone.. :O

A Week Past Again!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I’m really getting bad at updating!!! Let’s begin from Tuesday…

Tuesday: Had nothing special to do after class. Went with H and G4 to eat McDonalds (ohhhh the friesssss) and then went to Starbucks with H after. H taught me some Dutch but their ‘g’s are too hard for me :/ It was pretty late by the time we got back to the dorm but I attempted to study anyways.. and failed.
Wednesday: Couldn’t take it anymore! For breakfast I ran to the western cafe next to the school. I ordered a breakfast set that includes a boiled egg, salad, hot soup, thick toast, yogurt, and drink for 600 yen. It felt soooo good. I went to the gym after class. Then met up with some students again to go to the Izakaya right beside the school called TenTen. The inside is really nice (actually, to get in the building you need to cross a small drawbridge) with lots of rocks and water. The food was good enough, but most people had a cold (that they blame me for) so it wasn’t so loud and crazy as usual.  I was on the Internet until 3 and had to wake up at 6.30 (for laundry) so I was soooo tired..
Today: Was totally dead at school. All the teachers kept asking if I was okay and I would just stare at them blankly and say ‘daijoubu’. Hahaha. And to think at work I’m 100x worse! But I drank a huge cup of coffee near the end of the day and it got better. N and I left school at around 5 to get some dinner. We were walking in the basement of Tenjin Core and deciding whether to go back near the school to the cash machines (N ran out) but we reached a steak restaurant and N said with serious finality, “we’re eating here.” So we ate steak for dinner.. well.. as steaky as it can get here… it was 1000yen for a few slices of meat, two very thin slices of potatoe, with some carrots and onions. Agghh I want Alberta beef!!! After that we went to eat ice cream, which was quite satisfying! But very expensive… a parfait was nearly 700yen :(

We went home after that and decided to study in the cafeteria. It was super noisy with people eating dinner but Utaban was playing!! So I did some of my mock exam… but then got distracted with a phone call.. Then we went for a snack run at the conbini… yeah.. not sure that this test will get done soon…

Man… all I talk about is food :P

Internet Works Again…

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Internet was down again this week… arrgghh!!!

It’s been nearly a week since I posted!

I think I’ve forgotten a lot of what’s happened…

Nov 5 (Wednesday) - I went climbing with N and G4. G4 is not new but I do not remember naming him. He is actually one of the guys I had lunch with the first day I arrived at school. He is 16 years old and all Japanese teens fall on their knees for him hahaha) I passed all the level 1 climbs (light blue?) and reached the middle of next level (dark blue). The guys at the climbing center are really nice people and showed me around and explained stuff to me. It’s all bouldering so there is no belaying involved (yay!). It was a bit expensive though… around 1500 yen for a member’s fee, 1300 for each time you come, and 500 yen for rental shoes. 500 yen to go to and from the subway to Tenjin.

Nov 6 (Thurs) - Went to the gym with N. We ate Indian food at Sagar afterwards.

Nov 7 (Fri) - We had a school party held at GenkiJacs. It was quite fun! At first I didn’t talk to anyone and just sat in the corner because all the chairs were already taken but it easier as the party went on. Most of us headed off to Fubar afterwards.  This week I was wiser and didn’t get wasted :D A lot of funny things happened though… like… a deal was made that a male classmate kissed another male classmate… in turn I french-kissed a female friend… I think to all people who were there at the time… it was the funniest/most disturbing thing we ever saw (the male-kissing… because the kisser is an interesting character…) There was 3-way kissing (don’t recommend it.. it’s not practical), I think I promised someone I would get a tattoo with them in Tokyo… drunken ambling to McDonalds at 4 am and sitting in the rain waiting for the train to start at 5 am. So I got to do things I would never dare to back home. It’s so fun though… it makes me wonder how much I missed out when I was still a teenager… The American guy in my class says he has corrupted me hahaha… it’s kind of true XD

I forgot to mention that in ampm they are selling soy-based diet cookies. You’re supposed to eat a pack (150kcals per pack) as a meal replacement. They are rock-hard and not tasty and EXPENSIVE!!! One pack is 680 yen and you get 7 small hard round cookies in the pack. It does fill you up more than Calorie Mate but I don’t know who would spend the money on that!!!
Nov 8 (Sat) - Spent most of the day in bed. Took a mock test (2006). Got better than I expected because I practically flunked 2007!! Makes me worried…

Nov 9 (Sun) - Went wall-climbing with N, G4 and other Canadian. I only succeeded in 3 more walls. I’m stuck on dark-blue 8. GAHHH!! We went to Mandarake. Bought 2 Noano Bohra manga. Went to Mos Burger to have a coffee and then went home. I watched 2046 in boredom because the internet was down at the dorm again. Then N invited me to watch Flesh Gordon in his room (70’s porno parody of Flash Gordon).. oh my god it was funny!!!

Nov 10 - Monday - I think the whole school knows what happened on Friday night now hahaha. It’s amazing how rumor flies. After school, American guy, A, and D (fairly new Dutch guy who I was kissing) attempted to go to Zaekar, an Indian restaurant, but it was closed, so we ended up in Sagar (again). But any Indian food is good food so I enjoyed dinner!! We went to Starbucks afterwards (somehow stayed until 11 talking about random stuff) and then went back to the dorm… whereupon we discovered the Internet works!!! YAYS

Holy Crap Weekend….

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The Internet at the dorm had been declining in health since Friday… and then it just died until tonight when it was restored again… All of us living at the dorm were going crazy from lack of it…

But anyway! Where to begin! I had a really fun weekend! It was the first time in my life I ever got completely plastered (at 23, I’m quite a latebloomer, huh)!

On Saturday morning, N and I went to go shopping at Tenjin Core. Before that we had a nice western breakfast at a cafe in Shintenchou market. I bought 2 one-pieces (from Cecil McBee), 1 skirt, 1 top set, and a pair of boots. I also was tempted to buy a check scarf but it was a bit too expensive for a piece of cloth (1000 yen). I got a stamp card from Cecil McBee… if I collect enough stamps, then I will be able to join their real club… what a ripoff!!! Anyway, it was really fun since I never bought anything the past two times I’ve been tehre! And I’m so proud of my boots… my mom always told me I would never find good shoes in Japan but I am only a size medium here! And the boots are very comfortable, more comfortable than my current ankle boots!

In the evening we met up with a few other students to go to the Halloween party. We ended up at a karaoke party place. It was kind of weird and uncomfortable at first… there was this crazy Japanese staff guy in costume… he was freaky… he was in some sort of rocker makeup… and kept laughing and talking to himself and playing with his fake guitar… I think all people there were kind of scared… Anyway, one by one, other people started to trickle into the karaoke party room. There were several Japanese people, who are apparently part of some cultural exchange club. Also some foreigners… no idea where they come from. I did talk to one Londoner though, and he is a JET teacher (who used to be an electrical engineer as well!!!)

As people started drinking it got a lot less rigid! The Japanese people certainly loosened up. When I sang Moriyama Naotarou’s ‘Sakura’ for karaoke, all the Japanese seemed very happy and sang along. They complimented me on my singing (quite unwarranted but it felt very nice hearing it from the karaoke masters). My American classmate urged me to sing Phantom… but I couldn’t get the last note.. :(

So I think I drank about 4-5 beers there and a cocktail. I also met a very nice girl who told me she wanted to study in Canada next year. She was debating between Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto.. so we’ll see if we keep in touch!

Two hours later, we went to a bar (the crazy one I know now is called Mocha Java) and I drank some tequila shots there… I started talking to a French girl who also goes to our school. She apparently worked/modeled at Maxicimam for a year in Tokyo!! That’s so awesome… They literally just handed her the job… I’m so jealous :P

Then we went to a club called Fubar, one of the more popular ones among foreigners. I drank two more drinks.. including one called Kamikaze… Let’s say I remember dancing and then my memory got totally wiped out. I was puking and passed out shortly after… YEP! TERRIFIC! But I’m so grateful because a lot of people took care of me (especially G2 and N… I don’t know how they are not mad at me… they carried me home and took me to my room somehow). As far as I remember though… the night was really fun hahahahaa… and they say I’m a really happy drunk :D I just remember dancing and then waking up in my room.
On Sunday I felt.. super tired… but I promised to go meet the guy I met from Mixi last week, so I somehow dragged myself out of bed to meet at Tenjin in the early evening. I told him that I was still a bit drunk (he’s like ヤバい!! hahaa). We took a short bus ride to a motsu-nabe restaurant. It was a reallllyyyy nice place! We got a tatami floor room and I got to try liver sashimi (it’s better raw than cooked!) and the motsu-nabe (which is pig intestines with other vegetables and stuff). It’s really good and really filling… it’s a Fukuoka specialty as well. The guy wouldn’t let me pay half though… also when the bill arrived there was a origami heart with 10 yen inside, which was what he allowed me to pay for lunch last week ( he has skills… all guys reading this… take note! hahahaha!)

We then took a bus to Fukuoka Tower, which I wanted to go to (do all cities have a Tower?!). It is the second largest tower in Japan, after Tokyo Tower. It is really beautiful at night. It is also a popular place to get married. After looking around the cityscape, we went to the cafe downstairs a bit. Then we went to Momoji beach (finally!! I visited!) a bit. There were still people lying around the area. Then we went back to Tenjin and he took me to a fancy lounge. He kept joking and mentioning alcohol (I groaned at every mention) but he asked the waiter to make me a cocktail without alcohol and recommended the cheesecake to me (sooo… goood….).

So, I had a really good time Sunday^^

On Monday, as it was national holiday (Cultural Day), there was no school. I felt super tired. I had lunch with N and then shut myself in the dorm. I managed to study a bit, which was easier with the Internet not working. I went through a sample listening test…Did better than expected but I need to improve it much more… because I foresee vocabulary and reading definitely pulling me down…

Today, Tuesday, was a normal day. P and I have graduated to Grammar/Conversation 5 so we received new textbooks, which are quite nice. For dinner, A, N, H (new guy from Holland), and I went to eat omelette rice! And now… I am supposed to study but my Internet is finally back and I’m looking at the election….

The Lion King / Back Murder

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Last night G2 and I went to Canal City to see the Lion King show. The 6000th Japan performance! For that, all guests were given a pop-up card and a Lion King keychain, which was pretty spiffy. We were seated in row M in the floor so we had a really nice view of the stage. The performance itself was all in Japanese, and Timone and Pumba made the audience happy with their Hakata-ben speech. Good show! When it was over, there was a special encore to commemorate the performance, and I think we spent forever in the cheering/encoring/bowing cycle.

Things we noticed that were weird:

- The audience claps after every song, almost. And as soon as something happy with a beat seems to happen, they start clapping to the beat. Hahaha. I wonder if they also do this in musical concerts, since it’s a huge no-no for westerners

- Female audience members were squealing when Simba/Mufasa/Scar were walking down the aisles… the girls next to me were waving with hands outstretched “MUFASA-SAMAAA!!!!”

I was supposed to do a sample JPLT test for Friday so in the early hours of the morning I circled random answers and promptly fell asleep.

So today, I had the test checked and wow… I suck… I got 50% on grammar/reading comprehension and 70% on kanji/vocab. P got 10% higher than me.. hahaha… I need to really put my mind to this… it’s so hard >_<

So, a few days ago, N and I decided to get massages. I have never, ever gotten one before, and I wanted to try it out; several places were advertising in Shintencho market (a sort of strip mall on the way to school). We got led upstairs to the salon; I picked the aromatherapy course, which was 3900 yen for half hour (expensive, huh?) I stripped and waited for the masseuse to come in.

OH MY GOD IT WAS SO PAINFUL!!! My worst fears came true… My back is very sensitive and I’m quite ticklish. Especially my right shoulder and back, where I carry my messenger bag. It alternated between ticklish and extreme pain so I was twisting around and biting my lip so I wouldn’t laugh. She kept asking me if I was okay.. I gritted my teeth and muttered “daijoubu” but ouchhh… In the end she was like “… you need to come again… too many knots”.  Umm… hahha… so… massages aren’t supposed to be like this, right? I couldn’t make myself relax at all and as I’m typing my back and neck are in worse pain… on the other hand, N said he was super relaxed now. But, they complimented me on my Japanese and gave me fruit tea in the end :D

For dinner, the students went to a fry-your-own-tempura place. The set we got came with around 8 different tempura skewers. It wasn’t a lot of food at all, but the process of battering and then frying each set took two hours. But it was neat! My American classmate bought mini oreos for us to tempura. I then went to Morris Pub, had a drink, and then karaoke for 2 hours before the last train.

I saw random people dressed up in “costumes”, if you call wearing a witch hat or a cape a costume. There’s Halloween parties in most bars/clubs tonight, I think. I’m going to one tomorrow, which hopefully will be better than what I’m envisioning at the moment…

No Excitement Yet

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The girl living beside me… I complain about her on Facebook, but she’s so annoying. She blasts bass-heavy music day and night. I wouldn’t mind so much if the beat were slow but it’s super fast techno so it’s literally a drill going into your head. To add to that, at school, they are doing construction downstairs so the whole day is drowned out by the sound of the drill (by the way, the workers don’t wear ear protection; they’re going to be very deaf if they aren’t already).

I wrote a sort of letter of concern to GenkiJACS telling them the pace of the courses was really not up to snuff for someone taking a JPLT. They’re still not going to change the grammar/conversation classes, but at least now the homework has been upped and we’re getting past exams to work on, which makes me a bit happier!

So I think I definitely got something when I came back from Nagasaki. I was feeling very miserable yesterday with a huge headache. I feel a bit happier today but still headache (maybe it’s from the stupid music).

Today I went to the gym. On the way there, I was stopped by one of those ad people again (for makeovers). She asked me if I was a student and I said no… then she looked at all the huge bags I was carrying and asked if I was a cameraman… and then I said I was a foreign student. “Oh, but you are speaking with me!!”  And then so on and so forth.
I think one of the good things about being asian is that I can blend in, especially if I copy their mannerisms (eg handbag carried on forearm) and thus people can easily talk to me (ok.. so they are mostly just people trying to sell things). On the other hand, it really sucks because no one is interested in me when they can flirt/hang out with white European/American students, especially if they are male (Japanese girls can be very rabid… I worry about how they will behave when they see Brandur).

Anyway, after the gym, I met up with G2 to eat ramen at Ichiran. Mmmmmm! Afterwards G2 wanted beer but I wanted ice cream… after wandering around a bit and debating over choices, we ended up going to 7/11, buying beer/ice cream and going to the park next to the train station, which was quite pleasant.

I tried to limit myself to calorie mates today but instead I ate a lot of other crap, including dorm breakfast and a small onigiri for lunch. I have discovered that I like the action of eating, regardless of how full/hungry I am. So even if the calorie mate fills me up, I still want to chew something. AGGHHH!!! Ok… let’s try again tomorrow… no breakfast… rice breakfast is evil…