Friday, April 29, 2005

Punk rock Nagasaki

So last night I went to my first concert ever...... a punk rock concert in Nagasaki!!! I loved it! As a musican I am always interested in seeing how other musicans performed and i have to say these guys rocked it hard! anyway here is a run down of the day.

So I was talking with my friend at school and when I told her I was a muso she said "oh my brother is the lead guitarist/singer of a band and they do concerts quite alot, you should come along some time". So I took her up on the offer and straight after school we headed for Nagasaki to rock it out all night lol.

We met at the train station, bought our tickets (note: a train ticket in japan is an absolute rip off! for me to go to nagasaki and back cost ¥1450, this is about $16-18 AUD). The train was pretty packed but eventually we got a seat. Sitting across from us were two ladies who were very suprised when they saw a gaijin (foreigner) sitting across from them. They started talking with us e.g. where am I from, where am I staying in Japan, do I like it etc. These two ladies ended up being the funniest people I have come across in public. They were asking my friend wether she had a boyfriend, and then saying "oh you don't have a boyfriend? take jieshi he is a perfect catch" and then they were asking what I am like and if all the girls love me so my friend replies "oh he is a perfect gentleman and he is very popular with all the girls at school lol" so I was going a bit red in the face lol. The ladies had to get off the train, but they exchanged phone numbers with my friend because they are from our town and want to meet for lunch at some point in time.

We then got to trek half way across nagasaki city by tram (its so cool, we don't have trams in Sydney and to think I am catching one in Japan of all places lol). We made it to the concert (10 minutes late... damn) in time to see my friends brothers band, they were excellent. The band is called Original strike. I would have posted a pic of them but there isn't any so here is their website:
After about 3 songs original strike finished their set and it was time for the main act, CHARCOAL FILTER.

I have to say once again, these guys are way cool! I took tips last night on how they work a crowd and peform because they were really awesome. I was the only gaijin at the concert, so the band thought it was really cool when I started jumping around and doing the actions with everyone ( they all gave me looks and nods of approval). There were a few things I found really funny the bass guitarist kept puckering his lips up while playing and then he would do it to all the girls in the crowd as well lol (you can see it in the photo above) and there were these two music executives from the record company standing next to me up the back. It was really funny because eveyone else was dressed really casually (punk rock style) and these two guys are dressed in expensive business suites, arms crossed, stern faced just watching the band, you could tell it was business for them.

The concert finished and we headed back home. On the way back I saw something that you would never see happen in Australia. We were standing at the carriage door on the train, a guy got on at a station and he dropped his glass down the gap between the platform and the train. He is like "oh no" so he runs to the front of the train and tells the driver and then the driver and him run and get the station master to work out what to do. The train driver goes "oh hold on I will move the train so you can get your glasses", he announces it on the speaker, moves the train and the guy gets his glasses and gets on the train. Our train was delayed by 5 minutes because of this. Not that I am complaining, I was very surprised at the kindness and generosity of of everybody to get one mans glasses.

all in all a fantastic day, would love to do it again,


Monday, April 25, 2005

kendo on the brain

hello readers and welcome to another update. So I started kendo at school about two weeks ago and let me say this, I am really sore!!! Kendo is hard work, but it is definitely worth the effort.

here is a typical week in my kendo training life (life? I have no life now because of kendo).

We train 7 days a week!!! on mondays through friday we train from 4pm (after school) to 7pm at night (then I have to ride my bike home so I don't get home until about 8pm)
On weekends the hours change a bit but last saturday we started at 8:30am and finished at 5:30pm (I just wanted to go home, for goodness sake it's saturday we shouldn't be at school lol)

Anyway then most days of the week we go for a 3km run before we start practicing, and sometimes we do weight training. The actual sessions are pretty intense, it requires all of your strength because you have scream a warcry for most of the lesson and we also wear armour which is relatively heavy (especially the helmet) and you run around hitting each other with sticks and screaming.

While I make kendo sound really dodgey, I will give it this. Never before have my muscles toned up so quickly, no one in Australia is going to recognize me pyschically by the time I come back, and also my closest friends (both boys and girls) all come from kendo club. We are a team, we train together, we take classes together, we spend most of our lives together, thank goodness we don't live together or I think we would murder each other lol.


Friday, April 22, 2005

the big, big update

ok so I've been a jackass and let the blog slip away from me again....... but I have good reasoning!!!

So let the big blog update begin.

They day I posted about the mobile phone we went to visit relatives. Little did I know we were also going to visit a hotspring town called Obama. Let me say this, aaaahh way cool!!! It looked like a movie driving into town because there were big plumes of smoke coming up from underneath the road (the hotspring is obviously very hot). We arrived at the Ryokyan (japanese style inn) where I was taken to my own private bath on the roof outside. Now while this sounds sort of cool, let me note this, this bath was large enough to fit at least 10 people in, and I had it all to myself!!!!!!!!!

for the next week I was nailed with what the doctor calls acute bronchitis. Let me tell you about some hospital horror.
Now I know that most men like a cute nurse, or doctor. Well I managed to get the cute doctor when my host mum went "Oh my god your sick, right we are going to the hospital" (note: this would never happen in Australia).
This doctor was very cute, very kind (yes the doctor was a woman!!!) and couldn't speak a word of english lol. She asked me to come back the next day for testing to see if I have the flu or just a bad cold. We come the next day for the test, and I had the same cute doctor again. Never again will I trust another cute doctor!!!!!!!!!
The doctor goes on to tell me "ok I'm going to do the test, this might hurt a little bit" she proceeds to pull out a cotton bud, now I'm sitting there going "what are you going to do with that??" then she says "tilt your head back" and I realise the cotton bud is about 10cm long!!!!!
The cotton bud is shoved up my nose!!!!!!!!!!!! and to the back of my throat! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH THE PAIN IN MY EYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Never have I experienced such pain, and never will I let a cute doctor near me with a cotton bud.
20 minutes later, "guess what??? you don't have the flu".
Then one of the nurses comes and says to me in Japanese "hey you know that cute doctor in there? she's single, maybe you should go ask her out"
hello, this doctor has just stuck a 10cm long cotton bud up my nose.... and you want me to ask her out????? I then asked how old she is "oh she is 27" hello????? ten year age difference!!

Let me take a moment to make a side note.. Japanese women have had a thing for coming up to me and telling me that a cute girl is single. Now it's nice that they think I am cute enough to ask the cute girl out, but the cute girls they want me to ask are always in their 20's!!!!!!!!
I wonder if these women have signs attached to their foreheads that say "hello I am in my 20's and now I am really deseperate for a boyfriend so if you see a cute boy please tell him to ask me out".

ok so I started school. what is school like? hehe like being Brad Pitt at the premier of his new movie!!! Girls everywhere scream your name (literally, I walked into a music class of 40 girls the other day and they all screamed "jieshi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and were all saying "oh sit next to me, oh please sit next to me" lol) and there is a whispering wind that follows me around the school lol. Question I have been asked most..... "jieshi do you have a girlfriend?" when I reply no what do they do? Jump up and down in front of me screaming yaaaaayy in japanese.

ok so thats my relatively big update more to come when I have time (school is such a hectic schedule its not funny),


Saturday, April 09, 2005

How to make an Australian exchange student grumpy

Want to make an exchange student angry?? Just make buying a mobile phone complicated.

This is exactly what happened to me today, and I didn't end up buying the phone either.

To start off, my host mother took me to the electronics store to buy my keitai (mobile) which I have been waiting a while to buy. We get there and there isn't a sales assistant for AU (the mobile company I'm buying the phone off) so the nice man from the electronics store gets the sales rep for STUPID VODAFONE (well vodafone isn't stupid because I use it in Australia) TO SELL ME THE PHONE! Now lets just stop and think about this for a second... the sales rep works for vodafone and is trying to sell me a phone from the opposition... does that make sense??
So now we also have to think "ummm seeing as she works for vodafone and not AU does that mean she probably knows nothing about AU??" "ding, ding, ding congratulations you just won yourself $1 Million dollars"

So the sales rep continues to pull the brochure out and browse through it trying to work out what I need to do to buy the phone (at this point in time I know more about buying the phone then she did. Please not I have nothing against women sales rep's because I know for a fact men sales rep's are alot more stupid 99% of the time) Finally she finds the section and starts trying to explain everything to my host mum. This is made even harder by my host mum trying to translate to me in english because right now my japanese is, well sort of crap.

We then found out I needed my alien registration card (stupid me forgot that I need it, and I won't have it until monday) so that cleared things up a little.... until the sales rep decided she wanted to take a totally different set of protocol and try to say that my host family aren't good enough as a signatory on my account and that my australian parents have to sign it. Who does she ring to back her up? the AU hot line! So of course AU are going to tell her my australian parents need to sign (this has never been the case for anyone else) AU hotline are going to be legalistic (hello this is japan) and she works for vodafone so of course they will make it harder for her (don't ask me why just a feeling I had lol)

anyway everything is going to be different next time I go back to buy a phone lol.

moral of this story... don't get a vodafone sales rep to try and sell you an AU phone lol,


Friday, April 08, 2005

mote mote

Mote Mote: A man that is very popular among women.
Japanese dictionary example: A man who is popular among bar hostesses (some how I think this isn't quite right)

Did I feel like a Mote Mote after attending school for the first time today?? HELL YES!!!!!! LOL

Ok so today was the first day of school.... damn it is fun!! lol I feel very popular (seeing as I am the only white teenager in any sort of school in a radius of at least 50km's) I had the best time (even if I was only there for 1 hour)

My class is huge. 42 people, my class in Australia (actually my whole year) was only 21 people!
Hehe and the girls are cute!!!!! lol ok I'm going to shut up about the girls. The school is amazing and the cherry blossoms are currently in bloom so everything looks amazing.

All in all it was a fantastic hour but i will give you more funny stories from the proper first day which will be monday.

until then,

Thursday, April 07, 2005

little things

a few things I have currently learnt in Japan:

1. I can't call caroline ca-chan- this came about when I was talking to my host mother and I said "oh yes my best friend ca-chan...." my host mother then replies "oh so are you going to marry her?" and I'm like "umm no, we aren't even going out, she has a boyfriend in Australia lol" my host mum then says "oh ok, I just thought you might because some japanese men call their wives ka-chan" (ca and ka are pronounced the same in Japanese) and I'm like "are you serious??? I so did not know that" (side note- when caroline reads this, the blog will suddenly end along with my life lol)

2. It takes alot of teachers to make a small decision- I went to my highschool the other day for an introductory meeting with the vice principal. I don't think you can call a vice principal a vice principal when she walks in with an entourage of 6 people!!!! In this meeting we had the vice principal, the vice vice principal (I didn't know there was such a thing),my home room teacher, ny vice home room teacher (I didn't know you could have a vice home room teacher), the head of secondary form teachers and 2 or 3 other men who were important as well, but I didn't catch their positions.

3. Japanese people love their comedians- The Japanese love comedians! In Australia comedians are nowhere near as big as they are here in Japan. One of the first questions I have been asked on numerous occassions is "who is your favourite japanese comedian?" at first I didn't know but now I do. He is a man after my own heart because he plays guitar, and he is a samurai..... Yoku Hata (A.K.A guitar samurai)

4. If your white and live in a small town funny things happen- Yes thats right my friends, If you live in a town of 89,000 people (which might I add is 43.4% single women according to statistics lol) and you are the only teenage foreigner things happen (it's even cooler because everyone thinks I am 21 lol). Some examples of this are people almost crashing their cars when they see you riding your bike lol.. no seriously the amount of people who have almost crashed their cars when they see me is unbelievable lol. Also you get lots of girls "checking you out" or more just sneeking a peek and giggling lol. lots of other funny things have happened but i can't remember all of them (too many to remember)

well thats it for my section "little things" more posts to come later,


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

AFS: Another Fat Student

ok so I have been realy, really, really lazy and haven't updated my blog when so much has been happening. This entry is more so that I don't feel guilty about not blogging so I will try to get you up to speed as quickly as possible and then everything will return to normal again.

Ok camp finished and we said goodbye to everyone. I found it pretty upsetting saying goodbye to caroline (even if I didn't show it) because she has been my best friend for the last year and we've been through alot together. It sort of sucks because me and her have had pretty much no contact with each other the past few weeks so if you ask me it sort of stinks. (just noticed she left a comment so note to caroline.... I don't mean it in an offensive way lol I just, well... miss you lol)

So my host dad left the other day which was pretty sad. the upside of it is that I have been given a second host family to help my host mum with the burden of me (doesn't sound very nice does it lol?) they are really cool as well. I now have a sister who is my age and a brother who is a bit younger I think. They have been fantastic I have been sleeping at their house and they have been taking me out for dinner everywhere, I love it.

On the weekend I went temple hopping (photo taking of temples and castles, shrines etc) so i will post photos later. Also went to fukuoka which was way cool, that city is really really huge!!!

Today I went to my new school for a meeting with the vice principal. The vice principal had an entourage of 6 people!!! by the way Australian students, if you even consider australian schools/ teachers to be strict, then baby you ain't seen nothing yet!!!! lol these are not teachers you want to tangle with lol.

anyway thats a moderated version of the story so far, lots more to come,