Saturday, May 28, 2005

DJ Jieshi ruling the airwaves

It is now offical, I am a radio DJ for my schools radio broadcasting club. Every lunch time i will help rule the airwaves of the classrooms in my school. I am pretty excited because this is a really good oppurtunity to learn alot of things like sound mixing, voice overs etc.
Obviously my japanese ins't quite up to scratch so I won't be on the airways straight away, but I will be able to get a pretty good feel for how everything works.

Who knows maybe once I get on the broadcast, I can get a recording and post it on the blog?

Until then stay tuned to DJ Jieshi.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sex Education, Japanese style.

Today I had the best class I have ever sat through at school, sex education. Now right now you are probably reading this thinking "This guy has a dirty mind, he really has a screw loose in his head posting that his favourite class is sex education" let me dispell this myth for you. Yes I may be a teenage boy but sex education isn't my favourite class because it is about sex (though I am sure it is for many teenage boys), it is my favourite class because sex is such a taboo, closed topic here in Japan, and the way a sex ed class is run is enough to make you wet yourself laughing.

Now the first thing I will make major note of is that this class was a uni-sex sex education class, what the? (no there isn't meant to be a swear word after "the") Never in Australia, America (or anywhere else in the world??) would you find a uni-sex sex education classes.

Lol so My story begins with me sitting next to my best friend looking at the text book when it hits me that we are looking at diagrams of the male and female reproductive systems. I turn and whisper to my friend (remember there are more ladies than men present in this class) "oy kore wa sekisu o benkyo?" (hey is this sex education?), he starts looking really worried, waving his hand in front of his face saying "oh no no no no, sekisu o benkyo kunai" ( oh no no no no this isn't sex education) So I point to the picture of a baby of on the page and say "akachan o benkyo?"(is this baby study?" "Hai, akachan o benkyo" (yes this is study about how babies are made)
So then I say to him "ahhhh, akachan o benkyo equals sekisu o benkyo" (ahhh baby study equals sex education...)
His face turns white, and he get this look that states "OMG BABIES COME FROM HAVING SEX?? PLEASE SAY IT ISN'T SO!!"

The boys really provided some entertainment for me in that class, the looks that would creep across their faces when they had realizations about certain facts of life were enough to make me have to stifle alot of laughing.
By about this time our teacher decided it was time to put a video on, "A Japanese sex ed tape? This I have to see lol". The video starts and we are greeted by two Japanese men wearing suits and ties, sitting in an 80's (yes the video was from the 80's) style interview setting, with a diagram of the reproductive systems sitting between them. These two men actually interviewed each other about how a baby is made, and the process wasn't "well, when a mummy and daddy love each other etc." no it was the deep, deep, deep scientific process. The video starts to show a camera inside the womb, basically we were shown the intricate 9 month process of a baby forming, voiced over by these two men.

So now I have learnt Japanese style how a baby comes into this world, as told by two 50-60 year old Japanese men.......... wearing business suits.
What will they think of next?


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Testy Teachers

Teachers, we love them, we hate them, we can't make our minds up about them. Lately I have been starting to notice alot of the quirks the teachers at my school have so I have decided that I am going to start a monthly column called "testy teachers" which is going to profile the absurd things these teachers do. Sometimes it will be a profile on a single teacher and other times it will be a collection of weirdness from over the last month. So I am going to start gathering my resources (I already have some goodies) to make for some interesting reads. Watch this space (not literally), "testy teachers" coming to a Jesses Japan near you!!


Friday, May 20, 2005

E.T Sessions

On Friday I attended "E.T. Sessions" a 3 hour long jazz concert. "E.T. Sessions" was the name of the band that was actually playing, they were really good! As Jazz is really based around improvisation they did alot of well,.... improvisation lol. Otherwise they were mainly a covers band doing songs by the likes of Duke wellington, Louis Armstrong and other Jazz greats (I think they even did some B.B King and he isn't even Jazz, he is blues!!!)

Now what made this concert really interesting wasn't just the band, but the venue. The venue was a 200+ year old Sake brewery (Sake is the the tradtional alcohol of Japan). The tables were made from the lids that they would put over the huge vats, and our seats were retro sake beer crates and slats of wood, looked really cool but by the end of the night everyone had really sore bums!!

The band were all japanese except for the singer, who was a black american (If I used the wrong term just then please forgive me) by the name of Cleeve Douglas, one of the best live singers I have heard in a long time. All in all, it was really fun and the experience heightened my love of jazz music............. except for the 15 minute drum solo!


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ladies (and gentlemen) of the

In this world alot of people have dirty secrets, and it seems that my schools dirty secret comes in the form of a night school. Not many of the students at my school know much about it and it is kept pretty hush hush.

Schools in Japan are alot stricter than schools in Australia. If the school finds out you have been sleeping around, taking drugs, or doing any other delinquent activity the school can take it upon themselves to kick you out. But it seems in my school's case they usher you into the "night school".

These are the delinquent students that school and community want to deny ever existed. Over the last few nights when I have been leaving school I have seen the night school students alot. The uniform is the same, but it seems every individual has significantly modified their uniform. The girls wear ummmm, lets just say "extra" mini skirts, untucked shirts with lots of buttons undone and vests. The boys have seriously permed hair which is dyed blonde, and have chains and lots of other accesories hanging off their person. One thing I have noticed is that the girls are slightly wild, they are party animals! On top of not only wearing a sexed up uniform, they ride vespa motor scooters as well! They may also be some of the cutest looking girls around, but I think by now you are getting the idea these girls are slightly dangerous, the women your mother warned you about, or as described to me by one friend "if you date one of those girls you are playing with fire"

The boys look like a little bit of trouble as well, but you see the girls alot more than the boys, it seems the boys perfer to keep a low profile.

If I find anything else out about night school I will be sure to post it!


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Daily routine of an exchange student

So I thought it was about time to actually tell you what a "normal" day (though I think as an exchange student it isn't possible to have one) is.

6am- wake up- The morning routine is the same where ever you are in the world (though in Japan we shower at night) get dressed, eat breakfast, make yourself look beautiful. If you think waking up at 6am is bad, feel sorry for my host mum who wakes up at 5am to cook lunch for my whole family (oh and she cooks breakfast as well)

7:30am- I am out the door for an always interesting ride to school (e.g. old men with blue hair) I think the ride is about 6-7 km long.

8am-4pm- Classes, socialising, japanese study, always an interesting day. Classes include japanese, japanese history, PE, Music, English, Science.

4-7pm- Kendo training- 3hours of intensetraining, I am getting really fit!

8pm- arrive home, it has been a long day!

so that is my day in a nutshell

It's a fine day

So today the weather has managed to clear up. It really is quite amazing, the weather here just changes in an instant. Anyway last night I stayed up until midnight talking with my host mum and managed to sleep through my alarm this morning. I woke to the sound of "Mr Brightside" by The Killers (the song is my ringtone on my phone, oh and they are a really cool band from Las Vegas), it was my host mum calling to tell me she had woken up late too! She had to run off and drop my sister at school so she had to give me money for lunch, oh how sad....... ahhh JACKPOT BABY!!!!! You see my school canteen sells "breads" for lunch. Let me take a second to explain about "breads" and Japanese Bakeries.

Japanese Bakeries aren't like the Bakeries you would find in Australia (or the U.S. from what I have been told). Japanese Bakeries are always gourmet and they are dirt cheap, so when somebody says "oh we are going to have breads for lunch" in Japan, get excited because it is always going to taste delicious, look great and be really fattening (though with the amount of excercise I do here, I can eat anything! lol) I should probably take some photo's of the "breads" so you can get an idea of the yummy things I get to eat.

So I got out of bed and stumbled down the stairs with ten minutes to get ready. 15 minutes later it dawned on me that I was currently on a bike in the middle of Japan...asleep, lol I was really tired. Still riding to school I passed a man on a bike and he was staring at me like I was from another planet. Normally I wouldn't be bothered by this but the fact was he looked more like an alien than me, he was a Japanese man in his 50's and he had blue hair....... can I get a witness??

The rest of the day went according to a normal day, nothing really to talk about.

More updates to come,


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Typhoon alert

I have now decided that I am going to start issuing my own typhoon warnings (though it isn't really a warning when you find out 12 hours later, so scrap that idea). Right now (when I wrote this) I am sitting in my classroom, looking out the window, looking and listening to the natural chaos that currently surrounds me. I am not sure what it takes to declare a Typhoon or major storm warning in Japan, but the current condition of the weather would have caused major news warnings in Sydney. The wind right now is so strong, I have seen people losing umbrella's all morning in their heroic battles with the weather to try and get to school or their places of business. Lol currently the window next to me is whistling a very nice tune, only problem is that the window is securely shut, so the window being forced in towards me by the wind isn't making me feel to comfortable. I am preparing myself to see Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz go flying by the window. The rain is unbelievable, each drop is the size of a mintie (a lolly, sorry couldn't think of anything else to compare it with lol) basically this is not weather to go for a sunday stroll in.

I have had the last few days off school due to exams, so today so far has been very interesting watching how the students react to their exam marks. Apparently nobody has done very well, but I have heard it said that if you are scoring 40% on a Japanese exam paper, you can easily nail an American or Australian test paper to the wall with a 90% +. One strange thing they do here is the exam marks are placed out on the main noticeboard where everybody can see, so if you failed miserably... everyone will know your dirty secret!!!! lol
The reactions have been pretty similar from everyone, I saw a few girls crying about their marks, but most people just laugh at themselves and their friends, and go "oh no!.

Not much more to it,


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Welcome party

So Today was a day of partying, and eating, and merryment, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (yeah from eating so much food lol). Today was the what we like to call an AFS welcome party, and what a welcome it was!!

The day started off with me rising early to eat a quick breakfast, shave, moisturise and make myself look beautiful (hehe what a premadonna!! lol). My host family and I set out to arrive at our destination at 10 am to help set everything up, this was going to be a big party (60 people baby!!). The weather was already warming up, and I was truly starting to feel the heat ( I was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, long pants, with my cuff buttons done up and my shirt tucked in, I really felt the heat)

by 12pm everybody was arriving, exchange students, friends of exchange students, families, my english teacher from school lol. I had my best friend shyouta come along, some humour was provided when I said to him "oh our english teacher is coming today" he instantly hit his head with his hand going "noooooooo!!!!!!" and I said to him "whats wrong?" and he said "tomorrow is the half early english examination and I am meant to be at home studying" lol. There was a thick tension in the air as our english teacher walked up to my friend, patted him on the shoulder and simply said "good luck....".

The party started, I was really happy to be united with my exchange friends, especially the two I am closest with Sophia from Australia and Marjo from Finland. The food and drink started coming hard and fast, with excited conversations sparking everywhere, 45 minutes later the food was still coming but it wasn't dissappearing the way it had at first, we all had bloated stomachs lol from eating so much.

By now everybody was ready for some entertainment, so my guitar was taken from its case, plugged into the guitar amp and I performed, though I have to say it is one of the worst performances I feel I have ever given, by now the sun was blistering hot, I was sweating and the pick was slipping from my fingers which in turn means you can't strum properly..... TOO BAD!
We started to play a game, you get a stick, you get a blind fold, you get spun around and then you try to crack a watermelon open! Pinyata, but it is wet, sticky and sweet! Kendo training did not help here, I managed to miss the watermelon both times! (geez and I am meant to have the best teacher in Nagasaki?)

I started to mingle a little with everyone, and I don't know how I did it but I managed to end up sitting and talking with the head doctor of the Nagasaki doctors association and other high ranking doctors? crazy. I really don't know how I did it.

It was an awesome day, I went home feeling 5kgs heavier! too much food!


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Space world photo's

space world gang
I feel..... Spacey???

family and vicky rabbit
The rabbit was umm happy to see me. Can't you tell?

family and one piece
This is a cool anime movie

early morning risers
We are one (big) happy family

I didn't take to many pictures of space world, because it was reall hot and i didn't feel like it

Friday, May 13, 2005

Police record

I don't exactly know how to say this, so I am just going to say it. On thursday night I was taken into custody by the Japanese police for questioning in regards to a robbery that happened the week before. $4000 dollars was stolen and an employee of the shop was badly beaten. So unfortunately I have managed to get myself a japanese police record......... lol just kidding I am only in the investigation report lol and I was only stopped for 5 minutes on the road with my friend from school lol. I ride home from school at 9pm on a thursday every week so the police asked me and my friend if we had seen anything to do with the robbery and I had so they had a nice little look at my gaijin registration card and took my details down. It was really funny because my friend was totally freaking out that the police had stopped us and I was really cool about it (she was japanese she didn't ahve anything to worry about lol, I'm the foreigner)

Also what made it funnier was that just before the police stopped us I was thinking "damn nothing interesting has happened this week, so I can't post on my blog". Morale of this story, be careful what you wish for lol


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Japan Quirks (A.K.A little things 2)

yes it's time for little things 2, the little quirks and funny things I notice in my daily life here in japan.

1.Purikura- Japanese teenagers seem to love purikura, or photo stickers. It is such a huge trend here to go to these massive photo booths, pay $4, have about 6 photos taken of you and your friends and then you decorate the photos on a computer screen (backgrounds, love hearts, writing etc) and then the machine prints the photos out (they are about the size of a 5 cent coin) and then you cut them out and give them to your friends. Lol my diary has a two page collection in the back of it at the moment, funny thing is there doesn't seem to be many guys in there lol (all these random girls keep running up to me at school giving me the photos lol)

2. My music teacher- I love this music teacher. He reminds of my music teacher back home, with a few exceptions.... He is fat, he is Japanese and he apparently has a very dirty mouth lol. We were in music the other day and he started telling my class (note my music class is 41 girls and me) about his girlfriend who is a foreigner ,she is italian. Now I get teh idea he was talking about his love life in slightly intimate detail (something involving ice cream) because all the girls started screaming lol. I get the idea he does this regularly as well because the girls seem to get grossed out quite a bit. But hey it provides great entertainment for me, it is even funnier when he starts chatting me up to all the girls going "oh Jieshi is such a cool guy isn't he? He would make a great boyfriend for one of you girls" it is hilarious.

3. Kissing is like sex- This statement may sound really strange but it is true, to Japanese teenagers kissing is like having sex. Some of the guys asked me if I have kissed a girl and I said yes and they all started going "oooooooohhhhhhh what was it like? what was it like? I bet it's good!!" right now I am laughing so much I am almost crying because I just find this so funny, yet it is really sweet as well (it shows that they take relationships relatively seriously)

4.Teachers smoking lounge- This has to be the funniest thing we have at my school, there is a smoking lounge for the teachers!!! Never would you find this in Australia (could you find this anywhere else in the world?) Now the funny thing about this room is that it isn't the staff room or anything it even has a sign over it saying "teachers smoking lounge" (in japanese of course). It is really funny watching all the teachers race for the smoking lounge in the morning and at lunch time lol. Also even stranger is that only the male teachers are allowed to use the smoking lounge, how sexist is that????

and that concludes this months japan quirks,


Friday, May 06, 2005

Typhoon rider

Yes thats right, not ghost rider, not wave rider but typhoon rider. Today I rode home by bicycle in what I would call typhoon conditions (though the weather channel begs to differ).

It was pouring down rain and I was the poor little school boy without a lift home so he had to ride his bike. Armed with only a small umbrella (that actually only kept my head dry) and my heart of optimism, I embarked on the half hour journey home. Gale force winds, heavy rains tried to hamper me, but to no avail could they stop me. Bull dogs chased me for hundreds of kilometres (ok thats just the creative writer in me kicking in). No actually it was more like trucks running through puddles next to me got me really, really wet (and the gale force winds and heavy rains).

I found it really funny because I was absolutely soaked and all of a sudden a song came into my head that I haven't heard since kindergarden..... "this is the day, this is the day that the lord has made, that the lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it".
Like I said, heart of optimism.

When I got home (drenched might I add, I looked like I had been for a bike ride in the lake) I said "hehe jieshi is home and he is wet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" then it was all fixed when I was able to change into some comfortable clothes.

oh a little side note, I got an email fom the Australian National library yesterday. Apparently they stumbled across my site and have asked to archive it forever!! how cool is that? They thought my website was good enough to be stored FOREVER (note that was said in one of those deep, authorative, dark voices)

anyway time to go,


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Space world

Golden week, golden week, golden week is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (actually it just ended today... damn!)

Yes thats right ladies and gentleman the last week has been what is known as golden week, Japans longest public holiday (hence the name golden week), a week of fun, excitement and oh whats that? school?!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes you get a break from school subjects but you still need to go to club. Sometimes I really don't know what this country is thinking lol.

Anyway that aside, on monday I went to space world. What is space world you ask? well if you want the hardcore run down, you can click this link or if you really like the short and sweet version (or you just really like my blog) I can give you a quick run down. Space world is a japanese amusement park located outside of Fukuoka. It is medium sized, and well it has a space theme to it. Wow how did you guess? hmmm maybe it was the name that gave it away. The rollercoaster (named the titan) has to have the biggest drop I have ever seen on a rollercoaster, unfortunately I didn't get to ride it because of all the weeks in the year they chose japans biggest national holiday to run checks on the rollercoaster.... hello wheres the logic??

Anyway we spent the day waiting in line for almost an hour on every ride (and believe me some were not worth it), and we got sunburnt. Doesn't sound like a fun day does it? Actually I enjoyed myself , the only downside was that the theme park only has 3 major thrill rides. While we were on the water rapids everybody was screaming going "aaah this is so scary" and I was sitting there with my arms folded saying "I really think I need to start sky diving".

Now can anyone tell me do these theme park mascots look like a rip off of mickey and minney mouse?

Lucky Rabbit Vickey Rabbit

To wrap up the day, there was a surpirse performance by a japanese pop band called D-51.
Japanese girls (and guys) love these two guys so it was fun to watch their performances.

All in all a good day (the mini-concert made up for the horrendous lines)

oh photos of the day to come,