“gonna be alright”

9/9/11     11:34

I just realized daily life observation entries won’t really have too many pictures. So much for calling this a photo-blog. >_> I’m going to Kyoto on Saturday and Osaka on Sunday, so I’ll make up for it later. I promise. For now, though. Featured pic is on my walk home from the university to Hirakata-shi station. I get out of class at 6:10 so it’s usually BEAUTIFUR SUNSETS EVERYWHERE.

~ ~

– 外国人登録 [gaikokujin touroku] (n.) alien registration.  Okaa-san took me to go get registered as a foreigner in the country of Japan so that I can get a card that states just that. Bureaucracy sucks. However, I saw a poster on the wall in the city office that said that the gaikokujin-touroku-hou, Alien Registration Act, will be abolished next July. So now any alien entering Japan has to fill out the same papers as native Japanese to prove residency. Hooray for modernizing Japan!

– More on putting yourself out there:

I’ve found it hard to place myself in social situations where I am constantly talking. And then I had a thought: “If I’m not talkative in English, how can I expect to do the same in Japanese?” Should I even expect to be? It’s incredible for learning, of course, and you’d definitely get better if you talk more, but how do I compromise being someone I’m not? I’m a relatively quiet English-speaker. Should I be a motormouth in Japanese? I’m finding it hard to reconcile the difference.

– On a lighter note, Andrew and I came to the conclusion that “THERE IS NO ESCAPING THE おばあちゃん.” Obaa-chan are older women, I guess the cut-off point is like 65+, but they’re sort of everywhere. They clog the sidewalks, line every convenience store, and get in your way when you’re trying to get on the train. They wear weird leg-warmers for your hands [hand-warmers?] so they don’t get tan in the sun and they ride their bikes with huge visors on for the same reason. They’re fond of polka dots and moving slowly. You can not escape their presence ;_;

– Pilgrimage class teacher was talking about Japan’s biggest competitor to Facebook, Mixi. He mentioned that one way Mixi is different from Facebook is that you can see everyone that comes to your page. Hence, you can’t creep on Mixi. I then concluded that Mixi is not for me.

– George posted something on my Facebook wall yesterday. It’s a game in which you flip over a table in anger and try to cause as much damage as possible.

George told me to go find one and “FLIP THAT SHIT.”

In a definitely appropriate use of my Japanese skills, I found the website for the game:

http://www.taito.co.jp/arc/noko/chabudai.html

And then a list of locations. One of them is right by Kyoto Station. I will most definitely go and play it, George. I’ll post a vid, too.

– One of the biggest worries I’ve had since coming to Japan is… … … which side of the sidewalk to walk on. I’ve asked countless people and they all give me differing answers. I try walking on the left and almost get hit by confused cyclists. I try on the right and pedestrians do the awkward “get-out-of-the-other-person’s-way-but-fail” dance. I CAN NEVER WIN. I am starting to get the feeling that it’s because [nobody gives a crap]. You just have to be forever watchful. -_-;;

Fast times with the Otsuji’s:

– A few nights ago, we were watching TV and there was a show that was counting down the 50 scariest videos 「恐怖映像」pulled from the internet. There was a point where they cut to a commercial right before a big revelation and I wanted to say that it was suspenseful. I checked the dictionary on my comp and it said

「金玉上がったり下ったり」to which they said 「金玉。。。」

I looked that one up and:

「金玉」(kintama) (n.) – testicles

So basically the phrase means to have your balls go up and down. Awkward.

– Instead of saying “safe,” Otoo-san says “safety.” As in: “Is your hometown safety?” This is the second time that I’ve caught this error with Japanese learners of English. This may be because the word for “safe” 安全, is both a noun and an adjective in Japanese.

– I helped dad move a couch downstairs. This doesn’t seem like it’d be too hard, but we are in a TINY JAPANESE HOUSE where the stairwell and all the hallways are really close together. Challenge aside, in the process, I found out that they have a piano upstairs. See, I was a little jealous hearing the plinking of the grade schoolers on my street practicing in their houses every night on my way home. I thought the Otsujis didn’t have a piano and I really wanted to have one to practice on. But then I should have known. This is a Japanese household. Of course there is a piano.

– Dad gave me a rad new messenger bag. Hellsyeah. And yes. I just used the term rad.

– Dinner is always ridiculously awesome. Always.

.

– Mystery Sister came in last night! Her name is Naho. She’s very beautiful and delicate and I can only imagine how elegant she’s going to look in her wedding dress.

– Apparently they don’t say “high-five” in Japanese. They say “high-touch.” I explained the difference to Naho and Mom last night. This is called 和製英語 [waseieigo] A term for words that are made using English, but don’t retain the English meaning. Things like スマート [sumaato = smart] meaning slim.

– And… HERE’S SOME BUDDHAS I SEE EVERYDAY ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL KTHXBAI.

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