“like a ride like a ride, oh”

10/14/11   –   10:53

My apologies again for the lack of photos in this entry. I haven’t been quite as prolific as I’d like to be with my photography, but I swear very exciting and very photogenic things will happen in the near future. For now, 申し訳ございませんが you’ll have to bear with the gaping expanse of text. 本当にごめんな。

In recent news, I’ve been corresponding with a Mrs. Norisada at the Osaka University of Music concerning getting permission to perform on the carillon located in front of Itami Station. [For those of you who don’t know what a carillon is, it’s a Dutch instrument consisting of bells attached to a keyboard. It’s the bells of Century Tower, for you UF readers.] But yeah, she not only allowed me to play, but invited me to be part of a concert she’s putting on in November to commemorate the gifting of the instrument from Itami’s sister city in Belgium.

When she said “be a part of the concert,” I did not imagine that she meant “play all but two songs in the concert.” However, this is how it turned out. And so, I am now the main guest performer in this carillon showcase occurring in about half a month. You may not have seen my facebook status, but I joked about being an “international performing artist.” Haha. No pressure.

Anyway, barring that, the journey to Osaka’s Music Unviersity was an interesting one. It involved a bus trip and several trains that were not on the Keihan line.

FYI: Japan’s railway systems are not owned by the government. They are owned by private companies each servicing different regions. The ones that run through Hirakata and connect Kyoto and Osaka are  run by Keihan Transportation. If you cross the Yodogawa River, you are in Hankyuu Transportation territory. But what does this mean, anyway? Trains are trains are trains, right?

Wrong.

I will say this now: I strongly prefer Keihan. Keihan’s trains are cleaner, newer, and faster. They don’t have awful faux-wood paneling and sickly green seating. The Keihan trains are stable and stay largely level. Hankyuu trains tilt from side to side. I say again: I prefer Keihan.

First rule of Hankyuu: Don’t speak of Keihan. [Because they’re obviously better.]

Second rule of Hankyuu: Make sure you’re not on women’s train.

So I got on the first Hankyuu train and was a little off-put by the stares I got from the seated passengers. I didn’t even notice that they were all women until train personnel yelled at me to get out of women’s train. Urgh, embarrassing. Whatever. Women’s train can go s a d.

And on that note, the rest of the way to Osaka University of Music went without a hitch, lol. It was a dreary, grey day and it matched the austere off-white walls of the University ensconced in a patch of similarly drab buildings. The university and environs are nowhere near as gorgeous as the Kansai Gaidai campus and definitely did not live up to the inflated expectations I had of Japanese Music Conservatories after watching Nodame Cantabile.

In the building that houses the Osaka Music Museum [and also the practice console for the carillon], I met Mrs. Norisada in a room decked out in a late 70s color scheme. She used way too much keigo [honorific language] on me, which was crazy because she’s definitely 30+ years my senior but other than that, she’s a very pleasant lady who loves music, which was nice. We set the program and practiced a bit and then she left me to wander around in the musical instrument museum which was pretty awesome, I’d have to say. Largest collection of kotos and traditional Japanese/Chinese/Southeast Asian instruments I’ve ever seen. It was really interesting, but then again I’m a band nerd and I thought the set of Indonesian gamelan instruments was cool so take that for what it’s worth.

The concert’s on November 9th and I’m skipping class to do it. Hard x core.

~ ~

In other news:

– I introduced Saori to the wonder that is Mean Girls. She has to watch and summarize an English movie for class and was asking for suggestions. I keep forgetting how much I laugh at that movie. Saori liked it too. Mean Girls transcends international borders.

– Apparently working at McDonalds is a great thing to put on your resume in Japan. This is because the company has high standards for keigo and teaches all employees the correct forms. Nice.

– So in band I was thinking about how I didn’t understand some of what the student conductors were saying because I didn’t know the specific jargon for musical terms in Japanese. Do you know how weird it is to feel hampered by your language ability in an activity where language ability does not matter?

– Mai was eating a mikan [japanese orange] for lunch a few days ago and shared it with everyone. I LOVE MIKANS. They’re like tangerines, but without seeds, a little bit more sour, and with a more subtle sweetness. God, I could eat those forever.

– My search for engrish shirts has been halted for the time being. So apparently in Japan, no store will sell short-sleeved shirts after September. Every store I used to go to has changed their stock entirely to long-sleeved shirts and jackets that are way too warm for the weather right now. I was quite sad when I found this out. Although I can’t say I was surprised. I learned about this day that schools in Japan have where their students put the summer uniform in the closet and bring out the winter uniform. One. Day. And regardless of the temperature, they have to wear the winter uniform after that day. So similarly, I guess I will have to wait until spring for short sleeves to come back in season.

After going through a few stores that had all long-sleeves, I found a store that didn’t. This doesn’t mean that they had the short-sleeved shirts I wanted, though. It means they had sort of intermediate-sleeves that stop at my mid-forearm. What the hell. -_-

Some good came out of the shopping adventure, though. I think I found a man-cardigan I can rock for like ~$10.

Buying it today, hells yeah.

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Comments
3 Responses to ““like a ride like a ride, oh””
  1. Anonymous says:

    Awww, look at you in your man-cardigan! :33

  2. Anonymous says:

    Riding the women’s train when you’re not a women is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. :D

  3. hasshi says:

    man-cardigan = manigan??

    …sounds like a scottish last name though. XD

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