Friday, April 23, 2010

THE Castle aka Okazaki Jou

So classes are kind of amazing. They are moving a little bit slowly, but I figure that's probably a good thing, as in between the everything I have already learned, there is a little bit of the new, so I feel like I'm probably learning a bit more than it seems. YES!

Twice a week, I have kanji lessons, and there is only one other person from my class with me, as everyone else has already learned a TON of kanji. So I'm with the lower level class, and it's kind-of cool, actually. I bought myself a blackboard with a beautiful pink liquid chalk pen to practice, and I think I'm in love:

Last Saturday, I participated in a Japanese-French exchange, and it was super fun. I got to talk to a ton of Japanese people, and help them with their French. . . and then I got paid! Bonus! I'm going again tomorrow, and I'm super psyched about it! :-)

Then last Sunday, I went up to Okazaki Castle with a group of friends that I've made here.

My camera is still doing that thing where every picture it takes is blurry, so this is a blurry picture of Alexis, Lauren, Martin, and Jenny-Lynn, some of the friends with whom I went.

It was quite cool. It was surrounded by beautiful gardens, and there was this cool turtle holding a scroll at the entry way.

Blurry turtle!

I find this weird, considering that today I discovered that turtle is considered somewhat of a delicacy here in Japan. There is even a turtle restaurant about 5 minutes from my apartment. I haven't seen it yet, but I will look for it tomorrow.

The castle itself was super awesome, though quite small, actually.

Blurry, terrible picture of the castle. Why do I even try?

Unfortunately, the inside was totally modernized, so it was less cool. But there were some super awesome samurai costumes, and let me just say - those dudes must have been some kinda SMALL! I wish that I could have taken a picture of one, but it was not to be. Which I guess isn't a big deal, because it would have been blurry, anyway.

WE also got to meander a bit around the gardens, which were totally beautiful and Japanese style and also had statues like this samurai dude:

After the castle, we headed over to the HUGE mall for a bit to check out the international food store. Unfortunately, there were still next to NO English ingredients listed, so I didn't buy anything.

Then we went and ate in an Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese cabbage pancakes) restaurant. Well, they ate; I watched. It was actually kind of sad for me, because vegan Okonomiyaki was one of the foods I loved to make back in France, but now that I am actually IN Japan, it seems like it might be hard for me to eat. It was really cool, though because the waiter came out with the dough (can we call it dough?), and put it on the grill that was the table, and then they got to flip it themselves.

This past week, I gave my second English lesson, which I think went well. My student seems to like me, so that's good. He wants to read Pippie Longstocking in English, so I'm going to try to base some lessons around that.
I also had an interview through Yamasa for an English teaching job, and despite the fact that it was totally in Japanese and therefore completely awkward, they seemed to like me. They've already set me up with a student, and I am supposed to meet her next week. The woman at the school has also asked me to help her set up English classes for children. She seems very excited about working with me on this new project of hers, which in turn has me excited!
It also means that I might make money. Which is good. Very good, indeed!

I also bought a bike last week! I'm in the process of thinking up a fabulous Japanese-ish name for him, and then I will post a picture! A picture that will most likely be blurry. Grrrr!

Tonight, we went to a chicken restaurant called Sen Sen Yakitori, and I snuck food in and ate it all clandestinely under the table. I felt guilty, but well, they didn't have anything for me to eat. And I am discovering that restaurants here seem to only have orange juice as a juice option, and their orange juice is terrible. It's unfortunate, really. :-( So I had bad orange juice and a great time, and I came home REEKING of cooked meat, and I had to immediately take a shower.

If I can manage to get some pictures from other people, I might come back later and replace these blurry pictures with nice pictures. In the meantime, I don't know what I am going to do. How can I be in Japan with a camera that doesn't work?
Also, blogger is once again not working to upload my pictures, so these ones are all small, and for that I am sorry.

Anyhow, can you tell I am absolutely loving life here?

3 things said:

Ms Baker said...

how fun! i love that yoru friends are making peace signs. and i really love that your student wants to read pippi longstockings. how does he even know about her? and even if the OJ wasn't gross, would you drink it? i thought you didn't like OJ??

Simcha said...

It sounds like you are having a fantastic time, though I'm sorry to hear about your trouble finding suitable food.

mom said...

I am enjoying your blog. I think you have wanted to visit Japan for a very long time. It certainly is agreeing with you!