Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Friday, October 22, 2004

I`m a legal alien

Okay, I`ve been a legal alien since I got here, but today I got my alien regristration card (gaijin card) and at the top it tells me I`m registered as an alien. Cool. LOL.

I left the internet cafe yesterday in the horrendous rain and the steps were wet. I ended up on my arse but somehow managed to bruise my knees. I have no idea how this could be possible.

Today it rained. Now isn`t that unusual? If another person tells me this weather is not typical for this time of year I think I`ll burst into tears.....

And ravens. Shit, are they scary, and I keep seeing odd ravens (or crows or whatever) everywhere. eek!

One of the (many) things that has really surprised me, is the price of rice in supermarkets. It`s extortionate! I thought it would be really cheap for a rice eating nation. Apparantly, and this is the same reason fruit and veggies are so expensive, it`s all to do with export laws and strange politics........ Pain in the arse if you ask me though!

Gotta giggle: as you may have realised by now, it`s been raining a bit here. The `look` is wellies and suits. I think it`s hysterical. And not big knee length wellies, but wellies just over the ankle, with suit trouser bottoms tucked it. It IS practical. But it don`t half look silly! I`ve only seen it on businessmen though. No women.

And, talking of businessmen, shit do they have cute arses or what? Sorry, but they do and it`s so hard to not stare at them.

I am in great envy of people who can ride a bike, hold an umbrella over themselves AND talk on their mobile`s at the same time. And without falling off or crashing into a tree. Of course, they are all on the pavements, so no danger from cars I guess. And the pavements, and the roads, are pretty wide. Wide by UK standards, anyway.

Umbrella condoms make me giggle too. I always feel I`m being naughty when I roll them on. Seriously - the majority of shops, food places, etc have either umbrella stands just outside or just inside, or they have these long plastic sleeves you put your umbrella into to stop them dripping all over the place when you wander inside. With some of these there`s a machine you insert the umbrella into, with others, you just grab a plastic thing and roll it up your umbrella. It`s an excellent idea, and it`s been amusing me for the last three weeks now! Actually, on the subject of condoms, I was hunting for something in a shop today (no, not condoms) and they have a brand called `new condoms`. Right, let`s move on...

Macdonalds does iced tea. Actually, everywhere does iced tea...

Toilet bowls here are just wrong. When you put loo roll down them it doesn`t go straight down into the water and wait to be flushed away. The toilet bowls are angled so it ends up sitting on a `ledge`. I really hope I don`t ever need to be sick into it. Too euw for words, me thinks!

I had to get up early this morning to go and collect me gaijin card and try and sign up for Japanese lessons before my classes started, but I was knackered. I actually spent a whole hour telling my alarm clock to f*ck off. Out loud, obviously. That`s not good is it? ("beep, beep, beep" , "f*ck off" [whack], etc)

I have somehow managed to lose some weight. The amount of crap I`ve been eating this is amazing. I guess it just goes to show how bad a boring office job is for you and how hopping around a classroom with seven year olds before climbing up four flights of stairs, really helps. And as receptionists keep buying me cakes, it`s even more amazing!

I was thinking today how funny it is that people pay for me to teach them English. Seriously. I think I`m an okay teacher and my students seem to enjoy my classes, but I can`t wait to be a good teacher. I think I`m getting there.

I had another class observed today, by another of my bosses. It was an adult class, and I think it went pretty well. Again, I`ll wait for the feedback to see.

I`m definitely getting cabin fever, I`ve decided. As soon as one of my days off coincides with a dry day AND a day I`m so exhausted I sleep all of it, I`m off exploring........ but then, there`s no rush I guess. I`m planning on staying for quite a while.

When you receive your change in shops here, unlike in the UK, your money doesn`t get thrown at you. First you get given your notes, and a chance to put them into your wallet, and then you get given your change. So civilized. So nice compared to the UK!

Sniffing is a big thing here. Apparantly blowing your nose in public is rude, but sniffing is not. I`ve been sniffing along too, though I do wish other people wouldn`t!

Dustbins are SO hard to find here. Maybe it`s a way to encourage people to use the right bins for the right things, but wandering around the streets, you just don`t see dustbins, unless they are outside a shop, and even that`s rare. Bit of a pain really. And, of course, the streets are spotless, so it doesn`t seem to be a problem either. Imagine that in the UK?!

I`m living in Asia. I`m on another continent from pretty much everyone I know. This has just hit me. (like, doh!) But seriously, I suppose it`s because Tokyo is, in many ways, so much like any European or American city that it doesn`t feel that different. Or maybe it does. I can`t really decide.

I had another thought about my leaf kicking rantette: one, I`ve not seen the `right kind of trees` yet to give me loads of huge leaves to kick and, two, even if I did, they`d be all soggy and that wouldn`t be any fun, would it?

This city is obsessed with cute ants and cute elephants. I keep seeing little cartoon ones on everything!

And cute music is everywhere too: on crossings, in stations, etc.

Shops here sell tinned spam. Why??

I`ve discovered my first English book selling shop. I`m shocked to discover the prices are the same as in the UK. I mentioned this to a colleague who said there`s lots of shops around with very cheap secondhand English novels too. I could end up over buying........ Really must see if libraries here have English language novels. And, I have to confess, I got such a kick out of seeing all those rows of books and so cheap......! I only bought a dictionary, and that was a nightmare in itself. Choice: English-Japanese OR Japanese-English. Not both. Unless you wanted to spend a fortune. And if you did get both, you didn`t get any Kana in there. I wanted everything. Still, you can`t always got what you want.

And I bought an English language newspaper from the station this morning, `The Japanese Times`. It reads like it were written by a high school student, or someone pre Journalism school. I was giggling my head off at bits it was so painful.

Home time now......

And PLEASE stick your pin into my guestmap or sign my guestbook. Or both...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

kannichiwa Jo! Keep up the blog, I love it. And as I'm a big Japan fan it brightens my day. Have you tasted hot VanHouten Cocoa from a can yet? And have you been to the Kappabashi-dori?
xx Bella

11:53 pm

Blogger Chameleon said...

What could be more menacing than the ravens crowding the climbing frame in Hitchcock's The Birds? I can empathise with your aversion to them. Ice tea on draft is not uncommon outside the UK - it is obtainable at all fast food outlets here in Belgium. Having dipped into a few travel journal style blogs about Japan, I still find yours light years ahead of the opposition :)

12:24 am

Blogger Elspeth said...

It all sounds so different to here and the UK, I'm looking forward to the day we get pics :-D

8:57 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Jo, just read the blog and it all sounds very cool indeed.....I'm getting itchy feet over here so might even see you there one day! Rob

2:28 am


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