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!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

*cough cough splutter splutter*

Well, I've come down with a full-bodied elves pouring water down my nose, kicking me in the throat and thumping me in the stomach cold. No doubt caught from one of my lovely students. Thanks guys.

Does, kind of, explain the extra shitty mood I was in this week though. Work was a bit trying, to say the least, but things have settled for me in the house. I'm over my 'shall I move before unpacking' thing. People have stopped leaving pathetic notes around and it just feels a bit more... real.

Guess that means, in between sniffles, that I'll be unpacking this weekend!


Blogger KC said...

Hello! I'm a high school student and I'm going to Japan for a 3 month exchange in.... 50 days :D Do you have any advice?

4:54 pm

Blogger KC said...


I just realized my Japanese teacher's first name is Jo. Cool coincidence :)

Yep. The first two weeks of the trip, there are a big bunch of us going (about 20) all over (Oosaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Tokyo) but they go home (NZ) before the school holidays end. There are three of us going on exchanges so we'll be staying behind. I'm going to a school in Tokyo called Rikkyo. Have you heard anything about it?

My teacher suggested we bring a bunch of local foods to share with our host families as an ice breaker (marmite etc). I'll make sure to bring lots of photos now :)

What's a stitch outfit? And so i've heard :) a favourite pasttime of mine is to search pictures of people dressed up in Harajuku :) The problem is the school I'm going to will restrict me a lot, we're even not allowed any piercings, which sucks cos I got a new one in the holidays which probably will close up if I leave it open for a day....

I also heard about this. A girl who went on the exchange before said her main conversation topics with her classmates were Hannah Montana-based D: Not good. I've gotten too used to alerting people whenever his name is mentioned to the fact that he was extremely racist... luckily i don't know how to say that in Japanese.

I'm confused... are you saying it will benefit me to go blonde? Cos I'm naturally brown-haired and brown-eyed but that can be changed :)

I'm prepared to try whatever food is put in front of me... as long as it's not an animal's genitalia.... On the other hand, I'm very excited about bento boxes! :D

If I get some from the school nurse (drugs) would that be charged to my account? It is here but maybe not... If it isn't I could just do it that way... Oh, and I'm there for about three months... how much money do you think I should bring? Answer in yen or NZD please :)

Oh, nearly forgot, I was wondering how formal your language generally has to be? Also, each year group going on the trip was assigned a city to research, my year got Hiroshima. Do you have any place reccomendations or interesting facts about it?

Sorry the message is quite long... ^^

5:00 pm

Blogger Jo said...

KC - you want to know what is even weirder? We are both Gemini Boars. I never met a Gemini Boar before. At least I don't think so!

I googled Rikkyo but I'm not sure - in Suginami-ku?

Bring a SMALL marmite. LOL. It probably won't be so popular. Your classmates might get a laugh out of it though!

'Stitch' as in Lilo and Stitch. ahem.

Schools here are strict. Lots of school kids in matching socks and matching shoes, etc! Skirt length seems to allow a certain amount of freedom - but that's it! Maybe try and get away with the piercings but keep the jewellery small? or can you cover it with your hair? if it's nose or eye - er, long / very long fringe??? kidding.

It's true. Be prepared. Honestly, I worked for a while in a college with 18 to 20 year olds, who ran around screaming like 11 or 12 year old Brits. It was scary!!!

Who is racist??

The blonde thing was a joke. Kind of. I was implying you'd get more 'kawaiiiii' if you were blonde. Don't worry. Just stick in a pink barrette. ;-)

I've not knowingly come across any animal genitalia here. But who knows. Things like squids guts are a favourite dish of one friend of mine. Not good. But I'm not into slimy food.

Try natto.

You must try natto.

It's the devil's food. But you must say you've tried it! [evil laugh]

Innards are popular here (heart, liver, etc) - but that's more in bars, so maybe it's not something you'll come across.

LOL at your excitement about bento boxes!

The best thing is, when you buy one in a convenience store, they give you chopsticks (or a fork if you want) automatically for free.

You're in New Zealand? For some reason I thought you were a Brit!

Regarding the meds, I meant bringing a small stock of brands of painkillers, etc that you are used to might save some time, energy and money.

Do you know what the position is with your school regarding health insurance? I'm sure they have something in place, but check. It could be very expensive if you need to visit a doctor otherwise.

And tampons. A lot of foreigners don't like Japanese tampons. Just to warn you, or prepare you.

Money? Depends what you want to do. I guess the host family are being payed for food and bed in advance? Will they be making you lunches to take to school with you? Are they quite near the school?

Unless you're planning on sneaking into bars and drinking yourself stupid, or going to lots of really expensive places, I can't imagine you'll get through more than 10,000 yen a week. Call it 20,000 to allow for emergencies and presents and you'll be more than okay.

Get a 'suica' train card when you get here. It'll save hassle.

Oh - and if you don't know the fare on the train, don't worry. You cannot get into trouble for having the wrong ticket. Just get the cheapest ticket, and find a 'fare adjust' machine when you get where you're going. Or, if you have a 'suica' (sweeka) you don't have to worry about that.

Formal language? In Japanese or in English?

I've not been to Hiroshima yet, although I plan to, so no recommendations. It's a pretty small place I think. Start with wiki maybe? youtube might have some interesting things too?

And no problem about the questions. Keep them coming!


11:40 pm


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