I also have some sad news for all you devoted followers of my study abroad happenings: my smaller point-and-shoot camera will not properly connect to my computer and I am sad to say that you will have to wait until I return to America in February before you can see the first few pictures of Japan. But, you are all big boys and girls. You can handle it.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is a little synopsis of how I have been since last posting. Fantastic. I have even been to a festival in Kyoto now, see Facebook pictures, and had an absolutely wonderful time there. My Buddhism class has started and my professor is super cool. Often, he makes references to John Lennon or someone like that and sings some of their songs to himself during class. It is super easy; I don't do any of the reading and I follow along just fine. There is also only one assignment which is a paper at the end of the term. Otherwise, there are four field trips and we only meet once per week. I wish American classes were like that. Oh, and he also invited me to go to the horse track with him this Sunday and bet on some horses. That will be a very interesting experience; I'm pretty excited.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I have been in Japan for a month and a week and it took me this entire time to sum up the courage to try karaoke. It was something I heard was necessary to do if one was to spend a significant amount of time in the country and I also had threats against my family honor if I should return to America without singing terrible pop songs in a room full of Japanese people. And so, I sit here today having checked a big black mark on my list of things to do before I die.
It was an interesting experience. Earlier yesterday evening we had invited a number of our new Japanese friends to make and eat okonomiake, a pancake-esque food with lots of random vegetables and some meat. After everyone had eaten, we decided to ride down to a nearby karaoke bar and sing our hearts out. Upon arriving at the building we took an elevator up to the fourth floor and two of our friends spoke for some time with the people behind the counter. I couldn't quite understand why it took four people and ten minutes to arrange singing in a tiny room, but I learned to not ask questions.
After everything seemed to be sorted out, we were led to a small room with padded walls and floors all decorated in zebra print. I assume the padding was for insulation purposes. There were two rises in the floor like stadium seating so we could fit lots of people in and everyone could still see the TV. I must say, I was expecting a very nice, very large TV but what I got was a 32" Toshiba monitor.
There was a very thorough selection ranging from Michael Jackson to Linkin Park, Journey to Vanilla Ice, and a number of J-Pop stars that I had never heard of. I sang a bit and danced a little as well which seemed to entertain most of my new Japanese friends. Afterward they told me I was very good at dancing but I can't understand why since my dancing mostly resembles one of those giant waving tube-men that you see outside used car dealerships.
Though there is no story embedded within these descriptions, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone here as I both update my blog and announce to the world that I survived Japanese karaoke with plans to return again soon.