Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm Sick

Not mentally or anything of course.

This is the first time in Japan I've actually been sick.
I'm into Day 5 of a nasty cold. It's incredibly boring to just sit at home all day and not do a lot. But hey, it gives me a chance to post this right?

I should mention that I moved host families at the start of the month. My new host family is 100% AWESOME :D

My host family has been really helpful in making sure I'm comfortable and have access to everything the dollar store/conbini has to offer in terms of cold relief. Yesterday I was telling my host mom how boring it was to just stay at home and she decided to take me to Hakui which is a more northern spot in Ishikawa prefecture. Beautiful place! It's another city right next to the ocean but much quieter than Kanazawa and with some really cool new sights to see. I'll have to go back when I'm not sick to fully enjoy it.

A side note, the NEXT set of outbounds from Canadian district already know what country they're going Time is frickin 飛んでいる

Thursday, January 21, 2010

If I Fed a Pet as Often as I Post Here, I'd Have A LOT of Dead Animals

Lovely title right? I made it with the visual people in mind :D

You must think I'm dead right now since I haven't posted in so long. And you'd BE RIGHT!! Click now to receive your free BS prize!!

The truth is much more simple, blog posts take time. Something of which I don't have a lot of - specifically my internet time is way way 少ない.

Gotta love that I now have 5 months worth of blog content and 35 minutes to post something.

My current life set up:

Living at 2nd host family's place. The dad is really awesome! He loves to try and repeat any English words I use or teach him. Example: *Dinner time* "Do-nt ureeabe uwauwanyshing"

Translation: Don't leave anything.

He repeats what I say because he knows he sounds funny.

It's a really funny contrast because I've got my host dad, my host mom, and a younger host sister (11 I think...) and my host dad's daily antics are barely even recognized by my host mom and sister. My host mom is a really 冷たい人...She only talks to me when she wants to point out something I did "wrong" or something that she wants me to do, always ending it with the most soul piercing "Wakatta?" I've ever heard. I won't use this blog to complain a lot since that's no fun to read (although some topics I could probably make interesting) - it also wouldn't give you a full picture on the awesome times I have here too.
I will say that I think my host dad is an incredibly awesome person for still being able to be so zany. My host 11 so just think of an 11 year old girl who likes to read books and does ballet. I'm not really sure how to describe her other than that.

I get up every morning around 6:20, take a shower (being the crazy gaijin I am I bathe myself in the morning), eat some breakfast (sometimes cereal, sometimes miso soup and onigiri) and then head off to the bus stop to wait for the bus that will take me to school. I could make an entire blog post about the FUN of riding busses to and from school with all the other students on the bus but for now I'll leave it be. Next is school, I've gone through that before so I won't repeat myself.

Now here's the new stuff, Tuesdays and Thursdays after school I have Japanese class at a local building called Rifare. It's me and a bunch of ALTs (Foreign English Assistants) learning intermediate Japanese grammar. We've gotten into stuff that's new to me now and I find that...exciting? I don't know, I guess I find it cool to go to class and then hear "Today we're learning THIS GRAMMAR" and then you realize you've heard that everywhere but never knew the meaning so it's kinda like I'm hearing "Remember those government fat cats who were talking in that secret code? WELL HERE'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY MEANT!!!"
Yes I just vaguely compared learning Japanese to being a spy of some sort.

Alright Agent Stryker, you've infiltrated their base...
Copy that Command
Now all you need to do is take down their top grammar particle agents ONE BY ONE
Agent Wo and Wa should be easy but don't take Agent Ni or Ga to lightly ok? You still need to be focused enough to take on Commander Keigo and those two guys are hiding all sorts of grammatical weapons
(If it were my host mom then it would be わかった

On other days, I go to Track and Field Club. See, my interests are things like playing guitar and writing comedy or making small movies and such. So...I though the BEST club to fit my strengths would be TRACK AND FIELD!!!!
It was more of a decision that I though I would try and branch out to something else (plus, Japanese conbini bread doesn't exactly make you more fit and muscular).
Club goes from 4:05 until.....7ish I'd say. It's the off season so everyone does things like weight training or running exercises. I recently got some weird injury with my left foot while running so I'm left with weight training, stretching, and situps and situp like exercises basically.

The weekends are left for me to relax. Sort of. Track and Field is usually on Saturday too. So...make that Sunday to relax (although my host mom tells me I have to wake up by a certain time for....what reason? I'm not sure exactly actually) <- I thought I wasn't going to complain

In other news, any and all hospital tests I've gotten here have shown that I'm all fine and dandy. Although the fact that I used "dandy" might be cause for concern...

I have tons more to post but I don't like massive posts. Till next time! (Also, new Australian exchange students are coming on Sunday :D )

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I've decided that I can't recap everything that's happened sequentially so I'm just going to write about different topics until everyone is brought up to speed. Today I'll do school since that's taking up most of my time right now (plus I'm typing this in school right now, IT class).

My school

I started school a few weeks ago and it's been interesting to say the least. I have to take the bus to school and back every day and on the first day, my host dad put me on the wrong bus. I was told the bus I was on would go straight to my stop with no changes so I stayed on the bus until the last stop. Luckily the bus driver I had that day was the nicest one I've come across so far so she was very helpful in making sure I got to where I needed to go. After a few small problems (no bus going to my stop), I finally made it to school (only an hour or two late). Thank goodness it wasn't an actual day with classes. I walked around the school and got lots of stares and pointing. I found my room and as I walked to it, two girls were standing outside the door and saw me. Smiling and with excitement they boldly and eloquently asked...."Jared?" and I answered with a triumphant "Yes!" Queue excitement and stares as I walk into the class. All the girls wanted a picture with me and asked me questions like "Do you have girlfriend?" Then the guys came up to me and asked things like "How tall are you?"

That day (and the day that followed) turned out to be days in preparation for the school festival that weekend! The days were basically me helping out my class with their room theme and watching the many dance groups practice. They really take it to the next level here. School festivas are all out with coordinated hip hop dancing, Japanese food stalls, bands playing on a stage, and rooms with themes like a haunted house or a quiz of some sort. Keep in mind that most of the dances were comprised of homeroom classes (not dance clubs or anything like that) and they were doing things like jump rope stunts and breakdancing and everything.

My class turned the room into a giant board game. I got to help as a person who sat outside the class inviting people to come to it. Most of the time I was going around to different rooms with some people from my class. There was a group of girls that weren't students that asked to take a picture with me and then would all giggle if they saw me around the school. I just found it kinda crazy because I would just stand there or say "Hi" or wave and they would go "Kakkoiiiiiiiiii" (So cool!). So, if you're planning on going on exchange and you have:

Non brown eyes
Non black hair

and/or you are:


People will think you're cool. (If you're a girl, everyone will think you're cute)

Since then I've been having regular school days. Everyone stays as a class and we stay in the same room for most classes. Class goes from 8:40 until 4:05 on every day except Friday (which gets out around 3:05). It's definitely been an interesting experience so far! I don't understand a lot of the classes so I just practice kanji or doodle for the time being. Except English classes. In those classes I help with pronunciation or grammar or things like that. My English reading teacher kind of annoyed me the other day because he pronounces everything himself and his accent isn't that great. He insisted to the class that wolf was pronounced as "oorf."

I'll write more about school in later posts. My next post will probably be about my recent trip to Kyoto and Osaka during Silver Week :D

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So I've been in Japan for a little over a week now. Everything has been going so fast it feels way longer than 10 days.

I left Toronto Int'l Airport on Friday with two other exchange students who I met an hour before the flight. They both are in areas close to Tokyo though so no dice on meeting up with them really.

One 13 hour, continuously sunny flight later I was in Tokyo! After going through some customs and baggage claims, I met up with the other inbounds in my district. They were there along with two Japanese guys related to Rotary (rebounds I think) holding signs for the district. All the other inbounds had taken a different flight than me and were taking a connecting flight at the same airport. I, on the other hand, hand to first ride a bus with one of the Japanese guys to Haneda Airport for my flight to Komatsu. Unfortunately, the bus was slightly late in dropping me off at the airport so the Japanese guy had to work it out at the flight desk. Luckily there was a flight leaving two hours later and they changed my ticket so CRISIS AVERTED. (I just realized if you're quickly skimming this then you'll notice the bold words first and think something really bad could have happened)

The cool thing about my flight being later is that it got dark so my one hour flight was accented nicely by the lights of Tokyo and all cities in between. I even saw some fireworks going off as I flew overhead. Tokyo at night is really a sight to see in the air.

I arrived in Komatsu and when I got to the baggage claim, the other inbounds were picking up their baggage! I was 2 hours late and somehow managed to be synced with the other inbounds...

There was a big welcome group for me. I did a lot of handshaking and met my first host family some of my other host families as well as Yuki! Yuki was there with his family! That was cool.

It was physically hard to smile because of a mix of no sleep and holy-crap-this-is-happening

Everyone parted ways and I went home with my first host family in their car (with a BUILT IN TV).

I'll continue the rest later so I don't make a super large wall of text...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm in Japan!!

I made it! What a loooooong flight! Today is my second (full) day in Japan. Unfortunately right now I only have access to internet through my host family's computer. I've written down stuff that's happened so far and once my host family fixes their wifi connection (a familiar scenario for me haha) I'll do a bigger, better update. Like a sequel to a movie. Except it won't suck.

On another note, Japanese tv is basically sports and round table discussion talk shows during the day. Denzel Washington was on a Japanese show and all the Japanese hosts reacted to him as if they couldn't believe he was there. They felt his abs and compared it to themselves and then they made him throw a little toy and a glass pane for some reason. I dunno.

Will update later! Until then, enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It Begins

I fly out tomorrow at 1:15pm from Pearson Int'l!!

I've been doing lots of running around and lots of packing and I've even had a few butterflies in my stomach.

This is my last post as an outbound. For the next year, this blog will be about my inbound experience in Kanazawa, Japan!

I'll try and make a post as soon as I can in Japan with as much info as I can. Enjoy the official start of the blog!

How I imagine my flight will be like