Friday, 7 March 2014

A rather confused week

This week was a combination of extremely busy and dead quiet, hyper productive and almost destructive at times. It's been all over the show and I don't know what to make of it.

It all started on Sunday. I thought I better get some stuff done. I started off by spontaneously doing all the dishes for my host Mum. After which I carried on my cleaning spree and fully vacuumed my room and did all that tidying stuff. It was a good feeling to have done all that.

I wasn't contempt to sit down and be lazy for the rest of the day so I thought I would bike into town and do a bit of shopping. I was keen for some new headphones as my current ones are a bit worse for wear. (In all honesty, they were probably just fine. However, I had seen these really cool red ones that I wanted.) After getting well and truly lost with my 'could-be-better' sense of direction, I managed to find my desired shop. I bought the head phones and was sourly disappointed by some pretty average sound quality. Looks aren't everything it seems. Turns out my 'old' headphones are just fine and in fact they sound a lot better after I got these new ones. Typical.

I got home and decided to walk to the dairy where I would unleash my horrendous amount of coins on some unsuspecting shop assistant. Why was I excited for this? I seem to have hoarded a heap of coins during my stay here so I thought I had best use them. I only bought a few things at the shop but I handed over 70 of my 10 yen coins. I felt so smart as I emptied my wallet on the counter. What an exciting life I have.
The neighbourhood.
My house is hidden behind the house on the left.
So Sunday was a superb day. After all I finally succumbed to the little voice in the back of my head and slobbed out for the rest of the day. It was great.

Monday was also great; it was a holiday! Although I still had some business to do. I had a sleep in and got all dressed up in my Rotary suit for the local monthly meeting. I had a speech all ready and was quite keen to talk. I was picked up at lunch time by one of the Rotarians who had the nicest car. I'm not really all that knowledgeable about cars but he pressed a button and the car was actually a transformer. The roof went all robot and we were driving with the wind. It was pretty cool.

I wondered how he could afford such an awesome piece of machinery and it seemed as though he read my mind because he pointed to a big factory on the other side of the river and said: "That's my company." Oh. 

We got to the meeting and it turns out that there is going to be a ton of speeches given today. Thankfully I was first so I got all my nerves done and out of the way. But there were eight or so newly graduated high school students who also had speeches to give. Because last Saturday was graduation day, school had essentially finished for these guys. They were here because they had had perfect attendance over their entire school career. From five years old until 18 years old without missing a single day of school. I was blown away. "Bugger that." I thought.

Any way, it was a long day of listening to Japanese that I couldn't understand. I got home and did next to nothing in stark contrast to yesterday's productivity. Oh well, I convinced myself that I could maybe have a break. That night I went downstairs for dinner as per usual bot got quite the surprise. We were having fish and chips for dinner! 
What a feed; Fish, chips and rice. All with chopsticks of course
I would like to say I played a vital role in the making of dinner but all I really did was stand around with a dumb grin on my face. Host Mum had made a beer batter for the fish which we deep fried (shallow fried? It was all done in a pan.) and the chips were a bit thinner than the regular ones but that was cool. I used to work in the best fish in chip shop in town (I have no shame in saying that Highfield Takeaways is the best fish and chip shop in Timaru.) so I contributed my vast knowledge of the traditional kiwi dinner by checking the fish to see if it was cooked. That was my great contribution. But what a great feed it was. I even had a beer. If it wasn't for the rice and chopsticks I could have mistaken myself for being back in New Zealand. It was a good night.

Tuesday was probably where the confusion started. I got up at 6:00 am all ready for school. It's test week here so I don't have too much to do at school but study Japanese. So I get to school and go to the library and do just that. Because of test week, school finishes early. So at about 11:30 am I went to the train station with my friends and we all went home. I was to walk home from the station which should take about half an hour but I went with my mates who seemed to know where they were going. We walked through town and eventually I was on my own. (As my mates had all turned off to go to their homes.) 

So as I was walking along, listening to my music I thought I would stop off for a bite to eat. I went to the dairy and got some hot chips and some chicken things. It hit the spot and I was content as I walked the rest of the journey. But as I was walking past this fast food joint I was lured in by the thought of more food. Such a strong will I have. I sat down and ate something that looked nice. I'm not to sure as to what it was but it was delicious. I ate it too quickly to take photos. 

I finally got home at 2:00 pm. (I was supposed to have gotten home at around about 12:00 pm but nobody was too fussed.) I lay down on my bed and thought: "I will just have a wee snooze and then get back to studying." I was woken up at 6:00 pm by host Mum and remembered that we were going out for dinner that night. Woops.

I made myself presentable and off we went. We went to this place and met up with an old exchange student from France. She had gone to the same school as me and had also stayed with my current host family. Her and her sister were in Japan visiting old friends. Dinner was amazing, I had fried shrimp and other assorted unknown delicious things.
The photo is slightly fuzzy cause I was so keen to eat
It was quite an international table with all the exchange students! My host brother was an exchange student to NZ and my host sister-to-be was an exchange student to France. Plus there was the American boy and I. Also, my host Mum was an exchange student to America, back in the day.
The foreign bunch
It was a really good night! Many a laughs were had.
A great bunch of people!
In the above photo, I am standing in the middle of my third host family-to-be. The Japanese lady who is adjacent to the three foreigners is my last host mum-to-be (I think.) And the two on the far left are my current host family. It's an odd feeling to know that I will be leaving one family, which is quite sad, but at the same time I am excited to get to know a new family. I can't really explain it that well.

Well I got home and it was around bed time when the week became mucked up. Because of my extended power nap, I was in no form to sleep that night. So I lay in bed until about 4:30 ish before I actually fell asleep. I was of course woken up by the 6:00 am alarm which obviously did not make me happy. I stumbled down stairs with a rather annoying headache most likely due to the lack of sleep. I told Rieko about it and got a day off. I slept for half the day and tried to study for the rest. My study was quite disrupted by the distraction of the internet so I feel that Wednesday's study was ever so slightly counter productive. 

We went out for dinner again that night but I was in an almost drunk state of mind. It was quite odd. We went to a Chinese restaurant and had a whole heap of dumplings. I was too hungry to take photos so you will just have to imagine this plate of the best looking dumplings. Sorry all. Regardless of my not-all-there mindset, it was a really good feed. Back home and off to bed for a regular ish sleep. It was still about 2:00 am when I finally conked out.

Thursday was great. I was up at six and ready for school. I had a small Japanese test which went fine and then I had the most productive day in terms of study. It was awesome. It is still test week so school finishes early but I had to stay at school because I had karate later. (Thursday's training is held in a hall that is quite close to school so I walk to the dojo.) This means I had to hang out at school until about 7:00 pm. After my test I went to the library and read a Japanese children's story. I decoded it and learnt a fair bit from it so I was quite stoked. I then read some Japanese comics for some more study. (It's so cool; I can just chill out and read comics and it is classified as 'studying'.)

After lunch I went back to my classroom and hung out with my mates. We had a drawing competition on the black board. It was quite a good laugh.
I'm not even going to try to explain it
Nearing the end of the day I went back to Rieko's room (host Mum is a teacher at school) and chilled out for a wee bit before departing for training. She had a new cell phone for me, a gift from my Rotary club! (I haven't had the means to communicate for a good month now, but now I have a loan phone and I'm good as gold.)
With my pink fliptop, I will be the envy of my class!
Before I went to karate, I bought a hot can of coffee from one of the school's vending machines and I was on my way. I got to the dojo a good hour early so I sat down and read comics and drank coffee. It was a good wee break.

Training almost killed me. We had an intense session of physical excersize. From ridiculous amounts of squats to rough combination work. It turns out that I have been out of practice for a while now as I was about ready to die by the end of it. I used to be able to do all these squats and press ups and what not but it seems all the rice and sushi has softened me a bit. I got home and damn near hit the pillow snoring. It was a good night.

Friday brang with it that all too familiar feeling of a good workout's aftermath. And it was terrible. Thighs on fire, I almost fell down the stairs on my way to breakfast. I swear they got steeper during the night. I didn't go to school his day. It was still test week and I was still keen to sleep. So I did.

I did manage to study though. So all was not lost. Now it is Saturday and I have not much to do but write. You may have noticed the lack of complaints about my cold this week. That is because I am healthy now! I've used up all of the drugs and I seem to be all good. Thanks for all of the get well comments! 

That's all for now! Until next time!
Sometimes Japan can English more well than I could

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