14 April 2012 § Leave a comment
I continue to be alive and well in Japan, though my lack of updates on here would suggest otherwise. As my father informed me on Facebook (though I’m not completely certain it was my father, but rather my mother logged into his account), I didn’t update once in March.
It’s a nice Saturday night here in Osaka and I just got in from going to see The Artist (known as simply “Artist” here in Japan), which just came out in theaters here on the 7th. I am now getting ready to watch “Singing in the Rain”, because for some strange reason I now feel compelled to watch it.
It’s been an eventful month and a half or more (who are we kidding… it’s been an exciting fourteen months, but you know about most of what that’s entailed…). I sort of don’t like writing long updates, though, so I’ll keep it brief for you, and if you’re really interested in any particular point, do ask me to write more and I will! And it’s likely that I actually will, especially now that I have internet again, after having not had it for a month because of moving (I moved! Yay!).
Really big sumo tournaments happen six times a year, according to Wikipedia (and other sources, I’m sure): three times in Tokyo, once in Nagoya, once in Fukuoka, and once in Osaka. It was cancelled in Osaka last year for a couple reasons, but it was back on this year and I made sure to spend a day taking it in. After buying our tickets as early as we could at 8 AM, we found our seats and stayed there until around 6 in the evening. The first group of wrestlers are the more amateur ones, and it also the largest group. By the time the more exciting matches were getting underway, we were nodding off, but we made sure to be awake for the final match with the yokozuna. Once you get to the more experienced guys, there’s a lot of time before they actually start fighting, during which they walk around the ring and a guy says some stuff.. and the fights themselves aren’t very long at all, sometimes as short as a few seconds. I’m happy to have gone to a sumo tournament, but I can’t see it as something I could ever really get into. It was a fun day, though. You’re allowed to bring any outside food and drink you want, and if you have some good friends with you, it’s alright!
I attended my friend’s kendo exam back in March and that was really interesting too. He started studying last year. I’d only ever heard about what it was like, and it was great to see a gymnasium filled with tons of people all whacking each other with sticks (I have such an eloquent way of describing these traditional Japanese sports, no?). They were all in their kendo outfits, faces hidden behind some kind of protective equipment, with their long wooden sticks, screaming at each other.
I moved! No longer do I suffer within the confines of a tiny one room apartment, longing for a kitchen that isn’t part of my bedroom which isn’t part of my living or dining room. I’m now in a 2LDK (do we use this term in Canada? 2 bedroom, living, dining, kitchen? I don’t know about looking for apartments in Canada…), living with one of my best mates here. We’ve been there for exactly a month to the day now and I can’t believe I went so long in my previous place. We’re located a short walk’s distance from one of the central areas for going out and doing things and shopping and whatever. I now have a shower that drains properly. I have a proper sized bed. I have room to cook real meals. And on top of all those brilliant things, the previous tenant left us a bunch of free furniture that he (she?) didn’t feel like dealing with – table and four chairs, big fridge (by Japanese standards, anyway), a huge cupboard, and a beautiful, flat screen TV 🙂
…is fun! I have my fourth show tomorrow downtown, which will be alongside the Pirates of Tokyo Bay. Improvised singing makes me nervous, but I’m working on it, and don’t actually have to do it all that often. People laugh at things I do; it’s encouraging.
5. Cherry Blossoms
It’s that time of year again! Plum blossoms have come and gone, making way for (no offense, ume no hana…) prettier flowers. There’s not much to say on this that I didn’t already last year. They’re pretty. I like them. There’s a good feeling in the air. Huzzah!
As a note, pinatas aren’t a thing that a lot of people that I’ve met here don’t have have much experience with. So Dan (housemate) made one for our friend’s birthday and it was wonderful. I feel like I’ve had a crack at a pinata at some point in my life, but I can’t remember a specific incident. Dan’s from pretty close to Mexico, so he’s rather used to them, but are they, in fact, something that are popular for special events – birthdays, mostly – in Canada? Either way, when our friend beat it up with his kendo stick, it was much fun, followed by much candy.
That’s all for now. Nothing particularly insightful, just a rundown of things in general. I’ll get back to writing more frequently. In the meanwhile, I hope all you lovely people reading are doing quite well and enjoying spring wherever you are!
6 April 2011 § Leave a comment
Today was beautiful. Really beautiful. Hardly a cloud in the sky, a completely blue sky, cherry blossoms in full bloom, people out picnicking, so warm. I didn’t have to be anywhere for work until 2, so I went to the park around Osaka Castle, walked around, had lunch outside. Everything just felt good. On days like today, everything feels okay. If there is anything at all that bothered me, it was only the fact that I couldn’t share the day with any of my close friends.
I’ll be going out again tomorrow before I go into work (actually, no work today or tomorrow, just additional training.. easy stuff). I brought my camera today, but there’s no way pictures could do any justice. There’s a feeling in the air that can really only be experienced through being here.
I went to an interview for a second job this week with another division of the company I’m already working for. It involves doing visitations to kindergarten classes and teaching lessons there, helping run special themed events (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), and various other events. It’s not too demanding in terms of hours, so it should work out fine. I hope it works out fine, because I got the job.