*cleans the spider webs forming at the corner of this journal*
05 June 2013
0:29
Showing myself again. What's up?

Life has been pretty good since I got my schedule changed. I'm not particularly fond of my Tuesdays since most of the students are kinda bratty and I have a 3 year old girl I want to punch in the face. But whatever, I have Sundays off and I get to go to concerts so WOOHOO.

I actually wanted to post because I feel like whining about fandoms. Can I?
Thank you.

1. CL vs. 2NE1
I don't know why people were so upset over the fact that CL was getting a solo. I mean, I get it that 2NE1 fans are really looking forward to a comeback and that in a way CL's solo set that back a bit. But I mean, the girl deserves a solo! Bom had 2 solo singles, Dara had a commercial single, it was due time that the LEADER of 2NE1 would get her solo spotlight, no?
And then the video came out and there was so much hate about it. People complaining that it's nothing like 2NE1, that's it's culturally offensive and whatnot.
I don't know what people expected? I mean, CL is a rapper and this is her SOLO project, clearly it would be rap-focused AND completely different from 2NE1's music, otherwise there's no point in the solo. And as for being culturally offensive. I'm getting so tired of this. So they think they're "gangsta" and from the "hood" even though there is no "gangsta" or "hood" in Korea. SO.WHAT.
If every country would only be allowed to stick to its own culture, nothing would move, ever. Kpop wouldn't exist, Jpop wouldn't exist. NOTHING would exist. Classical music would have stayed in Europe, etc. etc. Fashion would stay the same everywhere. What a horribly boring world we would live in.
Our world THRIVES on cultural fusion. And that means, sometimes having an asian face with gangsta fashion singing about thung life. WHO CARES.
They're not doing it to mock is or to demean it, they're doing it out of artistic appreciation. Or if you think I'm putting too much into it, because they think it's cool. And what's wrong with that?
So yes. It pisses me off.

2. Game of Thrones "book fans".
So the latest Game of Thrones episode was one of the series' highlights. Having read the books, I saw it coming the whole season and yet I was still shocked, horrified, devastated and crushed. And then on Facebook all the ones who read the books are like "HA, you deserved it you TV show watchers!" as if it's wrong to only watch the TV show?
I've read the first 4 books. They are massive and clumsy and while the stories are great, unless you have the memory of an elephant, reading them and being able to properly digest what's going on there is REALLY REALLY HARD. The TV show on the other hand is amazing. It organizes things in a way that is easier to follow, without taking away the depth of the story. And who the hell "deserves" feeling like their whole world has just crumbled? Why are people such assholes in EVERYTHING?

I hate people. :|

I also wanted to whine about the Eat Your Kimchi haters that always use 2 excuses for EVERYTHING but I'm tired now and I have parents' day tomorrow.

Peace out.
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22 April 2013
17:51
So yesterday I went to the G Dragon concert in Saitama Seibu Dome.
It was probably the worst weather for a concert. In the morning it was freezing and rainy and then when I reached the concert area (over 2 hours later... damn these distances), it wasn't raining anymore but it was still freezing, and the Seibu Dome is an open arena x_x It has a roof but no walls. IT WAS FREEZING.
HOWEVER, freezing and all, the concert was awesome!! GD was adorable and played songs from both albums. His Japanese is as bad as mine and it was really really funny seeing him struggle to make proper sentences :X
Taeyang was the special guest and he played 2 songs as well and wore his usual stupid hair but he was really really cute! At first he said hi to the wrong city XD (I think he said Osaka? o_O idk), so to make up for it he did a little "Saitama love" song. :P
He and GD were adorable when they were on stage together. Super sweet.
GD sang Michi GO twice and the epic Crayon/Fantastic Baby mashup twice too. We were very happy :B
Poor guy at the end though was clearly exhausted so he lay down on the stage and the dancers dragged him off stage XD
It was really great seeing that he has fans of all age groups. There were entire families as well as boys who were not just accompanying their girlfriends! Lots of tiny fans too who got to be all gangsta and adorable X3
So yes, I had a great time but the distance killed me. I left the house at 9:30am and arrived back at 23:40.

Today I spent a long time outside as well because I'll be going with rotem to Korea next week so I needed to get all sorts of things sorted out. I also had my Japanese lesson and the teacher gave me a shitton of homework :X :X
I also managed to get a ticket to Koda Kumi's concert in June and I'm PSYCHED. But again, quite the distance. Not in Saitama but in Yokohama. It's like they're avoiding Tokyo or something XD
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Look! A whining free post!!
02 February 2013
22:40
:: mood | okay ::

Okay so, I have 2 junior-high students on Friday that are the biggest brats ever. They're 13 years old boys and they hate everything, especially English. The first thing they say when they get into class is "Today, no homework!" and then 10 minutes later they say "game time."
So with the help of my head teacher, I managed to turn "game time" into "yeah we're playing UNO but you have to say the prepositions written on the cards in order to play". This is what we've been doing for a while now, so obviously they got bored. 2 weeks ago, one of them told me that he wanted me to bring a new game. I had no idea what to do until another teacher gave me his "Verb Uno" cards to photo copy. They were in black and white so I scanned them and colored them and worked very hard on them. This Friday, I finished them right before class and I made sure that they know how much hard work went into them. We played the game and when they were leaving, I asked if they liked it and they said "yes" !!!!!! of course it was followed with "next week, new game!" because the best thing about the game was the fact I worked my ass on it and not that they got to play. :P
But I don't care, we bonded yo!

Other than that, today I found out that a new student will be joining my super awesome junior-high girls on Saturdays. These girls are super funny and cute and we have a blast ever class. There will be a boy joining them starting next week, they know the boy and those girls are PISSED. They are so pissed that it was just hilarious to watch them whine about it. So to make them even whinier, the manager told them another student will be joining them a month later (which is true, it's another student I have that day, we'll be joining the classes) and the whine-fest was amazing. We couldn't stop laughing.
Unfortunately, it means next week's lesson will probably be really awkward :(

NEXT. My sister and I signed up to a modelling agency in Harajuku a couple of weeks ago and on Friday we got a job for Shiseido but both of us work during the time of the shoot and had to turn it down. T_T I was very sad about this because really, who wouldn't want to be made-up by professional makeup artists with Shiseido products?? grrrr.

So yes! Look I managed to make almost an entire post without bitching and moaning!

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15 January 2013
23:13
:: mood | depressed ::

I always feel bad how this journal has become just a whine-fest, but I need a place to vent and this seems to be the only place I can do that...

So first, I'll start with happy stuff. IT SNOWED!! It was pretty crazy and magical. I woke yesterday to the sound of rain, and while I like rain, I was kinda bummed because I needed to do my laundry and the laundry pole was outside. Anyway, I put it in the house and started doing the laundry. Later on I was getting ready to go out to take out money when I got a message from Ann saying "SNOW!" so I looked out the window and it wasn't just snow, it was crazy huge snowflakes snow! Anyway, it was really nice and surprising and made the day very magical. :) Luckily I didn't need to go to work so I didn't get stuck with all the train delays.

But this is also when the whiny stuff start. See, remember how I said in my birthday post that it didn't feel right? Well, after my birthday, I didn't hear from anyone all week. Then Sunday, I teach near Lalaport which is a very VERY big mall. I went there after work with Rie, the manager of the school to get her father a birthday present. We hung out and it was very pleasant. When I got home, I ran into my 3 friends. They hung out together all day (which is great), the thing that made me a bit upset is that they spent their day shopping in Lalaport. They know I work there. Why not text me and say they're in the area?
I know this sounds petty and I really don't mind my friends hanging out without me. The problem is that, this is not an exception. It's the rule. Most of the time I'm left out which makes me feel like a spare. I'm here when all other plans aren't.
See, I talked to my friend who has the same day off as I do and she said "maybe we'll do something tomorrow" (meaning Monday - snow day) and I said sure!
I didn't invite her to do anything because I was at home like a hermit. But she did go out and hung out with other friends. So once again - excluded.
When these things happen again, and again, and again. It starts to hurt.
It just reminds me how every person I've considered my "best friend" or "closest friend" have always considered someone else as theirs. No mutual thing. This leaves me pretty much alone, which is why LJ has become that venting place and it's really fucking lonely.

It's not that I don't have friends. It's that I don't have close friends and no one I can confide to or open up to. It's all jokes and funtimes. Anything more serious than that and there's no one to turn to and I have no idea how to fix this...

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03 January 2013
23:24
:: mood | aggravated ::

Okay so, let's try and write things pretty much in order.

1. Nagano trip!
It was very very fun and very very painful. XD Snowboarding is definitely not for me. I felt so helpless and had no control over anything it was really frustrating. But the company was great and the snow was magical. :)

2. Fukubukuro:
So starting January 1st, Harajuku and Laforet (a mall between Harajuku and Omotesando) had a "fukubukuro festival" which is one of the funnest thing ever. Especially if you can fit into a Japanese size M. Each store has "Happy Packs" or "Lucky Packs" aka. fukubukuro. Bags varying in size and prices with "mystery" items. The thing is, they're SUPER cheap compared to what you get! I bought a lucky pack from a known punk fashion brand called Algonquins. I usually walk around there, cry and leave the store because their t-shirts cost around 6,000yen. But the lucky pack cost 10,500yen and I got 5 items! The total of what I got? over 50,000yen. Hells yeah~!! Even little packs were super worth it! I got an accessory lucky pack for 315yen and got 5 pairs of earrings! It's a lot of fun, especially for the known brands who specialize in very specific styles.

3. My birthday!
So today I celebrated my birthday with 2 of my friends and my sister. We went to Disneyland and while it was really really cold and super crowded (I think we only went on 4 rides...) it was very nice! :)
Unfortunately, when I got home I realized how much I missed my family and friends back home and how I used to celebrate my birthdays there. I'm so angry with myself about it. I mean, not only is this my first birthday in Japan, but I celebrated it in the happiest place on earth with 3 great people! And yet I feel kind of empty and like something's missing from this birthday...
As soon as I turned on my computer, my dad called me and wished me a happy birthday and I was trying very hard not to cry. Wtf? It makes me so angry.

And that's it.

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Woah.
22 December 2012
10:17
:: mood | determined ::

So I haven't posted in so long that the interface for posting changed! XD

So, what have I been up to...
On November 15th I almost burned down my apartment! It was a really small fire but the cause was a pot full of oil so the only way to put it off was with fire extinguishers. And when the first one didn't put it off, we called the fire department and used TWO more extinguishers until finally the fire was out. And then the fire department arrived. XD
It was a mess. There was a lot of crying and a shit ton of cleaning after but there was no real fire damage except for the air vent. Next week people will come to replace the wallpapers since apparently a giant pink splatter that looks like someone committed suicide in my kitchen is something that should be removed. :P

Other than that today is the last day of work before vacation!!!
Next week I'll be going to a Christmas party at my student's house. I think it's going to be hilarious since my student's English level is low intermediate and she's going to be the best English speaker among the Japanese people who will be at the party XDD
After that I'll be going with Frances, Ann and Richard to NAGANO!!!! ^O^ We're going to skii~~~~~ (well, at least try XD) I'm super excited and nervous! I've never been to Nagano and the last time I went skiing was when I was 9 years old.

Ah yes, because yesterday was the end of the world, today is the first day after the apocalypse so I've decided to use it as my day of resolutions.
- I want to get a little healthier. I'm not talking about massive changes, but I do want to exercise a bit and get in shape.
- I'm going to study Japanese and put more effort into that.
- I'm going to try and get out of my comfort zone and go to bars because that's apparently the only way you can meet people.
- I'm hoping the more Japanese and going out will help me get a boyfriend :X considering that my 26th birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and I've never had a proper boyfriend, if I don't get one this year, I will truly believe that something is wrong with me.

And on that positive note! I wish everyone the happiest of new years and a merry Christmas to those who celebrate! <3<3

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Teaching story time
11 October 2012
22:07
:: mood | tired ::

So in my schools there are quite a few less than ideal classes. What I mean is that some classes have students in very different levels which creates a lot of problems.
In one of my schools the problem was especially severe. It started with an 11 year old boy that was somehow put in a junior-high textbook. His reading is bad, his writing is bad but his determination was great and so if the text was taught super slowly, he could get it.
But then, a few months ago, another boy joined the class. This is a 12 year old boy in junior high that spent 6 months in the U.S. The levels were totally different and the younger boy started to seriously suffer. He became extra shy and was afraid to ask questions so he ended up crying after each lesson from frustration.
Unfortunately because of his mother's schedule, he couldn't change his time slot.
3 weeks ago I came up with an idea. The lesson right after them is of an 11 year old girl that's super advanced. She's in a textbook above them. I thought we'd try to put the stronger boy with her and see how he copes. So last week, we had a trial lesson and the boy was perfectly fine. He decided to join this class (because he was also feeling really uncomfortable in the other class) and so he was happy and the younger boy was happy. It seemed like a solution was made! But apparently, the girl, and the girl's mother are not pleased. The girl is used to having a lesson alone (not a private lesson mind you because that actually costs more). It's true that she's a very special case, her reading is fantastic and she LOVES English. She loves talking and she enjoys the learning process. The boy is strong with writing and understanding the textbook but he's a slow reader and not a very good speaker.
I thought they can balance each other because her writing and grammar aren't perfect. But her face today made me feel really bad... I really like her, she's one of my favourite students! But it's not fair for anyone if I say "oh she doesn't like him so let's put him back in the class where both kids suffer". He keeps up with the material and he understands. But he's taking some of her "private" time with me away so she's not happy.

It's frustrating. :/ We thought we had a win/win situation but it turned out to be a win/awkward silence draw.

So yes. That's my story of the day.

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Partying in Roppongi
23 September 2012
16:44
:: mood | okay ::

So I had a rare Sunday off and decided to use it by going to Roppongi with my friend on Saturday to party until the morning.
I was super excited and I had a great time. :)
Some funny things happened though:
- it rained (it's still raining actually), so it was a little hard to get around.
- we went to a club that my friend always goes to. It's a tiny place with big tables in the middle so there wasn't really a proper dance floor to speak of which made for some awkward dancing.
- the music was all American club/hip hop music which was really awkward when my friend and her Senpai were getting excited about a song and I had no idea what it was XDD I'm so detached from that type of music I only knew the SUPER DUPER famous ones and even then, not always. :X
- Smoking is still allowed in clubs and bars in Japan so even though the place was completely packed, it didn't stop anyone from smoking. The result? My eyes are super itchy and my hair reeks of cigarettes even though I washed my hair.
- I don't drink so unfortunately I get to see how ridiculous drunk people act, which included my friend :(
- tipsy Japanese girls are hilarious though. At one point I went to the bathroom and there was a long line so one of the girls decided she needed to know the age of everyone in there. There were quite a few cries of "eeeh??? mienai!!" (eh? we can't tell!) XD
- It seems that clubs are where all the Japanese English speakers are. So many people talked to me and their English was pretty good! I was happy.
- It seems as though at some point at night it stops being "let's have fun and party!" and more "let's try and grab as many asses as we can!" D: that was not as pleasant. I didn't mind guys that came up to me and chatted me up (all with the same lines though which was really funny) but when a guy just grabs you by the waist while your walking to the bathroom or when your dancing with someone else, that gets annoying.
- Most of the bar's workers were foreigners. Now I know it's Roppongi and all but still, that was interesting.
- The club is actually right in front of Roppongi's most famous club: Vanity. The line to that club was HUGE and if the neon pink strip was any indication of the size of the place, it was MASSIVE. I kinda want to go there someday just to see what it's like.
- Another bathroom story (it was the funniest place really): I went in and there were 2 Japanese girls checking their makeup or something and as soon as I walked in one blurted out "kawaii!" which was really funny. I thanked her and then began the traditional "I love your shirt!" "I love your dress!" "you're so cute!" "no you are!" XD

Anyway, it was a fun experience filled with good and bad. I'll definitely try again :)
But maybe next time I'll go to Shin Okubo because that's Korea Town and they have clubs with Kpop music :P :P :P

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2NE1 concert
12 September 2012
0:11
:: mood | ecstatic ::

Okay so it's midnight and I've just gotten back from the 2NE1 concert. I just want to write this post before I forget everything I want to say.

1. My seat: I knew I had an "arena" ticket so I was thrilled, but the arena area is pretty big + when we went to the hall I saw that there's "stands" "arena" and "center" so I didn't know how good the seat will actually be.
OH BOY was it good. O_O The woman at the door took me to my seat and she kept going down the stairs until she reached the 3rd row. THIRD ROW. I was practically seating on CL's lap. No seriously, I wasn't in the center, I had a side seat so some of the dancing I didn't see properly, but when I can see that Dara had a heart print on the shaved part of her head without the screens or that Bom was wearing sneakers under her long "elegant" (it was a horrible dress) dress during her solo. I'd say I was close enough ;)

2. All girls are absolutely stunning. Bom looks like a walking barbie doll. Her hair was fabulous (a gradient from light blond on top to dark blond on the bottom with big beautiful curls). CL did not stop smiling the WHOLE TIME. She was glorious. Minzy's dancing is fierce as hell and Dara is the cutest thing on this planet.

3. While I was mentally prepared to hear all the songs in their Japanese versions, my sister and my friend were not too thrilled about it. So we were all pleasantly surprised to see that they did a very good mix of both! Fire was half in Japanese and half in Korean, a lot of the songs were played in their original Korean version too so there was a very good balance. :D

4. CL's solo DJ stage reminded me so much of GD that I was giggling like crazy. Also she played "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which made me realize how incredibly perfect this song is for them! O_O

5. The live band was super fierce too!! All foreigners, the bass, guitar and keyboard were all women and the drummer was a man. They seemed to truly enjoy being there.

6. The dancers were fabulous! Both male and female! Although most of the time the male dancers were dancing. I thought that was cool :)

7. One lucky guy got to go on stage during Dara's solo and he got a peck on the cheek from her. He came down the stage from my side of the hall and dude looked SO shocked it was awesome.

8. The crowd was amazing!! All the consplayers and everyone was super friendly and cute!! I wanted to hug everyone and make friends. :(

I think these are all the main points I had to share.

All in all, this concert was AMAZING. I'm really happy I got the seat I got because while the girls were totally rocking out, they didn't move from the stage (as in, it wasn't a Johnny's concert were there are 3 different stages where they move around and the entire concert hall gets a close look at them).

And now there's a storm outside and I'm really happy I got home before the rain started here too (when we got out of the concert hall it was raining)

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04 September 2012
23:00
:: mood | curious ::

So I was watching this video:

(it's 35 minutes, be warned)

And while they were talking I've noticed myself trying to cut in. XD
Basically the video talks about the growing popularity of Kpop (mostly through Psy's Gangnam Style) and how the government uses it to boost the popularity of S.Korea itself.
They have a social activist, a C&J reporter and Simon and Martina of Eat Your Kimchi with them.
So the social activist mentions how the image of Korea that Kpop shows is completely distorted and how there's a very huge gap between the rich and the poor etc. Simon and Martina say that while this is true to outsiders, the Kpop fans know that the Kpop artists work extremely hard and that the beginning of their career is really rough etc.
What I'm surprised about is that no one mentions the following:
- if the outside world sees S.Korea as a great example of democracy, do they not think that media control and censorship are anti-democratic? (because I think they are)
- no one mentions that the life expectancy of a kpop group is around 3-4 years and that's most likely because of:
- having more than 100 new bands debut in a single year and thus flooding the market and making impossible for older groups to take a break and for younger groups to thrive.
- No one mentions the fact that Kpop, while shown as this great success story is actually only surviving due to the fact that most bands, right after their debut, run off to Japan where they can make money.
- No one mentions then that this flooding of Kpop in the Japanese music scene might hurt the Japanese music industry and creates extra tension between the two countries.

It also made me think about how much better that Japanese music industry is on many levels.
Like, how yes, you have Johnny's and AKB48 and Morning Musume (kinda) etc. But for some reason, you don't feel like they have the same pressure as Kpop idols do. I think it has to do with the lack of pressure to go global. Japanese acts are for Japan.
Also, wealth is not something that I see being flaunted in Jpop. When I think about their outfits or videos, I have yet to stumble upon an article that tells me what brands the members will wear and how expensive the video is. And this is Japan, where 50% of total sales of brands takes place. Japan LOVES brands. But it doesn't seem to be important enough to wave in your face.

I don't know, maybe I'm blind to very big problems in Jpop and it's in fact worse. I can only compare from what I see and know. But yeah.

:)

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28 August 2012
23:44
:: mood | exhausted ::

So... it's been a loooooooong time right?
Let's do some bullet points:
- Went to Israel to visit my friends and family
- In Israel - went to the summer convention and got to see everyone there
- bought a new computer

- Came back to Japan in a shitty mood because my friends and family are awesome and I miss them.
- New computer killed my external HD and I pretty much lost everything. I've been trying to recover it for a week now but the program I bought sucks ass and so I'll need to buy a more expensive one so I'm postponing it...

- A bunch of people I know are going to be in Japan during the next couple of months starting with Liron who's here now and spent the last couple of days here.

- Saw the Rurouni Kenshin live action. It was absolutely amazing and I was reduced to tears at the end from how amazing it was. I really really really REALLY hope they'll release it with English subs because while I didn't REALLY need them (knowing the plot by heart kinda helps), I still want to be able to understand EVERYTHING + watch it with other people.

- I went to the YamaPi concert today!!! I was exhausted all day because while I love having friends over, I can't sleep in the same bed with anyone and so the last 2 nights resulted in very bad sleep. BUT YES. I was disappointed with my seat because it was on the 2nd floor at the very edge, but the concert hall was small so it didn't really cause any problems and the concert itself was AMAZING.
That boy deserves all the love. ALL OF IT. The songs were fun, the lighting was amazing, Yamapi himself looked superb. He was ridiculously sexy one second and then incredibly dorky the next. An amazing man I tell you. ♥
I came back home to find a note in my mailbox of an attempted delivery of mine and Liron's 2NE1 tickets! Now, if my sister's ticket is any indication, we will have arena seats for this one! But then again, we might not because we each ordered our tickets separately... I guess I'll have to see tomorrow.

- My overall mood is pretty down I have to say. When I hit the 6 months mark, I felt like things were settling down and I was getting into the groove, but after the visit to Israel, it's almost back to square one. It's really difficult because Israel is a nasty place, I truly hate it. But my friends, my family, my dogs; they're all there! And I love them all terribly and I want them by my side. So yeah... Not all too happy right now. But hey, I'll celebrate my 8 months in Japan at the 2NE1 concert, that's cool right?

- Oh yeah, I also stopped paying for LJ... there's really no point if I barely use it for writing anymore. I check my friends list all the time but yeah... Not much writing.

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27 June 2012
11:19
:: mood | blank ::

Haven't written here in forever right?
Well, there was nothing to write about really... How sad is that?
I was sick all of last week with a mystery disease. Still not feeling 100% better but at least I don't have a fever...
I'm not all too happy though... Feeling pretty lonely again. I wake up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast and then go back to sleep until it's time to get ready for work.
I don't really know what to do.
I have been thinking if Japan is the right place for me after all. I know that I'm following the pattern of adjustment my boss told me will happen (I'm in the down period right now, duh).
I just feel like I don't really fit in anywhere. I don't fit in in Israel and I don't fit in here. I would try another country but I don't have anything to offer.

I don't know, I don't know I don't know. *sigh*

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22 May 2012
23:31
:: mood | good ::

Ok, I think it's time to update a bit. :)
So life has been pretty good! I think my Japanese has improved a bit. I can have some small conversations and understand more. Also my phone has been helping me a lot ;D
But yeah, I've been feeling more comfortable here and just generally happy I guess. :)
I've been a bit more adventurous too and a little more spontaneous. Just because I need to take a train somewhere, doesn't mean it's far. Stuff like that. It might sound silly but to me it's pretty big. :)
As for work, it's been good. I have some cool students and some asshole students but that's a given. In a few months though I will start looking around. While the job itself isn't hard and enjoyable, I pretty much hate my schedule because it prevents me from doing everything I love and enjoying Japan the way it should be enjoyed. In order to make the transition smoother, I'll also be looking for an apartment since this one is a company apartment so if I do get a different job, I'll have to move out anyway and I'd rather do that before and not end up homeless.
I hope that with the 1 year experience teaching here and me actually being able to come and speak to people face to face, they'll forgo the whole "native speaker" thing... I'll be looking into ALT companies and international schools. The biggest problem is that part of the contract with my current company is that if I leave them to work somewhere else, I can't work in the same city. It would be fine if I only worked in 1 school but I work in 5 different schools in 4 different cities...

Hmmmm what else...
I really really love the new JYPE due JJ Project. I've been listening to their debut song Bounce and watching the video quite a lot. I think it's mostly from the relief of knowing they're both 18 XDDD but seriously, I love it because it mixes my 2 favourite music styles; hip hop and rock but not in an Orange Range/GReeeeN/Uverworld style. It bounces back and forth from hip hop to rock and I think it's really clever. It probably sounds like 2 separate songs weirdly put together to some people, but I love it.

Right, so this has been another mini update. I wish I could find the proper words and update properly but I can't seem to be able to... It's kinda frustrating.

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Golden Week
05 May 2012
16:19
:: mood | tired ::

So I had a week vacation!
I went with rotem to Kyoto. :)
We went by night bus because the Shinkansen is too expensive. It wasn't the most comfortable way to travel but it wasn't that bad either.
We arrived to Kyoto on Monday at 6:30am. Everything opens around 8-9 so we had to walk around the train station until something opened and then we ate breakfast. Our Ryokan's check in was at 12:00pm so we put our luggage in a coin locker and went sight seeing. We first went to a temple near the station and walked around a bit. After that we walked to Toji temple. Rotem really wanted to see the lecture hall because she learned about it in uni. We went in and while she was staring at the buddhas I went to walk around the beautiful park.



more here!Collapse )

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Phone!
27 April 2012
11:56
So apparently there's an lj app for android! So this is me using it (^。^)y-~
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Cellphone adventures!
23 April 2012
19:15
:: mood | okay ::

It seems like I'm terrible at updating huh?
Well I finally got a cellphone!! While it wasn't that bad living without one this whole time, there were some times when I really needed it.
Anyway, the whole experience was really exhausting. I was told that I when you sign a contract for 2 years you get a really big discount on the phone, but because my visa is only for one year, I won't be able to do that and so will have to pay full price.
However they signed me up for a 2 year contract and I don't think I got the big discount.
Also I had to have Yurie with me because otherwise I wouldn't have understood a single thing. The poor girl was exhausted from trying to translate things.
In the end, the whole process took around 3 hours. But because I had to pay with my credit card, the monthly payment was going to come off from my account automatically. I didn't want that because that credit card is for my Israeli bank account. So I had to go to the nearest Docomo shop today.
Initially I was going to go Tuesday morning with Yurie but I really didn't want to bother her again with it. It went smoothly so that was nice. I somehow managed to convey what I wanted.
Also Japan is weird! :( So I get it that they like charging extra money for nothing (I had to pay an extra 3150yen for a contract fee. Basically it's like key money for apartments here. It's thanking the company for allowing me to make a contract with them... x_x) I opened the phone's box yesterday to find the charger but all I found was a USB cable, a tiny weird cable and the charger stand. No regular charger. I charged my phone through the computer but I don't want to only rely on that. So when I went to the store this morning, I asked about the charger and the lady said I had to buy it... I don't get it man! D: shouldn't it be obvious that if I buy a phone, I'll a charger for it??
Also, while the cellphone itself isn't that expensive (cell phones in Israel can be 1000nis more expensive), the other services really are... *sigh* oh well, I guess this is the "Japan is expensive" part of this experience. It was bound to show up in places that are not public transportation related.

BUT the phone itself is very cool!! I got the Aquos phone SH-01D, it's an android and it comes in 3 colors, black, white and this gorgeous indigo. I really wanted the indigo but they didn't have it (it's a popular phone), so I decided to get the black one (the only one in stock really) because I can always put a pretty cover on it :P But actually, the black is really pretty!! it's a glittery black!! IT SPARKLES!!!
The touch screen itself is also really nice, even though I have nails, it responds really quickly! Oh and Docomo has this cute retarded thing, you have a little character on your screen that tells you when you had a missed call or when you get a text/email. You can choose between a boy sheep and a girl sheep (or in Japanese between a hitsuji and a mei) they're dressed in butler uniform so their names are "hitsuji no shitsuji" and "maido no mei" it's adorable XDDD
Also, because it's a Japanese phone, there's a shit ton of emoji you can use!! I was mailing a Japanese friend/student and all her mails were full of emoticons XD it was super cute.
I've already downloaded quite a few applications, the train schedule one, the google translate, skype, facebook etc. I hope this will be a nice addition to my life here. :)
I'm certainly happy I got it before Golden week. This way I'll be able to stay connected with the world during my vacation. :)

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12 April 2012
23:53
:: mood | tired ::

Oh man, I haven't written here in forever!!
What's happened lately... My sister arrived to Japan and has been settling in nicely. :)
I met up with her on the day she arrived and got stuck for almost 5 hours on the train on the way back home because of a massive storm.
I'm settling nicely at work.
I got my alien registration card so I can now open a bank account! A thing I will do on Monday.
I got to see the sakura blossoms. This was extremely amazing and I still can't believe I saw it. It feels so unreal for some reason. Like a dream or something, even though I took a shitton of pictures...
In about 2 weeks it's going to be Golden Week! This means a week's vacation and going to Kyoto with the sister!
(I'm writing this during an earthquake lol)
I'm very excited about Golden week!! I can't wait.
As for social life, it has improved since the first month but not by much. I think that instead, I've kinda gotten used to being more alone? idk... I'm trying though!

And yeah, that's it. :)

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20 March 2012
14:24
:: mood | calm ::

So this morning, I went to the recycle shop to try and find a vacuum cleaner. They didn't have one that could be used on carpets so I left.
Because I was already out and on my bicycle I went to the nearby mall and walked around. I did buy some stuff but the best part was my encounter with 2 sales girls.
The first one works in a store that I always go in but never buy anything. It's a fashion fusion shop between hip hop and traditional Japanes embroidery. I LOVE it but it's pretty expensive and their sizes are small.
Anyway I was looking at some shirts and the girl came up to me and started talking, then she asked where I was from and talked a bit. I told her I was an English teacher so then she asked me to translate some stuff for her that were embroidered on the clothes. XDDD
After that I wanted to try on a pair of pants but told her that it'll probably be too small (it was a large). She said "NOOO you're so thiiiiiin" (>.>) I told her that not at all and that Japanese people were really tiny and she said Japanese people are fat... IDK seriously.
Of course, I didn't fit into the pants, but it was still fun. :)

After that I went into another store I like, it's the hip hop crazy colorful Gyaru store! I love that style... Anyway they had some really good sales so I went in and decided to try on some pants there too. Amazingly, one pair actualy fit me! The girl that was helping me looked like she stepped out of a Gyaru magazine, she was lovely~
Anyway they had some cool caps so I tried one on and she had one, I shifted the hat to the side and it kinda looked like I was copying the way she was wearing hers so she was like "ah! the same!: )" so I told her that yeah because she's super cute. And she was like "noooooooo you're really pretty! I love your nose!" o____________O;;;; my nose is pretty terrible. XD I told her no way and that her nose was really cute! but she disagreed. So here I was in a store arguing with a girl about our noses.... So I went on to compliment her AMAZING NAILS OMG. She had candy on it. It was amazing.
There were 3 salesgirls in the store and they all looked like they came out of a magazine, it was impressive.
Then again, in all the more "themed" stores, the salespeople dress the part amazingly.

Anyway I thought it was really amusing. :)

3 | comment

A visit to the clinic
19 March 2012
11:44
:: mood | okay ::

Okay so Friday night, I started to get a sore throat. I knew it meant that I was getting sick. :(
Saturday morning I woke up in so much pain I could barely stand. I called the office and told them I couldn't go to work and passed out for the rest of the day almost.
Sunday I felt a little better but still, not in the best condition to teach, so again, I stayed home. But I knew I had to go see a doctor about my throat because, throat infections = anti-biotics.
My boss gave me this phone number of a medical information center. Basically you call them and tell them what doctor you want to see and where you live (and if you need an English speaking doctor). They then tell you to call them within 20 minutes and they'll find a few.
So that's what I did and they gave me the addresses and phone numbers of 3 clinics. One of those is right behind my house so it was pretty obvious as to which one I will go to.
Apparently, you don't need to make an appointment, you just show up. So this morning, I woke up at 8am and around 8:45 I headed to the clinic.
I asked the nurse at the reception if there was an English speaking doctor and she called her. Her name is Ryoko Nakamura and she's the nicest person ever! ;_; She explained to me what to write on the note and told me it would take around an hour until someone will see me. So I sat down and waited.
When my turn arrived, I was shown to a non-English speaking doctor, but it was ok because he spoke slowly and he already had the note saying what was wrong with me and if I had a fever or not. He did the regular checks for which you don't really need to speak English (say AAAH doesn't really count) and checked my heart, apologizing before every move of course (this is Japan after all). He then perscribed some medicine (asking if I was allergic to anything first of course) and that was it!
I left the room and waited at the reception for them to tell me how much it cost and give me the perscription.
Nakamura-sensei (:P) came and explained everything to me. Now because I used me foreign insurance and not my local one, I needed to get the receipts in English so she'll actually re-write them for me and send them in the mail for me. So I paid for the visit and then she took me to the pharmacy which was right across the street. There, she explained to the pharmacist all about the insurance thing and that he'll bring the receipt to her so she'll take care of it.
I waited for him to prepare the medicine (it kinda took a while o_O) but then he came out and not only did he give me my medicine but he had 2 sheets of paper with him. One was in Japanese but with color pictures of the pills, the other one was an English translation of what was written on the Japanese page. Basically it's all the dosage and stuff like that. I was impressed! :)
So I paid for the pills too and left. That's it! That's my visit to the clinic adventure!
I have some pictures because it's cool to have pictures. :P (except I took them on my phone and it's being an ass and won't show me the files on the computer, so here are the pictures of the papers only...)

yey papers!Collapse )

2 | comment

17 March 2012
0:12
:: mood | sick ::

So today I went to teach my longest day.
It's a tough day because it's the only school I feel uncomfortable in (i have no idea why) and I have some tough students there.
It used to be 2 groups, a 3 girl group and a 4 boy group one after the other. But now the boys group has reduced to 2 boys and we moved to a new book that I love much more because there's so much more to do so there's less dead awkward time.
The girl group however is quite painful. The reason is that there are 2 strong girls and one girl who's really really really REALLY weak. She is struggling and I see it on her face and she's like me, when she doesn't get something, she shuts down. Instead of looking at the textbook and listening to the other girls when they say their answers, she just ignores everything which makes things worse.
Basically she needs to go one whole text book back and do that one again. I told that to the manager and she said that even the girl said so. This made me SUPER happy, because it means she knows her own situation. So I agree, the student agrees and the manager agrees. What's the problem? The girl's mother is super strict... this means she might be offended and angry if we moved her daughter to a lower class. So I asked the manager to explain the mother that right now, her daughter's situation is hurting her daughter AND the other students because I have to stay a lot longer on things that I could finish faster. Also it makes her daughter seriously hate English. (Apparently she loves math though.)

I hope the manager will convince the mother. It would be so great for everyone involved. If it was a private lesson, I could stay on the same page as many weeks as necessary, but with 2 other girls, who actually get it... It's become more and more painful.

For example, on Thursdays I have a similar situation. An 11 year old boy somehow ended up using a more advanced book, but he has a private lesson. So I just take it one page at a time and do extra practice. This way everyone comes out happy :)

In another class, because of all the schedule changes this time of year (new semester), they put 3 students, each from a different class and each in a different place in the book. Luckily though, the one who's farthest behind is really smart so while he might be learning something new, the others are getting a good review and no one feels like they're losing anything.

Yeah, this is a long weird post. I just felt like writing this down.

On a more annoying note, I think I'm getting sick. :((((

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