Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday 9/10 - School clubs and Karaoke!

Woke up at 5:30 again, but I guess that makes it easy to get to class on time. If you recall that Nagashima-san requested that we not be served processed fish-egg-cheese sticks/sausages with breakfast, you'll be interested to know that we were not; we had processed fish-only sausages instead. We had our Japanese placement test at 9:00 which lasted until around 11:00 and consisted of a listening section, a long grammar section that gradually increased in difficulty, and a 10 minute oral interview. I think it went pretty well; the questions were worded in such a way that it was always obvious what they were looking for. There were a few things that I should've known but forgot but overall I think it went well. The oral interview went well until the teacher asked me if I had seen any movies and I said that I saw Source Code on the plane and she asked me to explain the story, which was rather complicated and involved pseudo time travel and terrorist plots. During this time, Nagashima-san brought the few of our phones that didn't get minutes and added minutes.

After that, I had time to take a shower and eat before we had a meeting with the college president. However, when I got back from my shower, everyone was gone so I just went to eat by myself and was quickly invited to sit with a couple girls who were majoring in English. We ate and hung out until my meeting with the president, though I was a little more awkward than usual because I was tired from my test and was failing at eating my slippery udon noodles with chopsticks.

The meeting with the president was uneventful, but I got a couple more papers to add to my overwhelming bag-full. I also signed up for classes yesterday and added one more today since I think I need 18 credits this semester to stay on schedule for graduation. I'll be taking 12 credits worth of Japanese, a 3 credit class that seems to be mostly watching Japanese films (including Totoro and Death Note), and a 3 credit course on Japanese economics since I wanted something else but didn't want to take Japanese culture for a third time. Disappointingly, there were no religion classes as I was hoping.

From there we headed over to the club building to visit clubs that we were interested in. While the sports clubs seemed to do activities and had their uniforms and equipment hung up in the small rooms, almost all the other clubs seemed to be mostly people with common interests who hang out in the club room to talk, do homework, and play video games. I think that about half the club rooms or more had a Gamecube, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 and even the art club was just playing Super Smash Bros. while other clubs opted for Mario Kart 64. I was considering visiting one of the two Bible clubs but chickened out at the last minute. I also hung out at the HI-C club room again for a little bit. I asked them what they did when they weren't playing video games and, confirming my suspicions, they said "We play cards and Uno." At some point, Maggie (the only other ETown student) came in, bitter as always, this time about the fact that the clubs only seemed to hang out and play video games instead of what their names suggested.

In the evening, we went out to eat a restaurant that had good Japanese food but otherwise looked a lot like a normal American sit-in restaurant except for a few areas that had low tables that you could kneel at. This was also the first time taking the subway, although it was only one stop away. Taking the subway in Japan is quite easy: you look at the map above the ticket machines, check the price of the stop you want, and put that much money into the machine. If you go too far, you can always add more to your ticket. Supper was very good, though it took a while for everyone to finish up and as usual everyone was very loud on the way there and at the restaurant. Nagashima-san seems to really want to make a good impression, perhaps at the of expense of not telling people to quiet down when in a public place and so annoying the rest of the pedestrians. He's also dipped into the BCA money a bit to pay for Rachel who is not here through BCA (which is understandable) and for an extended karaoke session later in the night (which went a little overboard).

So anyway, next was karaoke (that's pronounced using the rules I gave in the first post if you want to practice). We decided to walk back instead of taking the subway since karaoke was in between stops and it would save us 200 yen. The karaoke spot had an arcade on the first floor, with lots of crane games which had much nicer stuff (for the most part) than American ones, but they also cost 100 yen and I'm not sure how difficult they were. There were also a bunch of fighting games, racing games, and rhythm games. Our karaoke room was upstairs and was surprisingly large enough to accommodate our group. Nagashima-san also hooked us up with unlimited drinks (although he isn't supposed to buy us any alcohol; hopefully no one at BCA is reading this) and we continued for about two and half hours. It was very fun and started out doing less serious songs from Ke$ha or Brittney Spears, but eventually ended up with quite a variety, including Japanese, English, Romanian, and Spanish. I was thrilled to attempt singing Linda Linda by The Blue Hearts with Nagashima-san in Japanese and later, Dragonstea din Tei by O-Zone with a couple other guys. I also joined in from the sidelines on several other songs. By the end though, I was getting a bit worried about how much money his was going to cost Nagashima-san and kept not adding another song to the queue because I thought that we'd be leaving soon. He wouldn't accept any money afterwards either. Needless to say when we got back around 1 (likely after waking up neighbors with some of our louder members), I fell asleep quickly and slept in to almost 7:00!

1 comment:

  1. the peace and quiet of your host family and their 3 cats sounds pretty inviting after your non stop busy week.