Friday, 18 December 2009

Winter Woes

Well, it has certainly been a long time coming, but I shall finally allow for another glimpse into my life out here in Japan. The past month and a half of not blogging has been filled with various events, some good, some bad, and some... well, pretty ordinary.

First things first, I have decided and confirmed (by handing in an official notice), that I am definitely moving our of this dorm come the end of February. The decision came about based on a number of factors, and it is a choice I am yet to regret (although saying that, I am still currently in the dorm).

- A lot of the friends I have made in this dorm are leaving/moving out come the end of February. This is either because they too, have grown sick of being treated like a child, or it is because their year abroad time has finally come to an end.
- The "Ryoucho" (Dorm boss) and the rules he imposes are beyond a joke. I appreciate that they are not HIS rules (they are the rules laid out by the company that owns the dorm), but his strict enforcement of the rules just ruins the whole "living" experience. Not being allowed to go to the rooms of the opposite sex, and not being allowed to stay in the common area after half 11, forces us to either go out, or to just go back to our own rooms. We went to another dorm for Rikkyo students yesterday for a party (something we could NEVER do here). The Ryocho there actually came up to the room, bringing some alcohol and snacks and joined in with the party!
- Naoko has practically given up coming here any more, due to the fact that it's becoming increasingly hard to sneak her in. My friend here managed to sneak his girlfriend in, and was called down to the Ryosho's office at midnight to be told that she had to leave, despite the last trains having already gone, meaning she wouldn't be able to get home. He ended up arguing, and finally convinced him to let her stay until the next morning. (If you're wondering how Ryocho knew she was here, there are camera's all over this place).

Rant over, I'll be moving to an apartment with a Belgian guy, and hopefully there we will be able to have whoever we want over, whenever we want. It also gives us the opportunity to provide temporary accommodation to any friends who happen to be visiting...

With Christmas only 6 days away, I am afraid to have to disappoint you all as I will not be honouring you with my presence. I chose not to split my year abroad in two by going home for Christmas. That said, I am somewhat regretting the decision, as it doesn't feel very Christmassy here. The streets are all decorated, and the shopkeepers wear Christmas hats, but there is a lack of that Christmas rush that you always feel around mid-December. Japan, being a non-Christian nation, treats Christmas very differently to England. New Years Day is more like the Christmas day I am used to, as Japanese people get together with their families to see in the new year. The 25th on the other hand is supposed to be a "couples" day, much like Valentines day, which they also celebrate here. The exchange students at the dorm have organised a mini Christmas dinner for this Sunday, but with the lack of an actual oven, there's no chance for turkey or any of the normal roasted delights. (Japanese cooking doesn't tend to require an oven, and so most houses don't have one!). Even so, it's an interesting experience, and while I long for mince pies, roast turkey and all the trimmings, I find the differences fascinating.

(It's small, but I've never heard of turkey and paella for Christmas dinner...)

With the lack of any concrete Christmas spirit here, I feel less guilty about going away just before the 25th. SO, leaving on Tuesday, Naoko and I are going to Shanghai for 4 days getting back on Christmas day itself. I've been told mixed things about Shanghai, but am looking forward to in nonetheless. It's supposed to be a lot cheaper than Japan, and will provide a good opportunity to buy some cheap goods, and experience a different Asian nation.

In other news, I had a bash at the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (level 2) a couple of weeks ago. It's an internationally held exam that certifies your Japanese ability. There are (currently) 4 levels, 1 being the hardest. Suffice to say, I'm pretty sure I failed, as it was bloody solid. It doesn't matter though, as I planned to use that as a practice, and take it again in June next year (when it's held again).

Well, I hope that's enough of an update to keep people happy for a while, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I'll leave you with a photo of the effects of an all night clubbing session:

Oh, and one last thing. RAGE for NUMBER 1! I bought my copy.

1 comment:

  1. Big ones. You look like a band.
    I miss losing at poker. I bet you do too.