Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Hols, Singing, Mayumi...

OK I know it's been over a month and I apologise.
My winter holidays start from the 23rd and last for 2 weeks (I think).
During that time I plan to go out with friends and spend Christmas with the fam, although everyone has to work and go to school etc. on Christmas Day. So my fam probably won't be home for most of the day >_<
This weekend Maumi's coming to stay at mine. She arrives in Hiroshima tomorrow and I have a day off school so I can go pick her up. She stays til Sunday. I want to show her around Hiroshima and then eat Hiroshima style okonomiyaki for dinner. Saturday I have an AFS event, welcoming exchange students who are visiting Hiroshima. I have to dance 2 dances, 1 to a Jackson Five song.
Sunday I have my 3rd to last chorus practice, singing Beethoven's 9th Symphony in German. I sound terrible but that's OK there are 4000 other people to help drown out my cat's wailing. XD
I perform on the 19th of December. Intense.
I took my Japanese Language Proficiency Test on Sunday, L3. I think (hope) I passed. But 2 girls I know who came with Rotary took the wrong train, came 5 minutes late to the exam and weren't allowed in!! They had paid 6000yen ($100) for the exam!! Gutting..
Today's temperature was averaging 10. But, as long as I stay in the kitchen with the heater on it's bearable. For some reason the package still hasn't arrived yet.. It's been 17 days, I don't know if that's usual or not?
Baked a chocanilla cake today. I was in a baking mood. I have exam week this week and only had 2 today so got back home early. Go back to school as normal next week. We have the stove on in the classroom, but when I go to another classroom when I have my study periods it's bloody freezing!! I take my scarf, gloves and a little blanket called a hizakake with me. All the girls put the hizakake on their laps during class. My English teacher was telling us she saw a boy with one on his lap too and thought it was really cute. They're lucky 'cause they have pants whereas all we've got is tights with our skirts >_<
My chances of going to the snow are slim, but I might get a white Christmas!!
We might be going to an onsen (hot baths) for a day, the whole family, if we ever get our acts together!! I sooo wanna go!!
That's all I can think of right now..

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weather, AFS, activities.. stuff..

Yesterday the weather was fine, it was even warm enough for me to take off my blazer but TODAY! My God, it's like someone brought in a cold wind making machine!! And it doesn't help that my house is on the side of a mountain, and my school is up on an even taller one!!
Apparently tomorrow it's going to be 11degrees so we've been told to wear sweaters with our blazers for our trip to Hiroshima University. It's an open campus day and all the high school year 2's are going which means.. no school!!
I have bought thick tights and a little blanket thing which I'm allowed to use from November onwards I think.. can't wait! And Nana's jumper she knitted me is a lifesaver!! thankyou Nana ^_^
I have my speech coming up in 2 weeks. Have to memorise 5 minutes worth of Japanese ><
So that's what I've been doing, practice, practice, practice..
I had an AFS meeting on Saturday, where I met Japanese AFS students who are doing exchanges next year. There are around 10 and they're either off to the US or Europe. One girl goes to my school even and I've agreed to help her learn basic German to prepare for her exchange to Germany..
At the meeting we learnt a dance which we will perform for other exchange students who are coming to Hiroshima city in December. I think other kiwis will be coming too XD
Sunday I went shopping...
..I spent.. a bit...
well, I bought the high heels I wanted, can't wear them until Saturday though ><
as well as tights for school and socks that were on special.. long winter socks for $3 a pair!! =O
so, I've bought what I wanted, and I feel guilty so I'll refrain from spending again...
But I think you'll be surprised at how much I've changed.. willing to wear make-up every day etc. It's this whole fashionable thing in Japan, the trend is growing on me so I'm turning even girlier.. it could be a good or bad thing...
This Sunday I have a university's culture festival to go to. I'll tell you how that goes when I get there, you might have to wait another month though XD
The chorus thing I've signed up for is going well. Can remember the tune and how to sing it, and there's another exchange student I met!! She's from Sweden and she came in August with Rotary. Her Japanese is not so good, but of course I've been here 5 months longer than she has...
The day of the speech competition is the 7th of November, meaning exactly 3 months to go after that o.O
What I'm feeling about that is this:
There's 3 more months to go!! Wanting to go back..
There's only 3 months left... Not wanting to go back..
i just have this horrible feeling i'm not going to cry at the airport..
I'll have to invest in some onion juice to dab underneath my eyes or something..
I had exams last week. These are my results:
writing (english):99/100
world history:20/125
I was ecstatic about world history today, i expected only 10 and got double! AND i bet one of the girls in my class, she only got 12. I'm guessing she didn't study. I didn't really either, it was my guess work and multichoice questions that won me my 20 point mark today. Quite proud...
So, that's what's happening. It's too cold to sit in dad's room typing for long so I'll leave you to it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sports Festival, Computer, and other stuff i think of..

So, computer died almost 3 weeks ago, currently getting fixed so am at an internet cafe. My mp3 also refuses to charge so I'm stuck without music which is epically lame. I'll try find what the problem is on the net, otherwise I'll have to take it in somewhere to be checked.
I've been practicing for my sports festival which happened last Sat. I had 2 folk dances with my year, then a class dance, and dances with my year, then a class dance, and also joined in with the 3rd years traditional dances and wore a yukata :)
It was really fun, and weird. There was no high jump or shotput, but weird Japanese group games like 3 legged races (with 6 people) and a tyre war? the school was split into 2 teams red and white, i was in red and red lost DX
It was extremely hot, and I swear the teachers were trying to kill us by making us stand up in the heat and sing the school song, which I still dont know.. But it was fun, I have pictures which I cant put up fun, I have pictures which I cant put up yet.
I went to my friends culture fest the other day, spent more money than I should have, came home and slept until morning, skipping dinner. This comp repeats sentences I write so i might not delete them all if I overlook it.
Yesterday i went to see a Japanese traditional play. The whole play is called Kyogen and its made up of small comical stories. I saw 3 yesterday. The Japanese also had to fight to stay awake because Kyogen is spoken slowly, and uses very old Japanese which not everybody can understand. We had English guides with us, who told us what the stories were about. In the middle of the 3rd story, the guy guide was obvioulsy asleep and the girl was writing in her diary. LOL. I have a lot of days off this week. Yesterday was a national holiday for off this week. Yesterday was a national holiday for old people. Todays a school holiday because i holiday for old people. Todays a school holiday because i had my sports fest on saturday. and Thurs is the day of the vernal equinox which is another holiday. And next week is my school trip!!
ive been very busy studying for my end of year exam, and my speech contest which I havent written yet and its due at the end of this month!! I've also signed myself up, at my dads subtle hints, to join a choir, singing Beethovens 9th (?) i dads subtle hints, to join a choir, singing Beethovens 9th (?) in German. So have practice every Sunday morning until the show in December.
Everything seems to be going fine, apart from being incredibly homesick these past few weeks due to having no access to the computer!! And homesickness is a real crappy feeling :(
Alright, I'll leave it at that. I've only got 20 more mins and have things I need to look up.
Missing everyone heaps!!
Love Jules

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Service, Camps, Stuff...

Haven't mentioned Japan's fantastic service.
I went to the hairdressers around a month ago, the one that Supika goes to. I had 3 people working on my hair, who talked to me (like hairdressers do), but afterwards the price was 2000 instead of 2500 yen because it was my first time, and one of them opened the door for me and i was waved goodbye!!! Aw, it's a special feeling..
And, yesterday Supika went to the optometrists for new glasses and I thought I'd tag along to get mine fixed. I'd brought my wallet, but they fixed my glasses, cleaned them, and gave me new nose fitter thingies for FREE!! AND they gave us juice!!
Dad said later on they probably should have charged me, and I'm like, I don't mind XD
I was meant to start a first full day at school today, but yesterday the school pipes broke down so the tests were postponed til today and I don't have any tests =D so, home alone...
I've been building a small manga collection, and Supika and I read manga late in the night in my room cuz I have the aircon ;P but its still embarrassing buying manga cuz I'm foreign, browsing through these books in another language and they use heaps of slang so its slow going...
I had my family camp, which was fun. We stayed at a campsite first night, then a real flash Japanese Inn the 2nd, and my Mum's Dad's place on the 3rd. I forgot to mention, we had my hostfamily's old exchange student return and stay for 2 weeks, so he came on the camp too. He arrived on my birthday, from Germany and same age. Dad was evil and didn't tell him that I was there, so he didnt know of my existence, so you can imagine his surprise when he walked in the door and saw me there!! But his being there meant I was also allowed to drink alcohol for the 2 weeks so I'm not complaining!! XD
Oh yes, and the little sister came. First I'm like, yay! our family's growing!! but after one day I was prepared to kill her. Supika could tell I didn't like her, I wasn't my usual cheery self, so Pi tried to keep the 10 yr old away from me.. Luckily I had my AFS camp right after the fam camp so I could escape the house early!! The girls name was Norichan, and whenever someone mentions her name, everyone sighs and says never again! lol
I went to the beach on the fam camp, used HEAPS of sunscreen, and entered the onsen 3 times XD once before the beach, once after, and one more time the next morning.. we like onsen..
When we went to stay at grandfathers house we stopped off at a river for a swim and there were these Americans there MOCKING me!! And I'm like, I can speak english you know!!
Afterwards my whole fam was like OMG Juliette what did they say? what did they say?? fools..
So yeah.. then AFS camp was good but I felt like I was in primary again with the way they treated us. Keep on the left! Don't separate! Wait at the lights! It was like it was our first time out in public or something. It was absurdly hot, and we spent the whole time walking round looking at things in Hiroshima which were very boring because naturally I've already seen them all! We had 17 students gathered which made it good though. New people were: 1 Vietnamese, 1 Malaysian, 1 American, 1 Norwegian, 1 Finnish, 1 Laos, 1 French, 1 Nepal(ese?), and 1 Chinese.
When I returned I became sick and it still hasn't gone away XS
And my first full day of school is tomorrow XS
Have received more info bout my school trip, don't know when I have to pay though.. When I go to see Lion King I have like, one of the best seats!! In the middle near the front yuss!
I've just been finishing my essays and baking ^_^ and now I'll carry on reading my manga!!!
Ja ne, Juju <3

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer holidays and whatnot

So, I'm already a 1/3 of the way through my summer hols already *cry*, but they've been really good so far and are only going to get better!! I had an AFS orientation on the 24th, where I made a short speech to a family that wasn't present lol. They don't like the AFS events either XD On the 25th I had to go to the peace park in preparation for the 6th of August. I basically say my poem (in English), a Jap student then translates it, and then I sit down. Apparently the UN president is coming.. whoever that is.. lol. When I'm not going out with friends I occupy myself by reading manga on the computer, although you can imagine how boring it is when Supika'S using the computer and it's too hot to do anything else. Ah, for Supika's birthday we went out to watch the new Studio Ghibli film, Kuragashi (sp?) Arietty. It being a kid's film i could understand the Jap fairly well XD. I bought Supika a CD and made her a chocolate cake. On the 28th I spent 6 hours at karaoke with my mates, and it only cost 500yen!! ($8.30)
Then, on Fri I met up with the ESS club members and the teacher took photos of us with some origami cranes sent over from a Junior High in the US. We then went to purikura 5 times XD
The next day I had a Jap lesson with my LP, and my morning lesson teacher gave me manuka honey chocolates from NZ!! Her dad had been there recently and brought them back, man honey is good... When I came back home the whole family was gathered, aunts, uncles, cousins included, and we ate chinese dumplings =)
But yesterday was an epic day, we went out for a drive after lunch to an Acorn village which was preparing for a festival(I didn't see any acorns or squirrels). It was Supika, cousins Miwa and Takakun, Mum, Dad and I. Us 'kids' played tiggy then we went into onsen =D When we came out there was a crowd already, and food already being sold. There was a noodle line thing too (I've got photos) I'd always wanted to try it ever since reading about it in a manga!! It's a long line of bamboo halves connected on a hill, water is poured down along with soumen (noodles), cucumber and tomatoes. You pay 300yen ($5) for a bamboo cup filled with soumen sauce, add spring onion, grab some chopsticks then choose a spot by the bamboo and try to catch the noodles, cause the water's really fast!! It's even harder to catch cucumber or tomato!
Afterwards Supika and I bought snowcones (in Japan there's always the option of sweetened condensed milk on top which tastes really good!), ate some Jap cream filled sweet and boars meat... I was the only foreigner there XD There was a raffle for vegetables but we only won one bag of capsicums (we wanted corn or even melon!!) A melon half costs around $7!! Later, we danced. We were all given fans and danced around a wood thingy, learning the steps as we went. Then we had fireworks!! It was a really awesome day but I was soo tired!
My plans for the rest of the hols: tomorrow I'm meeting a mate and her foreigner friends to do.. something.. not quite sure what; wed is the cinema! watching a horror film called confession..; Fri is the peace day, from 7am til late; the next day is an AFS BBQ; the 9th Supika and I are going to the pools; 10th is my bday, I want to go to the cat cafe!!; 11th karaoke with Supika; 13th - 15th is a fam camp, going to the islands in the south, and to the beach!! finally!; 17th - 20th is an AFS camp, around 2o other students are coming!! I'm so excited!! I think I have a pretty good summer XD it all ends on the 24th though when I go back to school D=
Something I thought might shock: Mum was asking me the other day how much I thought the 'loaf' of bread my Dad bought cost. I said 300 (5), 400, 500!! no, 650yen!! ($11) for a loaf of bread!!!
Ok, thats me done, its too hot to write!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wednesday Night 'clackers', Bunkasai, Karaoke, AFS warning, summer.. and exams round 2!!

Incidently that's the reason why I'm writing today, I had an exam this morning. Anywho I'll start on the 1st one on the list: Wednesday Nigh clackers. I keep forgetting to mention this and only remember when they come every Wed. I think it's just in my area, volunteers wearing fluoro vests and carry clacky thingies walk around on Wed night clacking away warning any arsonists wondering about town. Everyone says what? Apparently, all the poor were pissed of about 10 years ago and started burning peoples houses, so you don't leave any paper or things that can be burnt outside, and these clackers come round to check for lurking arsonists. One of my first Wednesday nights here I went for a little nap early and was woken up by them coming closer and closer and I'm like what the hell is that?? It was pretty freaky, but soon Dad explained.

I had my bunkasai (culture festival), some Americans came and being part of the ESS club I helped show them round. At first I couldn't see who the Americans were because most of them were Asian looking. One girl had been born in Japan but lived in America all her life, but her Jap was really good even thoug her parents don't speak it anymore! Some were born in Hawaii, so a girl could use the pois that I had made. Meimei, Franc and Nastia turned up and we went into the haunted mansion which was really cool and freaky, you'd be surprised at how well the students can decorate their rooms and make it so realistic! It was pitch black, and hands came out and grabbed you and mannequin heads fell down in front...
ESS club wasn't so popular.. Whale Rider and the Worlds Fastest Indian were playing, and I was stationed at the club room from 1-1.30. I really wanted to do something with the others afterwards, but had to clean and have a closing ceremony first, so we agreed to meet at Koi train sation when I'd call. Luckily the ceremony was so short, only 20 mins, and I told my homeroom teacher about wanting to meet my friends so she let me go straight home!! I called Meimei, and found them climbing up some stairs down the road, up into a suburb I've never been to before. I'm like, guys, the bus stop is across the road from the school!! So we went to the city, Hondori, and Franc showed us the building where he takes Jap lessons and we decided to try it out the next Sat, then Franc was hungry so we looked for a restaurant. He wanted Japanese style so we found one which went underground and chose 5 dishes to share (including deepfried camembert!!! (that was my choice!)). We ordered squid, chinese dumplings, a yam fritter thingy and tuna sushi as well (raw of course). But when they set the plates down in front of us, we were all like, is this it?? The pictures made them look way bigger but they were actually only appetisers!! And it cost 2000 yen altogether!! ($34!!)
We later found out it was a bar and you had to be over 20 to enter it, and I had rocked on up in my school uniform lol. We met the Americans from the festival again, and looked around for a subway which Franc was determined that he had seen it the other day. We found it and shared a sandwich then made our way home.
I finally went to karaoke!! We all met up on the Saturday for the Jap lessons which were really good, then met up with some Jap girls for karaoke. Interesting story: the Tuesday earlier I caught the wrong bus and a woman helped me find the correct one etc. we exchanged numbers and she gave me her daughter's number as well. Texting her daughter, Miku, we decided to meet each other for the 1st time at karaoke. You might think that'd be the most awkwardplace to meet new peopl but it was really cool and fun!! We only had 3 hours though =( Next time, Franc said we have to pack food for a whole day and spend the day there! I so agree!! I'm actually going again this Wed with my mates from school :)
Got lost on the way home though and took half an hour finding my way back. I secretly have a cell phone now, and without it then, I would've been screwed!! I found a place I recognised and Dad came and picked me up. The whole fam was there and we made sushi.
Poor Meimei, her hostmum and LP are really close so AFS knows everything she does and found out that we (exchange students) had gone out together 3 times over the past 2 months.. dundundun!! So, we all received phonecalls from our LPs telling us we shouldn't go out again until after the next orientation (24th July). So we're being 'grounded' by AFS?? wtf?? Luckily I have a fam who couldn't care less about who I meet, but Meimei's mum is always inquisitive about where she goes, so is Nati's, so they both don't get out much. And it's hard to keep contact with the other two, they aren't allowed on the comp as frequently as I am and Franc doesn't even have 1 so he uses the school ones or an internet cafe.
It is officially summer, but not even at its hottest yet!! I'm so grateful to dad, he bought me a fan for my room, and I live on aircon in the kitchen =P I love being in the classrooms at school too cause they have aircon, but the second you step out it's like someones put weight on your shoulders and covered you in a big fur coat!! It's a dizzying heat.. can't wait til the hols in 2 weeks!! I'm finding a pool and swimming in it!!
Exams are here again. Had English last Friday and World History today which I studied for hard, trying to remember all the names and places and memorising some kanji but it was still a failure.. I have home economics tomorrow, don't ask why I said I could do that exam!! And writing and Japanese on Wed. Free day on Thurs whoop!!
OK, I'll try and do this again before a month passes!!
Love Julz

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Onomichi, Sickness, Karaoke fail, Cellphone, School Festival

Ok, I agree, May 13th was a long time ago.. (my last post)
So, I shall start with the end of May, exams are over and on the Friday before I was off to Onomichi, my 'friend' Mio gives me a freaking fever!! So that night was horrible, but I was determined to see everyone in Onomichi!! I stocked up on tissues, panadol, throat lollies and face masks on Saturday morning and took the train to Hiroshima Station in my school uniform. That morning I met the same lady who helped me on the bus so long ago and she invited me to a Buddhist Temple some day which I may (or may not..) go to. We met up by a fountain, me being me, I went through to the other exit of the train station and walked all the way around because to cut through you have to have a ticket or bus card (you don't pay on the train but use those machine thingies). Francois, Nastia, Nati, Meimei and I all climbed into Taniguchi's (Hiroshima chapter president's) car and went off. My LP didnt come. We stopped off at a bakery for lunch and carried on for 2 hours until Onomichi. Taniguchi dropped us off and I was stupid and left my camera and wallet in the car (we were told to leave our bags there, this had relevance later). We met Ain and Dome and 2 new students, Tami from Germany and Kris from Chile. We were at Kris' school. Inside we met some first years who were way better at English than the people in my class!! They had 2 foreign teachers as well, a lady from America and a man from England who spoke to us exchange students like we were babies, but I guess he has been speaking to Japanese people.. (that sounded very mean, but its true). All the students were in groups, they were going to take us on a tour of Onomichi and we had to pick which group we wanted to go with. Francois had first pick and he chose Group G and OMG the girls screamed so loud when he picked them, it was so hilarious!! For some reason they all think he's really hot, I don't think Franc knew what to do with himself lol. So I picked group F cause we were gonna make key chains. There were 3 girls and 1 boy in my group, maybe they weren't so pleased they got the sickly one but they were happy enough. So, I had no camera or money, but managed to borrow 500¥ from an AFS lady. The girls were Eri, Riho and Yuuri, and the guy Taiki. On the way to the temple Taiki found 500¥($8.30) and gave it to me and I'm like 'yes!! score!! not getting it back mate!!' so I was alright for money. I met up with Franc and Dome's group and the girls were taking so many photos!! hahaha. Next we went to an icecream store, met up with everyone there, then went to find this keychain making place, but got lost. None of them had ever been there before, so they were all like, I'm so sorry Juliette!! (It was why I picked their group too!!) We rode the cable car up to a mountain and said goodbye there, but not before us all buying matching keychains at the souvenir shop and swapping emails. All the girls were upset that they had to leave Francois, all getting last minute photos with him. Some hugged him and a girl from my group wanted to too so i pushed her towards him and she was so embarrassed! Francois was very nice and hugged her, but I think he'd prefer not to go through that experience again!! There was a gym on the side of the mountain where we had a curling tournament. You thought it was boring to watch curling on TV? Even more to play it. It didn't help that I lost every game I played too (I was sick, I had an excuse!!). There was a hut on the side of the mountain near the gym where we stayed the night. HEAPS of mozzies, my LP had called before saying to buy insect repellent and I'm glad I did!! We ate dinner, which was curry but I had brought my own substitute (stew in Japan is just meat and veg with a creamy sauce (that's what I ate)). Then bath time!! I love bath time with other people, I knew the onsen style would grow on me!! (Actually I didnt but there you go). Back in the hall we had a big chat about stuff, it was all very similar to the other orientation, but we used more Japanese. We made a chart for legal ages to do stuff in our own countries, and in Japan, the age for marriage is girls:16 and boys:18, weird much? Everyone also showed body language in their own countries, e.g counting and come here. Japan's come here looks like theyre trying to shoo you away so my first few weeks were, 'what are you doing?' And they don't know what fingers crossed means. I didn't realise how much I used it until people couldnt understand me.. That night we stayed up til 2am talking about host fams, school, friends etc. Woke up at 7.30 the next day, ate breakfast and had people play the drums for us (pics on FB). Then more AFS talk about the same things and then goodbye. Kris and Tami live in Onomichi, so the rest of us walked to a ramen shop for lunch and then the train station and caught a train home which took about 2 hours. Nati, Nastia, Meimei and I agreed to meet up the week after for Karaoke in town at Hondori station, but things didn't go according to plan..
But first!! I didn't go to school the Monday or Tuesday after cause I was all snivelly and coughy (?) so Dad bought me heaps of nice food and DVDs.
Alright, that Saturday (5/6) Mum dressed Supika and I in yukata (Japanese summer version of a kimono) and we all went to Toukasan (fesival). We walked around, bought stall food and went into a ghost house. Overpriced for a very short 'scary' trip. It didnt help that the girls in front of us wouldnt move forward and the people trying to scare them had to stop and say, 'look, are you gonna go through? cuz ur holding up the line!' It was 10.30, mine and Supika's feet hurt because we'd been walking in those Jap shoes for 3 hours and we were hungry. We took a taxi to a ramen shop. When you get into a taxi, it starts charging you from $10!! So we only went a 3 minute drive, which cost around 150¥ but 600¥ was added on top of that!! I'm NEVER riding a taxi again!! We ate ramen, for the first time I finished before everyone else!!
Next day (6/6) Dad dropped me off in town at 12.30 to meet with my exchange student friends. I had never heard of Hondori station before (neither had my Dad) but I walked to Hondori St and sure enough found it underground (there's an underground mall too!!). I waited till 1 then I met Meimei's LP, I thought it was chance I met her but turns out, her and her mother (Nastia's LP) were there to supervise. I can't believe we're not even allowed to hang out together without AFS on our backs! Nastia turned up and Meimei in a yukata and Jap shoes which looked 5 sizes too small for her! Her whole heel was hanging off the back! But there was no Nati. We ended up searching for her for 2 hours. Eventually one of the LPs got a call from Nati's host mum saying she'd returned home because she couldn't find us. (Because of the festival the streets were packed with people). So we went to a cafe and Nastias LP shouted us food. I tried a pudding drink which was nice and ate chocolate and banana pastries.. mmm... Afterwards we took some purikura then the AFS people left us. Nastia, Meimei and I met up with Meimei's friends from school and we went to toukasan together, again. I bought only sweet food that day =P we walked around for ages, Nastia wanted to find a cafe so we could sit and chat which I was keen for too cause my legs were killing me but the Jap girls didnt want to, so we said goodbye early. Meimei and I caught a tram to Nishihiroshima station and arrived at 6.30. I met some girls all dressed in yukata from my school and Meimei and I decided to go back to toukasan because we wanted to see the lanterns. I was meant to call my Dad at 7.30 then be at home by 8 but things went a bit differently.. An hour quickly went, I called my Dad but didnt go straight home, instead Meimei and I looked around for a bit more. At 8 we made our way to the tram station but because there were so many people and Meimei couldn't walk fast in her shoes it took us ages to get there. I arrived home around 9 to an unhappy father. But he had that horrible smiling face when you give your reasons as to why you're late and they don't believe you no matter what you say. My feet also happened to be black because I walked around town without shoes (everyone said it was dangerous but I'd never seen less dangerous streets in my life! My shoes were also really sweaty, I literally walked out of them!) so I had to go wash them immediately.
So, for the past few days I'd been calling my LP with no reply, but last night she called back and I told her my reasons for wanting a cellphone (in Japanese of course). She talked to my Dad then said she'd talk to the president. Turns out, the reason why my chapter is the only one that doesnt allow cellphones or meeting up with the other exchange students is because of the president. It's her rule, not an AFS rule. So maybe there's still hope that I can get one. The cheapest prepaid one will cost around 5000¥ ($83) brand new, but I might look for second hand ones, I want whatevers cheapest. Dad already took me to a shop to look at some. Most Jap phones are on contracts so there were only a few prepaid ones available to see. Also, ALL Jap phones are flip ones, and are huge! It's like holding and exra wallet in your hand. All the screens are massive and so high tech!! You can watch TV, take quality photos, and transfer purikura onto them! I did see a normal sized phone, but it was made for little kids so maybe not..
So, hopefully tonight or tomorrow I'll get my answer, crossed fingers its good!
School Festival is the 19th and 20th of this month. Meimei's gonna come and invite the other exchange students too. Sadly, Meimei's is on the same weekend but on the Friday and Saturday so I can't go!!
OK, I think that's all so far, I'm sorry I haven't been updating frequently, I just have a lot to do.
Oh that's right, the Japanese Proficiency Test, dundundun....
I thought I'd go for level 3, but you only need to know 300 kanji which is pretty easy, but level 2 is such a huge step! Over 1000! And let's not even think about level 1! So I think I'll study for level 2, and if I feel confident enough I'll take it, otherwise level 3. Good thing I have all those study periods to improve!
I'd appreciate an email about whats going on at home =)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exams, Cleaning, PE, Snake

Hi all.
Life hasn't been terribly eventful, but there has been heaps of rain which have made the days extremely muggy. For some reason they think that rain must mean it's cold, so the trains have their heaters on full bore, plus being crammed up next to each other, train experiences are horrible.
Right now we have exams, they are all only 50 mins each and luckily I only have 4! This morning I had my world history exam, then got the rest of the day off. I created a bank account with Hiroshima Bank, using my dictionary and sign language so I could understand the clerk. I now just have to figure out how to transfer money over. Tomorrow I have a special Japanese test that I will take alone and then the English exam. Afterwards, Nao, Riko and I plan to go to the biggest mall in Hiroshima (called Soreiyu) and go window shopping. Supika is working at the cinema there for her school's work experience (how cool is that!!) so we're going to go see her too. My friends couldn't believe my sister's name was Supika (it's not a normal Japanese name)!!
No exams on Mon so no school!! And just an English writing exam on Tues.
I am finally getting used to the food =D I enjoy ramen dishes, some fish, and of course octopus. Although whale wasn't too fantastic. The other night we went out for dinner and when we came home my father said 'you tried some new food today!' and I'm like, oh no, what?
Tongue. I ate cow's tongue. I did notice that it was different from the other meat, just thought that I wouldn't ask cause I didn't want to seem rude. It was hard and OK, but not great.
I have finally confirmed with Mum about getting a cell phone. She's against them, so it was hard to talk with her, but I had to get it over and done with. She said if my parents in NZ were OK with it, as well as Otousan (Dad), then I can buy one. Now I just have to talk with AFS. I might get Otousan to call up my LP tonight and ask her...
Cleaning. Something I keep forgetting to mention. There's a roster at school which everyone follows, deciding on who cleans what. Last month, every day after school, I and 3 others cleaned the upstairs toilet. Sometimes we swept, other times we scrubbed the floor with water and soap. Nobody complains, everyone does their job, and there are no caretakers...? This month I don't have cleaning (yay!) so get to to catch the 3.37 bus instead of the 4.07.
YanagiSensei asked if we cleaned in NZ as well and I just laughed. Everyone's so.. compliant. There's no talking in class, there's no backchatting to the teacher, no swearing, no messing about basically. I long for the day when someone will do something bad. Which doesn't include not putting your rubbish in the bin either!! Quite frankly, if any of them were christian, they'd be first in line to heaven!! The Japanese don't know how to be bad, yet everything is dangerous. I have to lock the door when I get home from school. I can't walk alone at night, or even go out with my friends at night! Boys aren't to be trusted, and 'bad girls' (short skirts, died hair) should be avoided at all costs. Despite all this, I haven't seen a single person do anything bad, except maybe being too polite!! I don't hate it as such.. it's just weird..
The things that I love are: the wooden floors on the bus from my house to town, the people who bow to you as you go to catch the train, the tiny okonomiyaki shops, the English section at the library =P
Things I hate: people not sitting on the bus!! I was wondering if I was going to be able to get on the bus yesterday, and there were 5 more people behind me!! There are perfectly good seats which would unclog the aisle but no one freaking sits down!! Even when they are forced to stand part way across a free seat, they will NOT sit down!! It freaking pisses me off!! Especially the arrogant fools who have seats and put their bags on to the seat next to them! They're always surprised when I say excuse me. Just cause no one else wants to sit, doesn't mean I don't want to too!!
OK, one more is PE. I feel like a soldier. We march. MARCH!!! What? We turn left, right, about face, march, run in unison calling out '1!2!1!2!1!2!' I spent the whole hour on Tuesday practising how to march, bow and run 'properly'. I don't like it. Otousan said public schools often like to make the students march. He had a good word for it, students nowadays are robots. They live and breath orders, homework, and punctuality!! I will return a well-bred poodle.
Snake. There was a snake in the tree outside my house the other week!! I took some photos, I haven't put them up yet, all in good time. I have 'Supika and snake', 'Snake and I'; I asked if Okaasan also wanted a photo and she said she was fine hahahaha.
Anyway, I've ranted quite enough, rash is basically gone, those pills worked! I have my AFS camp in Onomichi next weekend which I'm really looking forward to, and have discovered a programme similar to limewire so I have more music. I am fairly content =)
Also, if you leave comments, I might not check them for a while cause I don't get a notification that I've received one, I only find out once I return to this site which is not often.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


OK, I have been busy every day of golden week (I'm so popular!! haha). Wednesday last week, instead of homeroom in last period we went to the auditorium and got told the itinerary for the Tokyo trip and I sooooo can't wait to go!! The reason why it's costing so much is because we're taking the bullet train, staying in flash as hotels, going to Disneyland and seeing the Lion King live!!! It's from the 29th September to the 2nd of October.
Thursday was a holiday, Supika had an English exam (4 hours!! on a holiday!! no mercy..) so Mum, Dad and I went out to lunch. I ordered a pizza, which I thought was the safest option.. It was a shrinp pizza, but it tasted OK.
Then Friday I had my class trip!! It was different to what I expected. Usually class trips inolve the teachers making sure everyone stays together and having a tour guide talking about all the different types of fish etc. but we got to go through alone, and basically spent the day doing what we wanted to do.
We didn't have to wear uniform so I wore mufti, but most people turned up in their PE gear (why? I have no clue). We went to the aquarium, around 2 hours away from my high school. We probably spent an hour in the aquarium, but I didn't get any photos of the white dolphins because we weren't allowed to use cameras in front of them =(
There were 2 other high schools there and a primary school so it was PACKED!! My whole year level was there, so around 250 people from my school alone.
We went to the beach but it was too windy, then went to the coolest playground in the world which I didn't take a god damn picture of!! I'm so annoyed at myself!! We ate our bentous then my class (7) played cops and robbers on the playground. The playground was this massive as wooden structure with a tower and a big as slide, with net climby thingies etc. Afterwards I bought an iceceam cause it was soo hot then we went back to school, then home. I don't think it was a very educational expedition =P
On the bus back, I couldn't stop laughing!! Everyone brings heaps of snacks with them, like, thousands!! I swear Mioko had around 10 different bags of lollies in her bag!! And everyone sends it round the bus, so I tried around 30+ different lollies/snacks which were handed around. A lot of 'from ~' and 'ah, arigatou's. I made a small contribution which everyone laughed at, I only had a couple of crackers lol. Next time I'm soo bringing junk food!!

Saturday I went to Miyajima Island with Humi and Yuka (pictures on facebook). It was a really good and hot day. We ate at a bakery for lunch, then rode the ferry over. I took heaps of pictures (on facebook) which are self explanatory. On the way back, I tried some maple leaf cake thingies which are popular in Japan, and we went and did purikura (photos). I'll have to get Yuka to send me them from her phone. We looked at manga then went home.

Sunday I went out for a drive with the family. We drove for 3 hours to a mountain which we climbed. Afterwards we stopped off at an onsen (public bath). At first, I was really nervous. I'd only been in onsen with other AFS students before, but this time it was with my family and the public!! Everyone was just relaxing though so I soon got used to it. There was a hot inside and outside bath, a cold bath and a sauna. All of us girls spent around 1 hour in there so the boys had to wait a long time haha.
Afterwards Mum bought us milk icecream (the flavour was milk) and we drove for 2 hours to a restaurant. I had a hamburger (which was just a big rissole with an egg on top) for dinner and cheesecake for dessert. We returned home around 8pm.

Monday I went out with my friends from my class, Mioko, Piko and Miki. We took the tram to the peace park and watched the parade (a lot of baton twirling schools and brass bands!!). We ate overpriced food, then went window shopping. I found a foreign import shop called Jupiter which had cadbury chocolate from NZ!! But for $3 for a small bar? Haha no.

Tuesday I was meant to meet up with Nastia from Russia but she never turned up. I was talking with Meimei from Malaysia, who wanted to meet up, but her LP told her no. That we should try make some Japanese friends instead?? Weird, much??
Also, ALL the other NZers have cellphones!! Their chapters asked them to buy prepaid cellphones!! Why the hell is my chapter so stingy??
I was waiting at the bus centre and a Japanese lady talked to me for 40mins all in Japanese!! She said I was good, Yay!! I went to Hiroshima Castle but did not go inside.
The money that I said I would not spend.. has been spent hehehe. It's surprising how much going out every day can cost!!

Today. Woke up early and watched Alice In Wonderland at the cinemas. Movies come out very late in Japan, Sex and the City 2 is still in cinemas!! I expected them to dub the voices, but instead it was in english with Jap subs. Afterwards we went out to lunch (we eat out a lot!!). I ate ramen and fried rice, then came home.

Allright, I've been keeping a food diary, am going to the doctors on Saturday ad will open a bank account this weekend. A list of all the new foods I've eaten so far:
Jellyfish (can't really remember, didn't get told til a week later that i ate it)
Cow's Stomach (crunchy)
Chicken's Stomach (tough)
Cow's tail (delicious)
Pig's Ear (disgusting)
Crayfish (delicious)
Eel (delicious)
Cow's Heart (delicious)
Octopus (delicious)
Squid (some types are good, others.. not so good)
Fish eggs (all i can think is baby fish!! uwaahh!!)
Sashimi - Raw Fish (sometimes been a struggle to keep down)
Sea Urchin (looks like tiny orange tongues, taste is OK)

I haven't eaten whale yet, but Dad said he'd buy me some. Not many people eat whale, even though it's not that expensive. Dad said when he was a child he always ate whale, but the newer generation don't like it so hardly any people buy it anymore. Dad has learnt not to tell me what a food is until I've finished eating it. I ate chicken's stomach last night and he didn't tell me until afterwards. It makes me fell a tad better, I must admit..

Enjoy the essay Lily!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, April 24, 2010


OK, it's been a week, I'll try and write as much as I can remember.
Note: Mum and Dad are my hostparents, it's just easier
I made the pikelets, which turned out very runny but were still delicious, then Dad dropped Supika and I off at Aeon Mall. I bought Mum 2 handkerchiefs because it's her birthday this coming Monday. I was picking out handkerchiefs thinking her taste was like Muttis, but Supika was saying she likes really cute things, which I can definetly see, so I chose cute butterflies. My Mum is very cutesie, while Supika is not, at least, compared to all the other Japanese girls I've met. Tried some Japanese sweets and there was a manga and CD sale so I bought 3 mangas which I'm slowly making my way through, I'm re-writing it in English. And 4 CDs, Gorillaz, Lisa Loeb, Incubus and AQUA!!!!!! They were only 100 yen each, so it only cost me $10 altogether!! So I do have some more music, for now..
We returned by train and Kouha was at home with his friend. This was my 3rd time seeing him, I think, if I see him about once a week, It'll be around 40 times I'll meet him, maybe? hahaha
We had a BBQ outside, yes, in the middle of freezing spring and I ate cows stomach and clam. The word for shell is kai so that's really easy to remember. Also, I love the mushrooms over here, they are sooo cute!! And the word for mushroom is even cooler!! It's kinoko. Ki means tree, no is possession, like Juliette's is Julietteno, and ko is the beginning word of kodomo - child. So, a mushroom is the tree's child!!! How awesome is that?? Or maybe not...

Monday, I now have 2 trains in the morning, and was literally packed in like a sardine. I don't like taking the train in the morning, but atleast I have only 1 stop. I wasn't thinking, so didn't get off where I was meant to, and got off at Hiroshima instead. Had to take 2 more trains to get to the bus stop, but the next bus to school was at 9:05. I called Dad, he picked me up and I was only 15 minutes late.
I had LL that day, the English lessons with the 1st years and Robbie, which was really good, learning basic English and me learning basic Jap. AND, a boy talked to me!! For the 1st time EVER!! I still don't know any of the boys names in my class!!! I'm just completely ignored, it's so weird. The rest of the week pretty uneventful, except for Friday, I PET A HAMSTER!!!!!!

OMG it was sooooo cute!!! And so small too!! There was no club cause Robbie was sick so Yuka, Humi and I spent an hour petting the hamster and working out Miyajima Island. I'm going to go there next Saturday with them. I got home and Dad took me out to have Okonomiyaki for dinner. We went into this little (tiny more like) shop, which had the iron plate in front of us and the man cooked it in front of us. It was sooo cool, everyone was talking to each other (they don't in restaurants) and they all knew the cities and Mt Cook etc. A very Japanese thing to say, but it had a really good atmosphere. Okonomiyaki, they cooked a kind of thin pancake, put noodles, cabbage, fish flakes, seasoning on top, cooked and flattened it for around 5 mins, then cracked an egg on the hot plate, shaped it into a pancake shape, then pressed everything together, smothered it in sauce and seasoning, then we ate it off the hot plate with special cutting knives. I was sooo messy with mine haha. We took some to go and Dad picked up Supika who was at cram school, and Mum who was at another work party.

Today, I went to the library and got out some really easy childrens books (that last one was way too hard) then went to Supika's school. Yes, sometimes she has school on Saturdays, THEN she has chorus for 3 hours!! It was a day for parents to come and see their children 'working hard'. They all stared when I came in of course haha.
I got some more money out of an ATM, my last amount for about 2 months. I spent so much last time cause I had to pay around $100 for school trips and stationery etc. But money isn't too much of a necessity on average weeks. Because 10,000 is the minimum to get out, I'll put 5000 aside to save up for October. I'll also talk to Dad about opening a bank account hopefully tomorrow or next week.

OK, I think I've written everything important haha
Oh, I also have been watching 3 year old shows on the comp, like sesame street, and I can understand what they are saying!!! Supika just shakes her head hahaha

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Robbie and Natto

OK, finally the weekend and I slept in til 10 both days. I officially don't have to take maths, earth science, Japanese history or classis anymore because they're way too hard and boring. Instead I study alone in a room downstairs. Atleast I get to listen to my music, and I can roll down my leggings so my legs don't freeze!! I have yet to take photos of my uniform, but we only have a skirt for the whole year (inluding winter!) and my legs are sooo cold!! So I roll up my leggings underneath my skirt and pull them down every so often.
I went to ESS club yesterday, English Speaking Society, and finally met Robbie, an assisstant teacher from England. He was glad I was joining ESS, as well as some 1st year English classes on Monday. There were only 3 of us in ESS, Yuka, Humi, and I with Robbie teaching. We played picionary!! Yuka has been learning English for 6 years now but it seems like she's been learning it for less than 1! Robbie said he first came to Japan on a teaching programme which encouraged English speaking teachers to teach in Japan, because Japanese people's English is very poor.
I found out that he takes the same bus and train as me, so we talked all the way back. He said he'd seen me before, but didn't really want to speak to me because he doesn't like strong Kiwi accents, but said mine wasn't that strong. He'd also lived in Australia for a year so maybe that's why he doesn't like it? But he said he had to concentrate to find a difference between our accents! I'm surprised I haven't noticed him before though, he's atleast 6 foot with brown hair and pale skin..

Yesterday I went to the library, got a library card and borrowed a book which is going to take me way more than 2 weeks to read!! I felt a bit embarrassed looking through the picture book section, so thought I'd go that step up, maybe it was too big a step? I also bought a Sakura flavoured KitKat which was soooo deicious, but it was expensive so only once. I have seen timtams in the supermarket too!! For around $6 so no!!!
I made rice pudding last night, tasted different because of the milk, but soon got used to it. I don't think they liked it too much because it was 'too' sweet, and of course, their idea of sweets is different to ours. My hostdad bought cake as well yesterday. I noticed when Japanese people say cake, they mean sponge cake with flavouring, so I ate a choc spong cake, Supika had strawberry sponge, Miwa (cousin) and hostmum had melon sponge and hostdad ate caramel pudding. I still haven't seen Kouha for a 3rd time haha.
I forgot to say, sometime last week my hostdad bought crayfish (I think, he said it wasn't lobster) and it was sooooooo delicious!!! I had no qualms about eating the meat in the legs either!! But it was soo incrediby expensive!! He bought 3 packages, the head, body and legs. The body alone cost 5000 yen, around $85 dollars!!!

This morning I ate natto for the first time. It's a food that Japanese test out on foreigners because most of them don't like it, kind of like us with marmite. It smelt like coffee, and tasted like it too. It was OK, I had around 15 chunks with rice. The main thing that put me off was its stringyness, it pulled away like a spiders web.
Now I am going to make pikelets for lunch because I don't have a pancake recipe!! I'll have to get that some time....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

School Life, Orientation, Music

I know, its only been my second full day at school, but I'm already sooo incredibly tired!! I was sleeping in first period this morning lol. I worked it out, I have the same amount of class time in Japan as I did in NZ last year, except for Mons and Weds when I have an extra 50 mins. But yesterday we left early because the afternoon was homeroom, sorting out the class council, and today we had a health check. We all changed into gym clothes and went into the gym to get our teeth, ears and noses checked. I finally saw my sempais (older high schoolers) one shouted my name and we waved for around 5 mins lol. Afterwards we had our hearts and arms checked (?) then back to homeroom for the eyes. My right eye failed me, I could not read the letters! But my left eye was OK. Class is pretty relaxed, I'm able to do work and understand (!) world history, modern Japanese, and English. Yesterday maths was studying without a teacher, but everyone just talked. I don't think i even opened my maths book! I expected it to be way more strict, but schools pretty cruisy, or maybe its just because I can't understand anything! The science teacher was apprahensive about me entering his class which I sooo don't mind!! I also don't have to do maths!! Life is sweet! =P

Last weekend we had an AFS orientation. We met at Hiroshima bus center, where I found an ATM which accepted my card!! AND showed my balance!! We walked over to the city library, where Supika goes for chorus, and there was accommodation at the top of the building as well. On the way, I talked to the volunteers in Jap and they said it was really good! I could understand everything that they were saying! We mainly did some team building exercises and talked about why we came to Japan and what home life is like etc. The president also told us we can't have cellphones =( All of my friends have them and they hardly ever go on the internet. I'm still going to try and get one though!! We're allowed them if our families need us to have one...
Dinner was mainly western food (yay!!) I am finding it really hard coping with the Japanese food. I don't like fish, shrimp, squid, soy sauce, miso soup or mochi. All the main food of Japanese cuisine. But, I still eat it, even though I'd prefer something I atleast recognise. There's hardly any of that here.
I ate basically the whole plate of french bread and butter. AFS students that were there: (Nicknames:) Nastia from NORTHERN Russia!!, Nati from Costa Rica (I prob listed this before, but I'll do it again), Meimei from Malaysia, Franc from Quebec, Dome from Thailand and Ain from Vietnam.
After dinner we had a very simple Jap lesson, I did learn some new things though。
We had a bath, onsen again, but a small one so it was just Nastia, Meimei and I. It's not so bad with friends. We then helped make a cake in the kitchen with the volunteers. The one baking has a cooking license, we tried one of her trial cakes and it was soooo good!! Back at the room, Meimei was getting her costume ready for the next days presentation, and we discovered Nastia has one of those bull nose piercings!! And a stretcher, and 2 earings on her lower lip, but obviously she can't wear them in Japan, especially not in front of her family!! Bed at 12, woke up at 6.30 and made breakfast. I ate all the bread again =P We then made onigiri for lunch which was fun. In the seminar room we talked with our LPs about Japan so far, mine doesn't like seafood either!! And she's Japanese!! Then all the host families arrived, except mine of course, and we ate lunch. My friend Nao who sits next to me at school was there also, because she's doing an exchange to norway in August, but she can't speak any Norwegian!! We then had our presentations. Meimei had a powerpoint, Ain had pictures, Nati had posters, Franc had a speech, Dome had nothing, I had a paua shell necklace, bone necklace and my AFS top, I mainly used the whiteboard. One of the questions I was asked was about Kiwi husbands. I said that mine cooks dinner and does the washing etc. and they were all so surprised! The husband basically does nothing in Japan. My hostdad doesn't know how to use the washing machine!! Next Nastia talked about Russia with photos, last winter it was -45degrees!! (cant find degree button). Afterwards everyones families took them home, and I walked to the bus stop and caught the bus home.

I'm having some trouble with my music. I put my mp3 onto the comp but couldn't listen to it without going through open/mycomputer/mymusic etc. So I tried to transfer it on but ended up deleting ALL of my music!!! I looked in the rubbish bin but it's not there!! I tried searching it but nothing comes up. I went back onto windows media player and managed to find the source of some tracks I had played earlier, so I now have around 30 songs, but can't find the rest!! They must be on here somewhere! I've downloaded several restore programmes, but they're all for deleted files!! I don't know what to do!! And I'm worried that that's all my music gone! I have it all on the laptop of course, but that's at home! If anybody has any suggestions, can you contact me on either facebook or at And, I've already asked my family, but I'm the only one in the house with the most knowledge about computers... which is not alot.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1st (half) Day At School!!

Woke up at 6.30 and left house at 7.20, hostdad dropped me off at bus stop. There were other girls going to Misuzugaoka High too so I stayed with them. I sat next to a girl named Yuka. I met 3 other Yukas that day lol. I introduced myself to the teachers then sat in the english department to memorise my speech. Around 9.30 my teacher, Yanagi-sensei, took me to the auditorium. We listened to the teachers then the Principal introduced me and I spoke. They laughed a lot, especially that I can speak German and like to read Inuyasha. Afterwards I met my class, 2-7. The teacher read notices and I was given a locker key. I made friends with the girls sitting around me, Nao (one of the girls) was wearing a mask, but no-one else was. Back in the auditorium, we were talked at for an hour then had class photos. I'm taller than basically all the girls and they decide to put me up on the stand? I must have looked like a giant!! We sat back down and I was surrounded by around 20 girls!! They all kept saying kawaii (cute) which is REALLY embarrassing. I tried to remember all their names, and they ALL like high school musical?!! They were disappointed when i told them I didn't LOL. We had a uniform check. Seriously, they called our last names, we stepped through, put our hair behind our ears and stood there. They checked for earrings, wrong clothes, short skirts etc. All the girls were quickly tucking in wrong coloured jumpers and rolling their skits back down lol. I went home with 3 girls, Sara, Saora and Sachi. We stopped off at a 'dairy' and I bought heaps of food cause I was starving!! It is illegal to jaywalk in Japan, thats why there are soo many pedestrian crossings, so instead of crossing the road to the bus stop, we have to walk to the end of the road then cross!! They all got off the bus before me, I arrived at Nishi-Hiroshima station and took a train to Yokagawa station. I had to take a different train to get to Mitaki, and instead got on a train that went back to Nishi-Hiroshima!! So I went back to Yokogawa and found the right platform for Mitaki!! This must have taken around 40 mins!! I can be such an idiot sometimes, and yes, I had asked for help, 3 times, and still got on the wrong train!
Am looking forward to Thursday, my next day at school!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

School & Food

I went to school yesterday, you should have seen how everybody stared!! And they didn`t hide the fact that they were staring and pointing either! I met the principal, vice principal, my homeroom teacher and the geography teacher, who is in charge of exchange students and has been to NZ twice! First to Te Atatatu Peninsula in 1999, second to One Tree Hill in 2004. I was given my school timetable, Mon & Wed I finish school at 4.40, every other day 3.40. And school starts at 8.30 =( I have around 12 subjects (I think): Japanese, English, Writing, Earth Science, World History, Japanese History, PE, Health, Music/Calligraphy/Fine Art, Maths, Classics and Home Economics. I also got my uniform, and I was told I`m allowed to take it back with me to NZ =) My next day of school is on Tues and I have to be there at 8.10!! I also have to speak in front of the whole school at the assembly!!! Aaaaah!!!

Also wanted to write about food. So far I`ve eaten pig`s ear, cow`s heart and NZ lamb!! Pig`s ear is disgusting,heart is delicious and the lamb was obviously good!XD Almost every day I eat fish, last night I had tuna for dinner which is very expensive (the fresh stuff) so I was only allowed 1 piece. I also ate takoyaki (octopus balls) which are sooo good!! My host dad disposed of the evidence from Supika cause she`d get pissed if she knew we ate it without her hahaha.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cake Fail

I made a chocanilla cake yesterday but because the ingredients are all so different, it failed. The cake tasted watery, and the cocoa was salty?? I applaud Supika for her bravery in eating a second piece. I worked out why the milk is so different, it doesn`t have enough fat! It`s too watery! My dad bought some Jersey Cow milk the other day, but it still wasn`t as thick as NZ milk!! I drink it anyway, it`s still better than light blue!! They have vanilla essence, flour, baking powder etc. but the sugar is different, I`m not sure what type it is, and the butter is white. Not yellow. The combination just didn`t work =( But I`m so glad they have an oven!! Otherwise I`d be screwed!! I am going into school tomorrow, maybe to get my uniform etc. and it either starts on Mon or Tues next week. I am sooo nervous!! Especially cause I have to commute there and back alone, every day!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The City

Today my host dad took me to the city and we ate in a restaurant for lunch. Then he dropped me off by the Peace Memorial Park and showed me which bus to take home. I put the photos up on facebook. I also went to the museum but I didn`t take any photos because it`s not the kind of thing you take photos of. There were diagrams of Hiroshima after the bomb and I`m surprised people survived it at all!! There were heaps of stories about students at work who were badly injured then died several days later. There was even a real tongue and skin and fingernails!! Eww!! I did a VERY quick tour of the museum. It wasn`t nice to dwell on. There was a shadow imprinted on a brick wall where someone had hid for cover and loads of old rusted items affected by the bomb. An old watch was stuck on the time 8.15.
I caught the bus back, in Japan you pay when you get off so I had to be told that hahaha. Everything is really expensive, unbelievably expensive!! 100grams of butter for the same price we‘d pay for 500grams!! I am so getting mum to send me some baking ingredients!! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here in the Land of the Rising Sun!!!

Here I am, first time on the internet since NZ, and Japan is soooooo awesome!!!
Arrived in Tokyo at around 4.30pm then stayed at Nikko Narita Hotel for the night. Every AFS student was there but I didn`t get to meet them all!!
My orientation camp was in Osaka so we drove for 10 hours in a bus!!! I was with 2 other Kiwis Caitlin and Daeho. I went in the public baths for the 1st time!! Nobody really wanted to obviously hahaha, but I had my glasses off so it made it a bit better!!
We had the camp at a Youth Hostel, I didn`t notice when Kyoto finished and Osaka began, they are both so big!
I met the others going to Hiroshima: Tan from Maylasia, Nati from Costa Rica, Francois from Quebec and Anastasia from Russia. Yesterday, 27th, I went on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima!! Waiting for me at the station was my AFS chapter and Kouha!! He told me he would speak to me 90% Japanese and 10% English, which I am grateful for because it will help me very much!! But I have the impression he is like Lily, my Dad told me we are lucky if we see him more than 3 times a month!! hahahaha. I met Supika and my Mum, I have a very happy family!! =D
Last night Kouha walked me down to the train station to see what train I must take for school. It takes 20 minutes to walk to Yokogawa station, so I have to leave the house for school by 7.10am!!!
Today I met (I think) my Mum`s mother and sister, plus Supika`s cousin Miwa. We went to a small park around the corner for Hanami (flower viewing). We had a BBQ (10 degress outside!!) underneath a cherry blossom tree but they aren`tb in full bloom yet. I also pat Nana but I can`t pet Bright because he bites.
I`ll try and keep this updated as much as I can!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Less Than 2 Weeks...

I should be feeling nervous or even excited by now, but everything has been pretty average at school and home. Last week of school next week, have to buy a hoodie and I score shared lunches!!
I can check off dentist, optemetrist and facialist (word?) but have yet to get hair done. Am still chasing up studylink, called them the other day and they said they declined my application!! And didn't even tell me about it!! But hopefully it all gets sorted and I get my money =)
Am also worried about my visa not arriving yet =S
Haven't heard back from my host family in weeks =S
Haven't started packing anything in my room =S
But I did get my AFS bag today =D I'm so using it!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

What's happened so far

Ok, trying to look at other blogs for inspiration =P
My name's Juliette, I'm 17 and live in Auckland, New Zealand. I go to Green Bay High School in the West (Westie!!) and am in my final year, or would be if not for AFS!! I became interested in AFS when my sister came to my school for careers day and advertised it. I spent a year on my application (disorganised =P) to Japan, then asked the Japanese teacher if I could join her class!! I've been taking German for 5 years now, but every man and his dog that I know has been to Germany, so decided on some place a little more interesting haha! I've been to Japan once before, in 2004 with my intermediate school. I went to Fukuoka for 7 days, but felt that I took the whole experience there for granted. It was my first time overseas. I got accepted into Japan, and also received the Hiroshima Peace Scholarship which paid for $9000 of my exchange costs!! I can't wait to leave, but am a bit disappointed because I'll be missing out on my final year at school, which is meant to be the best year!! But I know that spending it in Japan will be even better!!

Now for some info:
I have my host family, the Yamaoka Family. My Father is Futoshi, mother Kazumi, older brother (19) Koha and younger sister (14) Supika + 2 dogs, Nana and Bright!! I'll be living in Nishi-ku, Horshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken, which I'm really glad of because I didn't want to be stuck somewhere without any civilisation like my sister Sophia!!
My high school is called Misuzugaoka High, and I'd like to say more about it but the whole site is in Kanji!! There are pictures, but the uniform doesn't look cute =( although I'd be rather concerned if they are like the ones in manga!! hahaha

Right NOW:
Am getting ready!! =0 a first!! Have organised eye appointment, facial, will do dentist and hair next week. Need to get a school leavers form and seriously work on a scrapbook to thank the Hiroshima City Council for giving me the scholarship!! All of my weekends are booked with camping, my Dad's 50th and packing etc. so its going to be an interesting (fun-packed!!...) few weeks...