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.