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 =)

1 comment:

  1. Why won't she let you have a mobile phone? That's so mean. It would be much easier for you to get in touch with your host family and prevent problems like the ones you had when you were home late.