Second Week #4 Making my way downtown, buying sweets, joining clubs?

September 17th, 2018

I know, it's been more than a week, but keep calm guys. I'm really working hard here! Joking, I'm just trying to study Japanese more than being active on this blog (not that I'm studying all day long, but you know what I mean). I will try to give a short summary about last week (although it is hard, since I tend to talk too much and I can't recall everything that's happened. But I will try to include the events of last weekend, because that was when the school festival took place.

 

 

  • So during the school festival, each class and most clubs organized an attraction or store (mostly food) and decorated their classroom in a certain style (e.g. Mermaid Lagoon, Ghosthouse, Alice in Wonderland) and tries to attract customers (they were a lot, the weather was very hot, but at least it didn't rain)
  •  Saturday (Sept, 8th): 文化祭 (bunkasai - school festival)
    Recalling and summarizing is really difficult, guys, but:
    I mainly hung out with quite nice girls, which may become my friends one day. We all like Disney, so that's at least one thing we've got in common I guess :D We went to buy cookies and this "Popping" Ice Cream, that seems to be quite popular in Japan, but I've never tasted it before and I was amazed. It's delicious, guys! Then we saw part of a dance performance indoors, which was kind of like hell, because of the heat! And as I've mentioned before, I've lost my fan (the thing that you use to blow wind in your face manually not electrically). My friends' shift at our classroom started and I cannot really recall, what I did after that... AH, yeah, right. I randomly met the other exchange student (from Italy) in the ladies room and we talked about supporting each other and stuff and then later I asked her, if she wanted to go see the chorus concert, because I considered joining them. She said yes, and we went to their room and my hostmother and -brother coincidentally came there as well. I was very happy to see them (I had invited them to come ^^). The chorus was quite good, but my acappella-gang from Germany will always be #1 (SHOUTOUT TO MY ALPACS - YOU BAE!). And somehow the day ended, I guess. I ate with my (almost) friends (Japanese) and took my first own selfie on that day (actually, some people asked me to take a selfie with them :D, how nice!)
  • Sunday (Sept. 9th): 文化祭 (bunkasai - school festival)
    I had my shift with my partner (but she had to go to her club or something, I think) were assigned for the first shift and we both didn't know what to do. But fortunately, when she left, there were also some other classmates who did know what to do because on Sunday, people actually came to our attraction. I apologized for not being able to help, because of my lack of skill in the language, but the girls were so kind as to give me a cardboard, which had all the needed text written on it. And they also told me the readings of the Kanji (the totally difficult-looking originally Chinese characters, which are over 30.000 in total). So when the next customers arrived, I just read from the cardboard. Of course I couldn't avoid mistakes or stuttering, but it was fun. They surely must have been confused because of me reading from a cardboard, but who cares? Oh by the way, our attraction was a stamp rallye: Customers would come to our classroom, take a look at 5 drawings of people and needed to find them in the 2nd to 4th floor and solve a riddle the people would tell. If they found the right answer, they would get a stamp and at 3 stamps, they'd get a waffle and with less, they'd receive a minor consolation prize. Our attraction was not very popular on Saturday, but on Sunday morning some people came.
    After my shift I spent my time mostly with the Italian girl, because we both wanted to see some things and didn't have Japanese friends to do them with.  We saw:
    • the dance performance: really good and very sophisticated! I think some (sports?) clubs practice almost everyday and even on weekends? I had only seen the first half on Saturday
    • a maze (the Maze in Wonderland): many, beautiful and detailed drawings and decoration; they also had a riddle
    • the だがしや (Dagashiya): a food store, which sells sets of sweets/snacks; recommended by one of my close-to-friends
    • Kyudo: archery club, very cool and very difficult! The Italian girl wants to join, but only next year (do it now already!!!)
    • the photographic park: interesting, but a bit small
    • a club that sold magnificent accessories (bought my first おみやげ (souvenir) for a friend (SHOUTOUT TO THE LAMA))
    • the arts shop: many awesome manga-style drawings; my partner was also there, she is very skilled!
    • the school musical: made by the "English club", very entertaining :D
    • the fan-selling people (bought a fan, but I lost it the next day, when I came back home -.- déjà vu)

And now a (short?) summary of the rest of the week?

(Photogallery on the end of the page ;P)

 

Monday:

  • We had to clean up our classroom and a presentation was held by alumni exchange students (at least that's what I think they were) from South Korea and Zimbabwe. Both interesting and entertaining and they challenged the shy, quiet Japanese students to speak English and so on, quite enjoyable I guess
  • 2 girls from the class, who seem very friendly showed me around the school (not everything, and I've been shown around on my first day as well, but it was still more fun) and we talked about Germany, I guess. When we got back my consultant teacher gave me textbooks from a former exchange student, that I could borrow, very helpful, thank you!
  • I had a very long conversation with an almost-friend about Disney because she would go to Disneyland the next day (we had 2 days off because of the Bunkasai)
  • I think on this day a friend of my partner, her friend and I went back to the station together and had some neat converstation (intended pun ;D)

Tuesday:

  • First day off, I first headed for a walk with my hostmother and the hostdog (he's blind but quite lively when it's about going out, returning back home and food :D) and after that because the others had work and kindergarten, I studied Japanese, slept a little and ate Pasta (cooked my first or second Spaghetti, I think, and microwaved some prepared sauce)
  • Can't remember what else I did, but yeah...

Wednesday:

  • Second day off, no big difference to Tuesday, if i remember correctly. I have no idea what I did except for sleep,study and eat....

Thursday:

  • My third real "school and classes" day. I had German for the first time and again had to introduce myself (in German! And speaking an easy version of your mothertongue is like the hardest thing to do! No kidding! Never had thought about it before, but now I feel like I understand how my classmates and hostmother/-brother must feel XD)
  • I asked my consultant teacher, how I could join the choir and now I'll be meeting them tomorrow (Tuesday, September 18th, 2018); how exciting! I hope I can make friends soon! And that it's not too challenging, because I cannot sing at sight and I don't know if the lyrics are in the easy alphabet or with the Chinese characters. I'll try my best!
  • A week before someone had promised me to go the schools own lunch store (mostly bread and stuff) for today, so she, my partner (they are friends) and I went there and I bought my first melon-pan! IT MUST BE MADE BY ANGELS, GUYS! IT IS SO DELICIOUS! YOU REALLY TASTE THE MELON! We had short conversation and it was fun.
  • I handed in the paper for joining a trip to Kamakura with American students from Zama High, Yamato Nishi's partner school and we had a meeting to talk about how to get to Kamakura and stuff. On that day we will be made partners with 1-2 of our school and 2-3 of Zama High and explore Kamakura or something, it seems to be interesting. I'm partner with the girl I use to go to school with and her friend. I hope I can have real friendship-like conversation and not just the basic "Is Japan like this? - Germany is like this. Do you know this Japanese food? Oh I have never heard of that singer..." and so on and so forth
  • My consultant teacher has also asked me to be kind of an organizer or representative for cultural exchange with Zama High; but I'll have a partner in crime, one of the persons who showed me around on Monday. Very nice! And she is soooo beautiful, like - wow! But I'd say in my class or maybe at the school in general there are many pretty girls (I will not state my opinion about the boys, just don't ask).

Friday:

  • I had arts for the first time (next week I'll try music) and I just gotta say, I really suck at drawing. I hate drawing pictures (first (negative) SHOUTOUT to my arts teacher: I know you wanted to teach us something, and with the theory it really worked, but I dislike producing art now and I think that is the opposite of what you wanted).
  • On this day, for the first time, I ate alone in the classroom, because after arts, I couldn't find my partner and the other person I often hung out with went to the bathroom and I didn't know if I was meant to wait, but I think not. So I went to the classroom alone and got my Obentou (Lunch) and ate "alone" on the seat of my partner's because my seat was taken (during lunch, people just sit wherever they want, not necessarily in their own classroom or in a classroom at all). She had told me that she always ate in the classroom next doors, but I didn't want to go look for her, because I felt pitied and desperate. Eating alone was okay, because I looked at my phone and news about Germany (you guys really have something going about Chemnitz right now, right? I don't really get what happened in the first place, because it's too old news). There were lots of other students as well, but I didn't dare to ask them, if I could eat with them. I probably wouldn't have been able to start a good conversation and I prefered eating alone. But for next week I set the goal of me, not eating alone, but rather asking others if I could eat with them. That's how you gotta do it if you are on an exchange, I guess. 
  • Making friends as an exchange student: All students are nice I guess, some talk to you, some do not start conversation but a friendly when adressed. But since I have only basic language skills, it's hard to talk about an interesting, more challenging topic than hobbies. Or maybe it's just not very detailed conversation. It is hard, guys. I feel like a very boring person, because I cannot (yet) express myself. To solve the problem I've decided to talk as much as I can in Japanese with whomever I'm talking to (I really need to focus on doing that with my hostfather as well!) whenever I got the chance and to learn Japanese, when I've got free time because I don't have friends to hang out with yet. So until I make friends I'll be studying or doing something with my hostfam and when I have friends I'll try to speak with them and have fun and stuff (also to improve my Japanese). I need to find friends in my class, that I can eat with, but also outsider friends would be fun, I don't want to only spend time with people who speak English with me, because that may prove counterproductive. Wish me luck!
  • I went to the store that sells the school's sport uniform.

Saturday:

  • My hostmother and I went to Hiroo (part of Tokyo or something? It was real crowded with people and I saw some foreigners <3 oh, and btw: the people really go for trends and more extraordinary styles the closer you come to Tokyo, I spotted some animemes) to see a presentation of programmers who create stuff for children's education. They had robots! We also joined a presentation of the school my hostbrother will attend to in the future. I barely understood a thing, but it was still fun. (The programming thing was easier, because of more pictures and maybe easier language? Or because I myself intend to become a programmer?)
  • On our way to the bathroom (we already wanted to leave) we stumbled upon another cool technology and programming thing (again robots! We could control them!) and the WORLD FESTIVAL Inc., who do festivals, movies and take pictures of people around the world to improve the image, people have. The founder (found that out later) and I played some music together (he some kind of drums, I guitar and singing). Pretty cool and quite random.
  • I remember clearly, that we had Yakisoba when we were home. Love that shit!

Sunday: (YAY, almost finished with today's blog entry)

  • I had Suigyoza as breakfast (soup with filled pasta cases ("Mauldaschen" ;P) and vegetables) - as always, delicious
  • I studied Japanese (I want to do my best for the upcoming English vocabulary test, because I kind of failed the first one, because I goddamn cannot learn the readings of the Kanji of about 80 words)
  • My hostmother and I (the father and brother are on a trip to an island, how awesome!) headed out for a walk with the dog and we also went to a newly opened bakery. We passed a Cat Café! I prefer dogs, but that was cool anyway. I needed hours to decide for two breads and we went back home. Dinner was... a tasty patty, potatoes, carots, rice and one half of a bread. Hell, if you want to eat Angel's food on the daily, come to goddamn Japan! Quick note, though: I do eat quite a lot of western style food (but always with a portion of rice ^^), because the hostfather is quite a fan of American or in general western food and I think the hostmother also likes the American/western cuisine. 
  • After dinner my hostmum and I watched videos of the Japanese versions of Disney songs (I HAVE TO WATCH THE MOVIES IN JAPANESE SO BAD) and other videos and then Japanese, which is, as I've mentioned before, just a little different from dry, German TV.

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