Friday, December 30, 2005

Check out my new photos!

I just posted about 20 more photos. Check 'em out!
Dan's photobucket

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I didn’t get this uploaded last night, the snow was SO intense! I didn’t want to go out to the bars with my laptop or make an extra trip…. Last night was amazing! The snow was SO beautiful, and you might get to see some pictures here of it.

So I was coming out of the shack last night, and waiting for the elevator. It opens and this girl is like waving, and I realize it’s Jessica from Reno!!! Amazing!! So we went back in ~ the local trains stop at 12, so they were just going to stay out until 5:30 then catch that train. Of course, I stayed with them. The picture at the wood table is at molly malone’s…. who else was there but kat? So we all got to know each other, and with the intense snow outside the bar was playing Christmas songs. the park with that bar on the 4th floor or whatever is in the drinking district, and the one with all the geometric shapes is across the street, by the entrance to the hondori and the shack. The guy with the bike is my Japanese friend Budd, after Jessica and her friends left to catch the train I met up with him at kemby’s a.m. and left around 7:30, that’s why the pictures of him are in the daylight. It’s too easy to stay out late since 5 a.m. is like noon to my body…. Aren’t my pictures the best? Hiroshima is the coolest place on earth.

It was so amazing just running into Jessica! Talking about reno in Hiroshima, looking at our Nevada driver’s licenses, it makes the world feel so small (but, you know, in a good sorta friendly way)

Okay I’m gonna send this off to mums now, what’s next is what I wrote last night. MERRY CHRISTMAS! (I might go to Tokyo with some friends, but don’t want to spend the money…plus, I want to see more of ‘shima)

Okay where to start? Sorry it’s been awhile, make sure to check out my photos though. I’ll take more soon. I’ve taken a million on my cell phone, but I don’t always just HAVE my camera around so I don’t have much from there. Getting the pics from my phone to the ‘net might be pricey, but I still have a few to toss up.

So I work till like 9 usually, and get to the coffee shop in the morning at like 9:30 or 10 to plan. But today I had 8 classes, and just tossed together what I needed to teach from last night. And it worked well! So hopefully not much more extra hours, I’m getting used to what I’m doing now.

I had like 10 students cancel lessons this week, so making those all up is going to be awful! I had my first students parents re-sign his contract because he loved me. I am seriously the man. There are a couple of kat’s students that I want to steal from her. I’ll take pictures of some kids once I think that would be not weird.

So besides the work thing, Japan! It’s awesome. Really, I feel really comfortable, although I haven’t studied ANY Japanese yet, but today I got some cards on a ring and with help from the Japanese staff have some good kanji and vocab to study. They are very nice about speaking Japanese to me (I asked them to). BTW kat and I are the only native English speakers, and we only have 2 because our school is really established, and busy. but I have yet to actually understand any of the questions they’ve asked me. Like mina-san says“do you want to go shopping tomorrow?” (simple Japanese, right?) and I say “um… English please” haha, so, I have a bit to learn. Damned education. I’ve taught them some things, too. Language is so interesting, I think, I love explaining American colloquialisms, and slang. Things like “knock on wood”, and sarcasm, today for example. One of my students is going to Australia in a month or something, so I told her I’d find some aussie slang to teach her ~ everyone here is American, English, or Australian (like 1/3 of each, really) so I shot the shit with this Australian guy at a bar the other night while I was eating dinner and have like 3 napkins of slang for her.

Dinner. Last night I ate the creature from the black lagoon’s face for dinner. I ordered something or other head last night, and it NEVER occurred to me it’d actually be an animal’s HEAD. It was a huge freaking fish head, and the waitress was like “you like fish head?” I could only laugh. Kat happened to have a song on her iPod about eating fish heads, and I listened to it first then ate it. It was pretty good. The eyeball was like the size of a small strawberry. I pointed to it with my chopsticks (the proper end, btw) and asked Kame (means turtle in japanese) the bartender “kore ha tabette mo ii desu ka?” (is this okay to eat?)

And to my horror, “hai! Ichiban oishii desu!” (it’s the best tasting part!) it dripped slime when I picked it up, so I put it back down. And good thing. You pick it up with your chopsticks and slurp out the jelly (there’s like a shell around the eye, and some white ball floating around and the iris, so good thing I didn’t eat it like a grape like I was about to). It was actually really tasty, and not in a gross fishy way. It was sort of sweet. It was still disgusting though since it was the hot jelly out of a giant fish eyeball.

It’s Saturday night (my Friday night, I had 8 classes today.) so let me get to the weird things I’ve noticed about Japan, so I can make it to the coffee shop and upload this.

The bag thing. EVERYTHING comes in a bag. You buy a can of soda at the konbini (cone bee nee, convenient store) they wrap it and tape it shut. Napkins at restaurants? Come in a bag. Everything is bagged, and with complicated easy to open systems.

But why? Why twice the garbage? Their trash system is so awful. Let me get my paper so I can jot it down here…

Tuesday and Friday - w/paper bag, food, non recyclable paper, and wood.

Tursday – in transparent bag, PET bottles (like pepsi bottles, etc…)

2nd and 4th Wednesday (any bag) paper, newspaper, magazines, clothes, cans, glass.

1st and 3rd Wednesday- in transparent bag, plastic, videotapes, CDs, etc….

1st and 3rd Monday – ceramics, electronics, shoes.

I didn’t just make that up, I swear. I couldn’t if I tried.

No ATMs, only in banks. And they close, at like 7 or something. Don’t even open on weekends. No debit cards. Cash here, ONLY CASH. Even at the huge department stores where you could spend like 55,000Y. Cash.

So there are no ATM’s, but within any given location you are probably near a dozen vending machines, at least. The Japanese DON’T eat or drink while walking. Like you have a bottle of pepsi, and are walking to your car. You drink it, yeah? Or some to go food maybe, a breakfast bar. Nope. They will hide away their little can of hot coffee (yeah, they have hot drinks and cold drinks in the vending machines. It’s delicious) that is 6 oz. until they get to work, or their car, or their home.

So why are they so crazy about vending machines??? If you aren’t going to eat/drink it on the go… it’s the ENTIRE point of a vending machine. I can’t figure it out ~ I asked one of the JTs about it, she sort of shrugged and says “I just put it in a bag or something”

What else? Gambling is really popular, but gambling is illegal here ~ so they have this crazy system set up that the government is cool with, though I don’t know why they don’t just legalize it. So video arcades are like half video arcades (and they’re really cool, there are actual arcades here like there haven’t been in America for 10 years) and half slots and stuff. The games take normal yen, as do some slot machines. But in the slots, or in certain games you use these tokens. So you can change in yen to a machine for these tokens, but NOT vise versa. (tokens for amusement purposes only) Then you use the coins to gamble. I saw a Donkey Kong slot machine here. Also, they have horse racing. But, it’s SEGA horse racing, so there are like 2 rows bleacher style of consoles, and you choose your horse, look at it’s statistics, odds, strong points, etc… and place your bets. Then on one huge screen (like a movie theatre type deal) the horse race goes on. The race takes like…. 30 seconds? A minute? Then you have like the same amount of time to place your bet, rinse and repeat.

So I guess you take these tokens and trade them at pachinko places for Japanese Yen.

I dunno, but it’s pretty crazy. The horse racing thing is seriously cool.

Oh man, time’s flying ~ I’m sure there’s a thousand other things I need to write about. How are things on your end? I’m making friends, but I don’t really have anyone to call to hang out with me or anything besides kat ~ so, I need to go out and make friends. I could call emma or reese and it wouldn’t be weird, either, but I need some guy friends ~ everyone here is a chick! You know, it’s not the same. Please drop me a line.

p.s. duke they have Mario kart arcades here, I took a picture of one to email you sometime (on my phone)

ja matta ne

-Daniel Sensei

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sorry, can't log in...12/15/05

Dan can't get logged into this blogger to post and I am doing it for him. Here is a link to his photobucket. The latest pictures are Hiroshima. He has a bike now, which he says is awesome!
Merry Christmas from Dan! (via Mom)

Monday, December 05, 2005

2nd day in hiroshima, and boy are my arms tired!

i've been BUSY! tomorrow i start work, it's 7 in the evening here, i got my cell phone today. got into hiroshima yesterday, all unpacked, i'll take more pics of my apartment and get them up soon. Hiroshima is SOOOOO cool ~ it's such a cool cool city, like it's alive, and new(duh) and very metropolitan. Everyone is young and everything is really colorful and hip. Its really amazing. I'm nervous and scared and stuff, but i'm really looking forward to feeling at home here. Got my cell phone today, you can watch TV on it, listen to the radio, record video, it has a memory card slot so you could import stuff, it has a infared thing so you can connect with other vodaphones(my company), and has a japanese-english english-japanese dictionary on it, and tons of stuff i don't even know about. its amazing. it was $30, and one of the cheaper models.

i took the shinkansen here, its just one stop up from okayama, it only took like 40 minutes. The shinkansen is awesome, and it's like a celebrity here. the kids love it. there are a few different classes of shinkansen, i took the hikari which has the most leg room i guess, the nozomi is the fastest line of shinkansen. so there are lots of shinkansen, it's just a type of train. i'm using kat's computer now, so i'll go upload my pictures on my computer, bring it over here, and get them on the 'net. i have some good ones!

it snowed last night for the first time here!! it was so beautiful, and i took pictures but it was night so i'm not sure how well they turned out. everyone was really excited, and so it was a magic feeling night. i met lots of people, the girl mandy i'm replacing is really really awesome, and everyone knows her. i hope no one holds it against me! it's sort of sad, even for me and i just have known her a day. We hit the Nagarekawa(drinking district of town) and went to this place called the shack, and kemby's A.M. mandy's dating the owner, they are like sister bars. Hiroshima is a really big gai-jin hub of japan, so those bars are full of british, australian, american, and other people ~ everyone has a different background, and is together in this amazing city, and you can like feel the energy of it. Also went to this place called el barco, a dance place. There's also a molly malone's here. I was out till 5 (whoops!). my apartment is like RIGHT in the middle of town. it's small but cute and the location is so awesome. I really got one of the best positions you could have anywhere in japan. Maybe THE best.

I have yet to see the a-bomb memorial, i almost forgot that was here until just now. I'll have to wait until next weekend, i think, and make a day of it. Geez I haven't even seen the river yet... so busy, ugh... puts out like a monthly thing, with a map of the city and pinpoints and descriptions of all the bars, and internet cafes, shopping places, culture spots, etc... it's very very cool, the city just buzzes. so why am i so afraid of it right now?

I'm going to go chill out, make dinner, put in a movie and iron my clothes. First time I've gotten a chance to settle down. Kat and mandy are out again, eeee! crazy. But they're shopping not drinking I guess. I HAVE to get some pictures up!!

~~~~ daniel sensei (seriously)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Demo lesson: Down!

Writing this Friday night ~ tomorrow is the last day of training, and we have to teach REAL LIVE KIDS, in front of some peers, a trainer, and the parents. It’s going to be hell, because they briefly went over Infant classes today, where you spend the whole time bouncing around singing songs etc...and that is what we’re teaching. They dumped it all at once, so I’m sort of freaked out. We’ve been doing timed 20 min. practice lessons with each other in front of a trainer, which I’ve never been nervous for. Just woke up, picked games, and went for it while everyone else has been up late planning and stuff, but I’m nervous for tomorrow! Songs? I know no songs! Gah, I’m going to just pound maybe 3 of the energy drinks they have here and bounce off the walls until the lesson is over. (which are called genki drinks, but are all ” vitamin” and medicine themed, but are really just super hardcore sugar or something. Way different from the rockstars and red bulls back home. They are quite effective, and come in like 7 oz bottles.)

By the time you read this I’ll be done with my lesson, and probably on lunch break. I’m looking forward to that. Oh, also, the lesson will be videotaped, because _____ is making a new video for recruiting or something, so we signed wavers that it’s okay to use our material. Well, I signed it anyways. Then after training tomorrow we go out to Izakaya with all the trainers paid for by _____. It’ll be really fun, all the trainers are really cool and our age. I only don’t like one, and really she’s just annoying. The trainers have been keeping separate from us, though, which I don’t like. You know, they eat lunch by themselves and just split after training to who knows where together. It’s sort of lame that they purposefully separate themselves from us, especially when we’re supposed to “call them at any time” when we have “any kind of problems in Japan”. They’re the very personable type, too, so it must be ____ policy or something. So that is Saturday (tomorrow for me, today for when it’s posted). Then Sunday morning I go to Hiroshima!

The girl I’m replacing me is going to sell me her old bike for 7,000 yen. I want a bike SO bad. Supposedly you can’t get one “for less than 10,000”, which is like 90 dollars, which is shocking because all the bikes here are just crappy (but cute) cruisers. Well, whatever.
Everyone rides bikes here. The streets are full of mobs of cute girls in schoolgirl uniforms You see like 70+ year old men riding bikes down the street with their wives sitting on the rack on the back holding a bag of groceries. It’s the best thing in the WORLD.

If a burrito and piece of sushi had a baby, I ate it for lunch yesterday. It was like as long as a piece of celery, and it was crab, egg (tamago, sushi style), umm…celery, and eel rolled in rice and wrapped in seaweed. It must have weighed a pound, it was SO good and it stuffed me. It cost 320 yen! That’s like 3 dollars, and I was a happy camper. I would have taken a picture but I was in a hurry, and didn’t have my camera. Today Mat and I ran to get a handful of 50 yen manju (mentioned in 1st long post) from the cute manju girl at the covered mall for lunch, but she wasn’t there. I bought what looked like a roll of bread from the store, but it was full of bean paste. Yuck. Careful of bread here! It always has something stuffed in it, and it’s probably not what you want. I cooked some soba noodles for dinner, you can see how they make it here. once you put it in boiling water it almost melts it gets soft so fast. I had it hot, which is good, but if you get it in a restaurant it’s usually cold, and very popular in the summer as a refreshing snack. You get it cold, with a cup of a type of very strong soy sauce, and then dunk it.

I have yet to get back to you on the types of alcohol ‘round here… haven’t had a chance to experiment at all still. Oh, except I had some Orion beer last night, you see it advertised in sushi stores sometimes, but I’d never actually seen it for sale in the states. Just another Japanese draft, I think I might like it a little more than Asahi.

This is a long entry, with almost no content, sorry! It’s 9:30 and I guess I’m just trying to not think about this lesson tomorrow… bed time, or lunch time I guess for when I post this up. Oyasumi nasai!

p.s. Japanese t.v. is very interesting…

Saturday! ~~~ Lesson's over!

oh and kyle i'll post up my snail mail address here...if it's on my person right now...

Hiroshima Hacchobori _____
Hiroshima Omoto Building 1F
1-17 Naka-ku, Hacchobori
Hiroshima-hi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0013

i think i've posted that already. I'll make a "contact" tab here on this page soon. Time for lunch! Lesson went decent today. Cameras freaked me out. I look good though, all black shirt, suit, tie.