Published: April 8th 2008March 15th 2008
Hi everyone! For the first couple of entries i'm just going to paste emails i've sent out to people here and there and add pictures - saves me from having to repeat myself!
Flying into Osaka was fine - we arrived 6pm Thursday 13th March 2008. Customs was SO easy i could have brought one kilo of cocaine in and they would have never known.... yeah. Their idea of customs is... i wheeled my trolley past them and they litterally just looked at it in a way which said - i am imagining what you have in that bag and from here it
looks ok so you may enter our country have a nice stay ^ ha - and i was worried about my tea bags hehe
I am now in Nagoya in an internet cafe and someone is smoking in here and it smells yucky you can smoke pretty much anywhere in Japan - in the toilet blocks and pretty much anywhere that you WOULDN*T want someone to be smoking - nice. Japan is quirky - they wear masks when they are sick so they don't spread the germs but if they aren't sick and they cough ot
Sarah - This is in the tiny waiting area when you are boarding or getting off the shinkansen we couldn't really fit anywhere else
sneaze they won't put their hand over their mouth they just cough or sneaze all over the place, even if you are walking past them!
I have met a few people from PKC (for those of you who don't know i am going to be teaching English in Japan) who took us to our apartment. Yesterday we also met Nicole and Jess who are sisters from Adelaide - they're really nice. The best thing is - for the very first time in my entire life i have met someone with the surname MCWILLIAM who is not in my family. Her name is Kirsty McWilliam and she arrived here on Tuesday and is also working for Peppy Kids Club and comes from the Sunshine Coast. When Sarah and I went to introduce ourselves to her and she opened the door of her apartment she has the EXACT same haircut and colour as me and Sarah says we are actually really really similar which is freaky but so cool - almost Japanese cool. Maybe we were separated at birth? It's so great because she has been placed 2 prefectures below us in Koriama City, Fukushima prefecture so we will be able to
Shopping is great so is people watching but catching the Shinkansen with 40kg of stuff is SO NOT FUN. Yesterday, Sarah and I had to catch the train from Osaka to Nagoya and meet our trainer at Nagoya train station by 2pm.
First we caught the shuttle bus from the Ramada International back to the airport then caught a train from there to 'shin-osaka' station and a Shinkansen from there to Nagoya station. The first leg of the journey was fine... the shinkansen part was horrible. Why you might ask?? Well because on the Shinkansen THERE IS NO WHERE AT ALL TO PUT YOUR BLOODY BIG BAGS! So we literally had to squish them in front of our seats and sit on top of them. And the most embarrassing part of it was EVERYONE WAS LAUGHING AT US..... because yeah seeing 2 foreign girls with big huge backpacks trying to squish them into their seats whilst a man sits there not moving would be funny i guess.
Anyway - this morning Sarah found this book in our apartment which was all about the etiquitte in Japan. And she read out this one section about how to
we couldn't get enough of them really
act ON A TRAIN - it went something like this... 'When on a train in Japan, especially the Shinkansen, DO NO wear your backpacks on your back as it is rude. If you do so you are more than likely to draw unwanted attention to yourself'
- ahhhh so that's why the man sitting next to us eventually stood up and walked off.... hehehe at the time not so fun but now i look back on it - very funny.
In Japan everyone has been really nice except for 1 person. When we arrived at Nagoya we had to work out how to get to where we were supposed to meet our trainers. So i approched this man in a JR train station uniform
and said'ah Sumimasen, do you speak English?' and he pushed his arm out into my face and yelled 'NO!' and walked in the opposite direction to me - so i guess he meant no then..... things like that make me laugh though.
Just before comming to this net cafe a man ran into me with his bike and then started to yell at me.... the funny thing was he
Nagoya Central Train Station
So in Japan they have a subway system which goes underground and it is filled with shops everywhere it's great!
was comming from behind so i couldn't even see him and i was walking in a straight line too and he just
rode straight into me.... hehe funny man.
Apart from that yeah everyone has been SOOO great and helpful and they like to stare alot (especially the little kids). Today this man came up to us and said ' ahhru roast??' i just smile because i didn't know what he meant but then
it registered he was saying 'Are you Lost' but because they can't pronounce the L it sounded to me like Roast...
Japanese women are tiny and shoes are tiny and clothes are tiny and expensive (well in Nagoya anyway). We have bought groceries and food is pretty reasonable - cheese is GROSS, coffee is not so good, milk does not come in skim and the low fat variety is not low fat, alcohol is CHEAP - 1litre vodka $8 sweeeeeeet.
Kirsty McWilliam took Sarah and I to a HUGE (6 story) Electronics store today to buy 3 prong adaptors. I also ended up buying a hair dryier $40AUD and BIG stereo speakers for my Ipod which were cheap and chips for $60AUD (They'll work
There are bikes everywhere!
back home too yey!).
It still hasn't really hit me that i'm in Japan - because i feel really comfortabe here i guess - everyone is SO nice, they play music everywhere (you know the kind of music they play in David Jones or in Lifts) and smile alllll the time. and they talk to you even if you say ' wakarimasen' - which means i don't understand. They still try to talk to you in Japanese. And on the streets instead of handing out religious pamphlets like they do in Brisbane City - they hand out... wait for it..... little packets of tissues... so i have about 10 just from today because yeah if you say no they still give it to you anyway!
Japanese TV is really funny i have taken some videos of it which once i get my computer up and running (it ran out of battery because silly me did not shut it down correctly at Brisbane airport and so it was no THE WHOLE TIME and is now dead until i charge it) I will make into a video and upload onto youtube.
I love vending machines which are everywhere and i also
A huge building in the Centre of Nagoya City - not sure if it's office buildings or shopping?
love Japan. I cant wait to share more of it with you! I miss you all very very very much and cried heaps on the plane but feel very safe and very welcomed in this country. Mum and Dad I only just found the card in my luggage last night that you told me to read on the plane - thanks so
much for your lovely words. Oh another thing i love are Japanese showers.... they are the bomb diggity - if i can persuade any of you to come to Japan - it'd have to be for the showers becasue you can have a really really long one and the water is well, just great!
There are more photos below