Published: September 3rd 2010September 3rd 2010
YO :) I'm SO in Japan,
and in case you can't be bothered to read on (totally understandable), I'm having a wicked time!
it's now Friday evening and I've been here since Tuesday evening..so that's a good couple of days. and also i totally feel like ive been here forever already which must mean I've settled in?!
The journey was massively traumatic since at Heathrow I was charged £138 for having a henchly overweight suitcase and no matter how many times I told him 'I'm not fat so it's unfair' he wasn't having any of it. Then it was an overnight flight and I didnt sleep a wink because the large Australian lady next to me was so grumpy that she killed all the excitement that was within me and I couldn't sleep.
Then I got to Hong Kong which was a fun airport and I met another UK girl who's also at Nanzan University so we rebelled against the Cathay Pacific system and she came sat by me for the second flight. Anyway we managed to get ourselves all excited again ready for our arrival at Chubu airport.
I was met at the airport by
A popular Japanese drink that I tasted when I came before. It's just not the same when you find it in the UK
my host grandmother and mother which was sweet they had made me a little flowery banner with my name on-also sweet. I was so tired I really don't remember clearly but there was a massive car journey home and I finally slept a little on the way. We got home, I threw some presents at them and went to bed. Grumpy English indeed! I woke up at 6am having only had 5 hours sleep which was ridiculous and so unpacked my things. I have a cute little room with a mini tv and what can only be described as a hospital stretcher for a bed and there's a covered up piano in the corner.
The first day, my host grandmother invited me to go with her to play ping pong (she is one active granny!) I ended up being sent to join a badminton group across the gym and was very taken aback by the ninja style OAP's i encountered. The energy they put into reaching each shot was pretty impressive and they would literally roll around on the floor howling if they missed one. 'Niceです!' was often heard for winner shots. I've been invited to play a tournament with them next Saturday..not sure if i can take it.
Thursday was the first day of Uni. I have to use public transport to get there which is a joke
since I've never done that before in my life... it's a 10 minute walk, 20 minute bus journey, 20 minutes across 2 subways and then 10 minute walk again so i guess its like an hour journey to and from uni each day. Anyway I came across an American girl who must live vaguely near me cos she does pretty much all of the journey with me which is excellent and we get to watch the city go by together. On the first day we had a placement test to get us in the appropriate class (and today i found out i got into the one i was hoping to so thats all good) and then we were orientated until i felt i could be no more. Lunch was in the university cafeteria and was obtained by pointing at a photo of food and saying 'ください’.
We're in the process now of choosing which modules to do for the first semester, think I'm gonna go for a tea ceremony one for sure since its assessment is 60% attendance and 40% class participation...surely can't go wrong with that?!
Oh and also the 'sweat' part of the title comes from the fact that currently Japan is experiencing the highest temperatures ever recorded here... top 30's during the day time and around 28 degrees at night with over 80% humidity...it's a killer. It's the norm to be taking towels to class to regularly mop oneself...slightly gross really but it is that bad.
Granny（i have to call her お母さん）is lovely and pretty much sorts me out by herself; the mother works all day and often has engagements in the evening, and the daughter is probably sick of foreigners in the house since this is the 15th consecutive year that granny has hosted an exchange student, so she doesn't really hang around to talk to me. Granny gives me snacks when I get in from uni and today it was a bad of crisps (all good) until i realised that there were small dried, salted fish in amongst them...not even joking WHOLE FISH eyes and everything in my crisps...i had a chuckle.
Tomorrow i plan to take the subway into the city centre to meet friends for lunch (yess i've made friends BOOM) and explore Nagoya, should be good.