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Wobbegong Conquers the Sakamichi


Wobbegong

Travel Poll!   

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  1. 1. What's the farthest from home you've traveled in your life?

    • To another country far from my own
      12
    • To another country near or neighboring my own
      4
    • To another state/province/territory/prefecture/etc within my own country
      1
    • To a nearby city
      0
    • Across town
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If you do discover you have a (non-flying) bug infestation, I was shown a neat little trick by a old Okinawan lady for keeping them away that worked surprisingly well

 

Combine flour, water, crushed onions, crushed garlic and a little bit of salt into little dough balls, mash them kind of flat and let them dry in a warm dry place (in the sunshine is best). Then you take the disks and place them where bugs are likely co congregate (under he sink, under the fridge, in dark corners, etc.) and the bugs should stay away (I assume because of the onions & garlic). I tried it in Okinawa and it kept the roaches (and other nasties) away.

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Lurking and following along!  :D  Your adventures sound like so much fun!

 

As for mosquito repelling, we used to use a sort of punk/incense thing to keep them away.  Not sure if you'd find them in Japan, but I have gotten them from a lot of Asian stores when I was back in Hawaii.  

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Jlailin said:

 

As for mosquito repelling, we used to use a sort of punk/incense thing to keep them away.  Not sure if you'd find them in Japan, but I have gotten them from a lot of Asian stores when I was back in Hawaii.  

 

Japan has these.  They are usually green coils called uzumaki kotori senko

Image result for japanese mosquito coils

but I think most people these days use the plug in version

Image result for å·®ç¹ç¨çèå­

(this is the Chinese version but I couldn't find a picture of the Japanese ones.  They are much cuter and are often bug shaped :) )

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Uh ok I have to say that Italian crow looks like it would barley qualify for the title but given how tiny it looks I can see why you would've been startled when you moved. But also yeah the variation among crows around the world is really impressive, so again, there are lots of things the Japanese crow could be. Also also, their raucous cries sound a lot like seagulls, so maybe there's a benefit to that type of squawk in watery areas? And maybe the Japanese crow, an island bird, learned to be obnoxious because it's better for communicating over the sound of the ocean? (Were Darwin's finches also loud? Someone find out.) 
And now you know why I always found all the poems and literature regarding crows and raven (both translated with corvo, the animal in the first pic) sounded very confusing more than scary!
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If you do discover you have a (non-flying) bug infestation, I was shown a neat little trick by a old Okinawan lady for keeping them away that worked surprisingly well
 
Combine flour, water, crushed onions, crushed garlic and a little bit of salt into little dough balls, mash them kind of flat and let them dry in a warm dry place (in the sunshine is best). Then you take the disks and place them where bugs are likely co congregate (under he sink, under the fridge, in dark corners, etc.) and the bugs should stay away (I assume because of the onions & garlic). I tried it in Okinawa and it kept the roaches (and other nasties) away.
Would this work for ants too? My parents are getting infested each year and hate chemicals.
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22 minutes ago, Diadhuit said:
17 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:
If you do discover you have a (non-flying) bug infestation, I was shown a neat little trick by a old Okinawan lady for keeping them away that worked surprisingly well
 
Combine flour, water, crushed onions, crushed garlic and a little bit of salt into little dough balls, mash them kind of flat and let them dry in a warm dry place (in the sunshine is best). Then you take the disks and place them where bugs are likely co congregate (under he sink, under the fridge, in dark corners, etc.) and the bugs should stay away (I assume because of the onions & garlic). I tried it in Okinawa and it kept the roaches (and other nasties) away.

Would this work for ants too? My parents are getting infested each year and hate chemicals.

I honestly have no idea, but maybe worth a try?  Unless of course the ants there like to eat onions and then maybe it would just make things worse?

 

When we had an ant infestation I didn't think to try that because we just used ant bait laced with poison that they would carry back to their lair and then the next year they just stopped coming back

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19 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Okay, I can totally see you being a great guy for this exercise. I can think of a couple plants that might help, but I don't know if you can get them in japan.

 

The article also has a DIY bug spray, I am wondering if you can get the stuff for those and maybe spray them around the windows, (or at least on you and the bed before bed).

https://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/g2479/plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/

 

19 hours ago, Hazard said:

Maybe something on this page will help for the .  On the page, they link directly to Amazon Japan for each product.

All of you are amazing. Ask and I shall receive! I bought a couple of the hanging mosquito vapes from the local drug store (not the type pictured) but there's no where to attach it near my front door?? In the picture they have it on the door light but I don't have one. So I guess I'll just put a hook on my door and hang it there? Does it need to have room in front and in back? 

 

I'm going to hold off on herb growing only because so far the only seed supplier I have found in my area is Daiso. (That can't be right.) Eventually I might decide to grow some basil, though, since I eat it regularly and it seems to be the best aside from citronella on the list. 

 

12 hours ago, Jlailin said:

Lurking and following along!  :D  Your adventures sound like so much fun!

I am having a great time!!! Please follow along. Also please tell me who should be my favorite member of EXO, I told the kids I like K-Pop and there are two girls in one of my classes who are super excited to befriend me and talk about it lol. I don't know anyone's names, though! I also love Super Junior but with thirteen people there's no way I can keep up... Big Bang and Shinee are at least more manageable. But I know literally nothing about EXO except their music is fun, but that's one girls favorite, so I need to know. HALP.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:
12 hours ago, Jlailin said:

As for mosquito repelling, we used to use a sort of punk/incense thing to keep them away.  Not sure if you'd find them in Japan, but I have gotten them from a lot of Asian stores when I was back in Hawaii.  

 

Japan has these.  They are usually green coils called uzumaki kotori senko

Image result for japanese mosquito coils

but I think most people these days use the plug in version

Image result for å·®ç¹ç¨çèå­

(this is the Chinese version but I couldn't find a picture of the Japanese ones.  They are much cuter and are often bug shaped :) )

I'm a little wary of things that spray chemicals into the air inside my house just because I have asthma and I would rather not fuck with my lungs any more than I have to. So if it's an outside-hanging vape that's ok, since I only walk past it once in a while and I don't leave my doors open, but indoors is a little tougher. 

 

1 hour ago, Diadhuit said:
21 hours ago, Wobbegong said:
Uh ok I have to say that Italian crow looks like it would barley qualify for the title but given how tiny it looks I can see why you would've been startled when you moved. But also yeah the variation among crows around the world is really impressive, so again, there are lots of things the Japanese crow could be. Also also, their raucous cries sound a lot like seagulls, so maybe there's a benefit to that type of squawk in watery areas? And maybe the Japanese crow, an island bird, learned to be obnoxious because it's better for communicating over the sound of the ocean? (Were Darwin's finches also loud? Someone find out.) 

And now you know why I always found all the poems and literature regarding crows and raven (both translated with corvo, the animal in the first pic) sounded very confusing more than scary!

Hahahaha yeah that would be really confusing. No, ravens are really intense, where I used to live there was sheep farming and I heard ravens sometimes kill lambs 

/squick spoiler/

Spoiler

by pecking their eyes out.

The farmers hate them but I think it's illegal to kill them these days. 

 

47 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:
1 hour ago, Diadhuit said:
18 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:
If you do discover you have a (non-flying) bug infestation, I was shown a neat little trick by a old Okinawan lady for keeping them away that worked surprisingly well
 
Combine flour, water, crushed onions, crushed garlic and a little bit of salt into little dough balls, mash them kind of flat and let them dry in a warm dry place (in the sunshine is best). Then you take the disks and place them where bugs are likely co congregate (under he sink, under the fridge, in dark corners, etc.) and the bugs should stay away (I assume because of the onions & garlic). I tried it in Okinawa and it kept the roaches (and other nasties) away.

 

Would this work for ants too? My parents are getting infested each year and hate chemicals.

 

I honestly have no idea, but maybe worth a try?  Unless of course the ants there like to eat onions and then maybe it would just make things worse?

 

When we had an ant infestation I didn't think to try that because we just used ant bait laced with poison that they would carry back to their lair and then the next year they just stopped coming back

I like diatomaceous earth for ants. It's basically like sweeping your problem area with ground glass, except it's such a fine grind it's 100% child and pet safe (unless you have a pet tarantula or something). It can be a bit of a pain to clean up, but it gets the job done! 

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So many things to report on today. I'll go approximately chronologically. 

 

The mosquito that got away woke me up in the middle of the night by buzzing in my ear, as mosquitos apparently LOVE to do?? Why?? Isn't literally draining my life force enough for you, you have to disrupt my sleep as well?!?! She also bit me, which I know because I found and killed her in the morning and she was full of my blood. (Also because the bite developed this afternoon. Ugh.) 

 

It was pouring rain on my way to school so even though it was only a five or six minute walk I got totally drenched. (Yes, every Japanese person ever, I had my umbrella.) Everyone else in this town sensibly drove to school today, so they were all dry, but they asked if I was ok and I laughingly told them my pants were soaked through. Of course Japanese people believe firmly that if you sit around while wet (unless you are literally in the bath) you will catch a cold, so a couple of the teachers took me to the Home Ec room, gave me a towel to wear as a skirt, and ironed my pants dry for me.  

 

One of the English teachers at the school (Satou) seems to like me ok AFTER classes with him, but before them he really does not like being near me or, you know, telling me what the plan is. He communicates what he wants decently enough during the class, but it'd be great if he could tell me "We're warming up with this exercise, then studying this grammar point from the text book, then doing this thing to practice" in advance. Since I only visit his classes once a week, I never know what they've covered while I'm away. I am still hoping he'll warm up to me but in the meantime he gives me such an intense cold shoulder I can never tell if I've offended him or if he's just really awkward?! Meanwhile, the other English teacher at the school (Izumi) is really friendly but clearly has no idea what I could be doing. Today he asked if I had nothing to do and I said, "I don't know, do you have any papers I could grade? Is there anything I can prepare for tomorrow's class?" and he was like "OH REALLY??" This is the only school I see twice a week so I would love it if I could actually be helpful but I think neither teacher has ever worked with an ALT so it's a bit of a learning curve. (In the end, Izumi didn't have anything for me to grade but did give me a list of things I could do to prepare. So that's nice. Homework. I will keep asking about grading papers, they let me at the other school.) 

I work very closely with Izumi because he is a homeroom teacher as well as an English teacher, so he is in charge of class 3B. Because of that, I eat lunch with class 3B and apparently work with their class every day I'm there (so twice a week, instead of once). I'm not entirely sure it's fair that they should receive so much extra attention, but it is making it easier for me to get to know them. My favorite student in 3B is a girl called Keito, who makes herself easy to like by very obviously liking me. Today, there was a school-wide dodgeball event during 4th period (I think because the field trip scheduled for today was cancelled due to the rain) so I watched the kids play and then we all ate lunch in the gym. Since it was a field trip day, there was no school lunch, and Keito and I had both brought sandwiches. Class 3B was sitting in a big circle and Keito and I were on opposite sides, and every time I took a bite of my sandwich she mimed me with hers. I took a drink, she took a drink. We were both giggling pretty hard very quickly, which was great. Even if it's not in English, I'm glad we can communicate! 

 

After the eating portion of lunch comes the recess portion, and I joined Keito, her friend (I didn't catch her name D: Next time??), and Mr. Izumi for some volleyball practice. It was basically just playing pass with a volley ball and only using volleyball hits, mostly bump and set, since we didn't have a net. I felt very lucky to know the moves of volleyball, even though I'm hardly any good! Still, we had a lot of fun and I worked up a sweat. (I was playing in my collared button-down and sweatshirt, so I'm blaming that and not how out of shape I am.) I hope I can play more with Keito in the future, but I know it won't happen tomorrow because it's a half-day since the teachers have an afternoon conference. If I'm lucky, I might be able to join volleyball club. 

 

In the afternoon I worked with class 2B, which has two more students who are really eager to befriend me, a pair of boys called Takata and Yuudai. I think they might be rivals, because first they told me they played tennis together this weekend and Takata won even though Yuudai is really strong, and then when Mr. Satou was calling on people Takata answered "HAI" really loud while raising his hand and then Yuudai started copying him and they got into a HAI!-war trying to out do each other on every question. Mr. Satou adroitly ignored them, but it was highly amusing to me, lol. Kids are great. There was also a kid in that class who was "extra" (that is to say, the person who usually sits next to him was absent, so I partnered with him for two-person activities) and he started out the class being really nervous of me, but by the end he was confidently asking for help! I was so proud! I hope that well before the end of the year all of my students get to know that they can ask me for help anytime. 

 

After classes I hung out in the teachers lounge swapping culture stories with the teachers. I told them that getting a drivers license in America is a matter of $10-$20 and that expensive driving lessons are available but not required (except in some states if you're under 18, as part of the permit program). Then if you own a car, you dish out about $200-$300 annually for registration, in addition to the other associated costs (gas, maintenance, insurance, repairs, etc). I learned that in Japan it costs two to three THOUSAND dollars to get a drivers license, and drivers training is required, but registration only happens every two years with new cars. I also informed the teachers that a hamburger is a sandwich and therefore just the patty is not a "hamburger," and they instructed me that just the patty is "hamubagu" while the sandwich is "hamubagaa." They suspect that the patty is being called a "Hamburg" and the sandwich is being called a "hamburger," and remind me that hamburgers are German food, not American. I let it go. (To me this is like arguing that pizza is Italian food. The food thought of as pizza in Italy, I am told, bears little resemblance to its American counterpart, which is widely known around the world. Real Italians would claim real Italian pizza as Italian food, but probably not its bastard American cousin. @Diadhuit, am I wrong? Please correct me if so!) 

 

This is getting really long and I still need to do some dinner shopping (or I could eat potatoes and onions for dinner, I guess) so I'm going to head out here, but I'll leave you with my favorite t-shirt of the day as a parting gift. In Japan, random English words on t-shirts is "cool" no matter what they actually say. Today I saw one that said, 

 

Beautiful

Pink Latte

Pure Surface

all around the world

528 MILES

 

"Pink Latte" and "528 MILES" were repeated on the sleeves. It was great. 

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40 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

I learned that in Japan it costs two to three THOUSAND dollars to get a drivers license, and drivers training is required, but registration only happens every two years with new cars.

Either the prices have come down a lot since I lived there or things are just cheaper where you are (maybe both?) but a driving license when I was there was more than 10 grand (i.e. more than the price of a car).  Even then you still had "paper drivers" who for some reason went through the trouble and expense of getting a license but then never drove.  I never understood that

 

42 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

I also informed the teachers that a hamburger is a sandwich and therefore just the patty is not a "hamburger," and they instructed me that just the patty is "hamubagu" while the sandwich is "hamubagaa." They suspect that the patty is being called a "Hamburg" and the sandwich is being called a "hamburger," and remind me that hamburgers are German food, not American. I let it go.

In Japan what they call hanbagu is actually short for Hamburg Steak (what we would probably call a Salisbury steak) while hanbagaa is the sandwich deal on a bun 

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2 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

Either the prices have come down a lot since I lived there or things are just cheaper where you are (maybe both?) but a driving license when I was there was more than 10 grand (i.e. more than the price of a car).  Even then you still had "paper drivers" who for some reason went through the trouble and expense of getting a license but then never drove.  I never understood that

2-3k is more than the price of a used car here... I didn't even think of that... but 10k is just absurd. 10k... what is that, 百万円? That's ridiculous! Normally I understand paper drivers because there's a lot of prestige associated with being able to drive in some places, including some parts of Japan (not here because everyone has a car except me) but not at the price of ten thousand dollars!! O_O  

 

2 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

In Japan what they call hanbagu is actually short for Hamburg Steak (what we would probably call a Salisbury steak) while hanbagaa is the sandwich deal on a bun 

That makes SO MUCH more sense omg. Thank you. 

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Today I didn't want to cook dinner and since approximately 30 people have told me I need to try Japanese McDonalds and it's right by my house I went there. I was instructed to get the teriyaki burger but I didn't want beef so I got the chicken filet-o set. I haven't eaten it yet but it smells pretty good, so my hopes are set to medium. (I haven't eaten at an American McDonalds since I was in elementary school but I don't recall it being particularly earth shattering then.) Regardless, I will give it at least one more try to taste an actual burger on a night when I do want beef. 

 

Also tonight for the first time since I got here I saw mosquitoes outside en mass. Until now I've only seen them in my apartment and have been at a loss to figure out where exactly they're getting in, but a bunch of them were hanging out on my front door, so either one escaped and told its friends I'm here or they've been there the whole time, coming in when I open the door and maybe also sneaking in through the bathroom fan like that guy on the internet suggested. The vent isn't screened, so it seems decently likely. Looks like there's some DIYing in my future. 

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2 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Then if you own a car, you dish out about $200-$300 annually for registration

 

It’s State-dependent.  Registration is $20 annual in my current State.  Of the States I’ve lived in, the highest I had was $36 per year in Florida.

 

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Driving around the globe is such a trip. I think Germany also has insane prices and a ton of testing, while New Zealand is really chill. England is meh on it. Like, people learn to drive, but getting a car is too much effort until you're 25 or so, especially with how decent the public transport system is.

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11 minutes ago, IAmInfinite said:

Driving around the globe is such a trip. I think Germany also has insane prices and a ton of testing, while New Zealand is really chill. England is meh on it. Like, people learn to drive, but getting a car is too much effort until you're 25 or so, especially with how decent the public transport system is.

Then you get places like Shanghai and Singapore where getting the driving license is fairly simple, and cars are relatively expensive but not outrageous.  However, to limit the number of vehicles on the road, they limit the number of license plates in circulation.  The result is that it is virtually impossible to get a new plate and the market price for an existing plate is a multiple of the cost of a new high end car. (Shanghai plates can go for more than $100k :o )  

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17 minutes ago, Hazard said:

 

It’s State-dependent.  Registration is $20 annual in my current State.  Of the States I’ve lived in, the highest I had was $36 per year in Florida.

 

 

Wow, that is a difference. My state (and I just checked) is $114 for the registration. Worst part is, you can't get around my area without a car since public transit doesn't go ANYWHERE at all. Only comes to our neighborhood 2 times a day it goes to a hub that goes other places, but if you miss your bus back, your walking the 15 miles to get home. And we are lucky it comes out here at all.  the next neighborhood set over, they don't come at all.

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7 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

I am having a great time!!! Please follow along. Also please tell me who should be my favorite member of EXO, I told the kids I like K-Pop and there are two girls in one of my classes who are super excited to befriend me and talk about it lol. I don't know anyone's names, though! I also love Super Junior but with thirteen people there's no way I can keep up... Big Bang and Shinee are at least more manageable. But I know literally nothing about EXO except their music is fun, but that's one girls favorite, so I need to know. HALP.

Omg, that's awesome!  :D  ...Honestly it took me like six months to learn the names and faces of all the EXO members.  xD  I don't know how these kids learn and memorize them so quickly.  My favorite in EXO is Kai~  <3  He's the best dancer; he was classically trained in ballet as a child and it shows in the smoothness of his moves now.  Suho is the group's leader.  Xiumin is the eldest of the group and has a manly personality but looks super cute.  Lay is the last remaining Chinese member (Kris, Luhan, and Tao were originally a part of EXO-M, but they all left), and he is also an amazing dancer--his style is more hip hop based compared to Kai's.  Baekhyun is like a cheerful puppy and one of the vocalists.  Chen whines a lot and is also a vocalist.  Chanyeol is the super tall rapper and a big goof ball that loves animals (I do also have a soft spot for him since my personality is very similar to my own).  Kyungsoo AKA D.O. is like a short, little, grumpy penguin; the members love to mess with him, but he has this glare that pins them in place; he's also an amazing vocalist.  Sehun is the "magnae" (baby of the group) and he sometimes acts like it.  ...I could go on, but I'm going to cut myself off before I write a page about them.  xD  Here's a cheat image to attach names to faces (although it is an older image, and their faces have matured a bit since I think this was from 2012-ish):

3f4661fcc9ec8e62591fcf24b2e8572b.jpg     

 

7 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

I'm a little wary of things that spray chemicals into the air inside my house just because I have asthma and I would rather not fuck with my lungs any more than I have to. So if it's an outside-hanging vape that's ok, since I only walk past it once in a while and I don't leave my doors open, but indoors is a little tougher. 

Ahh, yeah, I understand the asthma thing.  Apparently I had asthma when I was younger (I don't remember), and I hated when those little punk things were burned.  Another friend of mine also swears by these mosquito bracelet things she wore in Indonesia.  It seems like they usually have natural repellents in them rather than chemicals.  Maybe you could wear one and hand a couple outside your door?

https://www.pestwiki.com/best-mosquito-repellent-bracelets/

 

I've also heard those zappy light things that you hang outside work really well.  I think my grandmother used to have one.

 

6 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Of course Japanese people believe firmly that if you sit around while wet (unless you are literally in the bath) you will catch a cold, so a couple of the teachers took me to the Home Ec room, gave me a towel to wear as a skirt, and ironed my pants dry for me.  

...That sounds like an impressive amount of ironing.  I didn't even know it was possible to dry pants by ironing them.  o_0 

 

6 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Class 3B was sitting in a big circle and Keito and I were on opposite sides, and every time I took a bite of my sandwich she mimed me with hers. I took a drink, she took a drink. We were both giggling pretty hard very quickly, which was great. Even if it's not in English, I'm glad we can communicate! 

This sounds so adorable~  I hope you get to spend more time with her!

 

5 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Today I didn't want to cook dinner and since approximately 30 people have told me I need to try Japanese McDonalds and it's right by my house I went there. I was instructed to get the teriyaki burger but I didn't want beef so I got the chicken filet-o set. I haven't eaten it yet but it smells pretty good, so my hopes are set to medium. (I haven't eaten at an American McDonalds since I was in elementary school but I don't recall it being particularly earth shattering then.) Regardless, I will give it at least one more try to taste an actual burger on a night when I do want beef. 

I've heard the portions are much tinier there (american small is Japanese medium, american medium is Japanese large, etc) and that the mayonnaise tastes a bit sweeter.  ...but I think McDonalds is pretty much McDonalds--their selling point is their consistency.  There might be a few regional tweaks, but it should still taste pretty much the same.  I honestly don't think it's that good, but it's the nostalgia factor that makes me want it every so often (maybe once of twice a year).  Because it's such a consistent product it tastes the same as what I had when I was a kid.

 

5 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Also tonight for the first time since I got here I saw mosquitoes outside en mass. Until now I've only seen them in my apartment and have been at a loss to figure out where exactly they're getting in, but a bunch of them were hanging out on my front door, so either one escaped and told its friends I'm here or they've been there the whole time, coming in when I open the door and maybe also sneaking in through the bathroom fan like that guy on the internet suggested. The vent isn't screened, so it seems decently likely. Looks like there's some DIYing in my future. 

Was a porch light on or the light from the house shining out through a window?  They do tend to congregate at front doors especially when light is shining.  But yeah, screens are probably your best bet to keeping them out if there are holes they can sneak through.  Oh!  And hanging sticky tape things are great!  ...They look kinda gross when they collect all the bugs, but it collects them all in one place for you.

 

3 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Wow, that is a difference. My state (and I just checked) is $114 for the registration. Worst part is, you can't get around my area without a car since public transit doesn't go ANYWHERE at all. Only comes to our neighborhood 2 times a day it goes to a hub that goes other places, but if you miss your bus back, your walking the 15 miles to get home. And we are lucky it comes out here at all.  the next neighborhood set over, they don't come at all.

Meep, I thought I was unlucky because the bus by me is highly unreliable and only comes ever 30 mins to an hour depending on if it's a weekday or not versus in city where they come every 7 mins.  Only 2 times a day is crazy!    

 

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14 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

2-3k is more than the price of a used car here... I didn't even think of that... but 10k is just absurd. 10k... what is that, 百万円? That's ridiculous! Normally I understand paper drivers because there's a lot of prestige associated with being able to drive in some places, including some parts of Japan (not here because everyone has a car except me) but not at the price of ten thousand dollars!! O_O  

Just chipping in here as I was a paper driver for a few years. I don't know what the situation is in Japan but in Australia a driver's licence is the most important piece of ID you can easily acquire. So I got a licence literally just as a proof of age and ID, and then a few years later eventually started driving. But it's only about $50 for a learner's licence here and you don't need to know how to drive to get it. But surely people have better things to spend $10K on!

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To me this is like arguing that pizza is Italian food. The food thought of as pizza in Italy, I am told, bears little resemblance to its American counterpart, which is widely known around the world. Real Italians would claim real Italian pizza as Italian food, but probably not its bastard American cousin. [mention=63447]Diadhuit[/mention], am I wrong? Please correct me if so!


Uhm, I'm from the north of Italy, so not qualified to discuss real pizza as it comes from Naples.
Pizza is an Italian food that has been bastardized abroad. Chicken, pineapple do not belong to it, and real pizza is somewhat a healthy meal (a bit carbs heavy, but has fresh cheese, olive oil and lots of fresh vegetables). It is also protected by UNESCO.

250px-Eq_it-na_pizza-margherita_sep2005_sml.jpg

Pizza is not a snack!! This is the part that I blame American the most. Introducing a mentality that pizza is something that you eat outside meals and has lots of toppings. Obviously it becomes unhealthy!

/rant _off
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21 hours ago, Hazard said:

It’s State-dependent.  Registration is $20 annual in my current State.  Of the States I’ve lived in, the highest I had was $36 per year in Florida.

I am insanely jealous. I think I paid $286 in CA this year! 

 

21 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Wow, that is a difference. My state (and I just checked) is $114 for the registration. Worst part is, you can't get around my area without a car since public transit doesn't go ANYWHERE at all. Only comes to our neighborhood 2 times a day it goes to a hub that goes other places, but if you miss your bus back, you're walking the 15 miles to get home. And we are lucky it comes out here at all.  the next neighborhood set over, they don't come at all.

There were several neighborhoods in my town that didn't get bus service and were super unfriendly to pedestrians, but at least it's only two to four miles of fearing for your life if you miss your bus or one doesn't go out there at all, instead of fifteen. Although there are definitely places in my county that had no bus service and were easily 15-45 miles out. I have no idea what people who live out there do all day, aside from farm oysters. 

 

21 hours ago, IAmInfinite said:

Driving around the globe is such a trip. I think Germany also has insane prices and a ton of testing, while New Zealand is really chill. England is meh on it. Like, people learn to drive, but getting a car is too much effort until you're 25 or so, especially with how decent the public transport system is.

Yeah but Germany has the Autobahn and its roads are populated by drivers who know how to drive. That's kind of difficult to imagine in the US. Here we have easy access and a lot of places like Bean's area where you really need a car to get around, and I understand in some states the driving age is as low as 14, but we have a lot of terrible traffic that could be eased by people learning road physics and a lot of accidents that are probably preventable. I don't know about making it more expensive, but definitely making the requirements a little more relevant to driving might be good. (My bizarre, fully-accredited, online drivers ed course taught me that the colors coral and teal are being held in reserve for future use on traffic signs. Why.) 

 

21 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Then you get places like Shanghai and Singapore where getting the driving license is fairly simple, and cars are relatively expensive but not outrageous.  However, to limit the number of vehicles on the road, they limit the number of license plates in circulation.  The result is that it is virtually impossible to get a new plate and the market price for an existing plate is a multiple of the cost of a new high end car. (Shanghai plates can go for more than $100k :o )  

So what do people do? Drive without a license plate? Get one from out of town? Just not drive? I'm so curious. 
 

9 hours ago, Lateral Planet said:

Just chipping in here as I was a paper driver for a few years. I don't know what the situation is in Japan but in Australia a driver's licence is the most important piece of ID you can easily acquire. So I got a licence literally just as a proof of age and ID, and then a few years later eventually started driving. But it's only about $50 for a learner's licence here and you don't need to know how to drive to get it. But surely people have better things to spend $10K on!

In the US also it's a popular form of picture ID, but the Department of Motor Vehicles also issues picture IDs to non-drivers. You don't have to take the driving test to get one, just show up, pay your fee for the card (again I think around $10), and get your picture taken of course. In Japan, drivers licenses don't have pictures on them at all, and we use Residence Cards as standard-issue picture ID. Mine came free with my visa, so it's either actually free or the consulate paid for mine for me. WhiteGhost or Hazard might know? Did either of you have to pay for one? I had to pay $2 today for an official piece of paper that says I actually live in my apartment in order to get my cell phone, so I'd imagine there's a charge for the Residence Card. Although idk, maybe everyone is entitled to ID in Japan. 

Many busier parts of Japan are also set up to accept passports as valid photo ID. I don't know if that's only in really international business regions of Tokyo, but I've definitely seen cigarette vending machines (which require ID to make a purchase) that accept passports. 

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2 hours ago, Diadhuit said:

Uhm, I'm from the north of Italy, so not qualified to discuss real pizza as it comes from Naples.
Pizza is an Italian food that has been bastardized abroad. Chicken, pineapple do not belong to it, and real pizza is somewhat a healthy meal (a bit carbs heavy, but has fresh cheese, olive oil and lots of fresh vegetables). It is also protected by UNESCO.

250px-Eq_it-na_pizza-margherita_sep2005_sml.jpg

Pizza is not a snack!! This is the part that I blame American the most. Introducing a mentality that pizza is something that you eat outside meals and has lots of toppings. Obviously it becomes unhealthy!

/rant _off

 

This is exactly what I was saying. Real pizza, the Italian food native to Naples, is a wonderful dish, but pretty much completely distinct from the terrible (delicious) American version that made its way around the globe and is often what people think of when they think of "pizza." For that reason, I would call international pizza "American" food and only real pizza "Italian" food. In the same way, I think that the American version of the "hamburger" that is popular around the world is probably only vaguely related to the original form based in Hamberg, Germany. 

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17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

Omg, that's awesome!  :D  ...Honestly it took me like six months to learn the names and faces of all the EXO members.  xD  I don't know how these kids learn and memorize them so quickly.  My favorite in EXO is Kai~  <3  He's the best dancer; he was classically trained in ballet as a child and it shows in the smoothness of his moves now.  Suho is the group's leader.  Xiumin is the eldest of the group and has a manly personality but looks super cute.  Lay is the last remaining Chinese member (Kris, Luhan, and Tao were originally a part of EXO-M, but they all left), and he is also an amazing dancer--his style is more hip hop based compared to Kai's.  Baekhyun is like a cheerful puppy and one of the vocalists.  Chen whines a lot and is also a vocalist.  Chanyeol is the super tall rapper and a big goof ball that loves animals (I do also have a soft spot for him since my personality is very similar to my own).  Kyungsoo AKA D.O. is like a short, little, grumpy penguin; the members love to mess with him, but he has this glare that pins them in place; he's also an amazing vocalist.  Sehun is the "magnae" (baby of the group) and he sometimes acts like it.  ...I could go on, but I'm going to cut myself off before I write a page about them.  xD  Here's a cheat image to attach names to faces (although it is an older image, and their faces have matured a bit since I think this was from 2012-ish):

3f4661fcc9ec8e62591fcf24b2e8572b.jpg     

My hero!!! Thank you soooo much!! I'll study up over the long weekend and be ready the next time I say I like a particular K-Pop band and someone immediately asks who my favorite star is. I must be prepared! 

 

17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

Ahh, yeah, I understand the asthma thing.  Apparently I had asthma when I was younger (I don't remember), and I hated when those little punk things were burned.  Another friend of mine also swears by these mosquito bracelet things she wore in Indonesia.  It seems like they usually have natural repellents in them rather than chemicals.  Maybe you could wear one and hand a couple outside your door?

https://www.pestwiki.com/best-mosquito-repellent-bracelets/

 

I've also heard those zappy light things that you hang outside work really well.  I think my grandmother used to have one.

I've had good luck with mosquito bracelets while I'm outside, but I mostly get bit while I'm asleep, and usually my wrists and ankles are under the blankets, so the citronella scent probably wouldn't be circulating well? I have also tried sleeping covered in DEET and it did absolutely nothing to help (twice). Yesterday I came home and found I had developed a truly bizarre reaction to some kind of bug bite, and it looks nothing like my other mosquito bites so maybe there's something else in here? Or maybe that one part of my arm just really disliked that one mosquito. Maybe I scratched it really hard in my sleep and bruised it? Idk. It honestly looks like lyme disease (the large red splotch, not the target-type) but I haven't met any ticks... 

 

17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

...That sounds like an impressive amount of ironing.  I didn't even know it was possible to dry pants by ironing them.  o_0 

It took almost an hour and I also did not know you could dry pants by ironing them. I was especially incredulous early on in the process when the iron made my pants very hot and no less wet. But eventually it magically worked! 

 

17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

This sounds so adorable~  I hope you get to spend more time with her!

She is soooo sweet. One way or another we will definitely be buddies! (Although probably only at school. It's probably highly frowned on for us to hang out casually before she graduates.) 

 

17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

I've heard the portions are much tinier there (american small is Japanese medium, american medium is Japanese large, etc) and that the mayonnaise tastes a bit sweeter.  ...but I think McDonalds is pretty much McDonalds--their selling point is their consistency.  There might be a few regional tweaks, but it should still taste pretty much the same.  I honestly don't think it's that good, but it's the nostalgia factor that makes me want it every so often (maybe once of twice a year).  Because it's such a consistent product it tastes the same as what I had when I was a kid.

The soda cup I got, which was the only size visible in the store, was smaller than the "small" size at movie theaters at home. I will say upfront, however, that the size of movie theater soda cups is outrageous and should therefore not be used as a standard. The McDonalds cup was maybe 12 or 14 oz? Overall, tbh, I haven't noticed the portion sizes here being alarmingly smaller than portion sizes in the US. Mostly I just notice that I'm full after clearing my plate, but not uncomfortable so. The portions are therefore "right" not "small." But I was impressed at how small my McD's sandwich was. Not that it wasn't filling, because it was! But it looked like half the size of a comparable menu item in the US. The taste was not amazing, but definitely not gross or weird or low quality, just kind of boring. (The mayonnaise was great.) 

 

17 hours ago, Jlailin said:

Was a porch light on or the light from the house shining out through a window?  They do tend to congregate at front doors especially when light is shining.  But yeah, screens are probably your best bet to keeping them out if there are holes they can sneak through.  Oh!  And hanging sticky tape things are great!  ...They look kinda gross when they collect all the bugs, but it collects them all in one place for you.

No, it was still a little light out when I went out, and I was able to see them congregating all over my door. I looked online for a screen product I could fit over my bathroom fan vent and came up with absolutely nothing, so I might just buy some cheap pantyhose and secure them up there with duct tape or something ratchet like that if the hanging vapes don't do the trick. 

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Today almost nothing happened but it still felt really looooong. I had a short day at school because there was a teachers conference in the afternoon, so I taught three classes and then went to town hall, where I expected to spend the afternoon studying and instead ended up on an adventure to buy a new cell phone! First I was asked to discuss what I wanted in a cell phone. Then I was told it was too late today, but tomorrow after the field trip I'm going on (hiking with elementary school students! Yaaaay!) someone would pick me up and we'd take care of it together. Then that someone called and told us that wouldn't be happening, so we decided to just go for it. It took about two hours and I ended up with another bill I have to figure out how to pay via 7-11 ATM but I finally have cell service!!! Yussss!! 

 

There are probably some curious people in the audience so I will preemptively say that I signed up with Docomo, because they have stores in Izu (including one in my town) and Softbank and the other one I never remember that is initials do not. Also the phone I brought from America that I have been keeping on airplane mode always tries to connect to Docomo so I know their signal is strong here. V good. 

 

I think it was the barrage of technical Japanese from the super friendly and helpful Docomo salesgirl (who was really excited when I asked if that was Shinee playing on the store radio, because it turned out she was just playing her iPod over the speakers) that made me so tired. Communicating in a second language that you only sort of know is really hard. I feel like I complain about it a lot so I'd like to state for the record that my Japanese is improving noticeably (noticeable both to me and to the people who have to interact with me regularly). So that's great! But also exhausting. 

 

Also my apartment is a huge mess right now and that's really draining. I'm so glad Golden Week is coming so I can finish moving in! 

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18 hours ago, Jlailin said:

Meep, I thought I was unlucky because the bus by me is highly unreliable and only comes ever 30 mins to an hour depending on if it's a weekday or not versus in city where they come every 7 mins.  Only 2 times a day is crazy!    

 

 

Oh, I never said ours ran on time. We only got bus service about 7 years ago, and at the time, it ran about every hour, but never a certain time. It was when it got here. Then about 2 years ago, they "redid" the routes and made it only come out here twice a day. Because we are so far from town, most everyone out here was use to driving. There were maybe 2 or 3 people who used the bus regularly for a while (that I saw) and now its down even more. I think they did this to transition back to no bus. Who knows. Then again, the city buses are not very reliable either. Public transit around here is almost non-existent unless you live near one of the campuses and then it takes you to the other campus or walmart.  I have been on the bus once (not counting school buses, which when I was in high school took me an hour+ to get home from school on) and that was when Eldest Agents preschool class took a bus ride to just ride the bus and talk about what they see from the bus in town. Other than that, this is a you need to drive area.

 

1 hour ago, Wobbegong said:

There were several neighborhoods in my town that didn't get bus service and were super unfriendly to pedestrians, but at least it's only two to four miles of fearing for your life if you miss your bus or one doesn't go out there at all, instead of fifteen. Although there are definitely places in my county that had no bus service and were easily 15-45 miles out. I have no idea what people who live out there do all day, aside from farm oysters. 

 

Actually, our neighborhood itself is super pedestrian friendly since many families will go fro a walk and walk over to the next neighborhood that is around a golf course. And if you don't mind like 10 scary minutes of walking (1 bridge, no sidewalk but its only over  a small set of tracks), we are actually pretty close to this huge trail that runs from a town south of here to the complete north end of town. It was part of old route 66 at one point. The bridge is the worst part. Either side has a sidewalk, just not there. They have talked of adding one (and I would love it if they did, then I would walk to our nursery) but that bridge is scary since people fly down that street and there is no where to get away form them once you get on the bridge.

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1 hour ago, Wobbegong said:

In Japan, drivers licenses don't have pictures on them at all, and we use Residence Cards as standard-issue picture ID. Mine came free with my visa, so it's either actually free or the consulate paid for mine for me. WhiteGhost or Hazard might know? Did either of you have to pay for one? I had to pay $2 today for an official piece of paper that says I actually live in my apartment in order to get my cell phone, so I'd imagine there's a charge for the Residence Card.

 

I‘ve never been a resident of another country.  I’ve visited Europe.  But I've only been to Japan in my dreams.  :distant:

 

 

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3 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

So what do people do? Drive without a license plate? Get one from out of town? Just not drive? I'm so curious. 

Driving without a plate can get the car confiscated, so most people don't risk that. The out of town plates are not allowed to drive within the city limits so that doesn't work either. The only options for most people is just public transportation, taxis or Didi (Chinese version of Uber), which really is sufficient for pretty much any transportation needs there.

 

3 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

In the US also it's a popular form of picture ID, but the Department of Motor Vehicles also issues picture IDs to non-drivers. You don't have to take the driving test to get one, just show up, pay your fee for the card (again I think around $10), and get your picture taken of course. In Japan, drivers licenses don't have pictures on them at all, and we use Residence Cards as standard-issue picture ID. Mine came free with my visa, so it's either actually free or the consulate paid for mine for me. WhiteGhost or Hazard might know? Did either of you have to pay for one? I had to pay $2 today for an official piece of paper that says I actually live in my apartment in order to get my cell phone, so I'd imagine there's a charge for the Residence Card. Although idk, maybe everyone is entitled to ID in Japan. 

When I lived there the first time I had to get a foreigner registration ID card at the Shiyakusho (city administration building) and it cost like 2,000 yen.  The ones back in those days had pictures but used thumb prints as the primary identifier (instead of signing anything you would hanko your thumb print and they would compare it against the ID card...).  When i lived there later they changed into the pink cards that were more like regular picture IDs but had all of you info printed on it (name, home address, occupation, employer, employment address, etc.). The new ones didn't cost anything and they just processed it for you at the shiyakusho

 

I kept mine when I left so I still have it

 

I don't remember if all places took passports, but I seem to remember that they would.

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Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

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