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Wobbegong Conquers the Sakamichi


Wobbegong

Travel Poll!   

17 members have voted

  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
      0


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2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I will get there Sunday night and then leave Thursday afternoon.  I may have some free time Thursday morning, but other than that it will be chock full.

I'll be working Thursday, so sounds like no chance of meeting up. Still, have a great time!! 

 

38 minutes ago, Tateman said:

Well, that sounds like a really great day. That is so cool.

 

And I love me some full metal alchemist ;)

Thanks! It was a fun day but I'm feeling kind of drained today. I'm expecting to hang out with some people at some point in the next couple of days but right now I just REALLY don't want to do anything. But I have to go to Daiso and pray they have a screwdriver so I can install this tension rod... which mysteriously came with staples... I'm so confused. Normally I would say I'll just forget it until tomorrow, but I'm also almost out of okashi and I'll probably wake up early tomorrow raring to get started and be thwarted until Daiso opens at 10, so it's better to go today and be prepared. 

 

FMA is great! Except I rewatched it recently and how come no one talks about Isaac the Ice Alchemist at the end? That guy was amazing, he figured everything out all by himself a year in advance and almost successfully cast the anti-circle in the first episode! And yet when the main characters are figuring everything out at the end none of them remember him? How was he so well-informed?? I'm so curious about that guy. 

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No worries, if this project ends up going through, I will probably have many more trips over there.  Plus, you can always come visit Beijing too :) 

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Today I lived in a Pokemon game. After Hazard's recent comment, I named the huntsman spider in my apartment Spinarak and have been chatting with it whenever I enter its territory. (It's guarding the larger of my two trash cans which is slightly inconvenient for me but you know. So far its behaving really well so I guess it's ok.)

 

I had made plans for later in the morning with a coworker from the BOE, Rie, to go to her house and learn to make onigiri. They're not that complicated, but the technique is something best learned from a native. My last effort at making them, in college, was a disaster, so I was really looking forward to learning. Rie also wanted to show me the farmer's market, so she picked me up at 9 and we went over there. After our tour, we were planning to go to the regular supermarket for onigiri ingredients, but it didn't open until 10, so we were a little early. Since the weather was so nice, I asked if she'd like to take an oceanside stroll with me while we waited. On our walk, we kept seeing these bugs scurrying around. 

 

Me: That bug! What is it? 

Spoiler

isopod_japan.jpg

 

Rie: Ah, it's a bug, isn't it... stay away from it. The stingers on its butt are dangerous. 

Me: Ah! Really? But you know, recently, that bug became a pokemon. 

250px-767Wimpod.png

Rie: Really?! How funny! It's so cute! 

 

After our walk on the beach and our shopping, we went to her house and made onigiri and also sushi and inarizushi because WHY NOT. It was a lot of food. Somehow I ended up with all the leftovers. I also ended up winning a consolation prize at a supermarket giveaway, the first one I've participated in since coming to Japan! As anyone who has played a recent Pokemon game can tell you, the consolation prize was tissue. (But a whole box, not just one. Gross.) 

 

After lunch (which was delicious), I thought I was going to go home, but Rie wanted to hang out longer. 

 

Rie: What should we do? 

Me: I want to see the teddy bear museum in Ito? I saw an ad for it on the train. There is also soft serve and some cool places to walk. 

Rie: Do you... really like teddy bears? 

Me: Not particularly. But it's such a weird museum choice. 

Rie: Well, the teddy bear museum is really close to the train station so you can go there by yourself anytime. I have a car, so let's go to a museum you can't get to on foot, ok? There are lots of weird museums in Izukogen. 

 

Rie pulled out a list of museums in the area and we scrolled through. 

 

Rie: Ah. Anmonaito museum. Interesting. 

Me: What is... anmonaito? 

Google translate: Anmo Night. 
Me and Rie: GT you are the least helpful. 

Electronic Dictionary: Ammonite. 
Me: Ok, what is... 

Rie: It's this! 

MA_00143526_mkecc0.jpg

Me: Oh! It's the Omanyte museum! That's a pokemon, too! One of the original 151. 

250px-138Omanyte.png

 

We went to the Ammonite museum. Rie wasn't that excited about it, but agreed to go since I was interested. I like old stuff and the ocean, so it's a perfect fit for me. When we got there, though, she got really into it and ended up having fun, so I didn't feel too bad about dragging her out there in Golden Week traffic. After we toured the (two room) museum, it turned out there were sedimentary rocks harvested by the museum curator that visitors could chip away at to get an ammonite fossil of our very own! It was hard work, but Rie and I both persevered and came away with a small fossil each. (I also got a fossilized mussel because it happened to be in my ammonite sediment sample.) Does anyone know where I can get this helix fossil revived? ;) 

 

After, we wandered through the gift shop/second room, which had ammonite cuttings, large ammonite fossils, ammonite jewelry, and shark teeth, some just on display and some for sale. 

 

Me: Ah! Megalodon teeth! 

Rie: *waits patiently* 
Me: Oh. It's not a pokemon. I just really like sharks. 

Rie: Are you sure?? I was definitely expecting you to say it was a pokemon! 

 

On the way back she quizzed me on my pokemon knowledge, especially since I mentioned Omanyte is one of the "original 151." She wanted to know if I knew them all. I told her I know the first 151 (which is true) but there are now around 800 so I don't know all of them anymore lol. There was so much pokemoning today that I'm now more than ready to boot up my 3DS and get adventuring! 

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What a Pokemonerific day! :)

 

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On 5/2/2018 at 2:03 AM, Wobbegong said:

Specifically its name is "Tropical and Alligator Garden" and it is a botanical garden of tropical plants that also houses real live alligators! There are two campuses, the one I walk by every Monday and Tuesday has the young alligators and the one on top of the mountain has the grown up alligators. There is also, in fact, an alligator topiary outside the campus I walk by. I'll take a picture for you next time! 

Oh wow!  That sounds so cool!  Japan really has the most interesting collections of animal parks/islands/towns/cafes.  I've heard of the cat island, bunny island, fox town, and penguin cafe, but the alligator garden is new to me.  ...I feel like whenever I eventually visit Japan, a large portion of my trip will be travelling to all the crazy animal places.  Alligator garden has been added to the list!

 

On 5/2/2018 at 2:03 AM, Wobbegong said:

You can't see the face I'm making but let it be known it fully conveys the depths of my disgust. It is the patented Wobbegong-is-extremely-grossed-out face. 

Like this? xD

um-ew-that.jpg

 

 

On 5/2/2018 at 2:03 AM, Wobbegong said:

OMG SO CUTE WHAAAAT 

POST MORE FISH AND/OR PUPPY PICTURES I LOVE THEM

I told my elementary school students my favorite animal is sharks and they were all like "whaaaaat? how can that be? but what do you even like about them? do they taste good? do you mean hammerheads??" I told them I like sharks because I like SCUBA diving. (Extreme oversimplification, but elementary school kids + foreign language = simple everything)

Ok... you asked for it... *spams with shark puppy pictures* xD

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTq8Gt1cNgTaK81nffge1n

 

368dd57c9222419e953087e93dfb9efb.jpg

 

And here's one because I think I remember you saying you liked watermelon on another thread...

6dbfdbda67d7e3a45e6e4ac2fcb616c6--baby-s 

 

e2108fb6f772398c285618b3d696455e--shark-

 

puppy-gif-13.gif

 

Okay, I'm done... for now.  xD

 

On 5/2/2018 at 10:49 AM, Wobbegong said:

Secret: I had never done karaoke before tonight. Of course, I was the "guest of honor" so everyone expected me to sing. Also, The Handsome Guy (his name is... Takumi? I think. But he was literally introduced to me as "The Handsome Guy") really wanted to do a k-pop duet with me because I apparently was quite mistaken in telling people I like k-pop?!?! I told him I couldn't sing in Korean and wasn't going to duet with him. In the end, about midway through the night, he pressured me into selecting a Japanese Big Bang song for him so we went with My Heaven and I ended up singing quite a bit with him. Peer pressure.

Ohhhh~  kpop karaoke!  ...I've tried this with some of my friends, and while she actually studied Korean and knows the words, I just did the silly back up singer thing and sang the english words and last syllable of each line because that's all the Korean I could process reading on the screen that quickly.  xD  

 

On 5/2/2018 at 10:49 AM, Wobbegong said:

For example, Tokyo's is the Tokyo Banana, a truly bizarre looking pastry that doesn't taste half-bad if you like banana flavored things I guess.

I actually saw these at the airport when I passed through Japan last time.  They did smell really good, but I didn't actually try them because they only sold them in giant boxes.  ...and while I probably could eat the entire box by myself, I probably shouldn't.  :P 

 

On 5/2/2018 at 9:01 PM, LightMotif said:
Quote

 

Skincare nerd buddy! I use a k-beauty routine that is mostly made of k-products but I don't do it quite as "routinely" as I should. In the past, it never helped much with breakouts, since I usually had hormonal acne: large under-skin cysts mostly along my jawline that never ruptured, just sat there looking ugly and painful for weeks or months. I went to a dermatologist and got a prescription for Spironolactone, which is an androgen-antagonist and cleared my problem up in a couple of weeks. Then, as I was easing off it, I moved to Japan and completely forgot to keep taking it, and nothing! In fact, my skin got clearer and way softer! Then there was one day when I thought I saw a breakout forming, and I quickly utilized my k-beauty routine and my skin got SUPER clear! Maybe k-beauty works better the closer you are to Korea, lol. 

 

My sister also has hormonal acne but she has said she finds that keeping her nails trimmed really short and her pillow case fresh helps a lot, and I've also found that seems to be useful. Especially if you touch your face without thinking about it. 

 

Yay skincare nerds! I use some korean products. I have a toner by G9, as well as eye patches. I also bought a couple Skinfood sheet masks today. I like shopping in store because I want to have an item as soon as I buy it. I'm limited to what's in my area, but luckily every single beauty company and drugstore has a location near my house, so it's not too bad. I'm pretty routine about doing my skincare. I'm actually gonna go do it after I reply to this post (and then start on homework. If you catch me on the forums again, scold me please) My skin is the opposite. It's very dry and it was dehydrated but I make sure to moisturize multiple times a day now so that's improved. I get hormonal acne mostly in the chin and mouth area of my face near my period, but it lasts less than a week even if I don't do anything to it. I think K-beauty must work better when you're near Korea, lol. 

Oh oh oh!  Let me join the club~  I'm obsessed with Korean beauty products.  >_>  ...Half of the things I brought back from Korea were all skin care/beauty products.  xD  I am loving this yuzu/yuja cleansing water that I've been using as a toner/lazy face wash.  This AC Clean Up Pink Powder Spot has been my life saver for any acne--seriously, I put this on at night and it's gone by morning.  I want to bathe in Laneige's water sleep mask, which is amazing for plane trips or if your skin is just feeling dry.  ...and then there is the shameful amount of sheet masks I own.  >_>  I'm one of those crazy people that actually orders them in bulk from etude house because it's cheaper that way.  xD  But really, you can't beat the prices and the quality!  All the eye liner I've bought these past few years has been Korean because it actually stays on my eyes without smudging after an intense workout AND it's only $5.  

 

10 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

We went to the Ammonite museum. Rie wasn't that excited about it, but agreed to go since I was interested. I like old stuff and the ocean, so it's a perfect fit for me. When we got there, though, she got really into it and ended up having fun, so I didn't feel too bad about dragging her out there in Golden Week traffic. After we toured the (two room) museum, it turned out there were sedimentary rocks harvested by the museum curator that visitors could chip away at to get an ammonite fossil of our very own! It was hard work, but Rie and I both persevered and came away with a small fossil each. (I also got a fossilized mussel because it happened to be in my ammonite sediment sample.) Does anyone know where I can get this helix fossil revived? ;) 

Oh~  That sounds like such a cool museum!  Now you just have to find a dome fossil to complete your collection.  xD

 

10 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Me: Ah! Megalodon teeth! 

Rie: *waits patiently* 
Me: Oh. It's not a pokemon. I just really like sharks. 

Rie: Are you sure?? I was definitely expecting you to say it was a pokemon! 

Well... technically there is this thing...xD

250px-319Sharpedo.png

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Me: What is that? *points to giant statue we are driving by* 

Friend: Hm? Oh, it's Kanon. Uh... Kanon is... uh... 

Me: Ah! I know Kanon! The bodhisattva. In China Kanon is called Guanyin. In India, *he is known as Avalokiteshvara. 

Friend: Aba...? 

Me: A-ba-ro-ki-tesh-ba-ra.

Friend: You sure know about a lot of things. 

Me: ...Yeah. Most of it is pretty useless, though.

 

I just want to say that I was really worried before I came here about my conversation skills taking a huge hit due to the language barrier, but apparently I'm back to being able to spout random trivia at the drop of a hat now, so we're good. (You can now return to your previously scheduled programming. Replies later.) 

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And now you made me google Kanon, Guanyin and Avalokite... the other guy (or the same guy) :D

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On 5/4/2018 at 8:13 PM, WhiteGhost said:

What a Pokemonerific day! :)

It was far and away the most pokemonish day I have had here to date. Not that there isn't plenty of opportunity for pokemon-themed experiences, just that it happened to be a lot all at once. But it was great. 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 5:13 AM, Jlailin said:

Ok... you asked for it... *spams with shark puppy pictures* xD

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTq8Gt1cNgTaK81nffge1n

 

368dd57c9222419e953087e93dfb9efb.jpg

 

And here's one because I think I remember you saying you liked watermelon on another thread...

6dbfdbda67d7e3a45e6e4ac2fcb616c6--baby-s 

You killed me of cuteness overload and it took me FIVE DAYS to be able to respond. I can't handle this. Shark puppy is way too cute. (Can I have one?) 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 5:13 AM, Jlailin said:

e2108fb6f772398c285618b3d696455e--shark-

I really want this as a sticker set. I do not yet know what I would stick them on, but I want them. 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 5:13 AM, Jlailin said:

I actually saw these at the airport when I passed through Japan last time.  They did smell really good, but I didn't actually try them because they only sold them in giant boxes.  ...and while I probably could eat the entire box by myself, I probably shouldn't.  :P 

The giant boxes usually only have like five inside, though. Surprise. Idk, I'm not that fond of artificial banana flavor, so I would've been ok without it, but it was ok. 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 5:13 AM, Jlailin said:

Oh~  That sounds like such a cool museum!  Now you just have to find a dome fossil to complete your collection.  xD

 

Well... technically there is this thing...xD

250px-319Sharpedo.png

I did also think of Sharpedo but it's like a combination of shark-sunfish-pacman and not really megalodon related, so I didn't mention it. The other ones were all spot-on matches. 

 

On 5/7/2018 at 8:28 PM, Iceburner said:

And now you made me google Kanon, Guanyin and Avalokite... the other guy (or the same guy) :D

I studied them in Asian Art History, which it occurs to me now is not a class most people took, lol. Although technically I already knew Avalokiteshvara from Mahabalipuram, and Guanyin from Journey to the West, when I took the class -- but I hadn't put together that they were the same idol. 

 

On 5/8/2018 at 7:48 AM, Tateman said:

Land of Pokemon, that is too cool :D 

It's so great! I love it here! 

 

On 5/8/2018 at 9:19 PM, Bean Sidhe said:

I am so glad to hear your settling in and enjoying yourself. I love hearing these stories

Right now I am wishing I was a little more settled. My apartment is a terrifying mess! It looks like a tornado came through here. I'm having a cardboard box problem because paper recyclables don't get picked up if it's raining and so far it's rained every Wednesday since I've been here, so they're piling up. I told the teachers at one of my schools about my struggles and they said "Maybe you should bring them here and use our disposal day...? Oh, but you don't come to school on that day. Also carrying that much cardboard on the train would look pretty weird... uh..." SOMEDAY. Someday it will be sunny on Wednesday, and I will get rid of these boxes. 

 

On 5/8/2018 at 9:47 PM, IAmInfinite said:

That is a lot of Pokemon knowledge. Proud of you! :P

I know a lot more than the first 151, but I know the first 151 in order, because I have been a nerd all my life and apparently have a huge capacity for absolutely worthless knowledge. (Why can't I put that brainspace to work learning kanji? Why pokemon? Why???) But I am also familiar with name and type of all the pokemon through Gen III, and large numbers of Gens IV - VII. 

Right now I'm frustrated because I really want to play a pokemon game all the way through with a bunch of pokemon that aren't available at the start of the game, which is a surprisingly common problem I face. (People tell me this is what emulators are for, but then I wouldn't be able to play on my handheld, guys. It's a totally different experience!) But it's all good, I guess. I did end up starting a new run through of Sun, but it's not making me happy. I'm trying to figure out right now if I'm yearning for the Unova region or the Kanto region more. 

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My students sure play a lot of dasketdall and daseball, you guys... 

 

Today I did some grading and there were a couple of surprising common issues.

  • Several students wrote the whole thing with a singular pronoun ("I did this, I did that, I went there, etc") and then for their final sentence, it suddenly became plural. "We had a good time." That one was confusing because... why the sudden change? 
  • A bunch of students wanted to write "I had fun" and wrote "I had a fan" instead. Their teacher teasingly asked if they were famous. It was pretty funny. 
  • A lot of students talked about playing sports all day with their clubs, and followed up with "It was tired." I was tired/It was tiring is a super hard grammar point that I honestly don't know how to handle in Japanese. I tried to ask one of the English teachers using the example of "bored/boring" because I actually don't know the word for "boring" and he said "I think you use the same word in either situation though...?" So I said (in Japanese) "I gave a speech and I was very boring." and he burst out laughing. So it might just be a context clues situation in Japanese, which happens a lot. 
  • There were a bunch of not-so-surprising translation issues that ended up being a lot more baffling than they should have been. For example, one student wrote, "I went to Inatori Stationary. Then I went to Ito Gym." I wasn't sure if the first sentence was supposed to be "a stationery shop in Inatori" or "Inatori Station," since it's natural to go to Inatori Station to get to Ito. 
    • "I played bowling. I did a lot of boll." 
    • "We ate stake for lunch." 
    • "I played RG all day." This one had me pretty confused, and I asked several teachers if RG was a video game, but eventually I found one who knew the student and was able to explain it's actually rhythmic gymnastics. Surprise! Then I had to figure out what the right verb for rhythmic gymnastics is. 

The award for best-effort-most-mysterious, though, goes to: "We played very game. We did miracle very then." Their teacher and I were equally baffled. Hopefully the student can explain. 

 

Grading is always really fun both because it gives me something to do and because puzzling out the meaning, and enjoying the nonsense that comes of mistakes, is really enjoyable. But it seems like most of the homework assignments students get for English class are quickly peer-graded at the beginning of the lesson, so there's not much opportunity for me to help out in this way. Still, there are plenty of opportunities for hilarity in class. 

 

Mr. Bamboo Shoots greeted me with enthusiasm and we chatted for a little while we were waiting for class to start. I asked him how his Golden Week was and he told me he went to the hospital. 

Me: What! Are you ok? 

Taketo: Oh, yes, I am OK. I went to see my grandfather. 

Me (oh god): Is your grandfather ok??

Taketo: He is very yowai. Uh. Yowai? 

Me: He is very weak?? 

Taketo: Yes! Uiku. :D 

Teacher: Ohh, that smile. This student has been really excited to talk to you all week. 

Me: I see that. I hope your grandfather is ok! 

Taketo: Shinda. :):) 

Me: He died?? Are you sure you're ok??? You're not sad? 

Taketo: I'm happy! I am talking to Wobbegong! :D 

 

I'm not sure if his grandfather died over break or died a long time ago or isn't actually dead yet but being told "his death is nbd because I can speak to you in a foreign language" was pretty surprising. But then class started so I didn't have a chance to clarify. Luckily this is Mr. Bamboo Shoots so I don't have to worry, I'll have plenty of chances to talk to him again. (Although this class he insisted he didn't want to be called Mr. Bamboo and informed me his favorite food is Hambagu. With the help I received here from WhiteGhost, I told him in English we say "Salisbury steak.") 

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1 hour ago, Wobbegong said:

With the help I received here from WhiteGhost, I told him in English we say "Salisbury steak.") 

Glad it could come in handy. I had a wafu hanbagu (with daikon oroshi and soy sauce) on Tuesday and it was lovely. Today at the airport I saw a stand selling takoyaki and okonomiyaki and, knowing it may be my last chance for a while, had both. #noregrets

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1 hour ago, WhiteGhost said:

Glad it could come in handy. I had a wafu hanbagu (with daikon oroshi and soy sauce) on Tuesday and it was lovely. Today at the airport I saw a stand selling takoyaki and okonomiyaki and, knowing it may be my last chance for a while, had both. #noregrets

I still haven't tried hambagu yet because I'm too shy to go into real restaurants by myself (McDonald's doesn't count, but also doesn't serve hambagu) but it is on my list! I don't eat tako so people keep saying "when we have a takoyaki party we can make some that are just dough for you." I won't say no, those things are delicious. I also haven't had okonomiyaki yet this stay (actually now that I think about it I've never had professional okonomiyaki, only homemade) but I saw okonomiyaki kits in the grocery store the last time I was there so I'm thinking about buying one next time.

 

Although... now that I think about it, it was probably foolish of me to pass it up since most of the time when I go in search of a repeat purchase at the grocery store the thing I am looking for has mysteriously disappeared. Seriously, a half-aisle of chahan mix vanished over Golden Week and all that's left is the shrimp and crab flavors, and there's no open space nearby or indication there ever were any other flavors, and they're in a completely different part of the store. What happened?! This kind of thing also happens with vegetables, cuts of meat, and drinks, in addition to center-aisle items. Even the okashi get swapped out! And if I ever find ground pork it will be a small miracle. (I want to make dumplings but not with beef. I might have to suck it up and go chicken. But I really want pork! Last time I found three types of ground meat: beef, chicken, and Not Labeled. I very fluently asked a grocer "what animal's meat is this?" and he said "tori. chikkin." Why was there labeled chicken and unlabeled chicken? Did the grocer lie? Does the ground pork just live elsewhere, despite all the other ground meats hanging out together?? Grocery stores are surprisingly difficult to navigate in a foreign language!) 

 

Generally speaking, since my grocery experience is such a tossup, my list usually looks like this: 

  • Assorted vegetables (whatever is cheap)  
  • Eggs
  • Flavor packages
  • Meat (ground beef or bacon) [they're never both in stock] 
  • Milk
  • Juice (pineapple?) 
  • snacks

Luckily with a shopping list like this I end up eating pretty healthy... but it would be nice to be able to plan my meals a little farther in advance than "after the shopping is done." 

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I had mine at  Royal Host, if they have one of those in Izu I just checked and they don't have one in Izu, but you can ask a coworker to suggest a good famiresu (Family Resaurant), that would probably be your best bet to get a good hanbagu :) 

 

Is there a particular reason for the "no tako" stance?  The first time I ever had it was in a grocery store, the first week I was in Japan.  They were having a sale on some kind of sauce and offering samples, which I naively took without question.  Upon discovering that it was surprisingly delicious, I asked what I just ate and was surprised to discover that Tako was now one my favorite foods.  I have loved it ever since.

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Do you have any tongue twisters that are particularly difficult for Japanese? I know that Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is really hard for Koreans, because they have the same letter for r and l, the sound changes depending where in the word it is. 

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19 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I had mine at  Royal Host, if they have one of those in Izu I just checked and they don't have one in Izu, but you can ask a coworker to suggest a good famiresu (Family Resaurant), that would probably be your best bet to get a good hanbagu :) 

I know a good place. My coworkers took me to a famiresu the first night I arrived, but I was too tired and confused to deal with "hamburger without a bun wtf why japan" at the time so I got chahan that night. (It was fantastic.) I suppose I could probably chance going back there on my own... the old lady who runs the place has a grandchild who is apparently one of my students. I just have to figure out where it is... (I was taken there at night and as mentioned on my first day so I was really disoriented and hadn't figured out the town layout yet. I'll find it.) 

 

19 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Is there a particular reason for the "no tako" stance?  The first time I ever had it was in a grocery store, the first week I was in Japan.  They were having a sale on some kind of sauce and offering samples, which I naively took without question.  Upon discovering that it was surprisingly delicious, I asked what I just ate and was surprised to discover that Tako was now one my favorite foods.  I have loved it ever since.

I don't like the texture. I'm not fond of super chewy squid, either, but I have found a lot more palatable ika than taco. I think because the octopus legs are usually so much thicker? But I also am a really big fan of live octopus, since they're so funny and smart, so when surprised Japanese people ask I usually give them that answer instead... 

 

17 hours ago, IAmInfinite said:

Do you have any tongue twisters that are particularly difficult for Japanese? I know that Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is really hard for Koreans, because they have the same letter for r and l, the sound changes depending where in the word it is. 

...I don't think I posted about it but I actually made a list of tongue twisters thinking they might be fun and ended up spending lunch time yesterday going over them with Keito-san (the volleyball girl who I adore) and her friend whose name I still haven't learned who is super into EXO. 

 

L and R are a problem for Japanese people too, but since they honestly can't even hear the difference I'm working more with my kids on things like si/shi, th/th/s/z, and compound consonant sounds. The kids I'm working with aren't at a super high level so I performed a couple of the longer tongue twisters for them (to their delight) but they were more interested in the ones they could reasonably get through on their own. They really liked "One-one was a racehorse" and since we just finished up with passive voice and the pronunciation of vowel sounds in the swim/swam/swum line is really difficult, they were excited about "Swan swam over the sea." (I had some trouble figuring out how to explain what a swan was, though. Eventually I settled for "it's a big mean white duck" and that seemed to go over ok.) Even though it's not a tongue twister, I also included on my list "English is difficult. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though," which Keito started reading because "English is difficult" is basically understandable (she hadn't learned difficult, but she knew English and the sentence structure). They hadn't heard of the -ough sounds yet though so they were particularly devastated by that one. 

 

The encounter started off with them asking me the English words for the food we just had at school lunch, but since we had curry rice that day I was like "curry is curry in English too. And gohan is rice, which you knew because you literally call the dish karre raisu." But they asked about the tsukemono so I was able to teach them about pickled vegetables, and they had a lot of fun trying to pronounce that, so when I did Peter Piper and explained the meaning they were like "PICKLES! WHAT!" (Asking questions about food becomes immediately relevant!! HOW?!?) 

 

As usual, lunch time spent with Keito is best lunchtime. 

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2 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

"English is difficult. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though,"

Okay, that's one of the best ones. Tbh one of my favourite poems in English is the Dearest Creature in Creation poem, just because its made of all the homonyms and homophones and other things like that.

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On Thursday I got a text from Rie-san saying she and her friend were going to Odawara to do some shopping, and there's a movie theater there, so if I still hadn't seen Infinity War would I like to tag along? 

 

It turned out Odawara is about a 2.5 hour drive from here, so it ended up being a really long day. We left at 8:30 to catch the 12:00 showing, then after they kindly drove me around town until we found a sporting goods store selling track pants in my size (so I can participate in club events without wearing slacks).

 

After that it was getting on towards four so we decided to head back and stop for dinner on the way. They asked what I wanted for dinner and suggested ramen, but since opportunities to go out to eat with natives are a little less common than I'd like I requested okonomiyaki. They knew a place in Ito, which is on the way back, so we stopped there and also had monjayaki (a dish from Tokyo that is at once similar to and completely different from okonomiyaki) and some other sides, like a seaweed salad and miso-fried eggplant and a soup full of "innards" (they wouldn't tell me exactly what was in it). 

 

Then after dinner, Rie's friend told us she had tickets to see the "illumination" so we turned around and went back a little ways to get to it. I had no idea what to expect -- a laser light show? a planetarium? -- but it turned out to be a huge park completely decked out in lights, with walking paths winding through it. I felt like I was on a date in a Korean drama. It was really beautiful! Instagram is being a brat at me but I'm still working on being able to get pictures to you! 

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That sounds like a really great day :) 

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On 5/13/2018 at 11:20 AM, IAmInfinite said:

Ooh everyone is watching Infinity Warrrrrrrr.

 

 

I need to go see this... Darn Jobs not giving us time off. Hopefully soon, but I doubt it.

I love the Wobbegong stories. They are always so interesting.

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On 5/10/2018 at 2:53 AM, Wobbegong said:

You killed me of cuteness overload and it took me FIVE DAYS to be able to respond. I can't handle this. Shark puppy is way too cute. (Can I have one?) 

shark-puppy-animation-vress-55-5a4dedc9b

Your leg now belongs to Shark Puppy.  xD

 

On 5/10/2018 at 2:53 AM, Wobbegong said:

I did also think of Sharpedo but it's like a combination of shark-sunfish-pacman and not really megalodon related, so I didn't mention it. The other ones were all spot-on matches. 

True.  Sharkpedo is one of their mystifying ones where I feel like they were starting to run out of ideas, so they just mished random things together.  xD  ...but it's a bit odd considering they don't have an actual plain shark pokemon.  Lots of fish, seals, sea monsters, and even a whale, but there's no plain ol' shark.  o_0

 

On 5/10/2018 at 2:53 AM, Wobbegong said:

(Why can't I put that brainspace to work learning kanji? Why pokemon? Why???)

Ahahahahaha! xD  I feel exactly the same when someone starts playing the pokemon rap and I'm able to sing along all the way through.  :P 

 

On 5/10/2018 at 7:41 AM, Wobbegong said:

And if I ever find ground pork it will be a small miracle. (I want to make dumplings but not with beef. I might have to suck it up and go chicken. But I really want pork! Last time I found three types of ground meat: beef, chicken, and Not Labeled. I very fluently asked a grocer "what animal's meat is this?" and he said "tori. chikkin." Why was there labeled chicken and unlabeled chicken? Did the grocer lie? Does the ground pork just live elsewhere, despite all the other ground meats hanging out together?? Grocery stores are surprisingly difficult to navigate in a foreign language!) 

It's odd that there's beef around but not pork.  Pork is usually so much cheaper and easier to raise than beef, so it's around a lot in places without grazing room.  Is it just the ground pork that's missing?  Are you able to find cutlets or bigger cuts of pork?  You could chop/mince them yourself (rather time consuming, but it's actually a rather soothing process in the same way making bread is).  Or perhaps you may have to go to a bigger grocery store?  I had a similar problem in Korea when I was looking for meat--even though I could buy all the other stew ingredients in the grocery stores near me, my airbnb host told me I had to go to the giant grocery store five train stops away.  Perhaps because it's not as commonly eaten in Asian cultures as American culture, they just don't stock it everywhere?  

 

On 5/13/2018 at 3:46 AM, Wobbegong said:

Then after dinner, Rie's friend told us she had tickets to see the "illumination" so we turned around and went back a little ways to get to it. I had no idea what to expect -- a laser light show? a planetarium? -- but it turned out to be a huge park completely decked out in lights, with walking paths winding through it. I felt like I was on a date in a Korean drama. It was really beautiful! Instagram is being a brat at me but I'm still working on being able to get pictures to you!

Ohhhh~  That sounds amazing!  I went to something similar in Korea.  I love the focus and care Asian countries put towards their parks and community spaces.  I feel like you get these fantastic displays for the public much more often (not just Christmas related).  I am anxiously awaiting your instagram~  I will stalk your account and live vicariously through you in Japan~  <3

 

  

 

 

     

 

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On 5/13/2018 at 7:32 PM, WhiteGhost said:

That sounds like a really great day :) 

It was really great but really tiring. This whole week has been really tiring. I'm closing in on being "fully moved in" and I was initially hoping to spend some time cleaning every night this week so on the weekend I could really relax, but as usual things aren't going according to plan. And since in Japan it's apparently "keep moving constantly or DIE" of course I have been informed there is a festival I must attend this weekend, so I won't get to hide out at home and recover. (Not like attending a festival is a huge hardship, of course. And this one is Kuro-Fune Matsuri, celebrating Commodore Matthew Perry (no relation to the Canadian-American actor) forcibly opening Japan to American trade, ending 250 years of semi-isolation and playing a crucial role in the instigation of the Meiji Restoration. So I kind of want to go anyway.) 

 

On 5/14/2018 at 1:20 AM, IAmInfinite said:

Ooh everyone is watching Infinity Warrrrrrrr.

But that also sounds like a really pretty day!!

Tbh Infinity War was the most boring part of the day. I was not super impressed. Bad Marvel. 

 

On 5/15/2018 at 9:02 PM, Bean Sidhe said:

I need to go see this... Darn Jobs not giving us time off. Hopefully soon, but I doubt it.

If you're a Marvel fan it is worth seeing but I honestly don't know that I would recommend anyone make the trip to see it in theaters. Idk, most of the people I know in America absolutely loved it and thought it was amazing, so I guess I have an unpopular opinion, but it really fell flat for me. 

 

Also I hope you get a break from work soon too! 

 

On 5/15/2018 at 9:02 PM, Bean Sidhe said:

I love the Wobbegong stories. They are always so interesting.

I'm glad you are enjoying them! I'll keep 'em coming. 

 

On 5/16/2018 at 12:21 AM, Jlailin said:

shark-puppy-animation-vress-55-5a4dedc9b

Your leg now belongs to Shark Puppy.  xD

I'm stuck to this spot. I can never move. Shark Puppy forever. 

 

On 5/16/2018 at 12:21 AM, Jlailin said:

True.  Sharkpedo is one of their mystifying ones where I feel like they were starting to run out of ideas, so they just mished random things together.  xD  ...but it's a bit odd considering they don't have an actual plain shark pokemon.  Lots of fish, seals, sea monsters, and even a whale, but there's no plain ol' shark.  o_0

There're also seahorses, jellyfish, clams, crabs, sea slugs, sea stars, a sea cucumber, two things that I think might be dolphins?, a pokemon that is literally an entire school of sardines or anchovies or something, a manta ray, a hunk of coral, an octopus, and let's not forget the RUSTY-ANCHOR-COVERED-IN-SEAWEED POKEMON, but no straight-up shark. Pretty devastating. 

 

On 5/16/2018 at 12:21 AM, Jlailin said:

Ahahahahaha! xD  I feel exactly the same when someone starts playing the pokemon rap and I'm able to sing along all the way through.  :P 

It's seriously a problem. But Rie was so impressed when we hung out again the next weekend, with her friend, she told her friend all about my Pokemon knowledge. Apparently it's unusual. 

 

On 5/16/2018 at 12:21 AM, Jlailin said:

It's odd that there's beef around but not pork.  Pork is usually so much cheaper and easier to raise than beef, so it's around a lot in places without grazing room.  Is it just the ground pork that's missing?  Are you able to find cutlets or bigger cuts of pork?  You could chop/mince them yourself (rather time consuming, but it's actually a rather soothing process in the same way making bread is).  Or perhaps you may have to go to a bigger grocery store?  I had a similar problem in Korea when I was looking for meat--even though I could buy all the other stew ingredients in the grocery stores near me, my airbnb host told me I had to go to the giant grocery store five train stops away.  Perhaps because it's not as commonly eaten in Asian cultures as American culture, they just don't stock it everywhere?  

There are in fact other pork products but so far all of them have been cured. That is to say, bacon. But I think I may have figured out my problem: everyone keeps reminding me that Tuesday and Wednesday are "meat sale" days at the grocery store so that's when I should buy. But I shop after work because the grocery store doesn't open until 10AM, so all the housewives get there first. There are more meat options on non-sale days. 

 

On 5/16/2018 at 12:21 AM, Jlailin said:

Ohhhh~  That sounds amazing!  I went to something similar in Korea.  I love the focus and care Asian countries put towards their parks and community spaces.  I feel like you get these fantastic displays for the public much more often (not just Christmas related).  I am anxiously awaiting your instagram~  I will stalk your account and live vicariously through you in Japan~  <3

This is less "taking care of public spaces" and more like a seasonal fair that gets set up in that park, but it was still pretty incredible. 

 

Re: Instagram, Insta is insisting that I have an account attached to my main email address but it won't let me change any of the information attached to it. When I try to create a new Insta under a different email address, it tells me I have violated its legal terms and conditions and I cannot in fact have such an account. (I also can't log out of my existing account without clearing my cookies to force it to forget who I am. Very annoying. There is literally no "log out" option.) So it might still take a while. At this point I'm considering just starting a blog. 

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2 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Tbh Infinity War was the most boring part of the day. I was not super impressed. Bad Marvel. 

 

If you're a Marvel fan it is worth seeing but I honestly don't know that I would recommend anyone make the trip to see it in theaters. Idk, most of the people I know in America absolutely loved it and thought it was amazing, so I guess I have an unpopular opinion, but it really fell flat for me. 

 

 

Not going to lie, I have heard mixed reviews from some of my more serious Marvel friends. I really didn't like Thor Ragnarok that much since it seemed to be trying too hard. I am optimistic, but really, I am ready in case this suffers from a case of "The hype is too great"

we will see. One day. Agents have 4 days of school left, then things should slow down for a bit.

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