Everything in Japan is small and cute. That includes cups, bowls, food portions, notebooks, shoes (I tried on a size large boot…too small!). It’s cute, but somewhat frustrating. Small bowl = less food. Small mug = almost no tea. Small food portions = I’m usually hungry. Small notebooks = I can’t find a notebook with more than 60 pages!! I would like to have my massive Disneyland cup, a huge and deep bowl, and a 300 page notebook.
I spent my day today learning how to use Visual Basic (fyi…Visual Basic is a Windows application used to design user interfaces and implement associated programming code). I will be using it to collect data in one of my projects. We have an old version of a VBA textbook, and my boss let me pick a new one off of Amazon and ordered it for me. He also ordered a Programming in C textbook that I wanted to have for the project. I enjoyed the day…I like learning new programs. Basically, they’re paying me to improve my skills, resume, and experience with important programs. This isn’t just learning for free, this is getting paid to learn! How’s that for a good deal? I also tried to go buy my gym pass, but when I got there, I managed to figure out that they close at 7…so I’ll have to get there asap after work on Thursday and hope I make it before 7 – if not, I’ll wait until the weekend.
I now have two firm trips planned and am hoping to plan another event weekend. Next weekend (Feb 9), I am going hiking with some coworkers, to Takamiyama (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the previous blog…you really should read them in order, you know! ;) ). I am also going on an overnight ski trip with some other coworkers and people from my dorm. We will take a bus at 10pm on Friday night (Feb 22) to a ski resort near Kobe (a city south of Osaka). We will spend the day skiing/snowboarding, and then take the bus back home overnight. We sleep on the bus – I wasn’t sure how I feel about sleeping all night on a bus and then trying to snowboard all day, but I think it will be a fun trip! Some of the coops also have a ski weekend planned; unfortunately it’s on the same week. I decided to go with the people from work, since I already told them I was really excited to go, and I will probably have less chances to hang out with them. I asked Yoda-San (he’s planning the ski trip) how much it would be. I need to rent equipment, and Satomi does as well…I think everyone else has equipment. He said it would probably cost 2000 Yen…for everything – bus ticket, lift ticket, and rentals. That works out to about $20. I was blown away. I asked again what it included, just to make sure. I still think we had some sort of miscommunication, though! I told him that in Canada that would be closer to 15000 Yen ($150), depending on where you went. He was blown away at that. If the weekend turns out to be a 2000 Yen weekend, I will be beyond impressed. Can you imagine taking the bus to the ski hill, buying a lift pass, and renting equipment for $20!?!? I can’t, really. The third event I’m hoping to plan is some sumo watching. There’s a tournament in Osaka in March, so I sent out a note to see if any of the other coops are interested in going. Tickets range from $30 to a couple hundred. It’s an all day event, with several rounds and ceremonies. I think it would be so neat to go see! We’ll see how that works out.
I have a new method to help me learn Katakana & Hiragana… I found some old Japanese stories online, and they’re in Hiragana. I’m translating them into Romaji (helps me to learn the Hiragana characters) and then translation the Romaji to English (helps me to learn some vocab). I’d like to find some stories in Katakana, too. I only found them today, but I’ve done some and it definitely helps me learn the characters. Sometimes I’m super motivated to learn Japanese, and other days I think, “I’ll never learn enough to be fluent anyways, and when they talk it’s just gibberish, so what’s the point?” But I’m trying to lean towards the motivated learning, because I think it will definitely make a different. I think you only get out of an experience what you’re willing to put into it…I want to get a lot out of this, so I’m going to put in as much as I can! On that note, so I can put anything into it tomorrow, I should get some sleep! (New word…nemuru = to sleep).