Friday, October 21, 2011

First Two Weeks of Level 3

Hey everyone,

I'm really bad at this blogging thing, what with all these irregular posts.  I should probably schedul...  nah - too much work.  Here are some pictures of my life over the past few weeks!

First, here are some pictures from last weekend, when Chiyo dragged me to the park with her and Host-Mom:

Some kid had brought an airsoft gun to the park
Chiyo, though not shown here, was VERY intrigued
On Thursday night, a friend of mine and I went to do some shopping for Halloween costumes.  Here are some pictures of the MEN'S CLOTHING AISLES.  ALL THESE CLOTHES ARE FOR MEN.

Really strange colours, but okay, if you're going for that style
Wait, what?  This is for men?

I feel like I've seen female relatives of mine wear those sweaters...  Weird.
Now, one day last week, as I was walking home, I stopped in a convenience store to get some ice cream.  Here's what I found:

Yes, an ICE BURGER.  Here it is in its unwrapped form:

The bread was real bread.  The patty was coffee flavoured ice cream, and the "toppings" were vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Unfortunately the bread tasted really strange and the coffee patty's flavour was largely overpowering, so I can't say I really enjoyed this a whole lot...

Tonight, Host-Mom brought me to see what I thought was going to be a Japanese play.  Serves me right for not asking more questions and/or researching the kanji, because it turned out to be a stand-up comedy night.  I wasn't really allowed to take pictures, so...

Well, I obviously took one anyway.  As you can tell (hopefully - picture quality is terrible), there is very little standing taking place on the part of the comedian.  In fact, they all knelt down on a small cushion to do their comedy.  Furthermore, most of their comedy seemed to be about telling stories.  I say "seemed to be" because I cannot truthfully say that I understood much, if any at all, of what was being said.

There were a few stretches where one comedian was talking about the pains of getting older, being placed on a diet, having to eat vegetables, etc., that I understood, but that was pretty much it.  There was only very little laughing from the crowd - I wonder if that's how all Japanese comedy is.  Still, what laughing there was sounded very genuine, and there were a few cackles that seemed to elicit some pain from the one woman behind me.

It was really strange to me because the comedians seemed to be playing two or three different roles at the same time, and I was only able to mildly differentiate one voice from another.  I suspect this has more to do with me not being able to understand the stories being told...  In any case, I should like to experience this once again, if I ever become good enough at this Japanese thing. 

Finally, here are some pictures of various meals that I have had the immense pleasure to take part in during my stay with my host family.

Yes, this is how the Japanese serve burgers: gravy and no buns
Also those fries were AMAZING

This is Chiyo attempting to make takoyaki, a popular Japanese dish which consists of
fried octopus in a ball of batter - more information here

While my family back home was feasting on Thanksgiving turkey, I got to eat this:

The botom plate was my own - noodles and chicken if I remember correctly
The top plate was amazingly flavoured fried chicken with equally amazingly flavoured veggies...
Here are a few more meals, just to whet your appetite more:

Japanese bacon, carrots and other assorted vegetables whose name I do not know

カツ丼 (かつどん、katsudon) on the left, fish on the right, soup above

This is what I had tonight - udon with shrimp tempura...
Sorry for having made you all so hungry...

Oh, one last thing.  I have to admit that I was feeling pretty sad on Wednesday - I think it was my first time celebrating my birthday away from my family.  As I left the school, this is what the sky looked like:

Unfortunately the picture doesn't really do it justice.  But it was beautiful enough to put a smile on my face.


  1. Matt, how come you couldn't tell by the wrapper that the ice burger was a bad idea? I could tell the moment I looked at it! We missed you too, son, on your birthday... we will take a rain check though, we can officially postpone your birthday until Jan 2 or 3rd!

    love you! mom

  2. I can understand feeling a little sad about that. I'm not sure how I'm gonna feel being so far from home at Christmas. But we've been having fun too! ^^


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