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:: My Urban Eyes ::

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:: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 ::

Yea for Classes and Homestay!



I have about 15 minutes here to babble, so I'm going to do just that. Very rushed, so please excuse any mistakes. ^_^

Everything here is going really well. My host family is really really nice! I moved in with them last Saturday. It's a mom, a dad, a sister, two brothers, and a grandmother. Quite a large family! Okaasan (mom)'s hobby is English conversation, and she wants to become an English teacher. That's great because if she says something I don't understand we can usually work out some kind of understanding between both Japanese and English. One of the boys, Hitoshi, loves English and America, so we talk to each other in English sometimes. He did a three month exchange in Austrailia that he loved, and the next place he wants to visit is the US. He's a really good drum player and wants to go to college for music. He keeps asking me if I know this jazz drummer or that jazz drummer, but I only know the most famous people, so it's pretty useless. :P

Otousan works for the city, I think... for the government in some way. Both he and okaasan studied English in college, but back then they taught no speaking at all. So their vocab and grammar are great, it's just getting the words out that's a problem. Phonics are tough, as well. Okaasan works in some kind of office during the week.

Yuki, my host sister, is studying German in college. She had really bad English teachers in high school, so she hates the language with a passion. I kind of feel bad when I have to resort to English vocab words when I'm talking with her. (Ex.--ku-ra-su means class, but the native Japanese word for it is ju-gyou. I have a hard time remembering that, so I resort to ku-ra-su a bit too much, I think.)

Okaasan and Obaasan (my grandmother) cook great meals all the time. I try to help out, but the kitchen is their domain so I'm not really allowed in. I do help clean up after every meal, though. So far I've liked everything put in front of me! Well, except for broccoli, but I already knew I didn't like that. :P I've eaten lots of things, from raw fish in make-your-own sushi to octopus ("tako") to squid ("ika"), to little inch long fish. Those tiny fish were whole! They tasted good, but after three bites I couldn't eat anymore--it looked like they were staring at me. -_-

My Japanese comprehension is getting better--it has to! Hehe. The first day with my host family I asked a zillion questions and didn't understand lots of things, but I'm coming to understand more and more. My family speaks a dialect of Japanese called Kansai-ben, because it's from the Kansai region of Japan. The Kansai region includes Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto. It's very different from standard Japanese, with its own grammar and slang. Also, the speech pattern of high and low tones is nearly the opposite of standard Tokyo speech. I knew I was going to come out of this experience with an accent, but it's kind of cool to live it.

Osaka people are known for being loud and slightly coarse... kind of like a New York stereotype (or, if you're from New York, a New Jersey stereotype). (Wait... it's not quite *that* bad. -_^) Seeing as how I come from New York it's kind of fitting, ne?

Eeeep, class is starting in a couple minutes, gotta run! Next time I hope to have tons of pictures... and yes Mom, there will be people in them! :P

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:: Kazen 11:48 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
How's the commute from homestay and school, are you close? What is the transportation?

In school, how well are you able to understand your professors? Is it hard to keep up with them and how hard do you think your assignments are going to be?

While in Germany I had a hard time with the food, your experience here I know I would starve....raw fish, YUCK! Is there any types of food considered "American" available to you, if you needed?
 
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