AirGuitarist87 / Member

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AirGuitarist87 Blog

Learning to code...I think?

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So I've got my text editor and terminal open, reading my tutorial in PDF form when I come across:

"Age 22. Found a beetle in my bathroom that was just about to fall into a heating vent. Swiped him up. Tailored him a little backpack out of a leaf and a thread. In the backpack: a skittle and a AAA battery. That should last him. Set him loose out by the front gate."

What the hell did I just read?

Been away for a while...what the heck?

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Is...is swearing allowed in the forums now?

I swear, the last time I was here the mere utterance of "fun bags" would get you modded, a swift kick in the nads and possibly a permaban. What happened? Everyone is cussing like it's going out of fashion!

And yes, I used "cussing"! Because I refused to stoop to such levels!! Etc.

So what else has changed around these parts?

Life in Japan: Dealing with Travel Agents

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I haven't updated in aaaaaages. Gomen!

Long story short, I've been super busy studying for the JLPT (Google it) and this TEFL course I'm on (Google it). In the meantime I've decided I wanna go to Bali for New Year so off I pop to the local travel agency. I don't tend to use them but getting a credit card, and therefore plane tickets, is near impossible in Japan unless you're a perminent resident or don't look all that foreign.

Me: "I want to go to Bali."
Clerk: "Good choice, sir. When would you like to go?"
Me: "Around the 28th?"
Clerk: "Okay, hold on"

A goddamn 20 minute break passes.

Clerk: "Sorry, there are no flights on the 28th."
Me: "Oh ok...how about the 29th?"
Clerk: "Let me go check."

Another 20 minute break passes.

Clerk: "There is a flight on the 29th but the hotel isn't available."
Me: "ALL hotels aren't available or just this one?"
Clerk: "...let me go check."

After deciding it would be more interesting to watch paint being paint I told him I'll leave it and headed home. I have got the tickets and hotels all booked, I just needed to go find a woman-run travel agent. They know what common sense means apparently.

Anyone had any similar experiences with customer service? What are your plans for new year?

PS. The SoJelly site was borked by my friends whilst I had been busy and didn't tell me. I've fixed it but so far only my JellyShorts is up. More coming up around Christmas time!

Life in Japan: Daytime TV

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Some of the more awesome members of Gamespot know of my new website SoJelly.com and I have started to blog more regularly on it.

This blog is on Daytime TV in Japan. Please leave me a comment there and let me know what you think. Also suggestions for my next blog would be awesome!!

I also have a little video project called JellyShorts. Enjoy!!

SoJelly.com will make you a happy Panda

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There is a reason I have been very quiet for a few months.

SoJelly.com is here!

It is still in it's infancy, mainly due to the fact I have absolutely zero HTML/CSS/PHP experience and I really wanted to challenge myself before thinking "Sod it, install Wordpress and phpBB".

There have been rumours circulating that if you join the forums and read our blogs and videos then your penis/breasts will grow and you will gain an extra +10 coolness. Some have even reported a thumbs up and wink from AirGuitarist.

I'm in charge of JellyShorts and Life In Japan articles! But I have called dibs on a Duke Nukem Forever article so stay tuned!

Love and cookies!
Tamachan87

Living In Japan - The Pros and Cons

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Haven't updated in aaaaages. Sorry. Things are pretty hectic, I've just finished my second Japanese graduation; two weeks ago was junior high graduation and today was elementary graduation. Both are pretty similar, the kids are a different size though. The whole process is very surreal. They sing the Japanese national anthem which just so happens to be one of the shortest and dullest national anthems I've heard. Because it's a haiku it also ends rather abruptly. Anyway, the whole graduation ceremony is based around making you cry. Because I don't know enough Japanese I couldn't pick up a lot of what was being said but between speeches with sad violin music, everyone in the school shouting their favourite memories together and the constant reminder that you will never see each other ever again (until junior high) it all seems a little forced.

Anyway, here's a short list of pros and cons I've collected so far of living in Japan.

Pros

  • Awesome food - it's really hard to find anywhere you think is disgusting. Except natto, which is a given. I'm currently addicted to Japanese bread like Melonpan, chocopan and this maple log thing.
  • Awesome service - I've never really known what it was like to be "served" by a shop clerk until I came to Japan. They will literally bend over backwards to please you.
  • Awesome phones/internet - They are really into their mobiles here. Softbank do the iPhone justice with a nice unlimited internet plan, but unfortunately they have reaaaally bad reception. Docomo have the best reception but the most expensive. Au have Android.
  • Friendly people - Being a foreigner outside of Tokyo is a double edged sword. This edge is that you're almost a rock-star. Remember when you were a kid and you were praised for using a knife and fork properly? It's going to happen again but with chopsticks. And reading. And writing. And speaking.
  • Japanese English - Always fun.

Cons

  • Racism? - Now this is a really touchy subject. There are plenty of people who are so ready to shout racism at any given opportunity, especially those who have not experienced real racism and living in Japan being their first time as a minority. There is a certain degree of ignorance in Japan that is very easily mistaken as racism. My girlfriend is Chinese but because she looks asian people assume she's Japanese, which leads to me talking to a waiter in a restaurant who will then turn and answer to my girlfriend. It doesn't sound much but imagine the person you're talking to answering to the person next to you; it's off-putting. It's not racism in the sense that he wants to annoy or insult me, but Japanese people have very little experience with anything foreign so don't want to cause offence in an ironic way. A bunch of my kids were astounded to learn that Thomas the Tank Engine and Spongebob Squarepants weren't made in Japan. Japanese people are very self-sufficient and incredibly proud of it, so you'll have to forgive them for always picking apart the little differences in culture. The thing is Japanese people do this to each other; each prefecture has something they're proud of or do differently. In Tokyo people queue on the left hand side of the escalators to let people pass on the right, in Osaka it's the opposite. This is a unique trait in Japan, most other asian countries I've visited are a lot more relaxed than this.
  • Who's to blame? - Blame is a really weird thing in Japan. It's like people want to be blamed. A kid at my school was caught stealing, so the home room teacher and the vice-principal went on an "apology tour" to the shop, the neighbourhood and maybe even my place just to make sure. The concept seems weird to me, but it works here I guess.
  • Japanese English - Aaaah, here we are again. Japanese English may be an endless source of entertainment but as someone hired to teach English it's a rather big pain in the arse. It's rather embarassing when you can't understand a word a kid is saying after speaking out in front of the whole cIass.

In other news, this creepy bugger is Kumamoto's new mascot - Kumamon!

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He watches you at the foot of your bed.

Oh, and I'm still alive by the way. Not been hit by the earthquake or tsunamis down here in the south-west. If I grow an extra limb I'll let you know.

Japanese English

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Call it what you want - Japenglish, Engrish, Eigo, it's all the same.

Bad English is not by all means a Japan-only phenomenon. The reason it's so widely reported about is the fact that you do get a lot of fairly respectable organisations falling prey to just running a paragraph of Japanese through Babel Fish and simply posting the results. As seen here, in other countries this is seen as funny but Japan really doesn't seem to care all to much about proper English.

Sometimes you can let it off for the lulz.

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But here's an example of an apartment block near one of my schools:

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I have no idea what the hell a wonderful green is or why this building is in persuit of it, but oh well. I'da thought that if you spent all that money building an an apartment building you could at least shell out for a translator...or even just sign up to Lang-8.com and have it proof read!

In the similar fashion that you have those people with Chinese kanji tattoos but have no idea what it means, a lot of Japanese things have bad English on them "because they look cool". I'm not complaining in the slightest, it's a load of fun and totally free when walking down the street/through the super market. Just wish it didn't leak into the schools! :cry:

On the topic of strange things Japanese - behold! Minestrone soup with BRAN FLAKES!

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By the way if anyone has anything Japanese they'd like me to translate I'll be more than happy to help. It's good practice for me haha.

Love about Japan: Fukubukuro

Miss about home: Steak pudding

A quick blog/apology

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It's been long overdue for another photo blog from me and my adventures in Japan. Unfortunately I've tried a few times, spent close to two hours writing one only to be given the almighty HTML error I have always affiliated with Gamespot.

I have some free time tomorrow so I will try my utmost to post one, as I'm going to Thailand on Friday (exciting, eh?).

Anyhoo

待ったね

Atsui! Haiyaku, haiyaku!!!

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It's been about 3 and a bit weeks since I moved into my apartment; still have no internet but my senpai is super awesome and let's me borrow his.

However my netbook is designed by Beelzebub...I mean Dell and therefore has no bloody fan. This thing is HOT. On top of that it's pitch black outside and still 28 degrees C (82 degrees F for our yankee friends) so working on my comp is getting to be a problem.


Aaaaaanyhoo, I'm just uploading a few photos for now. I'll do a major big one by mid-late Sept as things are CRAZY busy with the start of the new term.

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I moved to Kumamoto City after spending 3 days in Tokyo. If you thought you were sweaty there you have no idea what humidity is. Try this: run a hot bath. Like...as hot as it goes. Don't bother adding any cold water. Now, instead of getting in (as that's a silly idea) just put your face reeeeeaaaaallly close to it. Feel that heat and moisture running off your face? That's Kyushu.

The JET program has three groups; group A arrive in April at the start of the school year; groups B and C come in August when Japan is it's hottest. If you want to move to become a JET but can't stand heat - request Hokkaido.

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Kumamoto has loads of beautiful countryside surrounding it. This was actually an abandoned train station someone converted into a cake cafe. The guy who runs it is super awesome and speaks fluent English after living in America for a few years.

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You seriously have to watch what you eat when you arrive. The food here is incredibly tasty but if you don't do it in moderation or exercise you will pile on the pounds. This particular serving of takoyaki (fried octopus balls) burnt my mouth horribly. ^_^;

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My unofficial bedroom. I chose it simply because it has the AC. My predecessor left me horrible moldy futons that gave me a nasty rash if I lead on it. After a short message to a friend her boyfriend took me to his parents who gave me a free bloody futon. Japanese people are so nice.

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My living room. I haven't done much personalising of my apartment, so everything is sort of how I got it. Telly here is mad; I have 12 channels - 4 are shopping, 1 is static, 1 is to advertise cable and the rest are normal. They love talk shows, but not as much as they love peel-away stickers on cardboard cut outs. If you watch Japanese telly you'd know what I mean.

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This is the view from my apartment. I like it. :) I'm still sorting internet out, but I hope to get up and running sooner rather than later.

Take care, y'all.

BRB moving to Japan

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Reet, early train tomorrow at 9:58am. Travel down to London, navigate the labyrinth that is the London Underground and fly to Tokyo.

I will be without internet for some time. I think the next blog will be a short(ish) photo blog of my trip up to Kumamoto.

Laters.