Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In which I slay centipedes in pitched combat

So last night we had a meeting about the Halloween party...where I discovered that despite volunteering to work security, The Powers That Be decided that all the people who volunteered for security had also secretly volunteered to work publicity.  Now, I think this is frankly ridiculous and also rude (being told "well, your name's on this list and we wrote 'publicity' on the top next to 'security,' so you have to do XYZ" was extremely unpleasant), but apparently The Powers That Be weren't interested in listening to our (that is, the foreign students who suddenly found themselves doing double duty's) arguments, or, in fact, in listening to us at all.  I basically sat there for an hour while being entirely excluded from the decision-making process and then being told that I would have to hand out flyers on campus during the lunch hour.
Needless to say, this did not go down well with me, and there shall be a reckoning.  I learned how to complain in Japanese, and darn it, I am going to find the guy in charge of organizing the party and use those set phrases.
The only highlight of the meeting was that at one point a centipede meandered into the room, everyone freaked out (apparently they're really dangerous?  And a quick Google search tells me that, yes, they are really dangerous) and screamed and ran, and I beat it to death with a book.  Then it resurrected as zombie centipede (apparently centipedes are about as easy to kill as cockroaches) and I stomped on it until it was sufficiently gooey for someone to pick it up with a tissue and throw it in the trash can.
...so probably half the dorm now thinks I'm That Crazy American Girl Who Beats Centipedes to Death with The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I got a bunch of random high-fives (all from guys who looked completely awestruck)?  Yeah.
Maybe this is why I have no friends.

Today I had to get an x-ray taken for some reason (it's required of all students at Nanzan), and I discovered that Japanese women wear SO MANY LAYERS.  We had to strip down to wearing only a t-shirt, and I removed two articles of clothing whereas the Japanese woman next to me removed about seven, not even kidding.  Then again, she was wearing three shirts (!!!) plus two jacket-like objects.  It seems to be in fashion to layer the heck out of your clothing, but I think I would probably die of heatstroke if I tried it.  (Then again, according to the students in my Japanese class, I am impervious to cold, because I wasn't wearing a jacket when the rest of them were wearing at least one.  This prompted the question, "Is California really, really cold?" to which I replied that it was, in fact, not.)

Then I had my professor's seminar...where I discovered that I had bought and read the first chapter of the wrong book.  To be fair, the two book titles are almost exactly the same (literally, it's a one word difference), the publisher is the same, the cover is the same, and when you input the title of the book we were supposed to buy into Amazon.jp, it redirects to the book I actually bought.  Still, I feel extraordinarily stupid.  Thankfully, nobody else realized my mistake, because I apparently already know all the material covered in the chapter we were supposed to read.  It was kind of amusing, actually, watching everyone's minds be blown by the idea that "Shinto" is a relatively modern term, and what we consider "Shinto" today didn't exist several centuries ago.*  (Plus, I got to explain what syncretism is, because apparently the other students didn't know what 神仏習合 meant. )

In other news, 生チョコサンドメロンパン.  It is.  DELICIOUS.  It's probably full of Death and Terror and Things That Will Destroy My Liver, but SO DELICIOUS.  It's basically chocolate melon bread (does not contain actual melons; it is named melon bread because of its shape) with some sort of vanilla and chocolate cream inside.

And on a final note, if you mix soft tofu and egg together in stir fry, it looks like vomit but tastes like OM NOM NOM.

*I will write a post about this...eventually.  But not now.

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