I am so bad at updating. SO BAD. Part of the problem is that I've been going out/actually talking to people in the evenings, so instead of writing my blog posts after dinner, I come home exhausted, talk to Nick for a little bit, and then fall asleep. The dangers of having friends!
Anyway, here are the answers from the super short words challenge!
1. pasokon = personal computer (paasonaru konpyuuta)
2. rimokon = remote control (rimooto kontorooraa)
3. meruado = mail address (meeru adoresu)
4. kaanabi = car navigation system, aka GPS (kaa nabigeeshon)
5. santora = sound track (saundo torakku)
6. furima = free market (furii maaketto)
7. kopipe = copy and paste (kopii ando peesuto)
8. ama = amateur (amachua), which is the opposite of puro (pro, short for professional)
9. infure = inflation (infureeshon)
10. shinse = synthesizer (shinsesaizaa)
...the highest anyone scored (that they told me; I dunno, maybe someone got all of them but was super secret about it) was a 2.
Say it with me:
Perhaps I have been in Japan too long, but a lot of these seemed pretty intuitively obvious to me! (Well, not kopipe* and santora and shinse. I got shinse after I thought about it, though.) I have probably just been in Japan too long, you guys. Probably.
Let's see. What has happened since the last time I updated?
Monday was Louki's birthday, and I made her a cake, because it was either that or read stuff for class. Anyway, it turns out that some people think being able to bake a cake is impressive? I dunno.
Also, somewhere in the middle there I discovered that Grace is a brony which means that OUR BRONY LEAGUE IS NOW AT THREE. We are UNSTOPPABLE.
Anyway, a bunch of people went out to a kaiten sushi** place, which was really good AND really cheap! And I ate a bunch of saba (mackerel), because I am into saba.
Then, when we came back, it turned out that basically the entire dorm was waiting to sing "Happy Birthday" to Louki. It was exciting!
Almost immediately after that we all trooped up to Ashley's room to wish HER happy birthday at midnight. And I wanted to play her the ponies happy birthday song, but then I realized it was from an episode she hadn't seen yet and I was sad.
The next day I had penmanship, and one of the women who I haven't seen in almost five months was there. It turns out that she injured her knee and was bedridden for a while, which is (obviously) why she wasn't coming to class, but it's great that she's able to get up and walk around again! Also, she was shocked to see me, because apparently Nakano-san had told her that I had gone back to America...and failed to tell her that I was coming back. OOPS.
But anyway! It was a pretty good class! I actually did some pretty okay penmanship and was super proud of myself until Nakano-san, 15 minutes before the end of class, handed me a string of about 20 incredibly difficult kanji and told me to try it "as a challenge." ...it was pretty bad. I shall take pictures and put them up here at some point. Prepare your eyeballs.
Also, people in penmanship class have realized that actually maybe I kind of know something about Japanese religion, because:
A. I can understand the weird, obscure Shinto terms Nakano-san uses
B. I got into HARVARD, so clearly I must be kind of okay
C. Nakano-san was describing an amacha*** ritual, and I correctly identified it as being created by Gedatsu-kai,****
D. I knew what Gedatsu-kai was (I just read a book on it...)
E. I know the difference between Amaterasu-oomikami and Amaterasu-no-mikoto (one is from the Nihon Shoki and the other is from the Kojiki).
It's amusing, because a couple of new women have started coming, and Nakano-san keeps introducing me as knowing "all this random stuff even I don't know about Shinto." Ahahahaha, what.
That evening I had Japanese class, where we finished reading a mystery novella we started a couple of weeks ago. In the end, it turned out that the person I suspected from the beginning did it, and when we were just reaching the climax, our teacher asked if anyone knew who had done it, and I said I did, and she was SHOCKED OH MY GOODNESS. It was kind of obvious, though. If you're going to include a character and not have him/her DO anything, OBVIOUSLY HE/SHE DID IT. Especially if it's a novella.
Wednesday I went out to Toyota City to interview Aoyama-san, the priest who the Yamaguchis (my host family in Tochigi) introduced me to. He answered negative to almost all of my questions, which is interesting, but not entirely unexpected. Anyway, I got some good information out of it, so now I just have to write it up into my paper. I've been trying to work on my paper a little bit each day, but that's not actually how I work on papers, so it's more like on Wednesday I worked on my paper for a couple of hours and doubled the word count and I haven't touched it since then. Oh well. It'll get done.
Thursday I had Japanese class, where we were learning kanji compounds with two or more readings/meanings. For example, 心中 can mean "in [someone's] heart" (しんちゅう) or it can mean "a love suicide" (しんじゅう). They are pretty different words!
After class I went out with a bunch of other foreign students to kaiten sushi AGAIN, because we are all about kaiten sushi.
And now it is Friday and I am writing this in the afternoon so that I don't forget in the evening. GENIUS.
Next week is Golden Week, which is a week with a million holidays in it, so everybody goes traveling. Everybody except me, that is. I don't really have any plans. Maybe I'll figure something out or maybe I'll just bum around or maybe I'll go on a day trip somewhere. WE SHALL SEE. On the other hand, we have to finish a draft of the handbook by Monday, so maybe I'll just work on that...
*Which may be my new favorite word. It just sounds so perky!
**Rotating sushi. It's where the sushi is on a conveyor belt or in sushi boats. People are always shocked when I say that we have kaiten sushi in the US.
****As it turns out, Nakano-san belongs to a more Shinto-centric spin-off of Gedatsu-kai called Kamunagara-no-michi (which is the old reading for the word "Shinto," by the way!). I need to find infos on it, basically.