So it is now Christmas Eve in Japan. I am sitting at my middle school. Why? We didn’t have classes today, but we had closing ceremonies so I had to come and watch. There wasn’t much to it, the teachers yelled at the kids to work harder, be more respectful, etc. And then the new student government leaders gave flowers to the graduating 3rd years and promised to work hard next year.
I am pretty bored but excited because last night I went to an awesome little Christmas event. An English teacher who lives about an hour from me is a huge NEWS and Johnny’s fan, and I was introduced to her through a fellow JET because of my crazy fangirl status. I have been to her house once before this when we had a party for Tegoshi’s birthday. But this time she wanted me to come celebrate Christmas with her and her friends. Before her party, though, she had a small class of students (kids 5-11) who she teaches on a regular basis. I read to them a story in English about Santa and then we passed out presents and played bingo. It was a lot of fun and it was nice after a full weekend of staying in my own home. Although the rest I got this weekend was amazing. I actually got to play video games.
I got out my PS Vita, which I hadn’t played in months, and bought a game to play on it since I am sort of stuck in Gravity Rush and too lazy to play Persona 4 at the moment. I got a game called Sweet Fuse: at your side, which is an Otome game and it’s really cute and action packed. I really like the way they did the English version, because normally I would play it in Japanese, but they kept the Japanese voice actors and just translated over the text. For me, this made it extremely funny to see the difference, but I think the translator did an excellent job.
I am trying to prepare for my trip to Hong Kong, and my friend is trying to help me learn Cantonese. She says I will pick up a lot while I am there, but I am using a website to give me an idea of some vocab and pronuncation. The site is called LearnChineseEz for anyone who is interested. They have Mandarin and Canto, which is really nice. I hate paying for language tools nowadays, so this site is a welcome aid.
We planned out parts of our trip, and mostly we will be shopping and eating and taking pictures. I am lucky to have my friend as a guide because she’s been to HK multiple times and her friends and family members have invited us to eat and sight see with them. I went to South Korea one March for a week and I really wish I had the same set up as I do this time. I stayed with my friend instead of at a hotel, and she lived an hour outside of Seoul. It was hard to do things alone because I didn’t have a phone or internet unless I was with her, and she was a high school student, so I only got to go places with her for two days. It was a pretty miserable trip, but now that I live so close to Korea, I am hoping to go again and remedy my thoughts on the country. But for now I am all about Hong Kong and dim sum, pho, duck, and Cantonese. We are even planning to go to a musuem to see the Bruce Lee exhibit. I am obsessed with Bruce Lee, by the way. I went to his grave in Seattle, but it will be awesome to be on the same island he was raised.
Tonight I am going to a Christmas Eve concert. Matsushita Yuya is my favorite Japanese solo artist, and I saw him in Kyoto two years ago. His concerts are always small and intimate, so I know it will be as good a performance as when I saw him last, if not better. Tomorrow I have work. On Christmas. Oh well. I am going to skype with my family and open presents and then after work I am going out with a fellow JET for dinner and a Taiko drum performance. We are going to see a group called Tao, who I have seen before. They came to my college when I was an undergrad. They are amazing so I know this show is going to lift my spirits. Anything is better than sitting alone in my house, though. I still need to watch Elf this year. I might do that tonight but the concert is sure to wear me out. Good thing I don’t have to work at school tomorrow, though.
I hope everyone has a wonderful break, even if you technically don’t get one, like me. I am going to stay positive and apply patience in 2014 so I can work towards my goals one step at a time. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!