Tuesday, July 30, 2013

About my part-time work! 日本でしているバイトについて!

I just wanted to make a quick post about what I do when I'm not studying, partying or exploring Tokyo in all its gloriousness: I have a part time job! 

Now, as a foreigner with limited japanese knowledge one'd think that getting a job here is a pain in the bunghole. But in reality, it's not hard at all! Maybe you won't be able to work what you reeeaaally want to, but it pays the bills (or the new skirt you've been eyeing for weeks!). 

So here's what I do:


Chat host at an English conversation cafe! 

As you might already know, the Japanese aren't exactly well-known for their great English fluency. English education of Japan has for a long time been just about learning to read and write English, and not about actually speaking the language. They study grammar and vocabulary, but close to nothing about pronunciation and how to communicate. 

Japanese people want to speak English, and with the unstable economy, the Japanese company need to reach out internationally. So, the also need to speak English. So, while waiting for the English education system to change (hopefully), there have been English chat cafes, or English conversation Cafes popping up these last couple of years. 

The deal is: You pay by the hour (or 30mins) to sit at a table with someone who is fluent in English, and talk. That's it. You can talk about your day, about your troubles, about politics, about your plans for summer, just about anything! The only topic my boss has refrained me from discussing, is religion. And that is very understandable, as it can be an incredibly touchy subject for some. But other than that, I talk about what I feel the client(s) are comfortable talking about! On one table, I can have zero to five-six people. If more people come, we split the group and make two chat tables.
You're able to get free drinks, and on weekend after 7pm you can also get free alcoholic beverages! Whee! But as a chat host, I'm not able to drink, hehe.  

The pay is a-okay, 1000 yen per hour. It's not anywhere neeeaar good enough pay if this was Norway, but the price level here in Japan is pretty cheap, so there's a good balance :) 

So all-in-all, I think it's quite fun, actually! I was pretty nervous the first times, figuring out what I could present as a topic, remembering peoples names and such.. But now I'm more relaxed, and a 4-hour shift seems like nothing :)

If you live in Japan, and you are fluent English, then a Chat cafe should be easy money! :) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sumidagawa Fireworks 27.07.2013

Last Saturday I went to Sumidagawa Firework show! 

It's the biggest firework event of the year, and it's celebrated throughout Japan. In Tokyo, they close off and area in Asakusa, along the Sumida river, where people can sit down with food and drink and enjoy the show. The show didn't really start until 1900, but it was PACKED at 1600 already! It was absolutely crazy, the Ginza subway line was incredibly stuffed with people, I kinda felt sorry for the girls who wore yukata... So hot +_+

Min picked me up and took me to where we were supposed to sit! Huang and Winnie had already been there for a while, and they looked sooooo cute in their yukata! I actually forgot my camera, so I'm using Winnie and Min's photos... ^^;; 

Min, me, Huang and Winnie! 

Minnie mouse!
JSK: Emily Temple Cute
When the fireworks started, we realized we didn't really see anything, so we moved out into the streets where a lot of other people sat. Luckily there was room for us as well, the view was pretty good ^^ When the fireworkshow started heating up, people were shouting and screaming, clapping and cheering! It looked like everybody had fun, but it sounded like a fucking zombie apocalypse.
After a couple of minutes, a strong wind started blowing... the sky kept getting darker... pitter patter... We countinued watching the show, only now with our umbrellas up. 

Suddenly, the skies OPENED UP. Umbrellas were no longer useful, and we were getting more and more soaked. Thunder and lighting overtook as entertainment, as the event crew had to stop sending up firework. And now, people where screaming because of the thunder and rain (mind you, 70% of the ~788.000 spectators were probably drunk), and now it REALLY sounded like a zombie apocalypse.
We finally got shelter in an old garage/workshop like place, where a handful of Japanese people sat and talked while they were drinking. We weren't the only ones taking shelter, there were other people there as well, from different countries! The Japanese owners rolled out clear plastic on the concrete floor, invited us to sit down, and gave us beer and snacks. 

Shelter party!
The hospitality of some people make me just.. grin from ear to ear! Despite the incredibly strong storm that came in a couple of minutes, it was a very fun day! 
It is absolutely one of the events I won't ever forget!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A week with daddy!

So sorry for the lack of updates you guys!
I have been swamped with work, as it has been two stressful finals weeks.. But at last, I had my last day of school today, so now I'm FREEEEE! So now I can start working again! If there is any interest, I can make a post about my part time work? Does that sound interesting? :)
ANYWAY. Moving on!

At the end of June, my dad came to visit me!! I was sooo happy to see a familiar face ^^
We didn't really have any concrete plans, I just wanted to show him this and this area, aaand.. go to Fuji-Q Highland. I think Fuji-Q was the only thing we planned ahead, haha.

We didn't do anything special the first days, just walked around, eating lunch/dinner someplace nice and talked. Even though my dad was visiting didn't mean I didn't need to go to class...

My daddy! :D 
My favorite dish; Jôtendon @ Tendon Tempura Tenya! Or whatever it's called! Delish.
Dad at this cool local bar/restaurant we went to, very American styled, even with the menu in US dollars ;)

And, they had Tom & Jerry on a big telly! なつかしい!
We went to FujiQ Highland
We took the train to FujiQ, last time I went by bus and it took 3 hours!! I think by train it took almost 2 hours, and in Japan I like trains way more than riding buses :) We stayed at the hotel that's connected with the park, and we got a room with a view of the theme park!

Narrow traintracks to Fuji-Q Highland
Dad admiring the view :)
Dad being... dad xD
However, we arrived around 4:30, and thought we'd stop by the park for some hours before getting dinner. It turns out the park closes at 5pm FIVE PEE EM. God, I was so disappointed! Dx How can a theme park close at 5? Stupid.. So we went to eat dinner, buffet style. Seriously, the best buffet I've been to. Soo many yummies, with a (cloudy) panorama view of Mt. Fuji! But it had a price, namely 6000 yen! That's pretty agreeable price in Norway, but for a buffet to 6000 yen here in Japan is just.. woah. So expensive. But we did get a damn good view of a partly clouded Mt. Fuji. So, it was worth it, absolutely. Yum.

After a quick nap, we went down to the theme park again, because we found out the bowling alley was open! Neither of us had bowled in years, so we both were out of practice. Like, really out of practice.
But after a couple of rounds we got a strike here and a strike there, and all in all it was a very fun night! Real father-daughter time ^^

After a good nights sleep, we went out early in the morning, I think we got to the park like 8:40am. The park doesn't open until 09:00 for regular visitors, but since we stayed at that hotel we could be let in 30 mins earlier! Super awesome. And since I hadn't had any coffee or anything that morning, I was still feeling a bit sleepy.. So dad wanted to take the quick one, the one named Dodonpa. It was... hard to comprehend how fast it felt.
Dodonpa shoots you out, reaching 172km/h in 1,8 seconds. It's kind of hard to describe that feeling, but it kind felt like this:


It was so much fun! We were also really lucky with the weather, because that day, the forecast said rain from 6am to 6pm. So when we saw that it didn't rain in the morning, we almost sprinted out to get a chance to go on some rides! When it rains, the rollercoasters shut down, so when it started raining, and I mean POURING, we got kind of bummed out and eventually went back to the hotel to dry up.

but... After an hour or so the rain stopped! So we ran outside again (the pros of living so close haha), and it didn't rain again that day. We even got a bit of sunshine!
Took Dodonpa, Takabisha, Fujiyama, Tondemina, Ferris wheel and Panic Clock. Phew.
You can look up the different attractions here:

The rollercoasters:
Dodonpa: Fastest (172km/h)
Takabisha: Steepest (121degree drop)
Fujiyama: Tallest (79m)
Crazy fun, all of it!! 
Something else that kind of bummed me out was that Eejanaika was shut down for maintenance that day.. I've already taken it once, but it's seriously the sickest roller coaster I've been on, so I really wanted dad to try it too! Oh well, maaybe some other time :) 

Our view from the hotel :) 
Dad and I reeeeally like roller coasters. Wheeee! (also look at the random Christmas tree... lol)
In front of the Dodonpa building/launch pad thingie!

And so, our adventures at FujiQ Highland were over... but my dad still had some time left in Tokyo!
In the next days we had to plan, because we wanted to do so much in such a short period of time, so we couldn't just wing it anymore! We went to Ginza, mainly to show my dad the Apple store, since he is the biggest Apple fanboy I have ever met. I did surpruisingly get an iPod nano 16gb! I didn't really believe him first when I said he could buy me one.. I'm not the type of person who get thing I point at, so getting a new Apple product without even really pointing at it was.. well, that's a first. So thankful! Thank you daddy, I use it everyday! :D

 This is a picture of a window display in Ginza from Issey Miyake, I think. I was amazed by how shiny it was, I just had to get a pictures! And guess the price... I think, for the silver outfit it was.. it was... eh, I actually don't remember! It was at least over 200.000yen. I don't know, if I was stupidly rich, I'd buy the silver parka. Because that shit is AWESOME. The pants.. I don't need them.

Loot of the day :)
Vivienne Westwood scarf, Studio Ghibli Sheet Music book(piano), iPod nano, green tea and fucking whole grain braid!! 

We also went to Akihabara and Tsukuji-area, but they had started closing when we got there, so my dad went there when i was at school! Also, the day he left he came to my uni for a little tour, and we went to the Okuma garden, which is a campus based garden. I hadn't really explored it properly earlier, so it was quite a discovery for me too :) The water had Koi fish in it, lots of dragonflies were zooming around, and it was just absolutely lovely. Really peaceful and nice.

Okuma Garden
Dad in Okuma Garden with some campus building in the background
So later that day he had to go back.. I was really moved when I realised my dad had flown half across the world to visit me, and in a flash he was going home again. But, we had a really great time, had a lot of great sushi, and i'm looking forward to seeing him, my stepmom and their dogs again when I get home again!! 

I'm going to wrap it up right here, this is getting too long! 
So incredibly happy my dad came to visit, and I hope my mom and brother can come visit me during Christmas! :)
Good night everybody, hope you'll have a great weekend