Thursday, October 4, 2007

Life in the land of the rising sun

And so the first 2 weeks hava passed here in japan and well while in the main, things have been gg well, I muz admit i'm still adjusting to life here. It's the process of getting to know ppl again that I think is getting to me; the process of deciding who u are, how u should behave, who u should be. Don't get me wrong, the people here are really friendly, some even go to great lengths juz to make more friends and I think that's great. But it gets to me coz everyone's too busy trying to know more ppl, I can't seem to hold a REAL conversation. I mean I find myself having to speak in an american slang juz to make myself understood. When I speak in my singapore accent they either look at me dumbfounded or u can see from their expression they're finding it hard to understand.

There are some singaporeans here but only a handful. I'm the only one on exchange though, so it can be hard to strike up a conversation. Juz very different frequency. U get the feeling some of them are here becoz they hate our system, and with that they seem to hate those that accept the system. I dun get it. The only reason why u're even able to make it her in the first place is BECAUSE the system allows u to. Don't condescend me juz because I chose to bleed the system instead of fighting it. Sure it has its problems but no system is perfect right? I admire ur strength and courage in fighting for what u believe in and restarting ur life in a foreign place, but could it be that it takes even more courage to grind out a life in the oh-so-imperfect system that brought u up? Ur disdain for the system is understandable, I myself bitch about it all the time, but perhaps u should still respect the views of those who actually still like it.

The system here in japan is far from perfect anyway, but I shall be respectful and not badmouth it while I have such limited exposure. What I MUST bitch about is this STUPID japanese language proficiency test that I was made to sit. For all japan's famed efficiency, my school makes u do a shitload of waiting and queueing for something to get done. I went for my test at 1pm but by the time I was done it was oredi 5.45pm lah! I counted the actual time of me doing tests was about 2hrs MAX! The others was all waiting.

When I went there we had to WAIT for another truckload of latecomers before we could start. The test was a hiragana test which I finished in like 30 seconds. BUT I had to WAIT for the examiners to mark finish EVERY DAMN PAPER becoz those that passed had to take another more advanced test! What was worse is for all of japan's famed technology, the examiners chose to write every single ID number of those who failed the test on the BLACKBOARD (who the fuck still uses chalk and blackboard these days?) despite the availability of projectors and computers in the room. So we WAIT lor. Wait until all the ID numbers one by one write finish lor.

I was oredi sian 1/2 oredi neh mind. So finally I took the second test, and that was easy too, I finished it in like 3 minutes. THEN the process of WAITING START ALL OVER AGAIN! Coz again, if you passed this test you had to take another even more advanced test. And so it was I had to WAIT for EVERY SINGLE PAPER to be marked again, and WAIT for EVERY SINGLE PERSON who failed the test to have their ID number written on the blackboard again ONE BY ONE.

And if you think that was the end of my torture, far from it. The third paper had 2 parts, and we were given the vocab and grammer part to do first (which I sucked at, so I finished quite quickly). Then I had to WAIT for everyone to finish that section before going on to the next section because it was listening comprehension! To put the nail in the coffin, when the results were out a few days later, I was posted to the most basic japanese foundation class along with the jokers who didn't pass the very FIRTST test! Sigh… it’s even tiring to type all this out. Grrrr… the pent of frustration…

Another thing I shall bitch about is the unexpected startup costs I’ve been incurring. I love my mum so much now, because she takes care of so many things that are just IMPOSSIBLE to anticipate. You think cooking would be cheap huh? But what you didn’t think is you need pots, pans, spices and sauces just to make a decent thing out of a piece of meat or a bunch of vegetables. There’s only so far a friggin bottle of soy sauce can take you. And I sure learnt some cooking lessons the hard way, for example the first day I cooked rice, I realized I had no rice cooker, so I had to use a pot. And coz I was so scared that I would burn my rice, I took an entire 50 MINUTES juz to cook my rice. Oh and I managed to screw up my pasta (how the hell do you do that right?) and my chicken wings. Oh and did you know, oyster sauce can actually burn? It’s from there I learnt the beauty of a low heat fire. Patience is a virtue in cooking I guess. Now the beautiful question is, if I use my one and only pot to cook my rice, what am I going to use to cook my food then? Conundrum conundrum… Have a strong urge to buy a non-stick pan, coz mine is pathetic. It manages to screw up my omelet even after I put a shit load of oil on it first. Damn… See? Who would think non-stick pans are so important? So sidikit sidikit lama lama jadi bukit lah, I’m way overspending right now and trying desperately to bring down my expenditure. Maybe I really muz gain nirvana while I’m on top of this mountain…

That’s it for now, for photos, can go to my facebook (juz look for my name can le), coz the photo uploading system there is so much way simpler to use. Jaa, mata aimashoo!