So it appears that this is going to be a monthly updated blog rather than the weekly one I had intended, but I’ve been so busy with uni work that I just never seem to have time! (more busy avoiding it rather than doing it mind…. though the pair of socks I’m currently making are flying along 😉 )
So recently in the life of Jenny: I have actually been conscious during two earthquakes now and so I can finally say I have felt an earthquake! Good thing or bad thing I don’t know, but still. The last one I felt actually made it onto British news which while I could definitely tell it was a proper quake and not just a tremor, I didn’t think it was big enough to actually be reported abroad. I have to say I was pretty unperturbed by it. I was more amused by watching the street light outside swaying to really be bothered by anything else. My friend who was having her hair cut at the time probably had more to be concerned about, but luckily the hair dresser stopped cutting while the earthquake took place. Could have been disastrous otherwise 😉
Something else that I’ve done this month was to go to Gonpachi, a very nice restaurant which anyone who has seen Kill Bill (I haven’t) should recognise as the scene where the main character has a fight with the Japanese girl was set in a location that’s design was based on the restaurant. It was my friend Sophie’s 23 birthday so we all went to dinner to celebrate. The food was really good, though be careful of what you order as I at first chose a starter and what I thought would be a plate of beef skewers thinking ‘great I’m only spending £10!’ and got the starter and ONE beef skewer. In truth it was a very good bit of beef, but still… could have done with more as I ended up ordering the Unagi don as well (which was also very good, so I wasn’t too upset by having to order more food).
And the traditional Japanese dance that me Sophie and Daishia decided to go learn has finally resulted in us learning some of the dance. The first two sessions were orientation and learning how to put on a yukata (which so far we all kinda fail at, and it doesn’t help that the three of us are too tall so we can’t really do the elegant folds in the middle or we’d be showing leg above the ankle. Scandalous! Also we don’t get to choose the colour of our yukata’s, so while I appear to be the only person wearing one like mine, it’s also a pale pink fairly similar to the colour of my skin so from a distance….. We all opted to learn the fan dance, and while it’s very elegant the prompts are interesting. ‘Ooo, you’re gazing into the distance because you’ve seen a big mountain’, ‘You’re tilting your head so because you’re looking at something beautiful’ (tbh, it’s more amusing heard in Japanese).
At the moment I’m getting myself ready for my two weeks off. We don’t get holiday until the DAY of the 25th of December, and I have an exam on the 24th! Tsch. But still, if you go to a country that doesn’t really do Christmas then what do you expect? Here Christmas is more like Valentine’s Day and is a couple’s day. I’m more looking forward to New Year anyway, and I’m hoping to find a fairly affordable yukata for it so I can do it properly! (talking of New Year, we were making New Year cards in class today, and it proved that if you give a bunch of 20 something year olds paper, glue and stickers that they instantly revert back into children) If anyone in the UK would like a Japanese New Year card, let me know and I’ll write one up for you! There is actually an ettiquette to writing these. They HAVE to be written in pen and in your neatest writing. If written in pencil it’s considered rude and as if you don’t regard the person you’re sending the card to very much. Sooooo, there goes the ‘I’ll write in pencil as my kanji still looks atrocious in pen’ idea…. And you have to include a New Year greeting, as well as a message that offers them the best in the coming year and then stick pictures of the animal that year it is next (next year is the snake!) and a ‘lucky’ object or something like that. But seeing as New Year is a much bigger deal here, it’s not really surprising that they have rules for these things.
Probably the highlight of my month, in all seriousness, was going to see The Hobbit. Thankfully it was released the same time here as it was at home so I didn’t have to wait for a couple more months, and that they show it subbed rather than dubbed (I could not bear seeing hobbits etc talking in Japanese!) and with the subs, it caused even more entertainment when we read some of the translations. What we deduced was that Japanese is definitely not a language that lends itself to Middle Earth. Tomo yo…….. 😉 But it was brilliant, Peter Jackson just managed to get it right. He changed things a little of course, but what he did change made sense to me and I love the way that he worked in the back story with the Necromancer. It was very clever and is useful to those who maybe don’t have a deeper knowledge of the stuff not included in the books know how LOTR came about. Though I won’t mention any spoilers and won’t get too carried away with it though I can’t help fan girling. I used to carry the book around with me when I was little and it was a very hard choice to leave my copies of LOTR and the Hobbit at home this year! *wipes forlorn tear from eye* But anyway, I digress and if you haven’t seen the film SEE IT IMMEDIATELY.
Anyway, that’s all for now! Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone (think of me when you’re eating your Christmas dinner with all the trimmings….) xxx