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Friday, 21 January 2011

2011: THE YEAR TO GO THERE

Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedetou!


It has been a while since I last gave an update, my apologies for leaving it soooooo long!  So much has happened I haven’t found the time to write it down!  Thank goodness for pictures, or I wouldn’t be able to recall hardly any of my Japan adventures!  As conceived  perceived and agreed with fellow traveller and blogger Ms maple herself  Zaira   2011 is the year to go there!  And go there I will!  A lot more travelling around Japan, a lot more telling it as it is and a lot more adventures!!


A brief break down
Ok in the next couple of blog updates I will write about the stuff that happened to me since my last update plus the stuff that I’ve been meaning to  write about before but have just been procrastinating about.  Tales to look forward to include my television debut, horse riding debut, Japan dancing on the street debut,  Japan festival debut and a whole lot other debuts!

Whats happen so far....
Since I’ve last updated I have moved a couple of times.  From the last place I was in, I went back to my first my Fukuoka accommodation.  Rent was a lot cheaper, it had a kitchen, and the staff are a whole lot friendlier.  Not to say that the staff in the hotel were unkind, its just the first accommodation place has more of a family run warmth and feel to it!

I’ve also had a couple of different hairstyles and sideburn styles.  I get bored easily with the same look and was fortunate to find someone who could do hair ( for the price of a home cooked meal!)  Also This is the year I will bring it with the hair.  My afro locks that has been left to grow untamed for coming onto six years will be put down on the 9th month of 2011.  Yes its gonna be a firesale everything must go!  If you have any suggestions of any styles or looks you want to me to rock please comment and I will review your suggestion.  Be warned if it does not meet my approval I will surely tell you where to go - coz it’s the year to go there!!

Crimbo in Japan
Christmas in Japan was a strange affair for many reasons.  Firstly it was the first Christmas I had spent away from my core family.  When embarking on this Japan expedition, I knew I would be away for 365 days and planned so many places to go and thing to do and see.  However I overlooked the whole Christmas period.  At one point I was considering returning back to the UK for Christmas but it didn’t make sense financially and it would have betrayed the Japan adventure.  Maybe if I had been in Japan for over half a year it would have been more feasible but just shy of 2 months?? Nahhh  I had to stay and that I did.

Japan now like to celebrate events and holiday and Christmas is no different.  Glorious decorations adorn shops windows,  Christmas music playing on the street,  even Christmas concerts and illuminations in the park.




Only one thing tho.  Japan is not a Christian country, if there was a religion of the country you would say its Buddhism.  This means for all the Christmas joy and festive spirit around Christmas was just another ordinary day.  Now ive been going to free Japanese classes on a Saturday on and off and on the Saturday before Christmas at the end of the class, my sensei told me to come half an hour earlier for lesson.  I looked at her and laughed, we both laughed.  Then she repeated the offer again.  I looked at her again and it dawn on me, she wasn’t joking !

Fast forward 6 nights later and I found myself in church celebrating midnight mass.  Proceedings were kicked  off by a nativity play.  From Mary being visited my an Angel to the three wise men visiting baby Jesus, this was acted out by young teenagers and adults.  Spoken of course in Japanese, its lucky I had heard the story before!  It was quite entertaining especially observing the actors and actresses in the nativity.  To me they are exactly like the actors/actresses on Japanese day time tv drama, they fall into three categories.
1)The shyactor  - This person is very nervous and wants as little airtime/ speaking parts as possible.  They rush their lines and speak very quietly/softly
2)The non- actor - This person is not nervous at all but they look a bit stiff and awkward when trying to act or stand naturally.  Also their timing is a bit of centre.
3) The drama king/queen -  This person over hams their part.  They could be number 2 shepherd but they will give the performance as if their role was the main part.  Dramatic facial expressions, passionate lines, clearly their next role will be in Hollywood!

After the nativity play, the lights were put back on and the rest of the mass took place.  Strangest/coolest thing of not I found were the hymns.  Everything was of course spoken and sung in Japanese but they had a lot of music I recognised as traditional English carols with Japanese word remix!

Christmas Day

Had a Christmas day Japanese class lesson at midday.  It was so weird walking to my lesson on the streets and it was just a normal Saturday. All shops open, streets rammed with shoppers and there’s me going to class- definitely not my typical Christmas!  After class I went for a traditional Christmas dinner at …. KFC????  Yup  in Japan you can get a roast Chicken with all the trimmings and a blend of 11 secret herbs and spices at the Colonel’s establishment.  The price of the roast was waaaaaay to expensive so settled for a chicken pie!


Christmas evening
In the evening I attended a Christmas party at Fasika!  Fasika is an Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Daimiyo  Fukuoka. The Japanese owner and Ethiopian chef have been like family to me since I hit Fukuoka.  Ever since curiosity (I mean an African restaurant in Japan?) drew me to the place I have had fun times, adhoc Japanese lessons and lots of advice and assistance from the people who work there ( as well as tasty food!)  When I arrived the party was in full swing, a Japanese group that play African drums and dance were performing and everybody was full of festive food and spirits.  I know the group drum singing group as well but the tale attached to that link will be explain in a later blog excerp.  Any ways every time I see the group performing they will call me out so I can do a dance solo and tonight was no exception!  At the end of the performance, EVERYBODY came up and congratulated me.  I even got a name chant a couple of times later in the evening.  Did it give me a big head - Yes, yes it did but hey it is what it is!




Finally since its the year to go there, here are other blogs and podcasts that i follow and think you should go there and follow too


Japanese word of the Day - Odenki -Weather