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Random Thoughts Part #3

Random Thoughts #3 -

PenguiGnome.JPG

I'm sure one of the more better gnome pictures I'll get.
Penguins + Orville Gnome = unbeatable army!

We maxed out all of our photo space for May about half way through the month, so we decided not to make any more posts. That's why there are so many so far this month.

  • C - I found Acadian Seaplants grown pink treated Chondrus in a pack of dried seaweed salad mix at the grocery store the other day. It tasted like home! I was excited and really weirded out at the same time. Talk about full circle!

  • We are both doing a class that is organized by this extremely, EXTREMELY dry British man. If you think of how dry most British people are then double it, you are about half way to how dry this guy is. (And, this is coming from me and my pretty dry sense of humour). It is sooooo painful, but it is hilarious. He has sent out a couple of emails that have made Court and I both laugh ridiculously hard. Here are some excerpts:

    The first email is about teacher's taking other teacher's tapes:

    I am therefore suggesting to all teachers that you take precautions. Label your tapes. Hide them! Take them home with you! Hire armed guards! Keep them in jars full of anthrax spores! Something!

    The second one is about him arranging a time to come out and observe our classes.

    I will send a formal notice about observations out to the schools. Please watch the bulletin board.

    I will be sending you notice of your individual observations next week, either telepathically or by pigeon. I haven't decided which yet.

  • We have started taking Japanese lessons. There is a community college that offers free Japanese lessons. Basically, we go and work one on one (well, Courtney and I) with a Japanese teacher. He is a nice guy, he taught a former ECC teacher couple last year. So far we have learned how to introduce ourselves, ask where things are (toire wa doko desuka?) and say we want to buy this (kore kudasai). The only problem is we can't understand any answer we will get yet. That will be the next step.

    However, one of the first things we started to learn are the characters. Basically, we are learning to read and write all over again. It is actually coming along nicely, I can actually read some words now. I don't know what they mean yet, but I can read them.

    In Japanese writing they actually use three different types of characters:

    - hiragana - This is used for Japanese words and each symbol represents a sound. It actually makes a lot of sense because you know if you see と it means to ("toe"). And it can't sound like anything else. This is what we are learning right now.

    - katakana - This is used for borrowed words (basically English words) so it is used to write our names,McDonald's and all the other words

    - kanji - These symbols are used to represent Chinese words or full Japanese words. Each kanji character represents a full word or concept. There are over 4,000 kanji characters and very few people know them all.

When I went out to the kindergarten the other day, they had a hiragana poster up on the wall and they were further ahead than us.

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Posted by agc_cwm 09:10 Archived in Japan

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I love reading your posts! I love the gnome and I love the penguins. I've read ever single post -most on one very bad day (I'll tell you about the badness via a more private form of communication) and they make me smile. I am so jealous of you guys and your adventures but you've ignited a spark in me for travel. If I didn't have to article this year I would go out an visit you. Stupid law career tryin' to hold me back...

If I may comment on previous posts - what up with Canada and it's apparent lack of vending machine services. I mean, I didn't think I wanted porn or beer from a vending machine, but now that I know Japan has this service, I want it too. I can't count the number of times I was strolling down Spring Garden, feeling uncomfortably sober and unaroused, and felt the need to satisfy these cravings in a convenient yet public manner.

I must return to work for now, lest I waste more public tax dollars catching up on blog reading, but I miss you guys and I look forward to reading more from you (on government's time of course).

~ Josie

by applestem

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