Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Proficiency Test = Epic Fail

So the proficiency test was an epic failure. It was actually the JLPT 3 from 2003... O.o

The problem was that there was a LOT of stuff on there that we had not learned yet, so it was basically not possible to do well. The final section was much better, since it was mostly easy vocabulary with grammar points and I felt like I managed that one at my level but the others were total busts.

We also had a verbal interview with a teacher to get a feel for where we are at. It was short and seemed ok.

I am near Fujidera station right now at an internet cafe. It is about $4.00 for the first hour and $0.60 every additional 10 minutes so I am trying to make this fast. In case you cannot tell, I have no idea where the apostrophe key is on these keyboards so I am not using contractions... it feels funny. (That is what she said... haha) ;)

They provide unlimited drinks here at the internet cafe (Coffee, coke, etc...) I want Ryan to know that I am drinking Calpis right now and I also had Pocari Sweat at the airport. ;)

So far I have eaten Okonomiyaki (A kind of Japanese omelet, pretty good) and Takoyaki which I was not extremely fond of because it tasted really fishy. I saw a Baskin Robbins and it made me think of Julie. I got a picture of it on my iPhone.

I had some grape sherbet, but it was from a different ice cream vendor since foreign chains like Baskin Robbins are expensive. :)

They literally have us wearing facemasks around the city and have asked us not to go on campus until after Sunday when they can make sure we are not carrying H1N1.

Our dorm rooms are interesting... they screwed up on our placement... it was supposed to be Japanese style bedding (real futons) but they made a mistake when we originally signed up and said room 102 was the futon room when 101 was actually the futon room, so we ended up getting the room with the beds.

It is alright, though. We have a funky Japanese shower and toilet. The shower is separate from the bath, and it feels like you are taking a shower on the floor of your bathroom. The toilet has a heater, butt squirter and drier, and when you flush it you can flush big or small... and water comes out the top so you can wash your hands and that water goes back into the tank to fill it up. Kinda strange.

We also ended up with a crazy cellar like area where we could hide bodies if we wanted and there is a trap door underneath the kitchen table that is hiding a sort of cooler.

They took us shopping at a Japanese grocery store last night to get food for a few days. We had yakisoba for breakfast since it is the only thing I can cook that is remotely Japanese and it is one of the only things I can actually recognize in the store. The fruits are really freaking expensive but the vegetables are pretty cheap. Lots of stuff is reasonably priced here as long as you pay attention to what is happening. I am definitely going to lose weight here... no doubt about it. There is too much walking and not enough fat in the food. ;)

It has definitely been a challenge communicating, but it is fun too.

The buses here have change dispensers which I think is pretty cool. I saw a squatter toilet and it scared me. I hope I never have to use one.

I had some serious homesickness last night after we got our stuff unpacked in the dorms, but I am stuck here for 5 weeks, so I will make the best of it. ;)

Thanks for all the comments and support. I hope you are all doing well!

Tomorrow we get our grade placement and start classes.


  1. Wow...
    Things are so different there!
    But I hope its totally awesome though...
    You're missing out on a week of thunderstorms here!
    Nothing fun or special..
    Stay in touch, I want to hear how everything else is. :) Can't wait until you get back.

  2. Sorry to heat about the proficiency test. Just remember that I can't pass the CCNA and I'm supposed to be a Network Engineer. Hahaha!

    I remember using internet cafes overseas while I was in the Navy. It was always an interesting experience.

    Get a picture with the facemask! I want to see it.

    Were you looking forward to sleeping japanese style?

    I love all the comments about toilets. I saw some squatters overseas as well, but I never used one. You should try it out for the sake of "culture".

    Thanks for the update.

    Have fun!

  3. Aww, Baskin Robins. :) But did you see anyone eating it out of the back of a Prius?? hehe

    I agree with Luke -- you should totally try the squatter toilet -- for the sake of culture. Absolutely.

    Definitely need to see the face mask pictures. I'll post them at my work to get a little business. ;)

    Love and miss you tons. Have fun!!

  4. I thought takoyaki is made of octopus since tako = octopus. If you were expecting a mexican taste lol. At the price of that internet cafe you better have been going through 1 drink every 2 minutes.

    About the cellar bit: O_o

  5. LMAO @ "That is what she said". I totally heard that in a cartoon robot voice because of the lack of contraction.

    Around here the bidet is a separate unit from the toilet, and there's no drier or heater. Japanese efficiency FTW!

    Walking is good for you, dood. I've been going for 10 km walks three times a week and I feel a lot better than before.

  6. You need to keep the stuff like fish sauce in a tube and bring them home. That kind of stuff is priceless.

  7. Sounds like a bit of an adjustment but it also sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. I really enjoy hearing about the weird things and the crazy food. Squatter toilets! Yikes!