Tuesday, March 14, 2006

a survival guide... of sorts.

Oh my goodness oh my goodness.... (annie-style... got it?).

what an amazing day i had today. Quite possibly the best day's skiing OF MY LIFE.... yes. seriously. that good. It was snowing ALL day. It didn't stop. not once. I skied until 8.30pm.... oh what fun!!!!

Now, the good news is, that i have FINALLY worked out how to ski powder. I know this will be a relief to all of you snow people out there.... and for those of you who are not snow people, well... you just be happy for me. K?

I have learned some very interesting things here in Japan... many of which I thought of during the day today, but few of which I can remember now that I want to write them down. However, I will attempt to give you a guide to surviving in Japan:

1. Tell people you are ALLERGIC to seafood, rather than that you jsut choose not to eat it. Seriously.
2. Don't walk under the eaves of buildings... it's likely you will be crushed by snow falling off the roof, and whilst this is not QUITE as serious as an avalanche, it can have the same disastrous outcome.
3. When you are at the checkout of a shop and the Japanese person talks at you and talks at you and talks at you, smile and nod as if you know what teyr'e saying, say Arigato (thankyou), and beon your way. You should be aware, however, that they may well be saying very rude things about you and your family, but lets give them the benefit of the doubt, yes?
4. If you don't eat seafood, you are never giong to get your money's worth at an all-you-can-eat buffet including seafood. The best you can hope for is that the people around you enjoy their seafood, and don't pretend to poke you with a used crab claw TOO many times during your meal.
5. If the road looks icy and slippery, don't plan on arriving anywhere with a dry bum (unless you do what I have taken to doing, just go everywhere in your ski pants... they're built for landing in the snow).
6. Bring an alarm clock. I brught my phone. However, realising that my phone would not work in Japan, I didn't bring my charger. I have slept through early morning meet-ups with new friends (read: south australian boys) 3 times this week because i don't have any way of waking up!!
7. Go to an onsen. Be prepared to get naked and scrub yourself within an inch of your life with all the Japanese girls (or boys, if you're a boy!!) before you jump into a natural outdoor hot spring in the dark, and sit there learning japanese words whilst being snowed on. (girls note: you will ALWAYS have the biggest boobs at an onsen, unless there are other white girls there....apparently the same goes for guys.... just notabout their boobs).
8. Don't expect to know what you're buying in the supermarket. Whilst many signs have english translations (many of them quite humorous), the run-of-the-mill supermarket products do not. Pictures are quite helpful, but today we tried to buy peanut butter and ended up with a peanut jam-type concoction. It was not a success.
9. You know there are too many AUstralians in a place when you can buy time tams and vegemite in the local supermarket of a country town (I, quite proudly, have done neither!). Apparently this is not the case in the rest of Japan...

Well. there you have it. Some things to remember. Not many of them were actually things i'd been planning to write about... but... i can't remember what those things were, so this will do for now!!!!!!

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