Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm still alive

Uwah, I haven't posted a single entry since my second semester here started! Sorry!!! ;___;

For various reasons, I decided to keep myself reeeally busy this semester, so I didn't have much time to post. Plus, my camera broke in Kyoto, so no pictures either. :(

Anyway, I have been getting several mails with questions about my dorm or Waseda - please, if you have any questions, feel free to mail me! :)
(It would be nice if you included an urgency factor, like "I'm leaving next week, so please answer now!" or "can wait until the holidays start", because I will be kinda busy with exams until Monday, 26 July. Still, write to me, I do take breaks in studying!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


It just snowed! In Tokyo!
We thought it wouldn't happen anymore, but it did! When I was in the karaoke box, we saw it snow outside! (Lucky we got the corner box with the window.)

My feet are still a bit frozen from walking home through the mud, but hey, white, frozen water fell on me! <3

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bye bye, best class of the world!

Today was the last day of this semester. Which means, bye bye to my class.
Although most of them (apart from two people I was especially fond of - amongst them the girl I usually ate lunch with) will remain in Waseda, we might not be in the same class again. Which makes me extremely sad.
I have never, ever before had a class like that. We all got along, knew a lot about each other, and even our Sensei said today that she rarely had classes like ours. When someone was late, one of us would call or text them and ask what happened. We knew each others quirks, habits and all kinds of pointless information. Over the very short period of 4 months, I felt like I became really close with everyone. They made me feel welcome right from the start although I was the newcomer and the only non-Asian. Today, one of the girls even said I was the big sister of the group.

I hope I can at least be in the same class as the remaining members, and the two who are leaving will be happy. We should all try to stay in contact via facebook.
I am really, really thankful to each of them for a great time. I didn't even dread Monday mornings!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I want to see the Final Movie of Nodame Cantabile, part 1, last month, and I won't spoil any details for you, but I found this pic on my cellphone and thought I'd share.
(Hey, this blogger finally gets a face!)

Chiaki-sama... <3
Let me say it was a very good, very funny movie. But I never want first-row seats ever again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Your Japanese is really good!" Part 2

And now it spreaded to non-Japanese people:

I wouldn't really call myself very smart. But I am apparently good at speaking Japanese, at least considering the fact I've only been learning for 2 and a half years.
Which is something to be happy about. And proud. Right?

Lately, people who I'd consider my friends come up to me with: "It's really unfair that your Japanese is sooo much better than mine."
Um, thank you for being happy for me. And for appreciating my effort.

At first I tell them, "ah, that's not true, I severely suck at kanji." In other words, I force myself to pay attention to my weaknesses all the time. Make myself smaller so other people are happy.

Then they go, "How did you get that good?" Um, dunno? Studying?! Talent? Either those people don't study enough or are lacking talent, but I can't say that to their faces, right? So I go, "Dunno?" And then some people get mad because I won't reveal my secret. Some keep asking, and at some point, to shut them up, I say that I watch a lot of dramas. (I don't even watch a lot, just the normal amount, I guess.) So half of the people I know now treat me like a total drama freak. Great.

So some people try the drama thing. And it usually doesn't work for them. So they come back. "I still don't get it! It's sooo unfair your Japanese is so much better than mine."
And this is where I lose my patience. And where I lose lots of my friend lately.

If you're not satisfied with your Japanese, please do not blame it on me. It's not my fault. It's your own. There's always someone better at you in any subject of the world. I chose Japanese because I knew I'm good with languages and learn them easily. I would never have chosen something I'm not good with because I have a pride. And Japanese wasn't only my strong point, but also my dream. I guess I'm lucky.
So, if your dream happens to be to learn Japanese, but you're not good with languages? Then, I'm very sorry, you have to study a lot harder.
How about using your precious time to study instead of complaining?
Thank you.

I know I sound annoyed, which is because I am. I am annoyed by people who grudge me with my Japanese. If you're my friend, be happy for me. If not, at least feel pushed by it. And I am annoyed by whiners who steal my time. If you have time to whine, you have time to study.
Don't get pissed off at me for being better in Japanese. That way, I should have been pissed off at my whole maths class in high school. Which I wasn't. I was pissed off by myself because I sucked. Then I studied, and I sucked a bit less. I still sucked, but I made it somehow, and chose Japanese, where I would never need maths again.One possible solution, right?

How about you give me a break and start being mad at yourself, so you can push yourself?

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Your Japanese is really good!"

Apart from the super pricey fresh fruits and vegetables, what annoys me the most in Japan so far is the fact that people feel the need to comment on my Japanese all the time. Yes, it is really nice if they tell me how good my Japanese is. BUT

1) telling me 日本語お上手ですね after all I said was 初めまして doesn't really make me feel like they mean it. Yes, you can tell by only one word. From the intonation. Sure. Of course. Can I tell you that my kanji abilities severely suck?

2) Even people I have become friends with do it. 日本語上手だね、ユリア。Should I come a bit closer so you can pat me on the head? Seriously, I have "friends" who have nothing else to say when it comes to compliments.

3) The other way round, some people still assume I can't find the way home from the train station or even university. Or they think they have to explain everyday words like pork or chicken to me. The same people who complimented my Japanese before. Hello, if I can speak a complicated language like Japanese, I can figure out how to reach a destination as well. Especially if I go there everyday. I do it all the time when you're not there to hold my little white hand. And chivalry does not mean to assume the girl in front of you is brain-dead. It's nice when you want to carry my bag. I carry it every day, but sure, why not? It is not so nice to ask me if I am sure that this direction of the Yamanote line is the right one to get to my dorm. Um, yeah, I think it is. I use it at least once a week, and it never failed to get me home. Thanks, but...

Same with chopsticks. "You're really good at eating with chopsticks, aren't you?" Actually, I'm not. I can eat, but it doesn't look very elegant. Anyway, do I compliment you on your abilities of eating with fork and knife? No, I don't! Because I think that's really rude. "Look, mummy, the monkey in the zoo can eat with a fork!" Give me a break.

Maybe Japanese people are still not used to foreigners speaking their language. But come on, folks, Japanese is not, I don't know, Clingon. Normal people can totally learn it if they try a bit. Maybe it's because Japanese usually don't speak foreign languages. Although many students go on study abroad programs nowadays. And I don't run around telling them, "OMG, your German is soooooo great!!!" I feel like I'd belittle them. Of course their German is good - they studied for it. Plus, if they're my friends, I like them because we have a similar music taste or drool over the same actor, and not because they're able to declinate nouns.

Don't get me wrong, I like compliments. But for the last three months, 90% of the nice words I have received had to do with my Japanese language abilities. Isn't there anything else about me you can like? No? Did you try? Try to look past the Japanese slang I picked up in TV dramas, past my apparent "fluency" (which means just nodding when I don't understand something - praise my acting abilities, how is that?) and notice that I am not "just another gaijin who speaks Japanese", but that I might have some other qualities as well? I can be quite nice and funny if I don't get all pissed off about compliments on my Japanese. ;)

And I really, really wanna see someone in Berlin address some foreign(-looking) person with "Your German is really good!" A "shut up" is probably the least angry response they might get.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

About Christmas in Japan

Some of you might been wondering how I spent Christmas in Japan. So, let me enlighten you.
(Speaking of light, the illuminations were ... well, the ones in Omotesando are nice, but the rest of Tokyo feels like, "Christmas? What's Christmas?)

Since Japan is not a Christian country, they don't really celebrate Christmas the way Europeans or Americans do. Instead, they're having parties with their friends or, really popular, dates. So on December 25th, the streets and stores are brimming with couples.

Since I didn't have a date (did I hear pathetic?) and couldn't celebrate with my family either, I met up with a German friend who's in Keio at the moment (like 90% of my friends? ^^;) on the 24th (German Christmas day) and tried to find the most German-ish Christmas lunch in Shibuya. My normal 24th food is Potato soup with sausages, hers Potato salad with sausages. (Yes, Germans do like sausages. But we have to keep it simple on the 24th because the 25th usually involves eating a looooot with the whole family.) Of course, neither of them was anywhere to be found. So we ended up at a place called Shakey's that had an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet plus drink for only a bit more than 1.000 Yen per person. (*___*) We sat there and ate until we were really full, had a nice chat and then moved on to do Purikura. xD Afterwards, we ate a bit of Baumkuchen my parents had sent me and then parted. At home, I skyped my family, called my Grandma and all that kind of stuff.
Yesterday, I did karaoke with a friend from one of my classes here. We called it a "date with Arashi", because out of the 4 hours (!) we spent in the box, we sang 80% Arashi songs. XD (Gosh, my throat hurts. I'm really bad with songs by guys because my voice is not low enough.)
And today, I'm gonna meet another German friend who's over from Kyoto. So I'm not lonely at all. :)

I hope you all had a nice Christmas as well!