Thursday, 21 June 2007

One peach for 2JDs..

Usually, during this time of the year, I would be sitting behind my desk with a plate full of peaches in my hand..

This year, a small change happened. I am setting behind my desk, with a plate that has only one peach. I cut it with the knife into small pieces, so I can enjoy it as much as it lasts..

I know it will be a long time before eating another piece..
2JDs per peace..

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

How to be fluent in Japanese in 30minutes..

Yes, this is a very powerful method to make you fluent in Japanese in only 30minutes. I tried it yesterday and it worked, powerfully!

Simply, just enter a shop that has salesmen who only speak Japanese, and ask them about what you need. Yup, as simple as it sounds, this is a really powerful method to make you -make you, despite your own will- speak Japanese.

Yesterday I went to the post office to make a credit card. After being 10min inside, I found myself surrounded by 2 saleswomen and 5 customers, all looking at me with a weird look, one of them had a smile on her face. I tried to explain to them what I want, Japanese, English, Arabic, Hindi, everything. Nope, Couldnt do it. Saying "credit card" or "Kuredetto Caado" many times will NOT do the job, in opposite to what I have expected.

I entered the post office in a hope of getting a credit card. Since I have a post office account already, I thought this would be easy. I entered and took a number. When my turn came, I headed to the counter and said I wanted a credit card, in Japanese. The employee girl offered me 5 choices, so I asked for the one that can help me buy online. Here, she started saying long sentences in Japanese. No problem so far.

She handed me the application form, and here the problem started. Since I am still a beginner in Kanji reading (the complex Japanese characters) I didnt know what to write. I told her that, so she offered to help me by saying the fields in Japanese. We reached a field, where I had to write something I did not know what it is. Not my name, not my address, not my data. She tried to explain, I couldnt understand. She tried again, I couldnt. Then, she called her employee friend, who tried to explain it again to me. Yet, negative. There was 1min of silence in the post office, the employees dont know what to say, Me, doesnt understand, and the customers are watching.

Here, I really felt embarrassed, I felt light headed and regretted even entering this place. I regretted even my desire of having a credit card!! Believe me people, it is really embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. I thank god I didnt have a samurai sword at that moment, or else I would have killed myself the traditional samurai way!

At that moment, I collected all my powers. I felt like all the Japanese lessons I learned for the past two years went through my head in a second. I asked her to repeat her sentence more slowly, - motto yokkori itte, onegaishimasu -. She repeated her words slowly. AAAH!! now it clicked. I swear I felt I understood everything she said. I smiled, and replied back. Then we continued throughout all the application, smoothly, with no problems.

Really, I felt like a life or death situation. But honestly, I did learn alot from this experience.

Am I willing to repeat that again? well, definitely, but not in the near future!! :)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

A reminder..

This is just a reminder, from me to myself.

You are here in Japan to study, not to have fun all the time.
You are here to get a masters degree, not to visit akiba everyday.
Your goal is to graduate from Tokyo University, not tour all Tokyo within 3 months.

aah, I just needed to remind myself with that. Sometimes I feel I am here on a vacation. But, when I remember the huge load of studied I have to do, I get depressed. So, I need to remind myself that my 1st goal here is to study, THEN tour Japan and have fun.

OK? study, study, then study. After that, you can tour as much as you want.

Anyway, having a little fun while studying wont do any harm, will it?! :)

Sunday, 10 June 2007

You pay me ----> I respect u..

Oh guess what? It seems that when you pay someone money, he has got to respect you. While living 23 years in Jordan, I always thought its the total opposite.

By entering a restaurant in Tokyo, I feel like a king entering my kingdom because of all the respect I get. The waiters never stop saying thank you, thank you very much all the time. After eating dinner at a restaurant, finishing at about 12:00am, I couldnt believe how much respect we had from the waiter. I would totally accept to have the worst food quality in a change for such respect, but guess what? the food was extremely perfect! I may have been shot with a shotgun if I entered a restaurant after 11pm in Amman and I complained about the low quality of food.

One time, I asked the Egyption worker to change the falafel for a hotter one. I believe his reaction would have been more respectful if I told him that I killed his father. And that all happened while the owner of the restaurant was looking at us. For seconds, I thought its me who doesnt deserve respect. But after seeing the same reaction from him to another 3 or 4 customers, I figured the policy in such resturants.

In 23 years, I thought when you pay someone, that means you need them. So that gives them the right to be rude, disrespectful and take advantage of you. Just like when taxi drivers dont accept to take you where you want. You pay them, so you have to respect them. Just like when you ask the bus control for the change. You pay him, you HAVE to respect him. The same goes shawerma workers, you pay them, so dont you dare to ask for more pickles in your sandwitch. Well ofcourse, you have to thank them because they are letting you pay them :)

Oh.. It turned out I was wrong. The truth is, when you pay someone, he HAS to respect you, because you are the source of his income. You are the reason why he lives and your are his way to provide for his kids and family. In Tokyo, you get respect in resturants, streets, trains, university, shops, and everywhere you interact with another human being.

So, attention Jordanians, its You pay me ---> I respect you. Not the other way around :)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

NTT? Can you help me learn Japanese?

For a start, NTT is not a japanese language school, its a big telephone company in Japan!

Last week we had the most interesting conversation challenge in my japanese language class. After learning a new set of grammar, we were asked to perform this conversation challenge to make sure we understood the idea very well.

The challenge was calling NTT the telephone company, and ask the operator to provide me with a telephone number of a company or a convenient store in Tokyo. When I get the number, I will have to call that store and ask it about its working hours, holidays in general and holidays next month.

It was sooo funny!!! Because talking to someone who doesnt know that you are learning Japanese is something really stressful and not easy. Some of my friends hung up on the operator because they didnt know what to say, and others stayed silent for soo long that the operator did hang up in their faces!!!

Since the teacher was recording all our phone calls so we can listen to it and correct our mistakes, when we heard the tape we laughed like crazy. It was really educational and interesting. We also felt bad because we were using NTT to learn Japanese!

When my turn came up I did pretty good. I only couldnt hear one digit from the number so I had to call the operator twice.

I am totally amazed by the way we are taught Japanese. Its really good.. :)

Garbage, the Japanese way!!

In Jordan we categorize items into either garbage, or eatable! Here in Japan garbage is categorized to at least five groups. In my Japanese language school we have 5 groups for the garbage, which me up until now couldnt figure what all those for!

I know there is the plastic garbage, metalic, paper, and the "normal" garbage. What else? Anybody can help me with this?!

Eventhough its time consuming to seperate garbage every time, but I think its worth it.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Its a new era: 60 days.

60 days have passed since the dream has started: Living in Tokyo.

What I miss in Amman:
- Family
- Friends

What I dont miss in Amman:
- Transportation system
- The 2Mbps max ADSL speed.
- Computer Prices.
- Lack of options regarding where to go or what to buy.

60 days have passed. Thank you everybody for those who supported me in this blog. And thank you for those who encouraged me to continue blogging about Japan... :)