Monday, 30 July 2007

Phase 1: Mission Accomplished.

Thank god ofcourse. Mission accomplished. I have finished the first Japanese course, which lasted for about 3 months.

Results: Japanese language improved. Listening ability is getting better, understanding is more accurate and long complex sentences are said from time to time. I have finished the course by writing an article about Jordan. Almost an A4 sized article, all in Japanese. I really felt like achieving something.

The course I took was really well planned. They focused on every aspect of the language. Grammar, listening, reading, vocabs and conversation. It was very useful and very enjoyable.

I will join another course after the summer break. Well, what is supposed to be a summer break. You know I have to study very much at this time :)

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

3 basic rules while living in Japan..

Its very simple. 3 rules should be applied while living in Japan, and you will be amazed by such rules.

First: Keep your mobile on silent mode and use headsets
I can say that I rarely hear a mobile phone rings. Either to inform a phone call, or an sms. Japanese people are very -very- concerned about having quite atmospheres, so their mobiles are always on silent mode. If the phone vibrates, they go outside the room to take the call. If they were in the streets, they take a corner to finish the call. If they had to walk while talking, they talk in a very -very- low voice that you would never hear. This way, they guarantee their privacy and their peace, since everybody is doing the same.

Same story with the headsets. If you are playing a portable game (mobile, DS, PSP.. etc) then you have to use a headset. I never saw a Japanese playing a game with a loud sound. That would be very annoying, especially in closed spaces. Its a very smart idea. This way, everybody is happy. Same case for ipods, mp3 players and music devices.

Second: Take your shoes off
You have to be ready for this. Whenever you enter a room, especially in a private place, you have to take your shoes off. I take my shoes off when I enter my lab. This way the lab is always perfectly clean. When we spent a night in a hotel in hakoneh, we took our shoes off before we entered the hotel. When I enter my own room, I have to take my shoes off, eventhough I have no carpet. But this is the Japanese style and way of living. Its a clever idea to keep the room clean.

Third: Be busy, all the time
You can just be doing nothing. You have to do something all the time. Its weird to sit in the train and just look at people around you. When I used to do that, I used to see people reading books, playing videogames, listening to music (with headsets ^-^ ) putting make up (yup, inside the train girls spend time putting make up), or asleep. But you cant just sit there doing nothing, staring out of the window or looking at other people. The train is only one example of many others, everywhere. When I learned that, I installed many games on my mobile to play while on the train.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

AAAAArrrrgggh!!! Its an EARTHQUAKE!!!

Suddenly, I opened my eyes.....

Oh yes, I am not dreaming! The room REALLY is shaking!
And no, this is not something like the little small shakes I have experienced before. This is something new. Something powerful. Something that is making the whole bed shakes, the room shakes and ... AAAAAAAAAA im falling out of my bed!!!!

Ah oh! This is pretty serious! Didnt know what to do, didnt know where to go, didnt know how to act. Drink milk? no thats when im poisoned, not facing an earthquake! Close the windows? No thats the Tayphoon solution! What is the solution for the earthquakes!!!!!!

Before I could answer that, the room became stable again. Oh, thank god. Yes I remember now, in earthquakes, you cut the electricity, open the doors, and sit under a table or something. eh! Too late!

I took a deep breathe..

and nothing! I went back to sleep! Its my vacation after all!!!!! :p

Friday, 13 July 2007

Walking on two wheels..

Its very common here in Tokyo to use bicycles. Everybody are using them, kids, men, women and to my surprise, old people.

Using bicycles comes from the fact that it is very convenient in Japan. Since trains are the most common transportation in Tokyo, people need to reach the station as fast as possible. So they use the bicycles to from to and from the station. This way, if somebody lives 10min away from the station, it can be reached within 2 minutes.

People who ride bicycles here are from every type. School kids, college students, girls, foreigns, business men while wearing a tuxedo, housewives -having their babies in a basket- and old people. the other day, I saw a very old man riding the bicycle and he seemed to be very healthy. I was so surprised.

The other day I used my friend's bicycle to go do some shopping. I did really regret it since it was my first kind of physical sport since almost a year!! But I enjoyed the ride because of the flat roads and the nice weather.

I wish we get over "the look and feel" perspective in Jordan and the arabic world. Bicycles are not only for kids, they can be very convenient at some time. We should even stop looking at what others are doing or wearing. I think we have much more important stuff to do.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Dreams becoming true in Japan.. FC Barcelona..

I could have never imagine this dream would really become true. Watching MESSI, RONY, HENRY, and PYOUL all together face to face. Japan is truely the dream land, that is making my dreams become true one after another.

FC Barcelona is coming to play in Tokyo against Yokohama-Morinos on 7th of August. This means a one in a life time chance to watch barcelona playing live. For a soccer fan -a huge one- like myself, This is a dream becoming true. I had 0% chance of this happening to me in Jordan, and I couldnt afford the tickets to visit spain and watch such a match.

FC Barcelona, live, next month. I am so happy. I used to tell my friends I am sad because I dont have a summer vacation, and I have to study all the time. But now, I consider this one day trip to Yokohama a whole summer vacation for me... :)

I am NOT a barcelona fan. I am a chelsea FC fan. But Barcelona is worth watching anyway, dont u think? :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Convenient Store.. How Convenient..

Convenient stores in Japan are very convenient. I really like the idea of such stores and the services they provide.

In convenient stores, beside the fact that you can buy groceries and items, you can also pay your bills, mobile for example. You can also buy telephone cards, magazines, and lots of convenient items.

Plus, you can find them in every area in Japan. There is a branch where ever you go. In my university campus itself there are two.

Very convenient!!