Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last Day of Tokyo Orientation

Day 2 of Tokyo Orientation was uneventful, really. I woke up, had basically the same breakfast as yesterday (but this time there was au-gratin potatoes instead of french fries) and went straight to a ALT panel for an hour and a half. The panel was comprised of CLAIR, a Japanese teacher of English (JTE), and some current ALTs. They shared some funny stories and some boring ones. According to one ALT, Japanese students are very touchy and some grabbed her boobs and such. For guys, male students like to ram their fingers at the ALT's asshole and yell "Kancho!" I will forever be on my guard for the demon of sexual harassment.

After the panel, I ditched the next seminar and went with a bunch of people to get lunch and exchange money. I exchange my currency at the Japanese Post Office and got a fairly good rate. I still lost money, but the exchange rate ain't gettin' any better. It took me roughly 5 minutes to order a simple McDonalds meal. I got up to the counter, pointed at the meal I wanted, and said "Koko" ("this"). Well, apparently that wasn't enough for the poor lady and she heaped at least 8 questions at me. Someone told me later she probably asked what size, if I wanted the combo, if I wanted ice in the drink, etc. It was frustrating, so I've made it my first Japanese language goal to learn how to order food at restaurants.

After lunch, we had out prefectural meetings. Nara's Prefectural Advisor told us Nara JETs the procedures for getting the hell out of Tokyo and on the way to Nara. We will be waking up early (around 6:30AM) to get to the bus that takes us to the Shinkansen (bullet train). A 2 1/2 hour later, we have an 8 minute walk up hill to the Nara BoE where we will sit through a 3 hour orientation before leaving with our supervisors.

Tonight I'm going out with some current Nara JETs for dinner before passing the eff out.

I probably won't have internet when I arrive in Nara, so this blog may be empty for a while. Check back, I will update when I can.


  1. Wow...You really entered another world. Wikipedia has an entry about Kancho and it's a very popular prank. How disturbing...

  2. Thousand Years of Pain!! Ordering at McDonald's is easy, remember they all speak english, just get belligerent if they act like they dont understand

  3. Getting Belligerent is clearly the best way to get what you want. Remember the rules of dine n' dash in Japan?

  4. Josh...that's because 'koko' means 'here' as in location. You were looking for 'kore'. At McDonalds the best to do for now is just point and say 'kore onegaishimau' or 'hitotsu onegaishimasu' and if you're taking it home tell them 'omochikaeri'.

  5. Damn. Of course now, I'm an effing effort at ordering food...oh well.