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02 November 2012 @ 11:16 am
School Breaks, Whiskey nights, and the tra la la portion of the evening  
Looking back through my entries I realized you might begin to wonder if I'm actually having a good time here in lovely Japan or not, so I thought I'd actually, you know, mention some of the cool things that have gone on!

I've been on break for the last week, which has been GREAT. It was totally necessary. Before that we had another end of the semester test on reading comprehension (reading a newspaper article and answering questions) and listening comprehension (which we hadn't actually practiced all semester, so it was kind of a fly by the seat of your pants thing).

Hilariously going through the test with my Sensei last week friday I got some things wrong because I didn't trust my gut. But she's such an awesome sensei that I didn't even mind getting them wrong because we talked through what was right. And I'm going to have her again for my morning classes next semester, which is also amazingly awesome! Also Sam is going to be in my morning class too, so I will still have a study buddy.

On that note, the morning I found out I went into the hallway after meeting with my sensei and Sam was at his locker (so highschool - except it's not since we're in an office building they've modified), and I totally launched myself at him to get a hug (he is a hugger, it's awesome) and the Sensei completely took it the wrong way. So I think the Sensei's probably think we're dating (they gossip like crazy. They also pick among themselves the "pretty" sensei and the "young" sensei and other types of super competitive things). But Sam and I are NOT dating.

He has firmly classified me into 'cool big sister' category, which I'm pretty fine with. This happened this last weekend while we were preparing for the Whiskey Tasting Party that so vexed the housemate. So rather than dwelling on her vexation, here's what went awesome:

Sam came over at about 5 and we went and got the fixings to make carnitas (which omg, is absurdly easy to make, you just have to have patience and three hours, which usually i don't). We also made orange simple syrup AND ginger simple syrup in order to make whiskey sours and this drink that has a bizzare name, but is basically ginger ale + ginger simple syrup + ginger + whiskey. Friends started to trickle in early - one of my other favorite people Marc lives within walking distance so he came over while Sam and I were still enjoying the super nummy snacks I'd bought (prosciutto and brie -- a blast from the US where that is my splurging food as well).

Then everyone else arrived, and really, even though there were only 8 people (and all but me and Cat were male) it was a really lovely loud random set of conversations and a good time. I found out who has done the (IMHO) good drugs, and was called pretentious (in a loving way) because I was surprised the other PhD guy had never read Derrida (which, ok, yes, probably is a little pretentious, *grin* but that's how I roll). And one of the people who came said it was the best time he's had since he got to Japan, which was just delightfully awesome. And I had a great time bounding from one room to the next, making drinks, teasing everybody, and just ... I like these people. They're fun.

That's the awesome part about programs like this one - we all start from a certain place of fellow feeling. And the awesome part about the toughness of the program is that, except for like two students, EVERYBODY is a geek in some way or another. Sometimes this does lead to some serious social awkwardness (see housemate stories) but most of the time it means that they are just has happy to be geeky or to let me be geeky around them. And everybody actually does their homework.

Speaking of that, I did manage to get out on Halloween Night and meet up with other people from the program for a drink in costume! Even though my "costume" was a long nightgown and some scarves and heavy eye makeup (fortune teller at your service!) I read everyone's palms, so that's good at least. And we had good random conversation too, and promises to hang out with each other more, so that's a good. Again, that whole geek factor, it makes for nice people.

There are two things that I wanted to do this week that I haven't done:

1) get out of Yokohama, and
2) study more Japanese

but the week isn't over yet, so there's still time. I have plans to go up to Tokyo tonight that I'm debating on (just because I'm feeling lazy), and I will be going up there on Sunday to a conference, so at least that's getting one of those things out of the way. And if I put my mind to it I will actually probably get the Japanese thing out of the way too.

also posted to katekat on dreamwidth | you can reply here or there