February 05, 2005

It is so utterly disgustingly hot

That pretty much sums up how I have felt the past few days.

On the plus side I think we may see rain again before Tuesday.

Even with the fan on full ball its disgustingly hot and sweaty. Even only in boxers at midnight its still disgustingly sweaty.

Due to our wonderfully great new so-well-thought-out kitchen design (smell the sarcasm) our fridge and freezer are not getting ventilation so overheat the walls and the entire room (which is central to the entire house), and the stove works really well, so it just adds to the discomfort when turned on. Hopefully some extra ventilation may be added in the coming months so the said refridgeration devices don't explode on me.

I think I may have a flight for Japan that is slightly better than a 12 hour wait in Kansai airport. With Cathay Pacific, still leaves on the 13th, but I get an overnight stay in Hong Kong which will be fun. Arrives in Osaka/Kansai 2:45pm which gives me a rather large "eventuality" buffer for my 6pm meet up. However due to stubbornness on the credit-card holders part, and general rude smugness and customer apathy at Flight Center no booking has been made yet.

Had a nice talk with my Australian contact for my eikaiwa on Friday. While I do get medical insurance, contents of my apartment (both company-owned and personal items) are not insured. This does seem odd in an earthquake prone region, but apparently the cost of insurance vs. the amount of claims isn't economically viable. According to her only 3 out of 900 teachers she's had experience with have had problems with lost/damaged goods. I'm optomistic (certainly not naive), but my mother is kind of worried if I end up on the unlucky side of those statistics.

After the phone call (far away from any fans) I my arms were literally drenched with sweat. Yay. I have another 6 months of Hot & Humid Summers!!! I better see some freakin' snow come Christmas.

Tumbleweed link from yesterday yielded two great essay/lessons, both by K. Butler
  • The Quick and Dirty Guide to Japanese --- all about particles and verb confusion, a lot of the material I appear to have mislaid from highschool
  • How to understand a Japanese "sentence" --- According to Butler "Always keep in mind that there are no sentences in Japanese. All there is is a series of utterances that are linked together by particles along with verbs and a few connecting words" - Its that easy folks... :S
The thing I took out of this is how Japanese will judge someone as unable to speak Japanese. The country is insulated and educated so well that "bad Japanese" simply doesn't exist, due to the amount of multiculturalism and English-as-second-language found in Western English speaking countries, broken English is taken for granted by a lot of us. Most Japanese will react to "broken" Japanese as a pair of rich white Toffs might react to some vocabulary low immigrant - think they don't understand the language at all, get irritated and start speaking slow (or in Japan - switch to English). The thing that makes this a twist is that English "broken" is low vocabulary, and short incomplete sentences. "You... give please" or "Eat .. is good", good English is signified by clear full properly constructed sentences "Could you please give the book that book on the table to me" or "You should eat the squid soup it tastes fantastic". Japanese people however expect you to be psychic and leave a lot of details about subjects out. For Japanese good is low detail, poorly constructed sentences, bad sentences contain lots of extra unnecessary words that repeat information already known. This may also be why said immigrants and secondary English speakers don't like to use complete sentences, it doesn't make anymore sense to them to add unnecessary information as it does to us to leave it out.

Its only the beginning... my head hurts from learning... must cook dinner.

PS - 1/3 American High Schoolers are Fascists


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