Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Beautiful red (sometimes white or pink) cluster amaryllis that mainly grows on the tops of the walls that divide the paddy fields. It appears just when the rice is at its most golden, before harvest. The sap is apparently poisonous and corrosive.
Just to let you know... Milla thinks my killer wasp is a Lady Bug - CUTE! But Milla, where were you when I needed you?
Oh and the Japanese name for the wasp is Suzume Bachi (sparrow bee). Named after a sparrow due to its size!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
My first real introduction to Japan's scary and dangerous insect population (mushi). I have seen lots of creepy crawlies including some huge huntsman spiders (much bigger than at home), none of which has caused me too much stress. Thankfully (touch wood) I have never seen a mukade (Japanese, poisonous centipede). The worst thing so far has been cockroaches. To tell the truth, cockroaches don't scare me in the way that I think they will sting or kill me... Just that they are fast and gross!
Well tonight I got a scary one and I wasn't sure what to do! I arrived home from my adult English class at about 8.30pm. All was dark so I left on my front light. This usually attracts the mosquitoes (annoying but I can cope with them). I climbed the stairs unaware of anything dangerous... I got to the top of the landing and glanced up to see the size of the resident mosquitoes and THERE IT WAS! What I can only guess was a hornet. This thing was huge and hanging out in the warmth and safety of my porch light. I had walked right past it. It was a wasp looking creature the width and length of my thumb. My immediate reaction was to think about getting a picture to prove the size and ferocity of this animal, however, when it actually glanced over at me, I mean stared at me with it's huge black eye, my instincts took over and I ran back past it and down the stairs. I then called Lauren for help.
As a result of Lauren's advice, I knocked on downstair's door. The nice guy who lives there opened the door in his PJs. I stuttered about scary, dangerous insects (in broken Japanese). He caught my drift and climbed the stairs to have a look (in his PJs). He agreed that it was abunai (dangerous) and the went back into his own place for some strong spray and a fly swat. He totally doused the wasp (lets call it a hornet now) and ran back down stairs as it got angry. After about a minute, he bashed it about 10 times with the fly sway and dumped it in the drain. My hero! Finally safe. Ugh, ahhh, yuck.
PS. Just researched wasps and hornets in Japan. Turns out Japan has a bug inventively called The Japanese Giant Hornet. I am sure that was what I saw. Lucky me. Ugh, ahhh and yuck again!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
This is the lovely Miss April. She's the one on the left. This is a small entry to assure her that she is thought of often from the other side of the world. Here she is at a friend's wedding. Looking amazing I might add. Keep smiling April...
The above picture shows Tanya following a Japanese custom. At temples and shrines, you can buy a fortune (almost always in Japanese). You carefully read the fortune and then fold it neatly and tie it to a particular clothesline like structure. These structures are usually jam packed with peoples fortunes but, actually any tree branch will also suffice. You can often see random fortunes tied to tree branches.
Today I went to a brand new supermarket in my area. It is about a month old. It seems all nice and fresh. Clean and full of goodies. Actually it looks similar to other supermarkets that I visit. I looked closer at one particular object searching for the price. Here was where I got my surprise. Each and every item has a computerised display for the price. They are all along the shelves. I guess they are wired up and connected to a main computer. Ingenious. If prices change, specials come in, it all automatically changes. Nice touch. I bet that next they will have displays with neon flashing lights and music blaring. The Japanese touch!
Friday, September 23, 2005
So, what do I do now? What do I do when all the water coming from all my taps, is this colour? Actually this has improved from the dark coppery colour it was. I now have white and blue towels that are distinctly brown. My friend and I discovered this phenomena at 11pm. We are heading to bed and hoping it will be miraculously fixed in the morning. If not... WHAT DO I DO?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Sadayasu Sensei I will miss you so much. Be at peace!!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Side point... At this stage, I tell people that I have 'situational Japanese'. That means I have learnt how to order at restaurants, buy petrol for my car or shop at the supermarket. You quickly learn the few usual phrases that people will ask. Thankfully for me the Japanese don't move out of the mold too much. It becomes like a dance. Them, me, them, me and back again. At the end of the dance, a meal has magically been ordered.
We both stumbled over this new question before the girl politely added, drip or espresso. I gathered that she wanted me to choose if my latte would be made from drip or espresso coffee. Hmmm I thought to myself, espresso has got to be stronger. Espresso I told her. No worries. She asked me to wait and then proceeded to make my coffee. A few minutes later she came out from behind the counter to present my with my drink. I took it and immediately felt how light the cup was. I opened it and there in front of me was the espresso I ordered. Ahhhhhh! I wanted Latte. Instead of going through the process of explaining this to the girl, I added sugar to the cup and headed over to the supermarket to buy my own milk. Once added, I drank my interesting espresso with milk. Funny things happen all the time. I thought I'd share this one with you.