Purikura and Karaoke

So yesterday was filled with more orientations and things to do. I realized that they tell us the same things in all the orientations. The basic message is, ‘go out and have fun just don’t get drunk and act like idiots. And don’t be loud in the streets but we know you will do all of these things anyway because you are loud obnoxious foreigners’. Maybe not exactly like that, but they are heavily implying it. It’s mostly funny, but they are being serious because there are over four hundred exchange students here this semester and things can get crazy quickly.

We also had our opening ceremony, which has been the nicest thing we’ve done at the school so far. The president of the school made a nice speech, as well as the American ambassador to Osaka and the Australian ambassador to Osaka. They picked an exchange student and a Kansai Gaidai student to make speeches as well. The exchange student did really well. I felt pretty inspired to go out and explore Japan after they all finished. The head of the Japanese department also made a hilarious speech in Japanese. I had to concentrate the entire time but I understood every word she said, and I was really surprised I could. Sometimes my listening isn’t very good if the speaker is talking to fast. But she kept it pretty easy since I’m sure she knew that everyone had varying levels of Japanese comprehension.

After that they had the cafeteria set up buffet style with tons of food. They had so many of us packed in there though it was hard to get to the actual food. It was an interesting mix of different foods. There was a chocolate fountain and ice cream machine next to the takoyaki and cold soba. There probably wasn’t any food left after everyone had eaten.

Matt had asked if Tim and I wanted to go with him to meet up Shiori, his speaking partner, after the ceremony had ended. She took us to downtown Hirakata where we did purikura and karaoke. For those who don’t know, purikura is similar to photo booths we have back home. Except the purikura booths here are really popular and everyone does it. Somehow the booth makes your face look different and if you aren’t wearing make up the picture will look like you are anyway. Its hard to explain exactly what makes purikura so different than regular photo booths back home. So instead I’ll just add a picture of one of the purikura we did last night.
That isn’t even the most ridiculous one. A few of the others were a little bit hilarious. Shiori only sent me one to my phone so I can’t upload the rest. Next time I go I’ll have to make sure to get them sent to my phone before we leave.

After that we headed over to the karaoke place down the street. I’ve never done karaoke before so I had no idea what to expect. The other three jumped right into it and had no problem singing. I suppose it’s because I’ve never sang in front of other people, but I got super nervous every time I was suppose to sing. I ended up singing some korean songs too since I tend to know more korean pop songs than recent japanese pop. We ended with a hilarious group rendition of Arashi’s Love so Sweet. Maybe next time I go to karaoke I’ll order a beer or two to calm down, haha. Maybe it will improve my singing.

Even though we had ate a ton of food after the ceremony earlier that day, we decided to get dinner anyway. We went to a place that has a ton of grilled meat on skewers called Toriki. It was amazing and delicious. Every time a customer would walk in or leave the staff would yell uproariously. Anytime someone ordered and they put in the order in, they’d yell uproariously. It gave the place a really interesting atmosphere that made us jump every time they’d yell out. We ordered a ton of food and ordered even more after finishing the first round. Tim decided to be risky and order fried chicken hearts. He said they tasted like chicken but I couldn’t bring myself to try one.

Today should be fun too. We get our course confirmation finally! I must have gotten into the ceramics class since they gave me an invoice for the course materials yesterday afternoon. Also here is to hoping I did indeed get into Japanese 3! Later today is also the Kyoto tour the school takes us on. I’m debating on whether or not I should take my dlsr instead of my lumix since I know the stuff we’ll see there is dslr worthy.

I’d upload more pictures on here but wordpress doesn’t give you much space to store them on. So I’ve been adding them to my mobile me galley. I add stuff everyday so check it out! http://gallery.me.com/danamckee

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