Sunday, August 28, 2005
Sapporo steals my voice
I'm too lazy, and late for today's festival activities to write much about Sapporo orientation week. But I did post a bunch of pictures on my flickr site (there's a handy link just to the right of this text called "more pictures from me").
In short, I went to Sapporo for orientation and language classes, all expenses paid by my BOE. We orientated for two days where we learned very little, had Japanese classes for two and a half days and learned a boatload (way too much Japanese learning in way too short a time) and after our official meetings, met up with other JETs and did far too much drinking and karaoke. Even my "quiet" night out involved staying out too late -- but I did meet a Japanese fellow who spoke pretty good French -- the only one so far.
French is all over Japan. It's very cool to have a notebook or a T-shirt covered in French, and the grammar and such is actually pretty good, unlike most of the English. But NOBODY speaks French here. Except that one guy in Sapporo.
Our last day in Sapporo, I think they felt sorry for us. Language classes involved learning to ask Japanese people to read kanji (chinese characters) for us, and practicing the bon odori for the afternoon closing ceremony. Yes, we had a farewell ceremony from the language school -- complete with the kanpai or cheers, before which nobody eats or drinks; speeches from both the teachers and the students; certificates; lunch; and then we all danced the bon odori and sang a Japanese song -- I can't wait to try it out next time I go to karaoke.