Saturday, November 7, 2009

{Konnichiwa, courtesy of PhotoBooth. Still jet lagged. And hung over.}

{The internet café. Only for a few weeks, until I move to my location}

{The washing machine. Scary!}

The weather is my favourite thing here, so far. I left a freezing cold Montreal, and landed in very warm Nagoya. No jacket, warm sun, and sunglasses.

Yesterday I met the rest of my training group: a mix of fellow Canadians, Brits, and Australians. The neighbourhood I'm staying in is quite small, so every time I ran into another foreigner at 7-Eleven, I knew they'd be a fellow trainee. They're all really nice, interesting people, and being on the same boat brought us closer rather quickly.

We made a first visit to a grocery store, to pick up some essentials. I was surprised to see how easy it is to find imported foods in Japan. In a regular supermarket, the selection of cheese was quite interesting, and I even found taco mixes and tortillas- things that would be near impossible to find in Korea. Maybe it's because we're in a big city, perhaps it will be a different story once I move to my smaller city. I had a blast going around the store, with my Japanese phrasebook, trying to find soy milk.

The prices are definitely quite high in Japan, but there are a lot of ways to save money and get some deals. Japan has many "100 yen" stores, which are like dollar stores back home, but much, much nicer. You can get everything there, from food to household items. Also, if you shop at the supermarket right before closing time, many items are reduced by 50%, so its the perfect time to pick up a bento box.

We had so much fun at the supermarket, and I even found a Starbucks near the apartment, where I bought a French coffee press- an essential to live in Asia. This way I can save so much money by making my own, and not spending five or six dollars on a cup of java.

Last night was spent exploring the downtown part of Nagoya, and hitting some bars with the rest of our group. My favourite spot was a little watering hole, filled with locals and awful punk rock music. It was a lot of fun, and trainees from the previous training group gave us some tips about training, and prepared us for the worst-apparently it gets quite intense.

I'm really having a lovely time so far, and I'm so happy to be back in Japan, a country I've been dreaming of for some time now. I also remembered how Japanese people are so friendly and helpful, they'll really go out of their way to make sure you find whatever you need.

Alright, time for me to get some breakfast, I don't think Pocky is an appropriate breakfast after a long night out. Or maybe it is.

**Sorry for the lack of good pictures. I forgot my memory card at home, so I'll have to borrow other people's pictures in a bit, until I buy a new one.


Anonymous said...

Viv, have I told you lately you're my idol? So jealous! Also, every time someone shows me a picture of Japanese appliances I feel stupid... AND, Pocky are good any time of day. Go for it!

Lisa said...

Wow, scary indeed! I think I'll need to learn some basic Japanese if I ever plan on spending a few months there.... yikes!

It's kind of warm here too, surprisingly :)

Are the other foreigners all there with the same company? Have you started training yet?

Can't wait to see more pictures! Enjoy your time in Nagoya!!

Nicole Marie said...

i'm so happy things are going to so well!! gosh you are so brave! i can't imagine trying to translate japanese foods. yeesh.

Kelly said...

sounds like you are getting accommodated just fine and swiftly! good luck with the grocery store! i would be a MESS and would choose to live off Pocky for awhile hahaha.

hope you had a great weekend!!!

seasonal lust said...

living vicariously through you right now.... =)