Monday, December 5, 2011

What's going on

Wow, I realized I haven't written on here in quite a while.  I've been pretty busy the last couple weeks.  Here's the short and sweet rundown of what's been happening around these parts:

  • We had Thanksgiving.
This year, Thanksgiving was eaten at Phred's Bar, a little hole in the wall gaijin bar run by a man that looks a lot like Santa Claus (Phred).  For 2500 yen, we ate all the turkey dinner we could stuff in our bellies, and boy, was I miserably full.  The walls of the bar were covered ceiling to floor with beer cans from every time period you can imagine.  Really interesting place.

  • It snowed.

We finally had our first big snow of the year about two weeks ago.  Then it got warm and melted.  Then it snowed again.  I think you see the pattern here.  The scarves, hats, and gloves are all out, and we're preparing outselves for another Sapporo winter.

  • I got a haircut

In Sapporo, there are three things that you can find almost anywhere: bars, ramen shops, and hair salons.  I swear, there's two or three around every corner.  But while there's a plethora to choose from, it can be rather scary for a foreigner needing a cut.  Can they speak English?  Do they have experience cutting Western hair?  This is only my third haircut since coming to Japan, and the last two times I went  to a salon called Earth, where a wonderful English-speaking stylist named Rie has done great things.  But it's a little expensive, and I'm always looking for something new.  Friday I went to a place called Lala, and found the stylist, Kengo, to be really amazing.  He also speaks Spanish, has a salon in Mexico, and has been to McAllen, Tx.  Pretty cool.  Lala was about 2000 yen less than Earth, so if anyone is looking for a great place to get their haircut, I highly recommend both places. 

  • I took the JLPT
Why did I take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test?  Really for no other reason than I wanted to challenge myself, and see how much I've learned since coming here.  I took the lowest-level test, and I've been studying for months and months.  I think I did pretty well - the vocabulary was pretty easy, but the grammar was a bit challenging in parts, as was the listening portion of the test.  In the end, I think I did ok.  I don't think I failed, at least I hope I didn't.

  • We ate okonomiyaki
Ok, so this isn't really news.  But man,  I love okonomiyaki!

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