So, I`m currently working on a new blog post (like, finally) about places/prefectures in Japan I have visited which have taken some times now.... but isn`t seemed to be finished soon as I could mostly write on saturday/sunday only if I`m not going anywhere or if don`t have something else I got to do
As a replacement for that post, thought I`ll write a "shorter" post to publish today just cause I don`t want to neglect this blog much longer anymore. ;(
So, as you probably know/ not know already, I`m currently living in Osaka city in Japan and enrolled in a Japanese language school here since last july 2015. Wow it`s been a year 3 months now! (If you're asking me whether my japanese is already good or not after 1 year 3 months of time spent here, I could only say, well, at least there's definetely a clear improvement compared to my japanese around the first months I arrived in Japan, LOL!)
And since I came to Japan to study, the most common questions I got from random people are like, "Why did you choose to go to Japan?" or "Why Japan? Why not considering other countries?" At most times, the answer to that question will be this simple. "Just cause I love Japan." 終わり。(Finished). LOL. (If I`m not in the mood to talk or if I considered the other party (相手) is not so significant, thus, no need to prolong the conversation much longer, HAHA.) But when it comes from the people I still get along with, I would usually add something like, "Because I love Japan, I want to try how it feels to live there while I`m still young". (
Well, just cause it`s so obvious my closest friends wouldn`t give this kind of question, right? And I`m tired of nosy, come-to-me-when-they-need-something-only and like-to-judge kind of people, TBH.
And the second most common questions would probably something like, "じゃあ, (Then), why did you choose a school in Osaka of all places?, don't you know that if you study in Osaka, your Japanese will be influenced by 大阪弁 (Osaka-Dialect)?" "Why not choose, let's say, the capital city, Tokyo, instead?" "Why not choose Kyoto, a town with its traditional-feel of Japan?" "Or why not choose a smaller city so you could interact with the japanese more instead?" AHH, NOSY, NOSY, LOL!
*Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan, after its capital city, Tokyo, and could be considered one of a big city, of course.
And the third most common questions would be like, "why you choose this school?" In case you haven`t known, my school now is extremely popular with Indonesian, that it can be said that the majority (half, even more) of the students here, well, are Indonesian. HAHA. Like, my class now consits of 1 Philippines, 2 Vietnamese, 3 Chinese, 1 from Hongkong, and 10 Indonesian! In the past, my class ever had a Thai and a Canadian too. In other classes, there are also people from different nationalities besides these, but as far as I know, the majority is always Indonesian in every class. LOL. So, if you ask me if I feel homesick or not while living abroad, the answer is, I do, but I`m not most of the times! I do miss my family, my brothers and sis, my friends and especially Indonesian food!!! But not so much because I still got to meet Indonesian almost every day. Not almost, to be exact. Because my room mate is an Indonesian, too, so I meet at least 1 Indonesian every day, HAHA.
Regarding school questions, I usually answered something like, "my school now has a teacher who can speak Indonesian, so it would be convenient if I were to have problems while living here." But, regarding to the question, why Osaka? I actually couldn`t give a definite answer, an answer which I`m sure that it was the reason why I chose Osaka. It`s not like Osaka is the city I most like in Japan, after all. So, I just answered something like, "Because Tokyo is definitely very pricey, So I just chose Osaka as it's the second largest city in Japan instead," LOL. #randomanswer #適当な答え
But while I`m in the progress of writing about places I`ve visited while living in Japan (in a different post I`m still working on I mentioned above), reminded me that actually I ever considered to apply at one language school in Tochigi (Nikko prefecture) at first. Compared to Osaka, it`s a small city, and it makes me realized that I'm grateful enough that I decided to choose Osaka after all. ^^'
And other good points.... (If I remembered some later, I`ll put it here)
On the contrary, living in the smaller city would be like... (based on my experience) :
When I went to Wakayama during summer break on august last year (during the first months I came to Japan), I had my very first living-outside-experience, not inside a tent like when we go to camping in the forest or so, but rather, living outside (like a homeless), on a bench in some random station to be exact, because we got no place to stay LOL! (details of this experience will be explained at a different post, later if I`m in the mood to write again, HAHA) If you ask me why, maybe it was because our unpreparedness not to book hotel or so before the trip. Yeah, it`s cleary our fault -_-
But that`s also this one factor to be considered, and that is the public transportation. In a small city, as the rail network and the station's numbers are not so many, people have to rely on bus more as a means of public transportation. As you know, bus will clearly have least arrival frequency than train, and not to mention a possibility of traffic jam along the way that makes you can`t really trust the bus's timetable to always arrive on time at minutes counts like the train does. But you wouldn`t expect the last bus runs on 7 PM, would you? It was like, please, that's not even night time yet. -_-
Thanks to that, we got to walk our way to the closest train station, which was like 5KMs-long or more maybe? I forgot. (we spent like 2-3 hours of walk if I`m not mistaken). I remembered when we arrived at the station, it was still like 9/10PM I forgot but the train station was already closed for the day and there was no one around. And don`t you forget that Wakayama is a small city. Not much people/cars passing by. And we only encountered 1 seven eleven along the way and we reluctantly ate our dinner outside the sevel by sitting at the parking lot (this sevel don`t have tables and chairs inside) because we haven`t seen any other better options around. #hufft
In a small city like Mie, too, I noticed there's not much convenience stores as they have in big city like Osaka. (well, it's just natural). You have to walk pretty far away to get to the closest convenience store from your house, thus, not too "convenient" if you were to stay there. And when I went to Beppu few years ago, a small city in Oita prefecture to visit a friend who was studying there, (will be explained at a different post later), my friend said that Beppu doesn`t even have a Cinema so if she wanted to watch a movie, she will have to go to the neighboring city first! OMG. What a life in the
Not that I hate that, tho, I love village or small city if it was for travelling purposes, to relax, to spend time slowly, to enjoy the moment, to get a different air and feelings than the busy city life. To get more traditional-feel-like and to get more oh-I`m-in-Japan-feel-like. But not to stay permanently, I guess. It`s just not for me. LOL.
Besides, after I think about it, Osaka is just a great place to live (at least for now). From the location-side, Osaka is located in Kansai region and it is close to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe, major point attractions in Kansai, just within 30 minutes - 1 hour of train ride. Very strategic, right? And as I mentioned also above, Osaka is a big city with vast rail network and many entertainment areas inside the city, thus, convenient to live in.
And, from cost point of view, although Osaka is said as the second big city in Japan, unlike Tokyo, which is often included as the top most expensive cities in the world, Osaka is still affordable somehow. It's based on many people`s opinion, including the teachers. the Japanese I met and friends who is also living in Osaka and have visited Tokyo for holiday, and back to Osaka again so they could make a comparison directly. I actually have visited Tokyo twice, but as I came solely for travelling purposes before, I don`t really compare prices or take note much about that. Plus, it was few years ago, LOL. But finally, I will visit Tokyo again on this december on winter break! 久しぶり、東京！I could later make the comparison myself about the prices in Tokyo compared to Osaka from food and transportation side, maybe.
But, despite the popular belief that Japan is identic to expensive, maybe living in Japan, well in this case, Osaka, is not too pricey after all if you compared the living cost with the revenue you will get if you were to work here, even if it was just a part-time work. You still can get a decent and delicious meals below 1000円, and it is not fast food such as McDonalds, Yoshinoya, or others. And when I visited Kyoto (Kyoto, not Tokyo) last saturday, it turned out that the cost of transportation there is more expensive than Osaka. :0 We met my friends' friend who lives in Kyoto, and she said that the transportation of riding just one station, costs her 210円! So that she rarely use train, and prefer to walks more and note that the train station is not so many in Kyoto, as she said the distance from one station to another could spent her 30 minutes. Note that Kyoto also relies in Bus more as its public transportation, rather than train. (from my point of view).
While in Osaka, one station is "only" 120円 with JR lines (the goverment's) and 180円 with subway (privates), which I already considered pricey enough if I compared it to busway transportation in my hometown, Jakarta, where you can go everywhere in Jakarta for only Rp 3,500 flat! HAHA. But of course you can`t compared busway's service with the train system in Japan, LOL. It's a whole different level, obvsly!
Meanwhile, as of today, (October 24, 2016);
円 : Japanese Yen
Rp : Indonesian Rupiah
busway = Rp 3.500 - Flat
*120円 = Rp 15.000
*180円 = Rp 23.000
*210円 = Rp 27.000
(not exact calculation, just more or less)
Ugh, just when I was admiring Kyoto, saying how beautiful it was and saying that it would be great if I were to live there while thinking to myself that probably I won`t be bored seeing the beautiful scenery Kyoto has to offers everyday. #justmebeingrandom Yeah, it goes beyond doubt that Kyoto is super beautiful because it still has that charm, Japanese traditional feels, everywhere you go. Everywhere you walk, you would catch a view of people strolling around the streets wearing yukata/ kimono, not to mention many traditional buildings, shops and temples are everywhere in the city. And plus, it`s now autumn in here that it becomes incredibly beautiful with the orange leaves/momijis everywhere.
But my friend's friend who lives in Kyoto that I mentioned earlier, said something like, "yeah, Kyoto is beautiful, Around the first months I came here too, I feel hyped and all but after you spend your time living here, the scenery, the traditional-feel and all becomes so ordinary... (普通), like, where will I go today? Oh, this temple and oh, that temple again, until I got bored." And then, my friend, Bella added that maybe a traditional, beautiful place such as Kyoto, was only perfect for holiday, traveling purposes that was good to be visited once in a while, not everyday, not too often, or it will gradually loses its charm. Hmmm...
I got that. Like, no matter how beautiful something was, if it's already become a part of the usual things you see, the value in your eyes will decreases gradually, right? It`s the same like food. If you were to ate your favorite food every day, every day, there's the point when that food would lose its deliciousness in your tounge until you got sick and tired of it and it may probably becomes the food you hate, LOL. Ah, it also can be associated with kindness. Like, the first time you do a favor to others, others would feel super grateful and thankful to you. But if you were to do the same favor every day, (or you do it in a frequent basis), there will be a point where people will just took you for granted and value it lightly. Like, they already expect you to do that to the point that it could not be considered a kindness anymore, but becoming more like it's your duty to do that to begin with. Hmmmm... #deep
From the three examples I stated above, I got the conclusion that "Frequency have negative correlation with satisfaction level." (LOL.)
Flashback to the first time I came to Japan and started living in Osaka, I guess I was like that too, still hyped about everything, and always want to go somewhere on saturday and sunday until there's the point where I got bored, too and just want to be a hikkomori if I had a free time, LOL. Well, per now I`m not so bored anymore and accept it as how it was and I`m still happy living in here. Besides, it turns out there's still so many places in Osaka I haven`t known and there're still many places and fancy restaurants here I`m curious about and eager to try. HIHI.
I think it`s a natural phase for everyone, as human is a creature that never get satisfied. HAHA. So, considering that I prefer a big city than a small city to live in, and of course everyone would prefer cheaper living cost than expensive living cost, I guess I should still feel satisfied living in Osaka for now, shouldn`t I? :D
Ah, and besides, many people (by many people here, most of them are Osaka people, LOL) said that Osaka is one of the safest city in Japan. Ok, you may wondering what I mean with safe here. Safe from what? Isn`t Japan is already one of the safest city in Asia, besides Singapore maybe? Ok so you must know that Japan is one of the country in history which often experiences earthquakes, right? And they said that Osaka is one of the safest city here from that earthquake attack while coincidentally, I just experienced my very first earthquake in Japan myself just few days ago LOL! Yeyy.
It was on last friday afternoon (10/21) and I was in the office for internship at that time, (btw my office is at 5th floor) and suddenly all of our phone's alarm ringing loudly with the notice "jishin, jishin" (地震/earthquakes) as I innocently asked my boss, a Japanese who sits besides me, "これは本当ですか?" (is it real?) LOL! What a question! (because I already had similar notification like that before, not just once, but twice which was always happened during lessons at school and it turned out it was just an earthquake drill -_-) And she replied, "本当、本当!" Oh, okay, so it was real after all. And she got panicked and went under her table. Although I was still confused of what was going on, I followed her and hiding under my table too, running for my safety, LOL. Surprisingly, the other 2 guys in the room, an Indonesian and Chinese were still calm and not panicking at all, and my senior even had the time to look at the news on the internet and said "ah, the earthquakes is in Tottori with 6.2M strength! 大丈夫。ここは３Mだけ。" It`s ok. it`s "just" 3 M here." OK. And not too long after that, I could really feel the building shaking, and I could see the walls, the tables, the computers and other things shaking for about a minute I think, after it stopped. LOL.
Luckily, and Thanks God, nothing big happened here besides a slight "shake", and I guess it could still be considered safe after all? LOL. And after that, I confirmed myself with my boss, nakayama-san about the thing people said that Osaka is one of the safest city in Japan. And she confirmed it too that because Osaka is not surrounded by seas and all, so it is still considered safe from earthquakes. Hmmm...
So, either way, even tho I did have some regret sometimes, like, why did I choose to enroll in my school now, when people say something like, "your school have so many Indonesians, right? Isn`t it such a waste? How could your japanese improving that way?" You know, without you telling me, before enrolling in this school, I already thought about that side too. -_- If I met Indonesian again here, I'll almost definetely speak Indonesian again and what's the point of coming so far to Japan if it were to meet Indonesian again?
But if I think about it now, I feel grateful somehow with the fact that my school has many Indonesians. First, like I already said above, I`m not so homesick here and I think it`s so important when you're living abroad by yourself. Imagine you were out alone, away from home in some
Meeting new people from your own country while you're living abroad of course will give you a different vibe rather than let's say meeting with your fellow Indonesians in Indonesia. And the feeling to talk with the people from your country using your native languages while you're living in another country will surely have a different feeling than speaking with a, let's say a foreigner who is able to speak Indonesian too. Because no matter how clever he/she was in Indonesian, it`s still different somehow, like the different in cultures, the use of slangs, the jokes and all, right? (Or maybe is it just me?) Well, at least you got what I`m trying to say, right?
Ah, and one more good point! Ok, so, actually there were times that I ever wished to be born somewhere else, like why I was not born in Japan, so I didn`t have to learn Japanese this hard? Or why I was not born in an english speaking countries instead? preferably America or Europe? But only at a times like these, I could be able to be grateful as an Indonesian who speaks Indonesian. LOL. Can you guess when? (HAHA).
As I think Indonesian language is not so common (yet) in the world, not like english or chinese I mean, (I still think) we have this privileges to gossiping about others in public, without having to talk secretly, or minding our loud voices, which can`t be done if you live in Indonesia, unfortunately. unless if it was deliberately/intentionally done for the other party to hear, maybe. LOLOLOL! Hey, don`t misunderstand me. Gossip seems to have bad misinterpreation but what I mean here, it can be used and effective in many different occassions too. For example, if there was a cute japanese guy passing by in the street or you caught eyes with that cute shop attendant, wouldn`t you want to smile and admiring them like a fangirl does? And I think not only me, guys must do that too if they saw cute girls around. LOL. But you wouldn`t do it in an obvious way, right? (Well, unless you got the balls for it).
For example, before, I had a part time job at a restaurant with my Indonesian friends too, where I fell in love at first sight (一目ぼれ) with this japanese guy there since the first day I saw him when we just came for a quick interview before even accepted! HAHA. His smile was so cute, refreshing and as I thought, he was so friendly towards others even to us foreigners. He didn`t hesitate to put up a conversation with me first and sometimes he started by asking questions like "how was your school today?"/(学校はどうだった？順調ですか？) or "how was your japanese?" (日本語の勉強はどう？) or "I think I haven`t seen you around these days," (久しぶり！) and not reluctant to engaged in a conversation with me even tho my japanese level was bad, LOL. And whenever I talked to him first, he responded well to the point I could even asked him some random topics! (I ever asked him about his family, how was his GF was like, YEAH HE "had" a GF at that time, if he still received pocket money from his parents or not, how was his job hunting doing right now and any other things but I already forgot because how random it was.) It`s not just one-sided conversation because he also asked me back! Ah, sometimes I also asked him for help if I had some difficulties in understanding some japanese words or had troubles in finishing homework from school!
Coincidentally, his name means "gula" in indonesian and his birthdate is the same with my number one best friend, which I mentioned in my last post here! Well, I think that explains where his sweetness and friendliness comes from(?) (LOL). I guess I just couldn`t resist that kind of sweet, friendly guy(?) Ah, Gula-san!!! LOL. (Like, when this sevel near my house just got 1 new staff and after a few times seeing this new guy around, I got kinda interested in him, and finally told my friend like, "look he's kinda cute!" And my friend said,"Ah! He resembles gula-san! I think that's why!" After she mentioned it, I just realized that his smile, his hair type, and especially his pose when he looked down kinda resembles gula-san in some way!) Then, it's proven that the sweet guy like that is 超 my type for love at first sight, apparently? HAHAHA!
But, when it comes to love, やっぱり,「きりがない理想結局は、好きになった人がタイプ、そういうもんでしょ？」"We may had endless requirements of how our ideal partners is supposed to be. But eventually, the one who made us fall in love is our type, right?" :) Moshimo unmei no hito ga iru no nara's lyrics (Kana Nishino)
OK, back to the story, HAHA! So, my Indonesian friend also fell in love with this chinese guy in the kitchen she was working with. And my another Indonesian friend also fell in love with this handsome french guy in the hall, apparently. (OK so much love happened there, but for me, Gula-san was still the handsome-est of all LOL) Luckily the 3 of us were not falling to the same guy or else we would be fighting? NO lah LOL. And thus, whenever we got the same shift, we would talk about each others crush, of course in Indonesian! LOL!
Imagine if I were alone as an Indonesian there, even tho I`m really happy that I can`t wait to share it to someone, I had no one I can really share the story with. Sure, I could tell my other friends outside of work which I already did of course. Some of my close friends here must have known who's gula-san is until they got tired of listening to it. LOL. But it's less fun if they don`t even really know the person personally let alone seeing his real appearance, right? Then, how about sharing it with the other work mates (the Japanese)? Sure can do. (Actually few of the Japanese in my work place before already knew but not detailed of course as I`m so shy
Ok, actually, not only that! We also had this privileges to make a jokes/laughing when we saw something funny or "kocak-kocak" we can`t bear not to talk/gossiping about it. (LOL) Or at the times we want to make complains about people's attitudes towards us, like for example, when we received bad service/treatment as a customer in a restaurant or in a shop, we can kind of bad-mouthing them(?) without making them feel bad/offended directly because they wouldn`t understand what we said! It`s convenient, right?
Why be a hypocrite? Why not just snapped in front of their face honestly or showed it in your face that their attitude was rude? Isn`t japan famous with its hospitality with its customer? Where is your manner to the customer? Is it maybe because we are foreigners? LOL. It`s not like we can`t do that, but as we're not living in our own countries, I think it`s better to hold back as we didn`t have really much right to talk back especially if it`s not too disturbing and it`s just a simple matters that we can let go easily anyway. And since we don`t know them personally and probably wouldn`t have to meet those rude people for twice again, so why the hard feelings LOL. Just a quick bad mouth gossip at the spot and done! LOL! So, it doesn`t mean that we're bad by talking badly about other people behind their back. And besides, I think it`s just natural for everyone to do that if you were faced with that situation. (As long as that people not turning out to be Indonesian or understand Indonesian, it`s still OK. I think. HAHA.)
But, I can`t deny that there's a bad side, too. Firstly, having too much Indonesians in our school, tend to make us groups with fellow Indonesians and we can`t help it sometimes! And I think that`s not good because like what I already said, what`s the point of coming to another country if you were to make a group exclusively with people from your own country again? But really, that depends on the people again if they want to open their mind or not. As for my class, I think we get along pretty well with people from another countries too as sometimes we would go out together like going to karaoke (The boys even said that they`re going to the karaoke once a week. LOL. I don`t know for sure tho as I`ve only just gone karaoke with them about 3-4 times maybe? *as the population in my class is 5/12 for girls and boys and I don`t feel like going if there's not at least 1 girl around too), having yakiniku (at the usual spot, 298! as we could get an all you can eat yakiniku for just 1080円 in 1 and a half hour!), having a hanami (花見) at spring, having a BBQ party at summer, etc.
We also celebrated moments like when our last JLPT test (we took N2 level last july) was finally over, and despite of how was the results is going to be, all of our months of struggles had finally ended (for a moment, HAHA), we had dinner and karaoke (of course) after the test where we sang and screamed loudly for 6 hours non-stop (if I`m not mistaken) to vent our stress LOL. And we also had kind of farewell parties last september when 2 members of our class was going back home for good, (Ayu and Dara ;_;)... And can you guess where? Where else besides at our usual yakiniku`s spot. LOL. That time, we also invited the teachers who taught our class, too!
I am pretty close with a Philippines in my class, too. (Hi Pam!) to the point we ever travelled together with a chinese from different class too. That time, we were staying in Pam's Japanese's friend's house in Mie prefecture and it became my first homestay experience while in Japan! (actually, have been meaning to share this homestay experience but I always postpone it until I forgot about it, LOL. but will definitely make a different blog post about this detail, someday.) At that time, we were all forced to speak japanese only in 3 days as it`s the same language we both know and can speak in an equal basis. Nevertheless, it wasss so fun! :)
And second, some people may say that if you always meet Indonesian in school, what's the point of attending school? Your japanese won`t really improve that much after all as you could just speak with your own language again at school. Well, actually speaking, it can be true but it also depends on the people too. As for me, I think it's far more important to learn outside of school too, as it`s clearly not enough of study just by depending on school, as school is only from 09:00-13:00 (4 hours per day), from mon- fri (so, it makes it just 20 hours a week). Like, how can you expect yourself to be fluent in japanese just by spending that much time of study? Not to mention the native languages you still use in a daily basis.
You could learn from everywhere, not just by repeating what's been taught at school! For me, I learn Japanese from playing games, (btw I`m playing Persona 5 in PS4 right now and its superrrrrr!! OMG! At times like these, I am grateful enough that I already understand japanese and could read kanjis until some level even tho I can`t deny that I still need the help of the dictionary, tho) watching animes (sometimes), watching japanese youtube channels, reading comics and novels, reading simple news or browsing using japanese (I hate this part but I have to get used to it!), listening to songs and repeating, rather, singing it to be able to memorize it (I love Nishino Kana!!!!) and spend time talking with classmates from different countries and the Japanese I met and befriended from where I do part time jobs, etc. Ah, and I also make notes of vocabularies (its kanji, its meaning, its example sentence) in my phone's notes and I`m now trying to make it a habit to memorize it bit by bit during the journey inside the train from home to school, or from school to work, etc! 頑張ります！
*Btw even tho I don`t know if the time will be enough or not, I`m challenging myself with taking JLPT now with N1 level this december! Wish me luck! :)
And why did I choose Osaka, why not choose Tokyo? Actually, from the times before I came to Japan to study now, I have gone to both Tokyo and Osaka for traveling and honestly speaking, I love Tokyo more than Osaka. I just thought that Tokyo has a lot places to offer than Osaka. (Well, my opinion could change later, tho. I haven`t felt how it was to live in Tokyo, after all). *But now, I love Osaka, too! Really :)
Even though initially, I just planned for this post to be a simple, short-post and could be finished in like 1 hours at first, but I can`t help that I always ended up writing about another random topics that came into my mind too as I`m writing..... ha.ha.ha. Guess I should end this now, or else I don`t know when will it end as
Ok, so for the conclusion to end this not-so-short-post is, I`m happy that I decided to choose Osaka and my school now. Because If I hadn`t chose this city and this school, I wouldn`t have met and befriended the people I`ve met now, haven`t I? ;)