Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Summer So Far

I have been on summer break since July 18th. I haven't done too much yet though. I'm saving my money for when I go to Osaka, Miyajima, and Tokyo. So I haven't done any traveling, but I've done a few things around here. I've been to the malls a couple times. At Ichino in Hamamatsu I saw Pon de Lion, Mister Donut's mascot! So cute! Jonathan thought this was embarrassing, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity, haha.


We went to the beach in Iwata. It's too dangerous to go in the water and it's not that interesting of a beach, but it's still nice to see.

 

I've been doing some cooking. I made some peanut butter noodles and they were really tasty! :)


Last week Jonathan and I did karaoke. It's only 400 yen per person per hour during weekdays so it's a really good deal. I sang a bunch of stuff including some Disney songs (Just Around the Riverbend from Pocahontas, haha), a couple Japanese songs, and the theme songs for Rayearth. One of them even had the opening video from the anime! It was so cool! :)

 

I've been studying kanji . I have a really cute Jewelpets notebook (I need to take a picture of that) and pretty pens and a My Melody plastic sheet thing (to put between the pages so when you write it doesn't mark through onto other pages) to make studying more fun! :) I'm now on a third grade elementary school kanji level.

 
Last week we also went to Lake Sanaru in Hamamatsu which is one of the dirtiest lakes in Japan. Even though the water is dirty, it's still a pretty area and there are some nice places to walk.



At the end of this walkway there was a pond with a bunch of turtles! 



I took these pictures with my phone so you probably can't see this next picture very well, but I tried to take a picture of some crabs. There were so many crabs everywhere! They're really creepy and gross. All those dots down in the mud were crabs.


Here is a picture Jonathan took when he biked to the lake by himself. Ick!



 


More crabs! They move really slowly most of the time and then they all of a sudden run really quickly. Creepy.



I've been craving peanut butter cups recently, and I can't find them here, so I made my own the other night. They weren't quite as good as Reese's, but still really delicious!


On the first day of summer vacation I took the Japanese driving test. It's notorious for being really difficult. The police men who give the test are so picky! I've heard of people failing the test about 15 times. You can fail for really small things. Some of the things they want you to do are just really weird. You're not supposed to drive in the center of the lane. You're supposed to drive close to the line on the left side. In real life that's not a good idea because of bikers and pedestrians.

I didn't even get to finish the course the first day because the car went off the side of the road when I was going through a really small S-curve. The policeman's advice to me at the end of the test was that I needed to take driving lessons. They're so expensive though!

I took the test again the next week. I failed again because I turned too quickly and didn't check my mirrors enough (I checked them, but I guess it wasn't obvious enough). I was also told maybe some other stuff that I didn't understand.

Yesterday I took the test for the third time. I was sleepy because I have been going to bed late and sleeping in, annoyed because there was a lot of traffic on the way to the testing center, and it was raining a bit.

I felt like I did ok on the test (in the US I would have been very confident that I had passed) but I figured I had failed for really small stuff. But when the test was finished the police man asked if I had taken driving lessons in Japan. He looked a little surprised when I said no, so that seemed like a really good sign. Then he said, "One point" and told me that I needed to make tighter left turns and move further to the right before making right turns. I felt pretty good that that was the only thing he had to tell me.

The test is taken in groups. There had been about 8-10 people in my group. Once we had all taken the test we went back inside to the lobby and waited for the results. They told us that only one person had passed and then started handing back our papers. I had seen other people do well on the test so I didn't feel very confident then. But.... I passed! Yay! I was really excited. Before I was given my paper to go to the counter to pay for my license the police man asked me my address and I got the order a bit confused and he was really picky so I had to say my address a few times. It was weird.

To celebrate Jonathan and I went to McDonald's for lunch. Haha. I got a salsa chicken sandwich, fries, and a mango soda float. Yummy! They have new stuff every time I go there!



Later Jonathan and I are going biking. I haven't checked what it's like outside today, but I'm sure it's hot!

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