We were told a few days ago that the dress-code was 'semi-formal'. Peoples' interpretations of 'semi-formal' varied wildly from country to country. The Australians seemed confused by the notion, so all the girls wore summer dresses or slightly less revealing tops than is usual. Everybody from England dressed nicely - Elliot wore a very nice suit, and his friend Mark wore yet another Miami Vice ensemble. I wore my new Monsoon kimono-style top (more to come on this subject). The American men, however, seemed baffled. Most of them wore shirts and ties they'd stolen from their elderly and blind relatives.
I love Japanese people. I don't mean to come over all condescending or ethnocentric, but they're just! So! Cute!
CHIE: [strokes my sleeve] This is pretty.
CHIE: Cu-ree-bedge... sexy! [points at herself] No boobs!
YOKO: Yes, boobs are sexy woman!
It was like something out of Azumanga Daioh. The girls really do covet large breasts.
The Ceremony - we all had to stand and bow when the President of NUFS spoke to us, and there was a lot of 'heartfelt welcoming'. Then we all had some free food, whereupon I discovered my complete and utter inaptitude with chopsticks. I am literally unable to utilise them. Hiromi had to scoop food onto my plate. T_T The President helped himself to some pizza, then sat down next to this poor Australian girl called Gyra, who was then unable to move for the rest of the aftenoon.
The best bit was the Club Showcase. Designed to give us an idea about the club we might want to join, a few representatives came to show us what they did. First was Cheerleading Club. It was AWESOME. They all ran in and cheered to a Japanese version of "Hey Mickey!", and they danced like crazy. Their tiny little outfits were great, and there was one really hilarious girl who gnashed her teeth insanely whilst cheering.
Then two boys from ESS (the English Speaking Society) came out and eloquently commanded that 'Britain people' were great, and should therfore come and join them. Kendo was the funniest. "We hit eachother. On the head." We now know that when people say "Oh, kendo, yes... an ancient Japanese martial art", that they are in fact lying. Kendo is hitting someone as hard as you possibly can on the head and screaming "YAAAAAAI YA!" as you do so. It was entertaining. Hiromi was frightened though, and now refuses to join any club that uses sticks.
We were treated to other tempting delights, and then the club members mingled with us. I was quickly surrounded by Hachi, Kooney, Masa and Kuri-chan. Despite his name, Kuri-chan was actually a rather large man. Masa wanted Matt and I to join the International Communication Club, and wrote my name in kanji for me. I was a little confused about the meaning - he wrote RIA EMI, which apparently is like "the beautiful Ria", but none of them could agree on how 'Ria' should be written.
Then Hachi (ESS) described in great detail his love of music. He has a pink mp3 player. I told him all the people I'd heard of, and he recommended some Japanese artists. His favourite music is by Nelly. Like, 'Country Grammar' Nelly. Interessant.
I didn't realise just how many French people there are with us. There are only 69 new International students here in Nagoya, and virtually all of them seem to speak French. They're all very nice, except one evil little man. I like French, so if I hear them talking, I like to interject with one of my seven French phrases. I did this today, and two of them were like "Ooh, French! Lovely!", and the evil little one goes "Meh, she doesn't speak French". In French. Sadly I don't know "fuck you, Frog", or I'd have said that. The others are all very nice though.
After the ceremony, I hung out with my new friends. Yoko is in the Japanese Circle, and I met her at Fujigaoka bus station. She described me to her friend Aoi as "the one with the huge pink suitcases". Aoi is tiny and doll-like. They are both /lovely/. Yoko fell on the floor laughing when I said "usotsukete". Apparently it is funny if gaijin say this. Yuko is the girl who helped me do my first lot of food shopping.
We talked for a while, then somehow I managed to tell them I would like to go to Bulldog. Bulldog is the name of a really cool little shop opposite the University. It sells Hello Kitty type things, some shoes, some bags, stationery, decorations and assorted cute little things. The whole time I thought how much Rebecca (my little sister) would absolutely love it in there. I nearly spent 4000 yen on a fluffy Hello Kitty suit Yoko found for me. I can't begin to describe it. It was kind of like an all-in-one pajama suit.
I ended up buying more hilarious Engrish writing paper, a biro with a cat playing the guitar, a pad of paper with clothed cats on the front, a really cute cat light-pull and tiny diamante letters (R-I-A) for decorating my phone. Which I haven't bought yet, but fully intend to accessorize cutely in manner of Yoko, who has completely encrusted hers in gems.
Now I'm eating Coco Pops. They are Kellogs, but for some reason, they smell and taste about ten times better than regular English Coco Pops. The smell when I opened the packet... God, that smelled good. I woke up with cravings for it, but my bowl was dirty. I had to eat two mugfuls of it instead. Mmm... I already want more. The boxes here are comparatively tiny though, so it's going to be an expensive addiction.
I suppose I should go and do something productive now.
Maybe I'll have another bowl of Coco Pops?