羽之助の帝紀

Monday, June 27, 2005

My Interesting Weekend

Well, I went to the JET Pre-Departure and Training weekend in Toronto. It actually continues until tomorrow, but considering that for me most of the information has been pretty useless. I mean, I've dealt with culture shock before, there is no language barrier for me - actually the only worthwhile one was the finance/investment seminar. Met lots of people. A lot of the women were shocked at the inequality of gender in Japanese society. To which all I can say is, "Hello?" I can't believe that some people haven't even done basic research on the country they're going to live in. And the people who keep on asking money questions - "So I can't use my debit card? OK, will they take a cheque?" NO THEY WILL NOT. Get it through your heads - cash is now the way to go!

But I digress.

I worked until 10 on Friday night and couldn't get to sleep until about 1:30 ... and then I had to wake up at 4:15 to shower and catch the casino bus to Toronto. I arrived in Chinatown at about 6:30, so another 2.5 hours until the weekend started. Here's a picture of a street sign in Chinatown: Spadina in Cantonese

So I walked all the way up Spadina and then halfway down Bloor to the Japan Foundation and the information centre. Hey, there was no point in taking a streetcar/subway, since the whole objective was to waste time until the place opened at 9. I found a Tim Hortons, so that was good. We met members of the Japanese Visitors Association and had lunch with Taichi from Hokkaido, who was studying in Toronto. After the Saturday session ended, I went to Pacific Mall to meet Jiemei, my friend from Brock who was attending the Taste of Asia festival.
me and my foxy Chinese friend! yeah!
We had dinner at an imitation Thai restaurant (run by Hong Kongers, of course), which was not very appetizing, but the wine contained alcohol, so that was good. THEN we go to watch the fireworks, and as we're getting ice cream NOT ONLY are the customers in front of us Japanese, but the guy selling ice cream from his truck is too! And the guy in front of me is from Owariasahi, where the Suzuki family that I taught lives!
After that, I headed back to Bloor Street to stay at the Loretto Residence or something, part of St. Michael's College that offers single rooms for $25 a night. And they were nice rooms.

Next day (this morning, actually), I woke up at around 8:45 and showered, then got on my way to another day of JET orientation, which was useless. But the morning skit, illustrating all the problems that will befall the hapless Canadian JET, was goddamn funny. In one scene, "Jeff" was attempting to ask how to use the ticket machine for the train, and all the passers-by said stuff like "英語分からん!" and "外人怖い!". Eventually he gets saved by the Japanese-speaking Token Black Guy.
Welcome to the classroom!

The rest of the day was pretty bland from there, so I skipped out with Sachiko to see the Pride Parade.
Air Canada!

After the end of the weekend, I hopped on the subway, transferred to the streetcar at Spadina, then went down to the casino bus office at the end of Chinatown. Came back home, been on the computer ever since.

2 Comments 論評:

  • That is one awesome adventure.

    I want to be there for everything!









    ...including the pride parade.

    By Blogger Chris, at 6/28/2005 10:42 AM  

  • Hah, we should organize a Pride Parada in Tokyo. I even have a name for it:

    "同性愛者自慢祭"

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 6/29/2005 3:37 AM  

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