Time Section The stories of our lives 24-7
Monday, by Karn 6:30 Hear my keitai alarm clock playing a randomly chosen tune, but ignore it. 6:34 Hear the snooze alarm, and reluctantly drag myself out of bed, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes to concentrate on a strange series of lines called kanji. 6:40 Turn on TV to try to stay awake. It fails. 7:20 Wake up again. Panic. Continue to study. 8:30 Rush outside the dorm to grab my bicycle, before zooming to Suita at warp speed. Beat Edwin to the campus. Do my victory “I’m dah mahn” dance. 8:50 The usual Japanese class and the usual failed attempt to communicate in the language. 10:30 Drag myself into the medical class, where I manage to draw a manga strip. 11:30 Class ends early. There is a divine being. 11:38 Arrive at engineering cafeteria with a large group of friends. Yes, I have them too. And yes, they’re OUSSEP. 13:18 Arrive back at IRIS to attend the OUSSEP meeting. Get excited over free Bunraku tickets. Wish they also had Kabuki. 14:00 Bicycle home with Kim using the scenic route 15:30 Leave the dorm on the dot, and zoom on my bicycle to JR Kishibe. 15:39 Rush up the stairs of the bicycle parking building to get a good space.
15:47 Reach Osaka. Hear my favorite announcer read his lines (大阪、大阪 です。忘れ物のないようにご注意ください) before running off to work near Yodobashi camera. 16:00 - 18:00 Prepare for lesson with my boss. During lesson, try to smile, laugh and make otherwise really stupid faces to Haruka-chan in order to keep her attention focused. I get to be a kid again, she feels happy. Realize there are quite a lot Harukas in my daily life. 18:10 Stay with conversation with boss as usual, until the next student arrives. 18:20 Engage in deep personal debate over the merits of Yoshinoya and Matsuya. The latter wins out, because they also give you みそ汁. 18:30 Arrive at the nearest Matsuya, after using special forces tactics to maneuver through massive crowds and thick smoke while maintaining speeds of over 8 km/h. Order the special Japanese バーガset, which of comes with rice instead of bread, soup instead of fries, and tea instead of cola. Who said the Japanese weren’t creative? 18:50 Head for Yodobashi camera to look at games and hard disks. 18:51 Hitomi no tojite stuck in head. 18:58 Yodobashi song stuck in head. 19:00 Continue to walk aimlessly through Umeda, covering places I haven’t been yet. Once even walked to Osaka-jo, and other times to Temmabashi. Once attempted Shinsaibashi. Made it.
15:40 Whip out ticket book and grab a ticket while dashing to the station.
19:30 Skip and hop all the way back to JR Osaka, and take the busiest train back to Kishibe.
15:40.30 Throw the ticket into the ticket machine in slow motion, ala Matrix, before dashing up stairs, katana drawn, to reach the platform. I deserve an Academy Award.
19:34 Train leaves. Salarymen clad in black suits looking as cheerful as usual.
15:42 Watch Haruka pass by, virtually empty. 15:43 Watch Himeji bound 新快速 zoom by. Almost get sucked into the tracks from the “JR Goes Really Fast” effect
19:44 Arrive at Kishibe. Grab bicycle and enjoy the trip back home at best speed. The tunnel is especially entertaining, especially when trying to weave through traffic. 19:55 大事のところ：Tsutaya, Izumiya and Mr. Japan
21:00-23:00 Add insight to “Karn’s Insights”, made especially for Don Antonio. Will be in bookstores within a year. Play Gundam on my PS2, while complaining about the impending release of the PS3 in a year. Check e-mail, do homework, housework, selfwork.
Catch my train (always at 3:45), bound for Akamasaki. Ride the first train as usual. Like I’ve totally forgotten about the crash.
15:44 Deeply lost in thought, wondering what the deal is with schoolgirls and short skirts. Not that I mind.
Tuesday, by Jennifer 6:00 Wake up.
19:30-19:40 Talk to mom.
6:30 Fall back to sleep
19:40 Start playing video games.
7:30 Wake up again.
22:00 Stop playing video games.
22:00-22:18 Fill out this sheet so far.
7:50-8:00 Check email.
22:18-23:00 Listen to music.
8:00-8:40 Work on Japanese homework.
23:00-23:30 Surf the internet.
8:40 Give up on Japanese homework, feeling that I am going to be late for class.
23:30-23:45 Get ready for bed.
1:00 Actually fall asleep.
8:40-8:50 Get dressed, brush teeth, etc.
Wednesday, by Abdi
8:55 Arrive at Japanese class, late, but before teacher. 10:20 Japanese class ends.
10:30 Philosophy class begins.
10:00 Breakfast and take a bath.
10:50 Oﬃcially bored. 11:15 Oﬃcially hungry. 12:00 Philosophy class ends. 12:00-12:40 Lunch time (Salad and miso soup). 13:00 Politics class is supposed to begin. 13:10 Politics class begins. 14:30 Politics class ends. 14:35-14:45 At post oﬃce. 15:00 Try (unsuccessfully) to make Dis. Appt. 15:30 Home , sweet home. 15:30-17:00 Talk with friend online. 17:00-17:15 Eat(tuna and egg cream sandwich, chips and chocolate chip scone). 17:15 Nap time. 19:30 Wake up from nap.
10:30 Go to the laboratory. 12:00 Study in the lab. 12:05 Go to the mosque for praying. 13:00 Have a meal in the shokudo. 14:00 Discussion with a lab member. 15:00 Go to the mosque. 16:00 Part time job teaching Indonesian language. 17:00 Back to the dorm. 18:00 Watch TV and listen to the radio. 19:00 Prepare dinner with other Indonesians. 21:00 Itadakimasu and chat with friends. 23:00 Go to sleep.
Thursday, by Ding Ding
Friday, by Gun
Before 8:00 Sleeping
2:00 Start to feel sleepy, so go to bed.
8:30 Wake up.
3:00 Unfortunately, I can not sleep. So bad! Calm down, calm down, try to think of nothing, and relax (I have Japanese class in the morning).
8:31 Fall asleep again. 9:00 Wake up again and get up. 9:30 Breakfast (bread, coﬀee) and watch TV. 10:20 Go to Japanese Grammar class. 12:00 Class is over. 12:05 Go to cafeteria for lunch ( I love 丼s ). 12:50 Go back to dorm. 13:00 Check emails. 13:05 Feel sleepy. 13:10 Reply emails. 14:30 Go to chemistry and human life class. 14:40 Class starts.
5:00 Fall asleep ﬁnally, after lying down on bed for 3 hours, set my 2 alarm clocks at 7:00 and 7:30 am. Hope to be on time for the class. 7:30 Nothing in the room move except only the 2 alarm clocks keep ringing. After half an hour ringing, they are automatically stop. Still noting moves. 9:30 Wake up, feel really good like having enough rest for 3 seconds, Next look at the clocks and the word “shit” comes out from my mouth. Feel depressed about skipping the class for seconds, then go on sleeping (it is really non-sense to go all the way to school to just study second period class). 12:00 Wake up, and have brunch.
15:00 Wondering what the teacher is talking about.
14:00 Study Japanese a little bit, but giving up in 10 mins, watch Animes or movies instead. I still have time to study this evening.
16:10 Class is over.
16:00 wander around ﬁrst ﬂoor of dormitory, Chatting with other guys.
16:30 Meet some Japanese friend to talk.
18:30 Feel so sleepy,. Think of take a small nap for 15min. Then, plan to go ahead studying after waking up.
17:30 Conversation is over. 18:00 Dinner and watch Friends (American sitcom). 19:30 Go to tipness. 20:00 Exercises( running machines , Yoga, hip-hop etc.). 22:30 Tired, way to home is so long… 23:00 Having sweet dreams.
21:00 Wake up by myself and regret that I should not sleep so much. Feel really hungry, so go out to cook dinner. Plan to study after dinner. 22:00 5 min of checking email before studying would be a good idea. Unfortunately, it takes 4 hours (Coincidentally ﬁnd close old friend on MSN Message, ﬁnd something interesting to download, and etc.) And, it is already 2 a.m. in the Saturday morning. So Plan well on how to study the next day but also put the schedule of Sat night for “clubbing and f---ing Japanese Girls”
Saturday, by Rem Before 8:00 Sleeping of course!! (I just got to bed at 6 am!) 8:00-10:00 Sleeping more 10:00-12:00 Aghhh, do I gotta get up? 12:00 Stuﬀ food in my face-maybe old sushi or kimchi. And pour maetcha coﬀee in there too! 13:00 Ponder doing work. Fail. Play Warcraft. Download some new mp3 for my ipod or a new movie 15:00 scratch myself and “adjust” Bother Edwin, Antonio, Mike. Catch Mike with nana and no-pants on Throw up my breakfast 17:00 Go to okonomiyaki place by the dorm. Think about homework again. Fail to do it again 19:00 Go to Lawson to talk to the girls working there. Buy some chocolatealmonds. Play cattan with the guys. 21:00 Drink something maybe. Go to town maybe. Watch a movie maybe 23:00 The night is young… what to do now?
Sunday, by Iva Before 8:00 Going to bed after a party. If I haven’t gone clubbing->sleep 8:00 Still sleeping. 10:00 Wake up. Turn on the computer and play some music. Green tea and a sandwich for breakfast. Enjoy the lazy Sunday feeling ﬂoating in the air. 12:00 Head downtown/nara/kobe/banpaku/まだ観光しなかった所 13:00 Sight seeing. lunch. Sight-seeing again (indispensable for that purpose is of course the hoey lonely planet) 15:00 Still enjoying the new place… 17:00 Come back home, prepare dinner, relax a bit. 19:00 Start studying for the kanji test on Tuesday, read some materials for my independent study, go to Family Mart for a dessert. 21:00 Keep studying. 23:00 Do some stretching, study a bit more. 25:00 Go to bed. At last I can concentrate on the “Da Vinci Code”
OUSSEP Year schedule Around Sept. 21st arrival in Osaka
Sept. 22nd - 30th
Feb. 22nd – 28th
homestay in Shimane
ﬁeld trip to Kobe (law class)
22nd Alien Registration orientation
spring orientation, hanami in Banpaku
Japanese placement test
campus tour, cybermedia center and library orientation in Toyonaka, Wojtek’s birthday party
start of classes
campus tour in Suita
introduction of host families, opening
Apr. 28th – 29th
ceremony, introduction of supervisors
May 3rd – 5th
start of classes
tea ceremony, kimono try, bazaar at the
Chinese food party
Edwin’s birthday party
ﬁeld trip to incineration plant/sludge center
Hungarian dinner party
May 28th – 29th
AMIGOS trip to Satsuki Mountain
MCMU part 1
Iva’s birthday party
BSP welcome party, IRIS
Maike’s birthday party
Oct. 26th – 27th
overnight bus trip to Okayama
ﬁeld trip to Toyota, Jenny’s and Isaac’s birthday party
Nov. 4th – 7th
Korean dinner Party
MCMU part 2, Antonio’s birthday party
Shirley’s (Australia) birthday party
excursion to Bunraku theatre
ﬁeld trip to Seto Ohashi and Kurashiki
Aram’s birthday party
biotechnology ﬁeld trip
AMIGOS christmas party, Gun’s birthday party, clubbing
ﬁeld trip to Matsushita/Sanyo
Dec. 23rd – 26th
beginning of winter vacation
new years party at the dorm and in
AMIGOS Himeji tour
start of classes
big party at Fredu’s and Ida’s house
farewell party for Australian friends
Jul. 16th – 17th
overnight bus trip to Mount Koya
last day of OUSSEP classes
beginning of spring break
...Life is more than just studying
Host families While some people hardly met their host families, some of us were really taken care of: going for holiday with the family, visiting interesting places, enjoying home made food or in opposite, being taken to expensive restaurants. Unofﬁcially Wojtek’s host mother, Asahara-san was voted for being the friendliest person from our Japanese family members.
well, what to say about カラオケ? We all know that dazzling logo of the clown with the microphone who greets us every time we go to Karaoke Room (and some of us even see him when we drink our milk from our souvenir glasses;)). Yes, karaoke is more than an experience in Japanese life, it is the essence of the OUSSEP experience! A room full of people from all ends of the world, gathered in one place, singing (horribly) in one (drunken) voice; alas, it is global-unison. And now for the real goods: To my OUSSEP’ians, as you know, karaoke and its counterpart noumihoudai are either the start, end, or total experience of any night out in Ol’Saka. In the Japanese tradition of shortening everything down, we OUSSEP’ians have come to know this entertainment as 飲み-オケ. With stirring renditions of We Are the World (*we are the children*), and ear-bleeding beltings of Toto’s Africa, Noumi-Oke is what we all love and will so genuinely miss. I mean, how cool is it to be able to sit in a tiny room with 30 of your closest friends and down glass after glass after glass after....glass of ウイスキーソウァ (whisy sour)? And when it all runs out, you just pick up that snazzy phone and order another round from the delighted staff.;) To all my friends in the noumi-oke orchestra, *we are the world, we are the OUSSEP’ians*)
-Rem 86_OUSSEPIANs 2004-5
i am Geisha - Esther
Clubbing “Ola Osaka is one of the best cities in Japan for clubbing – after Tokyo of course.” Most of the nightclubs are situated in Shinsaibashi, around Amemura. There are also some nice clubs in Umeda such as Sazae which has opened in July 2004. which have actually one of the best atmosphere (where we celebrate Gun’s Bday) In Shinsabashi we can ﬁnd many: Underlounge has nice gogo dancers … Antonio knows about it well, just take care of some kicks ﬂying around. Joul is especially good for its cyber trance events every 2nd Saturday of each month ... lots of ayu-girls n boys, not good for nampa. At Z Bar there are often gaidai party, pretty nice btw.) Zion, Triangle… About Sam n Dave in Umeda n Shinsaibashi, it’s the club to go to pick up … so, don’t be too much surprised about gaijins’ “nampa” behavior. But this is part of the reputation of Sam n Dave so that Japanese girls go there … (Anton wa, it is called meat market in Sweden…) well .. musik is okey, not so good though, quality of speakers too. Every genre. Ho a new nightclub opened recently in Shinsaibashi called Pure (maybe they mistaken with puke .. u know Engrish in Japan…), they offer nomihodai event too. everytime, 3000 yen for guys 2000 yen for girls, but we haven’t been yet.
By Raphael (written in French)
Sento Nothing feels better than dipping into a large pool of hot, steaming water on a cold winter’s night. Your entire body basks in the heat, leaving you feeling full, clean and pleasantly exhausted. With it’s iconographic ゆ, the sentos proved to be one of the ultimate Japanese experiences. Many still being family run, they cost around 360 yen for a variety of tubs and the sauna. In most countries, the image of men going to have a bath together is somewhat…inappropriate. Here it became a winter ritual, socializing in the tub or helping scrub each other’s backs. Of course, there were certainly the more crazy of us who competed in the sauna (and came out looking like takoyaki), stuck their heads into the electronic bath (and ended up seeing stars for days), and, in the middle of a snowy, Osakan winter, soaked full body in the freezing mineral tub.
huge tub with the ability to stretch your legs was one of utter bliss. The steam gently rising with a soft cloth on top of your head provided relaxation from the busy and hectic torments of a typical oussep day. Sitting on top of his raised platform, the owner always provided a source of conversation and gossip, even though we were hard pressed to understand his extremely strong Osaka dialect. The sento was more than just a bath or a way to relax: the entire experience was like the building up of blocks to deepen the friendship we all now take for granted. -Anton There is a sento not far from the boys’ dorm, cheap and cozy, something I would call local social. We still have a plan to rent out the place for an entire night and have a naked party girls and boys together – of course. -Anonymous
The overall feeling of slipping into a OUSSEPIANs 2004-5 _87
Parties in the dorm Started with Wojtek’s birthday party where the 4 liter bottle of whisky did its best: we were already loud enough to provoke complaints in the ﬁrst week. The main show was undoubtedly when Anton and ~io appeared, dressed up like geishas. Flashes blinking, kawaii!!! There were some other mad parties, some of them unplanned. Once we were just playing Catan in the common room, “let’s have some drinks” Rem said, then Antonio arrived back from Umeda with the girls… that’s how it started. We ended up dancing on Attila’s bed, almost destroying it, pouring foam on everyone and everything, jumping around like monkeys while pulling others’ pants off… And about the shower, Gun made the statement of the year: “Be careful, there is water, man!” Ramona’s and Camilla’s farewell-nomihodai in KitaSenri, when Rem almost lost his eye, was followed by an extreme party but many people still don’t remember how they got back to the dorm. Anyway if there is no crazy party like these and no one is passing out, one can hear “Hey! Let’s call some tits!”. Karn, the Real Party Animal !
Field trips These are the Kinder Eggs (pig in the bag (Swedish) or the cat in the sack (Hungarian) or whatever) of the OUSSEP… One should imagine an irritating long bus trip where the provided bentos look good but aren’t very tasty. And ﬁnally there is the experience of being an industrial spy. The choreograph performed by the robots welding the cars in the Toyota factory almost beats Gun dancing on the dance ﬂoor… But we can also remember the Japanese guys marching in two lines outside of Matsushita Electrics factory, all dressed up in suit, staring at us, baka gaijins shouting, ﬁghting or jumping on each other… just behaving perfectly un-Japanese. Attila
Overnight Trip Another thing just in the beginning of our time in this crazy place. One of the three most rainiest days in one of the three most beautiful gardens of Japan. Then off to a youth center known for its hard policy of folding the sheets. With meet coming out of our ears we had a campﬁre indoors and then as we remember it Martin (the strong man of the program) won in sumo. In the night some of the losers took care of their bruises in the sento, but we don’t want to go into details in that… They didn’t allow boys and girls into the sento at the same time. This was our ﬁrst disappointment about oussep. There was a boat trip, for a nice pic check out the front page of the new oussep syllabus. Right wojtek?
Ski trip Christmas time, and Rem had the exquisite idea to actually see some snow. Thank you for all the efforts! After changing the place just once the chance of a white xmas was secured. Veni, vidi, skiidi… Everyone brought something and we had a nice present sharing session. After that we killed each others feet in a nice polish fashion (chokolada marmelada raz dwa tri!). Another Wojtek event; break a piece of a host (cracker) from your friends’ hands while listening to what they have to say about your future. We were all very touched. Hontoni! Also this time there were some mixed baths going on, but we don’t remember any details….. Anton
OUSSEPIANs 2004-5 _89
THE GOLF CLUB Right after the spring vacation I had decided to join one of all the sport clubs at Osaka University. I chose between the tennis club and the golf club. The tennis club since I have played a lot of tennis during my upbringing, and the golf club with my family and friends back home in mind, ooh, they would be so happy if I did join the golf club. After not to much consideration, I decided to go for the golf club, simply because I imagined that it would be less practice than the tennis club. One sunny day, I found a bunch of golfers at Toyonaka campus and I tried to explain to them in my poor Japanese that I wanted to join their club. Instead of being honored, they told me that I couldn’t join unless I could speak Japanese. Almost desperate, I went home and literally grabbed Iva and told her to explain to them that I wanted to play golf in their golf club. Somehow, she managed to convince them that it should be fine and they let me join. So, now I was a member of the Osaka University Golf Club. Me and approximately 30 Japanese boys. Oh! The following week I got Fredu and Ida to join too and I felt more comfortable. Furthermore, the people in the club turned out to be really nice (they organized a great welcome party for us where we had the opportunity to see Japanese people in a way I didn’t know existed). What drives me crazy though, is when I, every time (no exceptions), have to spend thirty-fourty minutes waiting for the Japanese guys to get ready, but that is nothing, is it?! Yes, we know that Japan is a collectivistic country, but why shall it take at least half an hour after the set time, before we can leave the club house? I still don’t know what take them so long... And by the way, we shall not forget the farewells either. That also takes time. Especially since I have no clue, what so ever, the
”leader” is saying...but that is the way it is and is the beginning. It’s so nice to chat, drink and eat supposed to be, so I just smile and pretend I get it. grilled meat or sausages. The problem is that the neighbors don’t really share our views, and we Since I joined, the highlight was definitely when received many complaints because the few we went away to the golf course somewhere barbecues we had lasted until around 11PM. On between Osaka and Kobe, up in the mountains. top of that, the barbecue set we bought for Wow, we were going to play for the first time! As ourselves (we weren’t allowed to borrow the we arrived, I realized that it was going to be dorm’s set) got “stolen” or let’s just say that the tough. As Ida said, ”People who say golf is not a set was missing, the day after we had our last sport should come here!” A golf course up in the barbecue. Anyways it was fun, it’s just too bad mountains. Not only really tough, climbing up that the neighbors didn’t share our opinion. And and down, carrying all the clubs and stuff, but it is maybe not too bad that the set disappeared, also a really tricky court! Though I must say that because the weather has been really hot lately, and it was a terrific experience, there was so much it’s maybe better to grill your food in a cooler nature and we saw the sunset from there as well! place. I guess I should not mention that the manager of the course told us afterwards, that we were Fabien not allowed to play there, it was only for the people of Osaka University who D O R M I T O R Y R U L E S worked part time there. I guess we have been in Japan long enough to realize that After several months the dormitory management these words were addressed to the succeeded to kill all social life in the boys’ dorm. gaijins, i.e. Fredu, Ida and me, since Arigatoo! there have never before been a problem. Bakka gaijin! What’s funny is that the Attila course is called ”International Country Club”...well, what can I say?! Entering a club at Osaka University, I assume it doesn’t matter which one, is a great experience to understand the club activities which is a huge part of the university life and I highly recommend it, even though I might sound negative and I might leave it because of all the time I wast by waiting for the others... ;)
BBQ Barbecue, one of the things that are likely to bring people together. Well, it did… at
MOVIE NIGHTS Antonio, our Father, is the main organizer of the movie night series. Beside of being a good excuse to gather, the whole world was compressed into avi format and brought to Osaka.
LIVING OUTSIDE THE DORM - OR LIFE UNDER THE TABLE WITHOUT ANY FRIENDS One early morning, after preparing a bento for the road, I packed all my Japanese books, samurai swords and the little I had left of my Finnish salmiakki into my backpack and bid farewell to the dorm that I once called my home. I left behind me numerous memories from the first month, but also optimistically looked forward to a freer life together with Ida, who wasn’t even allowed to visit me in my room. I considered this kinda strange, as even her father had told me it was a little late to watch over her at her age--but apparently the dormlady stands over all of us mortals... The first order of business was to get a refrigerator home-delivered and get some furniture with which to fill up the empty corners. We were fortunately very lucky as Ida’s host-mother lent us a table and some heaters and the gas-man (from the gas-company) kindly lent us a gasstove for a year after seeing our old one. He just looked at it, shook his head and said “dame dame desu”, this one is too old and dangerous to use. So our life at our new home started out pretty well with our new neighbors giving us their old washing machine and all the other free stuff we got. All the people were so friendly and lent us a hand in every way possible. At first everything seemed to go perfectly...
the only white people living in our neighborhood as all the schoolgirls always pointed at us and said out aloud the word we all learned to take as our own, gaijin. Besides not living with other nabanjins or getting to know you guys as well as we would have liked to, the thing we learned to appreciate was the garbage system at the dorm. Or more exactly the option of being able to take out your garbage whenever you wanted to. Instead, in civilized Japan, you have to wait for the plastic day to put out your plastic in the street, early in the morning or the burnable garbage day to put out your burnable garbage. (Yeah, evidently plastic isn’t classified as burnable in Japan, even though it did burn quite sweetly last time I checked!). And if you forgot to put out your paper on either of those two days a month you were supposed to, you pretty much ended up waiting for two weeks for your next chance. (And people wonder why they have cockroaches inside!?!) And all the garbage had to be put into designated Toyonaka city garbage bags, which you would buy at your local supermarket. But we did learn a few tricks for putting our garbage out, e.g. by wrapping stuff inside your plastic garbage so that it would look legitimate or stashing the illegitimate stuff at the bottom of the bag. Something that really has been an experience is living on the floor, sleeping on tatami and hitting your head in the doors over a million times for a complete year. I guess that is something I will remember for the rest of my life and something I don’t have to do again... let’s just say I’ve had my share.
Until the day we started biking to school (which was pretty much the next day after we One of the more fun parts of living outside the moved in). We noticed that we probably were dorm (besides nobody checking who you enter y o u r apartment with) is having to learn how things work in practice in Japan. Going to the alien registration office (again!) trying to explain that you moved, and having to fill in a pile of papers while trying to explain that “no, not every civilization in the world uses
hankos to sign papers with”. Or fixing things like gas, water and electricity so that it actually works in your own hole in the
g ro u n d . Or every month, going to the landlord’s with the rent in your hand, sitting for a while in their guest-room, drinking tea, and discussing what has happened during the last month. This really worked as a measure stick, for how much Japanese we understood and could produce ourselves, as they spoke no English at all. At the end we didn’t even need that much sign language to explain our problems. This was a very nice way to pay the rent as the landlords got to know us better and we them, which in case of an emergency or a big problem would really have come in handy, as we could both trust each-other. I have written this with a bit of sarcasm in my left eye (so hard to shake it off…), so don’t get me wrong, it has all been really interesting and I have learned to take others stupidity (and not just my own!) with a bit of humor. ;) The experience of not living at a dorm in Japan no suru koto, has been great, I think. I guess I have gotten a pretty clear idea of how Japanese people live and how much bureaucracy and aisatsu there is in this society when you want something done. I guess I have really grown as a person, while not living at the dorm, but at the same time I hugely regret not being able to be with you guys as much as I would have liked to!!! Mooshi wake arimasendeshita.
Fredrik “nobody can surname” Rönnlund
Along the way to Osaka-jo, you can choose to genetic mutation, allowing each eye to focus on pass Nakanoshima Island and along the river different objects in different directions. Come to which gave early Osaka much of its life. You think of…it’s not a very pleasant The first time I did it was on a whim. will pass the proud Bank of Japan, the Osaka though is it? After a cooking event down at an elementary City Hall still basking in its prewar glory, and school in Suita, I decided to just try to make it in stark contrast, a small city of homeless into Osaka city. people with plastic houses along the sides of the Nakonoshima Park. And I made it. All the way to Umeda Sky Building, Osaka-jo and Tennoji. And all the It also acts as an eye opener: as you cycle way back. With no map. along the upper part of Tennoji past countless temples and shrines, you figure For many, it’s a crazy idea, but bicycling is out why Tennoji is written as 天王寺. incredibly relaxing. It allows you to clear your mind, and train your legs – excellent practice But most importantly, it allows you to for the long stretches of shopping we sometimes experience an important part of Japanese city indulge in. life. Where else can you learn the art There’s also an incredible sense of freedom, balancing your bicycle while holding three knowing that you’re not limited by train shopping bags and a keitai in one hand with timetables or other such things. The wind heavy groceries in your basket, while having to Observation: rushing past maneuver through a narrow roads People mount their bike by you, the and crowds of stepping on the left pedal, pushing off then b i c y c l e h o u s e w i v e s swinging their legs over the front of the bicycle, g e n t l y and school as opposed to over the back seat clattering, children? and the Explanation: 昔々、horses were small and For me, satisfaction shaped like bicycles. bicycling will of knowing be one of those Observation: People have an umbrella in one y o u ’ v e s m a l l , hand, their bicycles in another, their kids in achieved e v e r y d a y seats in the front and groceries in the back. something things that I today will miss. Now Explanation: Hey, how am I supposed to know? Taking that if you’ll excuse bicycle me, I’m just Karn allows you going to nip to see so down to Umeda THINGS YOU NEED IN 大 阪 much more on my bicycle than a JR for an うな丼。 You need to know where is the t r a i n (where you look down on people) or the The following could be used as a •100 Yen shoppu underground (where all you see is black): just a small box in the article, as a supplement. •Mr. Japan discount centre few minutes from Umeda towards Osaka Sky Building, the area is still quintessentially From the massive amount of bicycling I’ve •Izakaya’s with nice Asahi pitchers industrial Osaka, with light factories, trucks taken part in (My bicycle has racked up over •Matsumoto’s eatery and small container areas. 1,500 km in mileage), there are a few things that you tend to notice about Japanese and their •Karaoke rumu bicycling styles: •Liquor shops nearby
Observation: People can type e-mail w h i l e maneuvering the bicycle through a throng of other bicycles, elementary s c h o o l children, the odd たこ焼き
•Combinis with cute 16 year-old female shop attendants, so, nanpa dekiru •The nearest sento •A shop selling condoms (large enough) •The girls’ dorm •Place where you can collect your bike after got taken away
Things you definitely need to survive •Penknife
屋 and granny •Barbecue set road huggers •Alarm clocks, preferably one with Doraemon Explanation: •Keitai and all the … Something’s in the food that causes a
must be thought of prior. If the katana in It’s just another Monday, and I’m down in question has a unique design, arrangements Umeda co-teaching a group of elementary school children. Just in the beginning, a nice event to get to must be made to obtain it. know each other. Unfortunately blown away by It doesn’t come cheap either: for ready made In this particular class, the pay is decent, but two typhoons… We learnt how to kiss in costumes and related accessories, people can most importantly, there’s an incredible Polish, how to bow in Korean and how to wed spend way in excess of 50,000 yen to ensure amount of job satisfaction. The children are in China (congrats Edwin and Iva***). Also we an authentic presentation. In fact, there is an enthusiastic, having studied English at the got some insights in the mating rituals of entire market dedicated to these people: same school since the start of elementary magazines containing school. The materials provided are fun, varied Hungary -Anton patterns, pictures and the and provides real English practice. Over the latest in cosplaying good course of seven months, I have seen them are actually published and slowly growing and improving. hungrily consumed by But satisfaction isn’t just from academic these people. scores. You see people change. Haruka-chan, While such events the only girl in the class, started off as quiet conjure up images of as a mouse. Then you discover the key to drooling geeks, the vast unlocking her shyness away. While she’s still majority of them do not the quietest in the class, she now answers even fit the stereotype. questions, and you feel a sense of Most of them are accomplishment that you are finally able to normal people with real connect with your student. jobs who take a Sunday off to pursue a hobby, It’s at this point where the job transforms just as a baseball from a job into a work of love. It’s no longer enthusiast would about going in to work and grabbing the pay spend the weekends cheque, but about wanting to see these kids develop into something better. You become a playing the big brother of sorts, really sport and caring keeping up to date with the M C M U : latest. Not only do attractive Certain day in 2004 where each OUSSEP girls dress up, manly men also put on an equally manly participant presented their country. Either did costume from their favourite a serious presentation, or made fun of their anime or video game and go for country (and themselves). all to see.
COSPLAY When entering the hall, there is a buzz of excitement as flashes go off in the sea of shapes and colours. Besides Sony, sushi and takoyaki, Japan can lay claim to being the creators of another subculture. While many laugh at the mere thought of it, the actual process is a form of art. Cosplayers pay attention to minute details to ensure that the costume is perfect – bows must be of the right length, colours must match those of the original costumes. If there are a certain number of frills in the dress, that must be taken into account. Hairstyles
Kigurumi is another subculture of the cosplaying culture: these people don masks, wigs, and undershirts (to replicate the colour of the character’s skin) to make sure that everything is perfectly accurate. So while it seems strange to most people, cosplayers are much more than just those who take time off a b o u t to have fun: just like the Gothic Lolitas, they what happens to them and are dedicated, brave, and beautiful. knowing you’re a part of the process. Teaching is probably one of the most powerful Karn professions in the world: you have the ability to shape and change people.
T EACHING E NGLISH
And it’s not just them which benefits. Their My face breaks out into a hard work, their playfulness provides huge, silly grin as they walk encouragement of sorts. You may go in in. feeling tired, but absolutely refreshed at the end of the day. “Yo! How are you? Hey Ryouta, feeling okay? But it’s not only the teaching experience that Looking good there Makito! matters. My boss, Akira Yoshida is an Hi Haruka-chan!” extremely well informed person, and we chat for more than an hour after the lesson is over. Throughout the hour, I It’s impossible to understate how much you become someone else. I smile can learn from talking to older people. and flash silly faces at Haruka-chan to keep her Teaching in Japan. It was more than just the engaged. I make sure that money: it changes your world. It certainly Yukiya gets a chance to say did with mine. things so he can show off his ability. Although the best of Karn them all, efforts are made to keep Makito a bit quieter. 93
Aug 2, 2005; 23:30 “Why I have to leave my last OUSSEP party earlier to work on yearbook?” This question pop up to my mind now. I cannot attend Closing Ceremony because my ﬂight back will be in the morning of 8 August. So, today is my last party. Why I leave it too early?… So bad! I have to work to ﬁnish the yearbook by tonight… These days when I worked so hard on yearbook, I always asked myself why I need to work so hard on it instead of having happy time with other guys, work part-time job to get money, or, at least, study for myself. Unfortunately, even now writing this last comment, I could not ﬁnd “the good answer” to clarify why I have to work for yearbook so hard yet. (Even I do not really like to work on it, but I feel like it is my responsibility to ﬁnish it anyways). But, even I cannot answer the question exactly, I am sure of myself at least one thing. I hope that this yearbook, which I invested lots of time on it, would be
Gun told me to write something for the yearbook committee page about my feelings and as advice he gave that “it is just like when u buys a cd of one singer, then they will have some personal message what they want to say and whatever”. So, I want to thank all my loyal fans, my mother, Scar-face Jimmy and Ugly-Monkeysmuggla-Irwin for kicking the shit out of all the people who ever doubted me... Ok, but for real, we the people-group had a few meetings that nobody every took too seriously (I’m not pointing any ﬁngers, but Shirley, you know what I mean! ^_^), the end was a bit stressful with all the design and stuff but we got everything done in time. My only message to yall is that I will miss all of you guys ‘n’ gals, more than the Mountain, Ocean and the Sky combined. I hope this yearbook will bring back all the good memories we’ve had together and I hope to meet all of you some day again! Fredu - the Head of People Section, The OUSSEP webmaster
A book giving smile on your face whenever you open it. No matter as soon as u got it, or even in the next 10 years, 20 years, or even after that. A book bringing your back to the time we spent and shared it together in Japan. It would be surely “the really sweet old days” for all of us. A book where u can ﬁnd your close friends comments and their pictures, and do not forget the keep in touch with them after reading this. And, the last thing I would like to say to everyone is that “I would miss u guys a lot; especially who u know by yourself that u mean a lot to me, and always be really close to my heart”. I am sorry that I cannot say goodbye to all of u. It would be too sad for me to handle it thought. So, enjoy reading this yearbook! GUN P.S. Ya! I also would love to thanks lots of guys working together to make this yearbook happen.
Wojtek, I really appreciate your cooking even I never really said that. It is so good when I worked so hard on yearbook alone and u always came to offer me the food u cooked and prepared in extra for me, so I can spend more time working on it. Thx so much. Attila, Hey! WORK! WORK! WORK! Lazy Bustard! (but, frankly, thx so much on your work. u are my very close friend, though) Iva, thx for being great secretary of OUSSEPians. Also, personally, I really love your morning calls service. That’s so sweet of u. Maria, how about being Editor for the ﬁrst time? Enjoy working on it? U did it well anyways. Fredu, thx for working so hard on the website. Also thx for every single time u came to help me work on yearbook at the dorm. That really cheer me up on to work on yearbook too coz I feel like I did not work alone for the yearbook anymore.
It’s amazing to see how an idea turn into a structure and develops step by step. The work on the yearbook was an excellent exercise in journalism and management. I feel that I’ve learnt a lot by working in our team. The yearbook project was intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun as well Iva - OUSSEPIAN Secretary Through “time” section, I hope you could remind our one year easily and could get idea of daily lives of some “typical” Oussepians. Thanks to you reading this page now (^ ^), and specially thanks to our members, Dingding, Maria, and Maike. I believe that the TIME we spent together will be alive whenever you open this book. Seo Mi Khung - the Head of Time Section As head of the place section I’d like to thank the people who helped writing, editing and lay-out the articles, especially the core of the section: Mr. Kim, Anton, Iva, Maria and Li Jinxi. It was fun working together and I think it worked out pretty well. For the place section we decided to divide the topic in three levels: our life in the dorms and at the campus, zooming out to Osaka and further to Japan. We wrote about places that inspired us, surprised us, party places, holiday destinations, positive points, negative remarks etc... Places with special memories and places we wanted to remember. I hope the topics we wrote about provide a shared memory for everybody.
Let’s Photoshop together!! Attila 98_OUSSEPIANs 2004-5
Esther - the Head of Place Section
The OUSSEPian 2004-2005