Stranger Danger: A Crash Course in Ass-Kicking

School, bus stop, nihongo renshuu: take 2. Wahoo! Today I felt a little less horrible with grammar, still not-so-hot but it’s all good. Afterwards we had a bike safety/self-defense workshop, in which we were kindly lectured at in a dash of English and a bucketload of Japanese. There was a whole shloop of people, but most notable were the two lovely bicycle police women. They had adorable outfits, great props to flash around, and they kept inserting random pieces of English into their presentation that just sounded so cute! The starting line of a broken “I cannot speak English” definitely helped. It was just super sweet and we got these squishy key chains at the end with a chibi keisatsu (police person) on one side and some writing I don’t remember on the other. T’was very nice.

Then bike training ended and we slipped on over to self-defense, which was the typical ‘grab a bro here and have them get out of it’ structure. The leading guy demonstrated and probably went through about 6 or 7 stranger danger stances/reactions, and we practiced all of them with a partner. Ana & I went back and forth as thug & victim, and lemme tell you, I think we’re ready to kick someone’s ass. We went above and beyond the ‘suggested’ mugging stances and played around with some improv, so we’re ready man. Bring it on. Then the instructor guy ended with him mock-attacking his partner and getting flipped on his back in response, and damn if I couldn’t tell whether the horrid sound that followed was the floor or his back. Oh well, he walked out of there so it’s fine, right?

Next was a 3 hour lunch break, I need to find a way to entertain myself during that jesus. Today me and Lizzie and Steph did the food together, then Steph had class so Lizzie & I chilled in the library to her sweet beats, but tomorrow I think I’m rolling solo, so who knows what’ll happen? Once class did start I found out I’ll be getting a couple more field trips thrown in, plus some interesting readings on cultural identity and other Japanese good-ness. Looks hype. That concluded the day though, which was nice and laid back. Praise.

Made me way happily home today, although I stopped at the hyaku-en shop (legit dollar store) to find some mango and matcha candy (separate) plus milk tea. The header image is one little chunk of the store, and guess what? Literally everything you see is 1 USD. This country is a wonderland for this and this alone, good lord. Seriously, if you come to Japan make your way to one of these babies and get your mind (and taste buds) blown. Once I concluded my business there it was home for me, short and sweet, although since I was feeling confident I took a slight detour and ended up passing this oishisou ramen shop, which caught my eye by advertising -asskicking hot noodle-. Challenge accepted, ramen shop. I’m coming for you. It’s called Hachinobo and I’ll update y’all on it in the future.


Time came and passed, then it was 6:30. What happened then, you ask? Gaijin happened. We (we = all AKP students) were on the news today, 6:30 not-so-sharp on the NHK local report. I only saw myself briefly, but they recorded most of our workshop today and we were all up there, clowning faces on any turned-on tv in Kyoto. As I said I only made a brief appearance, but here are a few crappy screenshots of Lizzie and Steph, respectively.

Dinner tonight was log cabbage, which was like a swank golabki with extra veggies inside, plus a spaghetti-mayo-egg-tomato salad and rice, as per usual. Super yum, plus dessert of mame-mochi and an azuki-topped mochi cake, the name of which I know not. Both delicious and from this store called Demachi Futaba, which is on my way to school and something I need to hit up asap. They apparently have kuzu-manju, which I’d love to try, so putting that on the to-do list.


After dinner okaa-san and I got on talking about Kansaiben, which is the dialect of the Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, Mie, Hyogo and Wakayama). Otou-san & okaa-san use a few bits of it, so I wanted to know what’s happening. Here are a few pieces of it:

an = azuki
akan = dame
okini = arigatou
dondon = very/a lot
shiran = shirimasen
burabura = rambling
soudosuka = soudesu-ka
= nandeshita-ka
doushitan = doushimashita-ka

There’s way more but I can’t find anything else in my daily notes, so ’tis all for now. Oh, and fun fact for closing the day: apparently there’s this game called wanage in Japanese where you have a ring (wa) of rope or something, and you try to throw it (nage) onto an animal’s tail. Apparently okaa-san used to do this all the time, and tonight she absolutely adorably tried to win by getting a rope on Miao-chan – 2 attempts and a 1/2 win later she managed to get it on Chiro-chan’s ear. When I didn’t know what this was I was watching the madness amazedly, and even now it’s super entertaining. Video-worthy things. Here’s a cute shot of Miao-chan, aka the post cover shot!



*super fun fact: arubaito (part-time job) is a katakana word, and I always wondered where the hell it originally came from. Apparently it’s from (post-)WWII relations with Germany. I can’t tell you how soulfully joyous I am to finally know of this origin.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Patricia nagy says:

    Hi Elizabeth glade to see your ready for self defense but you must have a black belt or some other color alreadyno trouble finding your way home today love grandma


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