Finally Fall is here as the weather gets cooler and cooler. Eating mackerels is a Japanese customs or habit to welcome the new season. This also marks the end of our simmering hot days!
Discount ticket shops are shops where people sell their unwanted tickets, cards and vouchers, and where people can buy them at a discount of up to 5% off the original price. The shops are always located around major train stations with a shinkansen stop. In Shinjuku, there are many outside the West gate and I find that the furthest one provides the best savings, although negligible to most people.
In Japan, oranges and apples are the major domestic fruits but the sales for them has been declining. Replacing them in the fruits sales chart is bananas from South-east Asia. I'm not a big fan of bananas, but if you want a convenient fruit to eat when you're lazy to wash hands or grab a knife, bananas are your best choice.
The cherries season is usually in the spring season around April. Japanese cherries are smaller and more reddish than the Californian cherries. Oddly, Japanese cherries are more expensive than their Californian counterparts and tasted more sour. For example, one small box of Japanese cherries costs 700yen but the Californian cherries costs 450yen. I'll prefer the Californian cherries anytime.
Due to cost-cutting measures, I decided to walk all the way from my dorm to Shinjuku station to meet my friend. This would save me 130yen instead of taking a train and getting 35mins worth of walking exercise. This is equivalent to a plate of Kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi! And oh, I get to see the Danjiri Matsuri (Japanese: Festival) at the West exit of Shinjuku station as well!
I passed my Japanese Language Proficiency Test level 2 again!!! This time with higher rate than my just previous passing score of 240/400 taken 9 years ago. Everyone, including the teachers, thought that it was rather easy to pass this year's level 2 examination based on the higher passing rate than previous years.
Looking at my results slip, grade B is actually between 34~66%. What this means is even if you failed your grammar, you can still receive a grade B. Strange isn't it? Moreover, they did not reveal the passing mark so no one knew exactly where the line was drawn. It was rumored that if you scored more than 19/60 for example, in Listening Comprehension, you could still pass, provided that the overall score was decent.
For those of us who had taken the 5500yen test in Japan, we need to pay an additional 1000yen if we want to receive the A4 size certificate. I'll think about forking out that cash if I pass N1.
Some of us visited the Cheese research center. What they do is to research on what kind of cheese that Japanese like. Based on their findings, Japanese typically like cheese which has 1)No strong fermented smell, 2)Not sticky, 3)White color. Although they were told by Europeans that their cheese is really bad, but they don't mind because Japanese likes it.