Our Friends In The North

Learning Japanese (I Think I'm Learning Japanese, I Really Think So)

Click the clockWhen I first told The Belated Birthday Girl that I was going to do this, she looked at me like I had the word 'twat' tattooed on my forehead. Or, worse still, 'blogger'...

- opening paragraph from Mission Statement: or, Burning The Hole In The Ozone Layer Of The Blogosphere, posted 14/07/2006

And now, nearly two years after that was written, The BBG has become a blogger herself. Oh, how are the sexy fallen.

To be fair, when The BBG complains about bloggers, generally she's complaining about the ones who clutter up huge amounts of the interweb while having nothing interesting to write about. And having nothing interesting to write about isn't something she could be accused of at the moment. Because a couple of weeks ago, at the beginning of April, she flew to Japan for a three-month study trip. She's currently based in Sapporo, where she's taking a ten-week Japanese language course that allows her to extend her knowledge far beyond what she could achieve in her weekly London evening classes.

This was a pretty big step for her, obviously, and required a fair amount of planning and preparation to arrange. And as she trawled through the internet looking at possible schools and so on, she wondered why there wasn't a handy one-stop shop for anyone else who required this information. So she decided to set one up herself. Which is fair enough: after all, the travel pieces on this site you're reading right now work to a similar brief, trying to cover lots of practical details for anyone willing to follow in our footsteps (or train tracks).

So for three months only, The BBG In Japan will document what she's up to over there. So far, she's written about the thinking that went into her choice of Sapporo as a study location: her journey to Japan: the process of settling in at the dormitory where she's staying: and what her first couple of weeks as a student have been like. All the little niggles and annoyances that she's encountered along the way are documented there, so that other people won't be niggled and annoyed in the future. At present the blog's almost entirely about her academic experience, but she's suggested that other topics may be the subject of future posts: as you'd imagine from what you already know about her, she's eating in interesting places and seeing at least one Japanese language film a week, so there's plenty of potential material there.

Give The BBG In Japan a visit, and tell her I sent you. And expect some sort of crossover event in mid-June...


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