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Messages - karta

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I'd like to participate but don't have a team  :cry:

Events Archive / Re: YETI Ski Trip 2014
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:08:22 PM »
YAY! Fred I LOVE my room :D :D :D

But I can't help but feel a little sorry for Nick.

You know he won't care.  Besides, with beautiful girls in his room, why should he have a need to complain?

It's our first official AJET block 4 event!  But, we are open to everyone, not just JETs or English teachers  :)

If you know the Nash 500, this event was modeled in a similar style.  Participants will race around Tokyo to take pictu, res of famed locations and complete strange and fun tasks!  You will be placed on a team with members from various prefectures because this is a mixer event!  But, we will try to make sure that you're also on a team with someone you know so that you can be comfortable and make new friends in the process.
You will be able to contact your teammates via facebook and coordinate.  We will post the teams ahead of time which is why you need to RSVP by January 27th!

Date: Feb 1st
Time: 12:30pm-?? (8:00pm reservation)
Meeting Spot 1 (12:30pm): Shinjuku Southern Terrace Exit on the terrace in front of Starbucks and Krispy Kreme
Meeting Spot 2 (5:45pm): The Pink Cow (Roppongi)
Cost: Dinner is 2000yen per person plus the cost of your train pass

For more details, check and RSVP here:

Events Archive / Re: YETI Ski Trip 2014
« on: November 29, 2013, 01:32:12 PM »

1. Name :Sarah and Nick

2. Which package are you taking? 2 nights and 1 day pass

3. Gear Rental: Yes / No?
A no for me but Nick might need everything, I'll let him get back to you on sizes and whatnot

4. Lessons? Boarding or Skiing? Level? None for me.  Nick might like a skiing lesson.

5. Do you want a polo shirt? A hoodie? What size and name (20 characters max) ? No thanks

6. Transport Situation ? Driving.

7. Other Information: (planning to stay only one night / vegetarian meals required / etc)
I'm bringing more shippu than you can shake a stick at so no complaining about the old lady smell emanating from me the day after snowboarding, people!

Events Archive / Re: Annual YETI Thanksgiving Potluck!!
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:12:36 PM »
Never enough desserts.

Events Archive / Re: Annual YETI Thanksgiving Potluck!!
« on: November 12, 2013, 03:04:18 PM »
They certainly had them when I went, but they are HUUUUUGE. I hope they have smaller ones when yall go.

Though I will say, even if you do get a smaller one they are probably frozen, and you may not have time to thaw AND cook a turkey for Sunday evening if you buy it on Saturday.

Yeah, I don't know the size of your ovens but it won't fit in Wag's or really any table top oven. You might be able to work around it by cutting it in half and doing it haphazardly that way.
 This is an example of what was there when Terra and I went to Costco last month:     
This is probably the exact same thing, actually. They are supposed to thaw for a full day before being cooked.  They aren't designed for any table top ovens, really but they do fit in most ovens the size that you have in your schools.  They might have smaller ones but the smaller birds were chickens when we went.

Last year, we resorted to buying pre-cooked chickens from Costco and then heating up in the microwave last year.  They are much smaller but you need to buy several.

Junior High School / Re: Eiken practice interview scenarios
« on: November 08, 2013, 12:45:28 PM »
Thank you so much! :-D


Junior High School / Eiken practice interview scenarios
« on: November 08, 2013, 09:41:45 AM »
Does anyone have any Pre-2kyuu (準2級) practice interview scenarios?  By that, I just mean the picture/passage along with the accompanying interview questions.

Last year, I shared a book with my JTE that had a ton of them but this year, the JTE is gone and I can't find any copies or extras without paying.

Does anyone have scans or even a link?  The official practice one from Eiken themselves I have (the one of the people in the station). I'm looking for more.

Events Archive / Re: Annual YETI Thanksgiving Potluck!!
« on: November 08, 2013, 09:19:34 AM »
Is anyone bringing a microwave?

Events Archive / Re: Annual YETI Thanksgiving Potluck!!
« on: November 05, 2013, 02:28:34 PM »
Normally I bring mashed potatoes but there seems to be an excess this year, so I'll bring mac and cheese.

Nick is coming but I have no idea what he is bringing.

General Stuff / Re: Hair Coloring
« on: October 08, 2013, 02:18:41 PM »
Gala would probably be the place to go for someone who is completely experienced with blonde hair.  I've only been once but it was a good experience and Koki will consult with you in English to get the perfect color.  However, it was pretty expensive.  I thought it was a fair price for the service, though.  A color and cut was just slightly less than 10,000 after a 10% discount.

I have been to Jammin' a few times in the past, there's one walkable from Yamanashishi station though I used to always go to the Kose shop.  Hirai is the owner  and pretty experienced working with gaijin hair. He speaks some English though not fluent and is just generally really foreigner friendly.  I haven't been in maybe 2 years but at that time, he gave quite a discount to foreigners (I think it was as high as 20-30%).  I think the color and cut was less than 7000 at that time. The other plus is you can also make an appointment online.  The downside is that the shop in Kofu (Kose) would be hard to get to without a car depending on your location.  Though you can take a train down to the Yamanashishi shop.

Events Archive / Re: Autumn Pub Quiz!!
« on: September 30, 2013, 11:31:15 AM »
Nick and I will be there  :-D

YETI Announcements / Re: YETI Spaghetti, September 13th, 2013
« on: September 13, 2013, 09:45:15 AM »
Lineng is the Fashion editor at Connect magazine now :)

Events Archive / Re: Fuji Climb 2013
« on: August 27, 2013, 05:09:53 PM »
Mike  pointed this out but I think it really deserves some reiteration.

You MUST take your phone and turn it off to conserve battery at some point.  I also recommend sticking with a group and using the buddy system.  Those who wander off on their own have gotten lost on their way down the mountain, ended up in Shizuoka and couldn't call anyone. You also may not have cell phone reception the whole way on the down path so it will honestly just work out better to stick with a small group. It has happened multiple times and it costs lots of time and money and you will likely fill like crap just having climbed a mountain and will not feel like going through the trouble it takes getting from Shizuoka to your home in the nash.

Events Archive / Re: Welcome Party 2013
« on: August 27, 2013, 05:04:27 PM »
Half of the Hokuto schools will be having their Sports/Culture Days on the 7th-8th and thus likely won't be able to come as I believe those schools all require their ALTs to work both days.  I'm guessing that they all know it, though :)
Sutama, Takane, Akeno and Izumi all have work those days.  The rest don't.

I haven't been able to find anything relating to any of these two, so I thought I'd combine them :3

I've been slowly trying to make my apartment feel more friendly, and these are the last two big items.  I know LifeGarden in Nirasaki has a place to buy air conditioners, but I wasn't sure if they installed or not.  As for beds, I don't even know where to start.

Does anyone have any advice for either of these, or any tips on where to get the most value?  (And for me personally, the closer to Hokuto, the better)

Hmm...a real air con in Hokuto with real installation is going to need our supervisor's approval, since we live in teacher's housing.  The cost will also be epic for this type.  Sara and I have aircon/dehumidifying units which sit on the floor (not mounted on the wall) and we basically vent it outside with cardboard and duct tape.  I am not sure about hers but mine is not very powerful but if I sit directly in front of it plus a fan, it is better than nothing.  I bought mine off of a leaving JET but Lifegarden, J-Mart, Kuroganeya may have them. 

They do have a limited amount of beds at J-Mart, D2 and Kuroganeya. 

Non-YETI Social Gatherings / Re: Tokyo Orientation Dinners 2013
« on: July 24, 2013, 10:13:59 AM »
I got my schedules from AJET and looks like I will be working until 8pm both days so I won't be able to come to dinner at all but may be able to join up for karaoke depending on what time(s) you do.

I have really, really long days so I'm working til 7am~8pm most days so I can't stay out super late, either.

Non-YETI Social Gatherings / Re: Tokyo Orientation Dinners 2013
« on: July 23, 2013, 01:59:56 PM »
That is all fine and good, but how does this change the timing of things?

I am concerned about finishing on time to take the last normal train back (because I am a huge cheap-ass) to get back that night.

Roppongi isn't all that far from Shinjuku, really.  But, you have to factor in the walk from the shinjuku oedo line subway station to the actual train station which, in itself, takes maybe a little less than 10 minutes because the oedo line is really buried underground.

Also, I'm guessing you already made reservations for Gonpachi?  That place can get rather packed on the weekends vacations.

It can get pretty expensive if you want a full meal, too.  But, it's an izakaya so not bad but everyone's price is gonna get bumped up crazy high if we all split the bills and order whatever we want....

Non-YETI Social Gatherings / Re: Tokyo Orientation Dinners 2013
« on: July 23, 2013, 12:40:07 PM »
Just a tip for anyone who often uses the Azusa Kaisuken to get to Shinjuku.  (Discount tickets bought through access station vending machines like the one outside of Kofu station between the gyudon place and karaoke place):
The Obon blackout dates when you can't use the tickets are August 11th~August 20th this year so you should be good to use them back and forth to the tokyo orientations if you so wish.  One year, the obon blackout dates were like August 5th~August 15th or something and I couldn't use them.  Just thought you should know!

Lame sauce.

So Emily dropped off a full year of pay stubs I had scanned and emailed last night (which they told us would be fine) and the cop decided to call an audible.  She also had a business card on her with the company and her bosses name on it but was told that the cop has to ask his supervisor to see if they will accept what he said was acceptable yesterday.


I'm no usually one for griping but the flip flopping with both Emily and her JTE about the paperwork really bakes my bacon.

Go figure.
Before I went, they told my JTE over the phone that I needed to have a letter from the KY DMV showing that I had a driving record since I was 16.  I needed to show it to not have to have a green driving sticker (not a big deal, but still).  So, I brought a letter from the KY DMV which included my clean driving record from forever ago.  When I got there, letter in hand, they literally tossed the letter aside and said "英語読めない” (I can't read English).  It was not only really rude, but what did they expect a letter from an DMV in America to look like?  Of course it's going to be in English.  It ended up that I didn't need it anyway.  Lots of trouble and a bad attitude for nothing.

Non-YETI Social Gatherings / Re: Tokyo Orientation Dinners 2013
« on: July 17, 2013, 03:00:37 PM »
Great, I am getting a good idea of what needs to be done. Obviously, I would much prefer to NOT send out a letter as I feel like a bit of a cheat. However, I will write one up this week or next and send it if I need to.

Sarah, how were your board of education about you doing AJET stuff? Did you get a letter sent to you?

It's slightly complicated but CLAIR sends a letter to the AJET Chair which in turn sends another letter with mostly the same info and then passes it on to all the council members' BOEs.  The BOE was perfectly cool with it as it's written in pretty formal Japanese.  I also had a meeting with my supervisor in April about AJET and told him at that time that I would be working at the orientations and the AJET chair also sent out a pretty awesome explanation of AJET and what they do.   Kocho grumbled about it slightly because that's what he does but it was cleared with everyone.

I suggest that Wagner and Chandre also have a chat with their BOEs right now and let them know they are YETI reps and all that that entails.  That way, as long as you send a letter in English, I think you guys will be fine.  Whether or not you can get clearance for everyone who wants to come to be able to come sans nenkyu is going to be a challenge.

Just realized that Waggy isn't going anyway.  Well, anyway, sending a letter is a perfectly appropriate thing to do for the community but it doesn't mean that people won't have to take nenkyu, still depends on how their BOEs see it.  I think it's more understandable for those who are on the council, but maybe some BOEs won't see it as legit since they don't really know who you are?  It's worth a shot.

Non-YETI Social Gatherings / Re: Tokyo Orientation Dinners 2013
« on: July 16, 2013, 05:11:19 PM »
I plan on going to both   :-)

General Stuff / Re: Travelling to Aomori
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:01:23 PM »
I have a friend living in Aomori and she usually flies (I think) but she took the bus the last time she went to Tokyo for like 5000 yen.  She just takes the cheapest seat but she gave me the site and I've been thinking of going and taking the more premium seats since I cant sleep on buses in general.  Take a look, it might be helpful.  Leaves from Tokyo, though

Events Archive / Re: SAYOUNARA PARTY 2013 - THE FINAL POST
« on: July 09, 2013, 03:34:10 PM »
To be honest Sarah, it is difficult to get right.
I think anybody in the same situation would understand that it is a shitty year for setting a date. Can't do it before the JLPT weekend, and the two weekends after are not perfect either.
At the very least, everything else is pretty much spot on. Its the best that can be done considering how crappy the dates are this year.

I woulda set it for the weekend of June 29th. Less than a month before everyone goes but doesn't get in the way of final goodbye weekends or holidays. Bit of a crunch time for JLPT folks, but they could probably use one night of stress relief a week before the exam. I don't think it was an impossible situation. Just my 二円 though.

Hell, that way even Coleman could have come, at least according to his original plan... and I know last year's council were all huge fans of Coleman and woulda loved to have seen him again one last time  :evil:

Actually, I briefly asked him about June as he was leaving and he sighed and said "chotto...."
KEEP apparently gets booked totally up as your council learned.  I left it at that and didn't check more specifically at all. 

Events Archive / Re: SAYOUNARA PARTY 2013 - THE FINAL POST
« on: July 09, 2013, 01:07:21 PM »
As you can see, this year was particularly sucky with dates anyway.

The JLPT was last Sunday and thus last Saturday was out for a lot of people.  This weekend was 3 day weekend and anytime after that is crunch time for most people as it's 1 or 2 weeks prior to departure for most JETs.

Next year, the JLPT will fall earlier, on the 5th and the 3 day weekend will be pushed to the weekend of the 19-21.  So, it will be much easier next year as nothing will be going on the weekend of the 12-13. 
Even though our council still planned on changing the date, we would have been screwing up all those who planned to take the JLPT.  It was kind of a no-win situation.

Events Archive / Re: SAYOUNARA PARTY 2013 - THE FINAL POST
« on: July 08, 2013, 02:26:06 PM »
When we were checking out, the guy said he went ahead and put us down for next year on the 13th and because we didn't have any plans or calendar on the spot, we said that was cool and asked if we needed to change it later, to get back with him.  We did realize it was a bad day soon after that but there was a little bit of a back and forth about it because basically every weekend in July is bad for a lot of people and we thought, in the end, it probably wouldn't matter.  The first weekend is typically JLPT and the 3rd weekend, people are starting to leave or are only a week before leaving and thus don't want to take the time to go to a party, they wanna pack. The last weekend is Tokyo Orientation anyway. We batted around with just holding it on Friday but realized people wouldn't wanna make the drive to Kiyosato after work.


They have a deal going on where if you have an iPhone from AU or Softbank they will give you 2 mon just to switch over. Although that money went to some closing account fees it was still nice. So far docomo rocks but like all contracts there's a lot of hidden fees they tack on that you should have to cancel a few months after the contract.

I intially was trying to get a new iphone from softbank but they do check your visa if you're going to pay by payments and they only do 2 year contracts for the payments...mine visa just happened to be 1 year, 10 months left at the time and they wouldn't even allow me to pay those two extra months ahead of time.

Docomo does 1 year or 2 year contracts on payments for cell phones.

How long is that switchover deal going? My contract with softbank is up this September, and if they refuse to give a contract based on my visa then I will need other options  :-P

Whenever you head out to get your new phone, just ask.  Wag switched from AU to Docomo and Nojima gave him 4man worth of store credit.  You can buy a new TV with that. The deals seem to be happening all the time but are generally only if you switch from one company to another, not if you stay the same. 

I have recontracted with AU a few times and they have never asked for my visa info and I just gave them my driver's license for ID.  Nick switched from Softbank to Docomo and they only asked for his ID, too.  So, he gave his DL.
Maybe softbank is the only one really strict about that?
When I recontracted with AU this past time, I even TOLD them I was leaving Japan before the two years, still got a new phone and they just shrugged and told me about the cancellation fee and if there was any money left to pay on the phone, I would have to pay it.  They didn't deny me a new phone or new contract, though.

I've heard good things about the Xperia. It is contender for my next phone actually and the waterproofing sounds awesome.

Terra may not be able to tether from her phone. When I got my smart phone, not all of the phones offered it.

Has anyone used a pocket wi-fi and tethered too? Is the pocket wifi better than or the same as tethering?

Be careful with tethering.  I use AU which does not have a separate charge for using tethering, though Softbank apparently does.  I don't think it's that much and apparently you can get apps which bypass it so that no one knows if you are tethering or not.  I was thinking to switch to Softbank or Docomo and the staff at Nojima was telling me that.  I can't remember the cost but I don't remember it being that much. I've never heard a real softbank user mention this though so it might be bunk.

I've used tethering with my AU smartphone and it works OK.  It's pretty slow but it will get the job done in a pinch. It's not good enough for streaming or downloading large files. 

Nick used the pocket wifi thing from Softbank and returned it within a month because it sucked so bad.

Events Archive / Re: SAYOUNARA PARTY 2013 - THE FINAL POST
« on: June 30, 2013, 09:01:31 PM »
Important note for those who haven't been to the Kiyosato/KEEP area before, a conbini is a 5 min drive down the road and you're likely to find many people who would be willing to go on conbini runs with you.
I don't mind picking people up and driving them from Nagasaka stn on the Chuo (it's way easier to get to than Kiyosato stn). I can fit 4 people in my car, just let me know!  I won't be able to take you back in the morning, though.

Also to those wanting to buy lots of alcohol: There's two bulk alcohol shops on the way to Kiyosato.  One in Nirasaki   
and one in Nagasaka

I'll also make a stop there for those who want a drive/pick up  from Nagasaka stn.

There are other options but I really like this shop because it has lots of western and Japanese brands and it's relatively cheap.

Events Archive / Re: SAYOUNARA PARTY 2013 - THE FINAL POST
« on: June 28, 2013, 09:56:43 AM »
This sounded a bit like you love that Terra is leaving   :lol:

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