Thursday, September 28, 2006

Showing off my Japanese Conversational Prowess

Returning home from school on my bicycle, on the last leg of my journey. Riding beside the Keihan train line, which is mostly elevated, but for a small stretch where it ducks under the JR freight train line. The area looks some what like you would expect an area near the train tracks to look, industrial areas and dilapidated housing, dirty. I was at peace, in my own world, thinking about the day's events, kanji, grammar, listening, and reading tests. I was transitioning into the more bedroom community like Sekime area where I live, suddenly, from amongst the bicycle, scooter and foot traffic around me, a very jovial, weathered, friendly face I have never seen before, jumped out at me and exclaimed "元気そうなー" (roughly translated that would be "my you look healthy don't you!"). He seemed delighted, I not sure whether with me, himself, or maybe just life. I was taken aback (being in my own world and all) and I could only manage a curt はい(Yes) in reply, at which he laughed with surprise at the fact that I actually understood what he had said.
I must confess at this juncture that I do know why he would say such a thing to me. You see it has recently turned Autumn here in Japan, as in many parts of the world, and as every one here knows, no one in their right mind would wear a short sleeve shirt in the fall no matter what the temperature might be. I however, have taken to continue wearing my short sleeves, Japanese fall feeling pretty much the same as the latter half of a Canadian summer. I should not succumb to the weather when fashion is on the line, it is simply a matter of mind over matter after all, but I am not yet Japanese.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here Comes Lunch

The day before yesterday. With friends.
We headed into the Japanese countryside, amongst mountains and rivers. It did my soul a lot of good to see some of Creation rather than the usual cityscape with all its concrete beauty. Our destination was a famous noodle joint where the noodles are distributed from the other side of a river over long stainless steel channels and then caught either with your chopsticks or the basket strainer. Traditionally, of course, this would be done using bamboo chutes but because the stand we went to features the longest somen chutes in all of Japan, bamboo just would not be sufficient. One then dips the captured somen noodles in the concoction provided (which can be augmented with wasabi and chives) and then finds its way into your mouth.

Woo wee!

Nice snag!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sleepless in Osaka

With all the Japanese that I have been trying to stuff in my head, some nights my subconscious insists that I dream in Japanese. At this juncture my vocabulary is simply not big enough to accommodate my subconscious' wishes. The resulting struggle usually causes me to wake up.
Occasionally, however.
I am able to appease my self conscience by dreaming about Japanese rather than in Japanese. Nothing yet about showing up to school in my underwear though.