Having been baked in 30+ degree heat for almost four weeks the wind has picked up a soothing cool edge today, we are all very happy about that. We’ve also got thunder storms coming next week, my fave! The weather is a popular topic here, as it is in England. Every time you greet someone they’ll mention the weather followed by ‘ne?’ Which means..yes? Or.. Do you agree? And everyone agrees and makes complementary noises. It’s a neat little ice breaker. There are either always typhoons coming nearby or everyone just loves mentioning them, or maybe I notice the word all the time amongst waves of Japanese that go straight over my head.
I’m starting my private Japanese lessons this week. This is very good timing because I’ve broken my external hard drive which had my language software on. I pick up little bits of Japanese all the time but I rarely remember how to use these snippets in the correct context, I’ve been closing deals instead of thanking people for about three weeks I think – should have stuck to standard Japanese instead of walking blindly into the Kansai dialect. Yesterday when I was ordering my meal the waitress was trying to ask me politely for my money but I thought she was asking if I wanted any extras, it would probably sound like this in English:
Waitress ” ok, you’d like meal option x, that’s x amount please?”
Me ” ah, no thanks.”
Waitress “… Please.. Pay”
Me “just that please *points*”
Waitress ” ¥????”
Me “yes, thank you very much.”
Awkward. Eventually she resorted to pointing at the price and and my bag, she’s lucky I didn’t steal the menu. But yes, soon I’ll be ordering food without a side order of misunderstanding.
You might have noticed that I’ve been to lots of temples and shrines recently, judging by all the snaps. I love them! They are beautiful and have so much history and meaning behind every tiny piece of architectural detail. I was lucky enough to see a family who had just been married in the traditional Shinto way, I was given the biggest incense stick I’ve ever seen, and I touched a lucky ball. The area I visited on Monday is called Gion and is famous for shrines and Geisha, every time I see a Geisha or Maiko it’s a wonderful shock – they are so striking. I want to take a tonne of photos but it seems disrespectful (not that they aren’t used to it).
Finally, having had a wave of homesickness I’m starting to feel more established here in Japan. No longer do I fear automatic doors not opening for me or freeze at every question anyone asks me In Japanese. I’ve Skyped a few people and this weekend I’m looking forward to seeing and speaking to some very special girls over the Internet, congratulations on moving into your own flat Katie and
Lots of love,