And another week or so has slipped by on cat’s paws. Can’t believe this year is almost half over. I’ve marked not only two months in Japan, but two months in Fukuoka and, as of Monday, two months at work. One more month and I become a regular employee and I get reimbursed for my flight over here.
The last week has been a blur because something came in and took up residence in my chest last Thursday and I’ve been coughing like mad ever since. Much better now, but being sick at two different concerts was annoying (though I still enjoyed the heck out of both, despite feeling sluggish). Yes, still busy being a professional Rodeo Girl (hey, they recognize me on sight now – at least, I know e-zuka does) and will be for another three weeks before taking a month off. At which point Nancy and I will get to see them with MUCC in Kyoto! Looking forward to a weekend in one of my favourite cities in the world, even if it will be ridiculously hot.
This week 6 other coworkers and I took a trial Japanese conversation class before work on Thursday. I loved it (not least because we talked about hobbies and I introduced sensei to Granrodeo) because it’s just the kind of class I really need. We spoke no English, even for explanations, so it was an hour of just chatting in Japanese. She used both formal and casual Japanese with us, including teaching us some Hakata slang we can use in the yatai stalls. Heh. I really, really hope they decide to follow through and have these classes, even if it makes for a long day.
It’s beyond embarrassing to have to write down how long I’ve been studying Japanese. Though really it’s study in a very informal sense. There was a while I was taking classes regularly at the Japan-America Society, but we’re still talking once a week, and the quality of teachers and textbooks varied considerably. And none of it was helpful for getting over my deer in headlights fright/stumbling at being faced with a real conversation. The best instruction I’ve had to date has been private tutoring, both with Ishikawa-sensei and with Eric.
I’d really like to be able to talk /more/ with Rodeo Girls now that some of them have decided I’m okay to talk to, particularly the one I keep running into. She seems really nice, and while I can understand a fair amount of what she’s talked to me about, my ability to answer is limited (her English is very good, thankfully), and I would like to establish some actual friendships so I won’t find waiting in line for hours so dull when I don’t have English-speaking friends with me.
I wrote down that I’d like to learn daily life conversations. How to get by at the bank, the post office, shopping. Sure, I can do all those things minimally – and it doesn’t hurt that my bank’s ATMs have English on the important buttons – but I want to get past that. And I want to be able to write proper letters to people, and converse on Twitter, and in blog comments…. (and to understand everything when the guys tell stories on stage and not get lost between “I was taking pictures of Taniyama in the bathroom…” and … “and then I ran into some foreign fans in a bar”)
This weekend promises to be damp — rain here, rain in Osaka, rain everywhere. But so long as I get there on time and make it back on Sunday, that’s fine by me. (I may regret those words as I slog to my hotel in the rain tomorrow after the show.)