Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday sensei is cool but paying for things is complicated

I would like to take a moment here to sing the praises of my Tuesday sensei.  We have a different sensei for Japanese class every day, and Tuesday sensei is a pretty cool guy.
Reasons Tuesday sensei is a pretty cool guy:
1. He talks to me like a normal human being.  Unfortunately, I have discovered that when I stutter and people start talking to me like I'm deaf as well as stuttering (or, worse, when they start finishing my sentences for me), my self-confidence plummets and takes my language ability with it.  But Tuesday sensei not only does not finish my sentences for me, he talks to me like I can understand him...which I can.  Thus, self-confidence up, language ability up, and I can actually express myself normally in that class!  Yay!
2. He studied abroad in Boston, and we totally tried to teach one of the Japanese students how to speak with a Boston accent last night.  (Thank you, Gage, for teaching me this incredibly useful skill.)  She stared at us for a minute and then said, "That sounds super inaka.*"
3. He invited all of us to a nomikai** he's holding for a couple of his classes.  He asked me if I was coming and I told him (very quietly) that I didn't drink and was it okay if I came anyway?  And he said, "Oh, I don't drink either!  You can totally come and we can have oolong tea.  Also, it's tabehoudai.***  SO YOU SHOULD COME."  And my reaction was, "WELL IF IT'S TABEHOUDAI THEN OKAY."  So I am going to a nomikai on the 28th.  Hopefully it will be a good experience.

In other news, I was talking to the girl who was my language partner last night about nicknames, and I said that mine was Calamari.  She said that when she was studying abroad in France everyone called her by her nickname, Kocchan, but they pronounced it the same as the French word for "pig."  "So it's better to be a squid!" she concluded.

On a totally unrelated topic, some Japanese companies don't understand how to pay for things.  To pay for my business cards (which arrived and they are essentially the best), I had to go to the post office with the receipt for my business cards, pay the post office for the business cards, and then presumably the post office will pay the business card company.  OR I COULD HAVE, YOU KNOW, USED A CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD.  Sooooooo complicated.

And finally, a random soundbite from my dorm today:
Sae: *bursting out of her room* DANA.
Me: YES?
Me: Furiisaizu?  What does that mean?
Sae: It's when there is only one size and everyone has to wear it.
Me: Oh, you mean one size fits all.
Sae: One size?
Me: Fits all.
Sae: THANK YOU.  *disappears back into room*

*Inaka is the Japanese word for the countryside or rural areas, and "super inaka," while not a real Japanese phrase (although I have heard people say "ちょう田舎" and "めちゃ田舎"), is one of those Japanglish phrases you'll hear a lot from bilingual people.  Examples include (but are not limited to):
"He lived in the super inaka."
"Our house is super inaka and has no internet."
"Boston accents sound super inaka."

**Drinking party.

***SO MUCH JAPANESE ALL OVER THIS POST.  Tabehoudai is "all you can eat."  Generally the way it works is that you pay a flat fee and then you're given a certain time limit (the place I went to was three hours) in which you are allowed to order and eat whatever you want.  If you order something but don't finish enough of it, they charge you extra for wasting food.

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