Japan 2014 post 52

November twenty third
Taking advantage of it being the weekend, I went to bed late and woke up at nine. Catherine, Yatchan, and the kids had already gone off to Jusco to pick up Ayana’s birthday present, a bicycle! I wasn’t quite sure what to have for breakfast, so I ended up just eating a couple mikkans because I didn’t want to try my luck with the microwave. That tided me over until lunch. In the time between, I was actually fairly productive. I blogged my journal entry, was about to publish it, then lost it due to my own stupidity. So I had to rewrite it! But that’s ok. Afterwards I went upstairs, and did a nice long workout. I sort of wanted to go to the park after that, but I wasn’t sure if I should without anyone home. I have a key to lock up, but if I was ever to get hurt it’s better for someone else to be at home. Because if I yell, they’ll probably look out the kitchen window and be able to see me. So I didn’t go. Instead I took a shower, then worked in my Japanese journal. I was able to read all the entries without a problem.
When everyone got back I got to check out Ayana’s new bike. She had picked it by herself, and everyone thinks it was a good choice. It’s blue, with a nice big seat, bell, light, basket, kickstand, and tire lock. Pretty fancy! Apparently though, the salesperson wasn’t very helpful, and first gave them a bigger, more expensive bike. Even though it wasn’t what they had ordered. They’d even gone through all of the warranties, insurance, and were all paid up before Catherine and Yatchan noticed something was off. So they had to go through the whole process all over again! I’m glad I was at home. But anyways, when they got home I sort of scrounged myself a lunch.they had eaten at Jusco since Atsushi had been hungry. So I microwaved myself an English muffin and put a “Spicy Pepper Medley” on it. I think it’s actually meant for steaks and stuff, but it was pretty good. That obviously wasn’t enough to fill me up though, so I had a bowl of fruit sauce, some chocolates that Catherine’s friend had brought, and eventually mochi with cheese on top. Which was all very good, of course.
The afternoon was pretty slow for me, although a bit stressful. In the evening we were all going to a party at Sagami (the name of the restaurant), and lots of people were coming to say bye. So I wanted to have a bit of a speech prepared. I figured out what I wanted to say, then thought of the Japanese, then cross checked the English and Japanese with google translate. Eventually I got everything sorted, but I got Yatchan to check it out as well. He said everything was right, but we changed two things so that they sounded more natural. I also figured out some questions that I would ask a priest, if I get the chance. But only in English. Since I was a bit nervous about the party (maybe I am getting more introverted), I mostly just hung around, and watched parkour videos. I did do a teeny bit of review in my Japanese textbook, but nothing serious.
The party itself was (or course) very fun. And there were tons of people there! Reiko, Ayako, Sayoko, Machiko, Eriko, Kimie, Nogumi, most of their husbands, and most of their children too. I even got to meet two new kids. One boy who’s the same age as me, and a girl who’s a bit older. In fact the boy who’s my age is going to come to volleyball with Reiko and I on Tuesday night.
One of the women (I believe it was Kimie) has a daughter in junior high who goes to the same school as Yuta, and she said that she found out about me going to the school even before Catherine or I said anything. Even though her daughter didn’t see me, she knew that I was going to be there. I found that pretty funny. Kimie said I was famous! And I was very impressed, because she was able to tell me in English (she’s one of Catherine’s students).
The food was good too. There were several dishes on the tables, including deep fried chicken, and other deep fried meat, a delicious salad, a type of noodle (that I was unfortunately not able to try, as apparently it’s an allergen. But I believe they’re just buckwheat noodles so I would’ve been ok. But better safe than sorry), and another great looking salad that we weren’t sure if it had nuts on it. There were also these amazing cucumbers that both Catherine and I really liked. I think they just have vinegar, but they’re really good. At one point, Ayana came around with a notebook and took everyone’s ice cream order, which she then preceded to pass along to the waitresses. The ice cream turned out to be really good! There was lots to drink too, and I tried lots of types of juice and soft drinks.
I got to talk to pretty much everyone, including a really good (Japanese and English) conversation with Hideo. I’m pretty pleased that we were able to carry on a conversation! But he’s a great guy, and not afraid to try to talk, even with very limited English, and the understanding of my limited Japanese. “Communication.” He often says, meaning that facial expressions, eye contact, etc, are often just as important as the words.
At the beginning of the evening Catherine made a short speech, and at the end it was my turn. Despite preparing I was really nervous, but it went ok. I stumbled a few times, and once I almost forgot a word (Yatchan whispered it to me just as I remembered), but at the end everyone understood, and even cheered. I’m so glad that I got to see those people at least one more time, but it was sort of sad as well.
When we got home I was super tired. But once I watched some videos, and read for a while, I found it really hard to get to sleep! But eventually I did, and I slept well. What a great day, and especially a good party.
Christopher image image image image image image image

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