?

Log in

Tickle · the · Pear


the encyclopedia of me - J

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · Profile

* * *
J is for "joking na lang" which is a Filipino way of saying "just kidding." Like when uncles and aunts gleefully point out your weight gain (imagined or not) and then add, "joking na lang." Right.

J is also for Japan and Japanese. I was an exchange student in Yokohama during the summer of 1986, and then studied Japanese all through college. It was my first real taste of life as a stranger in a strange land, although not so strange - I ate rice everyday already. Also, people thought I was Japanese. Or, at least, they didn't think I was American, not like the tall blond teenagers who were the majority of exchange students. My host family was fun. My host mom actually won a trip to the US from entering an essay contest where she wrote about all the exchange students they hosted. I think she tried to live her travel fantasies through welcoming clueless students like myself. Unfortunately I was in Australia during her visit to California so I didn't see her. What I'll always remember though is that she and the three kids hugged me when I arrived. When I asked her about that later - since hugging is not part of Japanese culture - she said that she'd heard Americans like to hug so she and the kids used to practice on each other.
* * *
* * *
[User Picture]
On October 2nd, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC), mortuus commented:
Aww, the hugging thing is cool. That was nice of them to practice and welcome you with a hug.

By the way, I'm loving your "encyclopedia of me" posts. Very interesting.
[User Picture]
On October 2nd, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks!

Hope you are feeling OK. :/
* * *
On October 2nd, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I'm lame
Hey, Sylvia! I don't have your email address handy and didn't get something in the mail to you in time, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I like the encyclopedia. It reminds me of things I knew about you and adds new stuff too.

Bad news though, my school district's firewall now bans blogs. I can't get through to anyone on blogspot anymore. I suspect LiveJournal will soon get filtered out too. For now I'm reading on borrowed time...

Michael
* * *
[User Picture]
On October 2nd, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC), congogirl commented:
Did I know that you studied Japanese all through college and forget about it? I did too... I was in Kyoto for my junior year.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
It's really a shame - a lot of effort and now I can barely stumble through greetings!
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
The same goes for me. I regret not following it sometimes, but when the decision came that I wouldn't be dedicating my life to living there, I let it go. I love kanji, the puzzle aspect of figuring out text and the aesthetics of learning how to write, but I became very frustrated with the lack of facility that I had in reading and writing, as well as conversation. Maybe in my retirement...
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I know I have a "complex" about my French language skills, and what I miss is the sheer appreciation and gratitude that Japanese people show even with the most basic efforts. I need that from the Frenchies!
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
You know, I had that experience recently, when I got a lift back to my guesthouse in Joburg. I was with two half-Congoleezers, a couple, presumably both raised in Paris (one was, anyway). The car ride was about 20-25 min. and at the end, the woman thanked me for speaking French with her since she's been in Joburg 2 years and people rarely do. I try to stick to French in the work context, but sometimes I have to switch - fortunately most of my colleagues have very good English as well.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I should just get over it. But it'd be nice to have a pat on the back once in a while!
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
This is actually making me think that I should better appreciate people (you know, actually say something) to people who speak to me in English.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I've tried to do that with the Frenchies (they've made a concerted effort at least to manage in English) - I know it's a big deal for them to make themselves vulnerable.
* * *
On October 2nd, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC), clynne commented:
Oh! The hugging practice is cute!

I like your encyclopedia entries, as well. I've been thinking I might do one myself.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks! It's a fun exercise.
* * *
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC), hatter_anon commented:
What a wonderful story. You truly do lead a fascinating life.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Ya think? Sometimes I find it hard to believe.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC), hatter_anon replied:
You do. I'm sure I've said this before but other people's lives are always more fascinating because you don't have to live through the boring bits or deal with the 'challenging' parts, you just get to enjoy the story. I'm enjoying yours.
[User Picture]
On October 3rd, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks - and I'm looking forward to catching up on yours!
* * *

Previous Entry · Leave a comment · Share · Next Entry