And I love that for, for the way I’m feeling…

Thanks, Matt! Yeah, it is quite fun right now! I’m gradually starting to teach more students of my own, privately. And I’m really enjoying it! One student is from Peru, married to a Japanese man, and so her Japanese is near fluent, but her English is very very low. So the lessons are heavily in Japanese. Explanations, or translations to make the meanings clear are usually in Japanese. We work on pronunciation a lot. She can read and understand the meaning of many words since her first language is Spanish, but the Spanish pronunciation is usually quite different, so when she speaks she finds that no one can understand her. So, this teaching experience is really quite interesting!

So now it’s time for an installment of Things that Japan loves (besides OBAMA)!
Obama 2008
Japan loves…..
HEAT! – hot springs, baths not showers, heated toilet seats, kotatsu (a table that’s heated underneath to warm your legs)
NOODLES – going along with the heat theme, it’s all about the noodle soups here (ramen, udon, soba, somen)
CONVENIENCE – convenience stores wherever you turn, the trains are ridiculously so (always exactly on time, frequent)
CUTENESS – happy cartoon characters at train tracks warning of the danger, Hello Kitty, Disney (even guys like Disney here), everything/everyone strives for being cute
POLITENESS – it’s kind of crazy polite, you enter a store – even to walk through it as a shortcut on your way home – and you’ve got people greeting you, thanking you for gracing them with your mere presence, bowing to you left and right; at the cash register, following the 2-3 seconds it takes to put your item in a bag, they apologize for making you wait. A housemate of mine is working at some kind of clothing store, and he is mostly there stocking, or folding things, but he has hopes to work the register at some point. Anyway, he must learn all the most polite language (not just polite, but super-polite, to which there’s no real equivalent in English), learn the right ways to bow, greet everyone who enters the store, walks by, or even thinks about one day visiting the store. Not so crazy, right? But all the workers also needs to do their smiling drills each day! My housemate was told he needs to improve his smile more, he needs more practice. He was told he should sit infront of the mirror daily, smiling to himself, to get it just perfect. No thank you!





6 responses to “And I love that for, for the way I’m feeling…

  1. Really Kyle, who DOESN’T love cuteness? Imminent danger is so much more palatable coming from something neon with oversized ears and a twinkle in the eye.

    Oh I read that post about your sandwich! I was wondering, can you get lentils there? I made the most amazing red pepper lentil soup – you need this recipe!

  2. Good job, Kyle. You forgot one other thing Japan loves: Vincent Tran.
    You must be in a part of Japan where my album hasn’t dropped yet.

  3. I haven’t seen lentils here yet. But I’ll keep my eyes open for them.

    Yeah, the only people I asked said they never heard of Vincent Tran. But they had heard of Cramden. All they play on the radio here (their super hi-tech, futuristic Japanese radios) is Cramden’s greatest hits, including the chart-topper “Cramden Loves The Bluejays”.

  4. Awwww Kyle…
    I’m so glad things are going well for you.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do after JET (only so much time left..!!)
    And I’ve been thinking about trying private tutoring like what you’re kind of doing, in the surrounding Tokyo area… because I eventually want to get a stable job somewhere in Tokyo ❤ (working on those details later…)
    So it’s great to hear things are working out well for you. 🙂

    Japanese also love snacks…
    every day… i receive a new treat… very… fattening :O haha~
    Miss ya!! 😀

    ps, totally might go to Tokyo in June for a weekend 😉

  5. I love your writing. It’s fun and fascinating

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