Wednesday, July 18, 2012

外人

Gaijin.  That's me - a foreigner.

(1) The TV shows here at night are rather interesting.  I know, I'm supposed to be out and about and experiencing Japan but until I have friends and people to learn Japanese from, it's a low key way to listen to Japanese.  Every night I turn on the TV, it's a new show that highlights foreigners.  One night it was "So you think you can sing Japanese songs" and one night it was "Let's dress up Japanese men as girls and see if foreigners can tell the difference".  They also have specials about foreigners who get gross flesh-eating bacteria from cuts on their legs with dramatizations.  It makes me wonder about American TV shows.  Too bad I don't have a TV in America so I can't really compare.  

(2) The past few days on the bus, I've had the opportunity to help out some foreigners.  One was a man who was Asian but very obviously dressed like an American (his pants were a little too loose and he was wearing a nice polo tucked in).  Turns out, he was Australian but living in Maryland so close enough.  The other was a girl from Bolivia who is starting her Master's Program here but is nervous about taking classes in Japanese and passing her entrance examination.  Both people, interestingly enough, thought that I looked like I was an old hat at living in Japan and speaking the language and both needed help knowing how to make change.  Thanks to my mishap the first time I rode the bus, I knew exactly what to tell them.  :)  

(3) Since coming to Japan, I've been listening to a lot more American music.  I wondered if that would be the case and indeed, it is.  However, mostly, I listen to William Wei.  It seems I cannot get enough of this kid.  Songs that I didn't really care for before - 慢慢等,好天氣 - I am now in love with.  And today, I just discovered a new song that sounds like it belongs on an EFY CD but somehow since it has nothing to do with being a Mormon or Christ, I have a feeling it wouldn't make the cut.  It's called, "Translation Practice" and I'm putting it here for your listening pleasure.  Weibird is like my little gaijin companion.  I just need a pocket version of him so I can take him everywhere.  



(4) Some of the runners here that I see in the mornings or nights on my runs are becoming like friends to me.  We all nod at each other and I'm starting to recognize certain ones.  They are also in much better shape than I am.  One night, I used one runner as a pace setter heading out and another runner as a pace setter coming back in.  It was a really fast run but it felt so great.  I wished that I could somehow thank them for helping me.

(5) Yesterday, while walking to English class, I saw Dora the Explorer on the door of an elementary school or a cram school or something.  Anyway, it made me smile (and also made me miss Baby) but it got me wondering.  Does Dora teach Spanish in Japan too?

(6) I am realizing something about students here though - a lot of them are not from this area and many of them just started school here themselves in April.  It seems, in some sense, we are all foreigners, and we could all use some friends.  It helps put everything else in perspective.

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