Saturday, April 10, 2010

Taking an English Class (Sapporo)

7th October, 2003 - Well I didn't think I'd be going off to English School... though sometimes you might think it a wise move with my grammar being what it is. As part of the preparations for the Pre-Wedding Party on the 11th, T-chan had invited her old English teacher... I-san and in response he'd asked her (and myself) to come into his class to have a chat with the students

I have to say that it was something of a bizarre situation, as I had not met him (or for that matter the students before)... and the first thing that they wanted to know about was how we met and proposed. Hmmm - in the name of education (and ham acting) I obliged them with a small re-enactment... accompanied by squeels of delight (or embarrassment... I couldn't tell which) from the students.

I-san was certainly a friendly (and talkative teacher)... I can imagine what he was like with T-chan. I also thought however, I don't really want to do that again ?:-)

On the way back from the city, we drove past - of all things - an old style windmill. Not exactly the normal sight around Japan. Actually - it's just one of the countless oddities that you come across in Japan. Apparently someone thought it was just a "good idea" (as part of a rehabilitation centre) to build an old European-style windmill, so voila! There it is.

Just around the corner is a council park that overlooks the city... it's a beautiful day!... but...

Like much of Japan, Sapporo has it's fair share of foxes... and there's plenty of warnings out there. Actually the crows are more annoying... as the tend to make a horrible cry as well as going through the rubbish. Foxes (or kitsune) hold a special part in Japanese mythology... especially insidious in their ability to trick or deceive humans. The Shinto Fox Gd, Oinari (or just Inari) can be seen to be worshipped all over Japan in various shrines. Inari is the protector of rice and food... a strange protector indeed!

This is T-chan's 4-wheel love... her Toyota Sera. She really, REALLY loved this car. Actually we had thought about bringing it back to Australia with us - but really... in an Adelaide summer, that's like asking for trouble. In mild Sapporo it's a fun car... in Adelaide it would be like a steam-cooker. Actually - Japan is strange in terms of cars. There's hardly any old cars in Japan, and they certainly don't drive them as long as we do here in Australia. A car that's done 100,000 km is amazing there. Partly that's Japanese natural desire for new things - but also the registration system encourages the purchase of new cars. Very good for Japanese car makers. Not so good for consumers; especially as they have to pay to get them scrapped!

There's something that I've been putting off... even though it may seem a little strange. I had yet to formally ask for T-chan's parents permission to get married. I had been preparing for this for some time, and now (before it's too late) I had to do it! Actually, I am a stickler for tradition, so I did the whole thing of preparing a full-on formal request in Japanese (which is not easy for me, as my Japanese is soooo bad). That evening I called them all together - of course they must have known what I was going to do (as I'd been practicing for days). I talked for what seemed an eternity, whilst Otousan (father) and Okaasan (mother) listened intently.  The fact that we were well into preparing for the Pre-Wedding Party may have given me some hope that it was just a formality... but that wasn't how I felt just then. Eventually I finished with a great breath... silence...then the floodgates opened and there were many tears... and there were drinks... and also not forgetting an important "yes".

What a day... glad I didn't have to go through all that in English class... even in Japanese!

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment