The Hooker working on the corner…

Katakana seems so difficult, The pairing to Hiragana seems silly. I know that everyone learns their own way, but one of the ways I learned the hiragana “ho” was to picture a hooker working on the corner.

Look at her, she is so over worked!

She is waiting against the wall for her next customer, who happens to be named Katakana, because in Katakana “ho” looks like she has someone between her legs!

All you can see is his back with arms spread out in a cheer and her legs on either side.

Hey, I can’t help that society has caused my brain to live in the gutter!  For me, making these little associations has helped in learning it, now I just have to stop using it as a crutch!

New Mornings Dawn

“Oh shi- Tina get up. It is 7:30am.” Alarms never work. Damn it never seems like enough sleep. Sleep is for the week or old I guess. Not for young couples who seek to make their own way in the world.

“Five more mins….” He walks away without a word, into the shower with him. Well shiz I guess I have to get up now. Begrudgingly I place my feet on the floor and yawn the air of the night out of my lungs. Rub my eyes and let them get used to the view of the doors. What if one of those doors lead to another place then I was expecting. What if I opened it and walked into the kitchen of some large house. The possibilities excite me but they can’t see me in my PJs, so I pick up my clothes and change to get ready for the day.

As I reach for the door, I hear a faint cry, softly at first then becoming more persistent. The first signs of life emerge from behind one of the 3 doors. I swiftly open the door to get a jump on any spookies that might try to harm me. In front of me sits the most horrifying thing, a slobbery, crying, dirty baby. But if you cock your head to one side and squint he is kinda cute I guess. I decide it is worth the risk and walk over to pick him up. He stands up to meet me and shows his bright white teeth in a show of dominance. As if to assert his position he wipes his slobber and snot across my shirt. He comes back to meet my eyes as if to defy me to make an objection. “Awww, Thank you son. That’s just what I always wanted.”

He seems pleased by this and gives me more slobber and snot but this time on my cheek. I can see where this is going to lead. “Thank you so much! Would you like to eat?” My attempt to distract him seems to work because he gives a curt nod to me and we head for the other door. NOOOOO, I realize sharply that I just allowed him to decide what lay behind the door. He is a child of some kind and seems to keep his needs and wants very simple, with age they will grow but I know that behind that door now lays his want, food. Without flourish I open the door and see a rather bland living room and a kitchen beyond that. I locate his throne and place him in it. I give him a golden bar filled with fruit. It smells sickeningly sweet but he seems to enjoy it. Well, now I need to ready for work. All doors have been explored and nothing new. Maybe tomorrow!

The Process of Learning

I have been working on learning Japanese since I was very young. I had a family friend named Ken Yamamoto who, was like an Uncle to me. He would go home to Japan for visits but went to school in Oklahoma. When he would come back from his visits he would always bring my brother and I something back that was amazing. I got Sailor Moon PJs and books and candies and books and all kinds of neat things that I wish as a young child I would have realized how much they would have meant to me later. Ken passed away when I was still relatively young, I don’t even know if my brother remembers him. I miss him every day and if I ever want to make myself cry, I think of him and how unfair it is that he is gone. However, because of him I gained the insane love of Japan, so much so that I am 26 today and I can not remember a point in my life where I didn’t think about living in Japan one day.

 

I have done copious amounts of research, I can tell you the different ways that you can get a Visa, and qualifications for each. I know about lots of the little things most people don’t know. Such as Trash days are broken up into types of trash, That talking on a cell phone on the train is a no no, how to bow appropriately for a man and a woman, and that telling your Host “No thank you” is a HUGE insult. Some of my learning is via others learning it, some of it is from visiting when I was 17,  and some of it is from speaking with my Uncle’s beautiful wife who is Japanese. Aunt Mika had HUGE amounts of patience with me in teaching me so many things. I think I almost broker her with my miss understanding of how to take a shower….Good times.

 

One thing during all these years is the fact that I have always attempted to learn Japanese and I wouldn’t say I have failed, but I can’t carry on a conversation, I can’t read instructions written down for me, and I think that needs to be fixed. Over the years I have learned how to introduce myself, typical greetings and how to count. Most recently because of my husband, I have picked up MOST *not all* of the Hiragana and Katakana.

 

Well Today is my 26th Birthday and as a gift to both of us, My husband and I decided that we wanted to hire a teacher to do lessons with us one on one. Oklahoma didn’t have something like this for us, but after moving here to Austin,TX we have found so many teachers! We have picked out one and are all set up to start our first lessons! Our ultimate goal is a life long dream of mine, to live and work in the country that I love with all my heart so much that it hurts, Japan. We are luck enough to work for a company that has a branch overseas that makes it a real possibility!  However unlike JET, or any other Teach in Japan program, we can’t just go in blind with no Japanese. We would need to know enough to talk about our jobs and live life. It is going to be fun. We can do it.

So starts my journey on learning Japanese and on preparing more knowledge so that if we have the wonderful chance to move, we won’t be shocked.

Tina