Shunsuke`s meal with Teru`s parents

After a long struggle with my Japanese laptop I have managed, with a lot of help from Teru, to get the internet working. Although there are many things that aren`t ideal. First, its all in Japanese. Second, its so out of date that a lot of websites don`t work as it needs to be updated, which I am finding near impossible. And third, it is a slow piece of crap. I can`t wait until my stuff arrives.

Yesterday was the first day teaching without Blaine. It wasn`t a busy day, there were just two lessons. The first lesson was with an adult group of two, Hisa and Masatoshi. Hisa is an 80 year old women that loves to go skiiing. Teru was explaining that last year she had a fall on the slopes but this didn`t stop her. Masatoshi is a middle age man, who seems typically Japanese but is very nice. This lesson went well. We talked about what to see in Tokyo and other places in Japan, Japanese food, London, the olympics and a range of others things. The next lesson was a little harder. It was with a 15 year old boy, Yukio. He seems to be passionate about learning English, although he still is a teenager and studying is not in his best interest. It seemed like he understood a lot of what I was saying but was finding it hard to reply in the way he wanted. For the first day on my own I was quite pleased. I felt it went ok and I didn`t screw anything up!

During the day Kumiko came into school and gave me a small present, a selection of Japanese beers. She then told me that it was going to be Shunsuke`s third birthday on Tuesday but they were going to have dinner that evening with Teru`s mum and dad, as a sort of early celebration with them. She asked if I had any plans and if I would like to join. I accepted. After we were finished at school we proceeded downstairs, into Teru`s parents shop, and out the back to their cosy home. Teru took me to  a room, the floor all Tatami mats, and the smell of insense in the air. He showed me a shrine of his recently pass away grandmother, with food laid out as an offering to her spirit. He also showed me the shrine at which he and his family prays at, and started to show me how to pray. He knelt down in front of it and rang a bowl shaped metal bell, with a small stick, three times. He explained that if you can feel this bell resonating through you and your heart, at least by the third time, you have a pure soul and clean heart. If not, you should give up! After he rang the bell he simply put his hands together and wispered some words to himself.

Dinner was really lovely Teru`s parents tried to talk to me as much as possible but it was made difficult by the language barrier. Despite this they were impressed by my feeble attempts at speaking Japanese. We had so many things amoung the typical foods you would see at a Japanese meal, such as miso soup, rice and edamame. One that interested me, and was a first for me, was Japanese apple-pear. It has the taste of a pear, although a bit more watery, with the texture and cruchiness of a apple. After the meal was over Kumiko brought out a cake for Shunsuke. To my suprise, after the lights were off and candles ready to be blown out, everyone started to sing “happy birthday” in English. I guess the Japanese don`t have a version of their own. This made it easier for me as I could join in. Shunsuke recieved a train toy box and a large toy garbage truck, as this is his favourite type of vehicle. Teru hopes that he will soon drop this obsession as he doesn`t want him to grow to be a bin man.

1 thought on “Shunsuke`s meal with Teru`s parents

  1. Reading your blog is almost like being there. Makes work go a lot quicker at least. Don’t forget to fully integrate youself, so if you have an opportunity to grope some ladies on the train or to buy some dirty knickers don’t let your Westernised mind stop you from doing it!
    If anything comes up, send the recruiters my way! Still up for coming out there if there’s an opportunity to.

    Otherwise, I’ll talk to you soon, get on your skype breh.

    Big love,

    Carl

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