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Happy New Years!! 明けましておめでとう!!

I missed a day or two, due to the combination of a friend suddenly coming into town and needing a place to crash, and then yesterday going to a countdown party. My friend came all the way to Osaka from Shizuoka without any plans of where to stay! So, when I heard she planned to stay in an internet cafe, I suggested she stay here instead. It was pretty fun; we bought far too many snacks and chu-hais, and I made her create a character on Skyrim, ’cause that’s how I role* (she made a very classy Imperial, but let’s face it, nowhere near as awesome as my stylish dark elf).

Yuuki had to work until 1:30 that night, 12:00 am the next night, and tonight and tomorrow he’s working from 5pm – 5am.

Last night he managed to meet us at the party, but he was too tired to have a good time. That didn’t go very well, at all.

For me, it was fun but difficult, to be honest. I’ve lost a lot of confidence in my Japanese speaking and listening skills. When I talk with Yuuki I’m fine, but as soon as it’s a new Japanese person, I question every word I say. I didn’t used to be like that. Speaking in Japanese used to be one of the few times I felt confident, so I’m not quite sure what happened. It’s probably a mix of Yuuki’s mom saying I had gotten worse at Japanese, not really talking to anyone who’s not Yuuki in a long time, using subtitles when I watch TV (Japanese subtitles at least, but probably doesn’t help my listening skills all that much), and maybe a little bit of an overall confidence loss. So I had trouble talking to a lot of the people who were nice and approached me. I feel like I started to get better just as it ended – probably thanks to two chu-hais and a beer.

But it was also really fun. There were a few entertainers, including a couple really good dancers (and a funny competition of people who weren’t so great…though I was terrified they would call my name!) and a middle-schooler very skilled in the art of yo-yo.  They also had some games planned for us, including bingo and charades. They also had a few ice breakers in the beginning, that helped me meet a new friend, a Japanese woman I ended up talking to for most of the night. Overall the whole atmosphere was really welcoming and energetic. I felt bad that I couldn’t get myself to participate more, and break out of my shell. I thought I was getting better at that, but maybe not. It’s still a struggle for me.

But seeing my old friend from college again and meeting a new friend made the overall night a good one.

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Me on the right, my friend from college on the left. My new friend was in this photo too, but it seemed a little weird to upload a photo of someone I just met.

I miss Yuuki though.

And I’m pretty bummed I missed out on all the cool Japanese traditions, like おせち and the first visit to the shrine, as well as being 25 (!) now and still never getting that countdown kiss. But I did get to count down to 2014 in Japanese with some pretty cool people and use one of those confetti-thingys. And I reached 2014 way before you suckahs!! Just kidding. Sort of. Just so you know, the future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades (actually I think I haven’t seen the sun in a month).

*play

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2 thoughts on “Happy New Years!! 明けましておめでとう!!

  1. あけおめ!!<3
    Arrgh it makes me sad that Yuuki's mom said such a blunt and mean thing to you. T.T I know you said it's her personality, but man. I can really understand feeling unsure of speaking and how hard it can be to overcome that, and the fact that she probably contributed to that in you frustrates me a lot.
    I'm not Japanese, but 一緒に話しようよ! I don't know if it'll help at all, but it's worth a shot. I really think it's all in your head. Your Japanese is wonderful. I know hearing that isn't all that reassuring but… yes. Speaking in a socially uncomfortable situation can be hard in any language. Just keep at being awesomely you.
    I miss you. I hope you have an amaaazing last days in Japan but I'm also selfishly happy I might be able to see you soon ^^

    • Aww, thanks Britta! Your support means so much to me. 絶対に二人で練習しよう!^^ Thank you, but I’ve still got a lot to learn. Sometimes the words I don’t know surprise me – words that I definitely should know. Like elbow.

      But you’re right, I need to get stronger social skills in English too, that would definitely help me in Japanese. It’s a hard thing to do but I’ll 頑張る! I think I often go in to the situations feeling defeated already. This time I really did think I would talk more, but in general I think my attitude towards environments with groups of strangers is to sort of shut down and become as invisible as possible.

      Sorry it took me so long to reply, I left for awhile again, but yes, I will be so happy to see you again!! It will make being back here so much betterrrrr.

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