Japanese Language Updates (Early August 2022) and Summers as an ALT

It looks like the last time I was active on here was in February, which also happens to be the last time I wrote one of these language updates. So, am I fluent yet? Am I able to speak with my coworkers or at least understand them? No. I am a BAD student.

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I canceled my school lunch

Before I moved to Japan, I was asked if I wanted to have school lunch. I instantly said yes for a few reasons. One, I don’t know how to cook all that well (and don’t have the energy to learn) and two, I wanted to eat something genuinely Japanese while in Japan. I opted in.

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My First Roadtrip in Japan p2 – Mitaki Temple in Hiroshima

The last time I was in Japan, I was on a study abroad trip. The class I was taking focused on the dropping of the atomic bombs so we visited both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and while in Hiroshima my class visited this really beautiful place called Mitaki Temple (which, for jetlag reasons, I mistakenly thought was in Kyoto, glad I got reminded it was in Hiroshima, otherwise who knows where I would have gone). Now, the first time I visited this place, I just thought it was a beautiful place, but this time it was…very special. I really felt like I was in a special (sacred) place and I’m wondering why that was the case. Maybe it’s because I was alone this time and was able to be more meditative?

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My First Roadtrip in Japan p1 – Arriving

It’s been a while since I last posted. Honestly, I’ve been dealing with some seasonal depression and isolation for COVID-19 reasons (not me getting sick, just deciding not to go out), which then led me to acknowledge the fact that maybe I’m actually homesick, and this, in turn, led to even more isolation, causing (potentially) some friction between my…friends. So now there’s isolation in the “I’m the odd one out” variety because, of course, that is exactly what I need right now. Oh, I love winter

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Language Study Goals: The Beginning of Frustration

I’ve been in Japan for three months now and I’m starting to feel some frustration welling up. And it has to do with the language. I’m very upset I don’t know Japanese.

While I can mostly get by with no Japanese (I mean, what’s so hard about grabbing stuff and then presenting money, right?), I’ve started to notice that I’m starting to struggle in other ways. I hate the fact that when I go to the store to buy anything, I can’t tell what the cashier is saying or asking me. Its probably something like “Do you want a bag?” or “Do you have a points card?” or even, “Do you want this all on one transaction?”. But I can’t tell. And I hate that I struggle buying train tickets, and that I can’t communicate with the people around me. New Year’s just passed and I can’t say “How was your vacation?” or “What did you do?”. And even if I could learn these two questions, I wouldn’t be able to understand their answers!

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