Teaching In Socks

Kid Tested Visa Approved
July 28, 2009, 6:09 pm
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Today is 368 Days after my arrival to Japan. On Monday, I picked up a renewed Visa, permitting me to stay for another three years (I made an impression). While It’s not necessarily and achievement, it’s nice to go another year without getting deported.

In terms of the previous year, I think as these things tend to do, it has differed slightly from what I expected. Then again, as it has been a year, I can’t exactly remember what I expected. I stopped believing in time capsules and seventh grade and since then I have refused to play the Nostradamus game of writing down expectations and revealing either how naive I am, or how predictable life is.

That said, let’s review some facts.

In my year here, I’ve been to three castles and something like 15 temples. I’ve met enough new deities to throw a party, but most that are worshiped less than Wolverine at Comic-Con. I’ve either met no robots, or a bunch of really awesome robots that are too life-like for me to identify.

I have not been attacked by an Sea Monsters (or Monster in general) but if they exist, I probably have eaten them.   I have eaten parts of animals that I don’t know the Japanese names for. I have eaten animals and plants that I don’t know the Japanese names for. I haven’t thrown up once (there has been a close call or two). I have given up hope and eaten McDonald’s five times.

I have probably executed three correct bows; they probably weren’t the three I wanted to get right.

I have picked up a couple hundred words, but I can count the number of “successful” Japanese conversations I’ve had on one hand. I have probably said th word “hai” meaning yes 100,00 times. I say it when I’m confused, I say it when I’m nervous, I accidentally say it instead of “hello” sometimes. Just today a man came in to ask me about studying abroad. He squawked at me for 15 minutes, while I intermittently replied “hai” and somehow he didn’t seem to grasps that I had very little understanding of what he was saying to me.

The war has come up a few times, but it yet to be unmanageably awkward.

I’ve only seen three anime. I have yet to start dressing up like a cartoon character (besides Jon Arbuckle). I haven’t appeared on any game shows. I haven’t eaten any bugs. I sill have all my fingers.

I’ve been called Harry Potter a few times, I’ve made a few inquisitive kids double-take but the important thing is I’ve never been chased to the embassy–still somedays I feel like I’m only a poorly timed “hai” away.