A phone, an inn, and a funny white dog

8/25/14

I finally got a cell functioning cell phone today.  Apparently the one I had wouldn’t work for some reason…?  Anyway, when I signed the contract, they could only put two names down: first and last.  Japanese people don’t have middle names, and I have to put my name down on everything exactly as it’s printed on my resident card, which has all three of my names.  This little conundrum could only be solved by combining two of the three names, resulting in FIRSTMIDDLE LAST.  The woman who sold me the contract saw my name and read it aloud.  I told my coworker, Hiroko-san, that it sounded like when my mother was mad at me to hear my first and middle name in such rapid succession, which she thought was hysterical, so she explained it to the woman working at the store, and they giggled together.

Quick vocab lesson:
Campaign- special offer
Service- free sample

I found a traditional Japanese inn behind the school where I work.  I went in just to check it out, and found a really beautiful lobby with dark wood, communal tables and benches, a long bar across the back wall, a friendly owner whose English is excellent, and a little white dog who might be a bit too friendly.  We made friends as soon as I came in, and while I chatted with the owner.  I took a business card and was just about to walk out when the dog tackled me at the ankles.  I turned around, and he was crouched a few feet away, head near the ground, butt in the air, in full playful mode.  I played with him a bit while the owner laughed and apologized.  I shared the info with my dad, assuming he’d be interested in staying there when he came to visit.

While reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with a class, the topic of jurors came up, and the students gave me some great info about the way a Japanese courtroom were once run.  The current system resembles ours, but up until about four years ago, jurors were paid professionals whose only job was to populate juries.

A male student during another class got distracted by my facial expressions and abruptly announced that he didn’t know how to raise just one eyebrow at a time, or wink.  Everyone tried, many failed.  So cute.

In the class for high schoolers, the two girls and I discussed anime.  One of them told me about a horror anime that sounds genuinely scary, so I told her it sounds great, but that I can’t watch it because I can’t handle scary stuff.

One of the women in another class read several signs in our textbook, and got confused when we came across one that says, “tires and exhaust.”  She read it instead as “tired and exhausted,” and we all enjoy a good laugh.

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About Toph Beifong

www.tigerlilytoph.com View all posts by Toph Beifong

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