Sapporo My Savior.
OKAY. I had my flight to Sapporo today. It sucked to say goodbye to all of my friends, but I was happy to be getting to where I want to be finally. [which in truth was just Japan, but Tokyo is like … practically America, I swear. Okay, not really, but … there was just too much English, and spending all my time with Americans like tourists.]
Mabs, Anna, Jess and I before we all got separated to be sent off to our families.
My flight to Sapporo wasn’t all that long … I think it’s an hour and a half or so? And THAT was where I had my first conversation in Japanese ~ ! Well. My first real one. It went like this:
Flight attendant: -comes up with drink cart- Would you like something to drink?
Me: -nods- 水を ください。[Water, please.]
Flight attendant: あ！ じょうず、 ね？ べんきょうを しましたか？ [Oh! You’re very good, aren’t you? Have you studied?]
Me: うん。 高校で、 二年かん。[Yeah, I studied for two years in high school.]
Flight attendant: すごい、ね！ [Wow!]
Of course, Japanese people are very flattering. They’re always super-surprised when you know Japanese, and they say: “Oh, you’re so good!” all the time. Well, from what I’ve picked up so far, anyway … Because, when I got off the plane, and got my baggage from baggage claim, as soon as I walked out into the public area, a lady came up to me saying: “Roren desuka?” [Are you Loren?] And as soon as I said yes, she practically … squeed, and grabbed my arm and started leading me towards her husband, saying things in broken Japanese that I couldn’t really understand, haha. As we worked our way through the airport, she and her husband and I conversed in a mix of English and Japanese, our conversation ranging anywhere from asking about my friends to what the weather was like in Tokyo. We managed to make it to a ramen restaurant, where we had … well, we had quite assuredly the best ramen I’ve ever tasted. Of course, Hokkaido is KNOWN for it’s ramen, but nevertheless.
It. Was. Amazing.
We spent dinner slurping and subsequently fanning ourselves and saying: “あつい！ あつい！” [Hot! Hot!] and laughing.
I already know I love this family. I also know that they’re not the Kondo family, the family I’m supposed to be with the whole time? This is all pretty confusing, with the language barrier and all … my host mom said something about a week of relaxing, and school, and something else, but it’s really hard to follow.
ANYWAY, that is a problem for another time! I shall finish explaining how my day went.
So we ate, then got to the car [Resulting in a joke about the “filth of a business man,” because her husband’s car was so dirty. Pretty hard to translate without losing the funny, but it’s hilarious in Japanese.], drove a lot, spending the whole way talking about my family, my life, my friends. We took a detour and went up a mountain [Name translated = Hairless Mountain; ensued in me explaining our “Mt. Baldy”] and took pictures at a view point. Ahh, Japan is just so utterly gorgeous. Especially Hokkaido, in my opinion.
Otaru, Hokkaido. So. Damn. Pretty.
Me with my host mom and my host dad, overlooking Otaru and the sea.
Anyway, after, we stopped by okaasan’s [mother’s] work, where she and I had green tea, and then we went home. She said she had to take her 15-year-old son out for a haircut, so I could sleep if I wanted to [we made up my bed and everything. Nope, no futon in my room.], and then left. I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep, because I was too excited, but then I let myself lay down on the bed and ended up sleeping until 8:30 pm! At that point, okaasan woke me up to eat, and I came downstairs, and smelled something absolutely wonderful; OKONOMYAKI! Ramen and okonomiyaki are my two favourite Japanese foods, and I got both of them in one day ~ ! *
Otousan [Dad] and my host-brother were down there, and otousan was cooking the okonomiyaki. They both laughed and said “Ohayo ~ !” [Good morning!], and I laughed and sat down, grinning and telling them how much I love okonomiyaki. I could only manage to eat one before I got full [whereas my host brother and father were eating two and three! Damn.], and went back upstairs, which is where I am now. Ahhh, such a wonderful day. I think I’ll sleep now.
On another note, it’s so nice and cool out today! It’s like a SoCal winter.
I think I’ll love Hokkaido.
*Note: okonomiyaki = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okonomiyaki