Vietnamese-Japanese Teaching Style
I understood only the Japanese parts of the conversation/session; the Vietnamese explanations were totally beyond me. However, because they were using the same book I did, I recognized many of the examples she was using to teach her sister the concepts, and which common errors she was correcting, even though it was happening in Vietnamese.
The book she used is the green Minna No Nihongo (Japanese For Everyone) book pictured above! The green book is in Japanese only, but there are many versions of the yellow companion “explanations” book in students’ native languages, English in my case.
Kanji Power! (漢字の力)
I continue to thoroughly enjoy the Kanji, even as I start my preparations for leaving Japan. I expected my interest would wane as I got ready for my next step, but apparently my brain has decided it needs to soak up as much Kanji as it can while I have the huge benefit of being surrounded by Kanji all day every day. I’m not going to argue, especially not when I enjoy learning it so much.
My friend Anastasia traded Kanji books with me before she left for Russia, and signed the book in Roman and Cyrillic at my request. Both of our books have English, but hers also had Spanish and Portuguese explanations, and sometimes they help me more than the English. Plus it’s neat to just be able to see the same things explained in different ways by different translators. Plus it reminds me of Anastasia and makes me happy.
Breakfast Of Champions - West Vs East
My Vietnamese roommate wandered into the kitchen, her eyes less than halfway open, and sat down with her breakfast. She had two slices of white bread slathered with butter and strawberry jam, washed down with cold milk.
We looked at each others’ breakfasts and laughed, wondering if we should trade. My roomie hates bitter melon, though, and I am not a fan of white bread, so we went back to munching our own respective breakfast, contented but amused.
Pushing The Needle Too Far
I posted a super-intense blog on depression on my professional blog at HealthyNP. It went over like a lead balloon. I lost a number of readers due to it and alienated some others. I feel kind of dumb about it, too, because I pushed myself incredibly hard to share (read: overshare) what I did on the post.
After getting the negative feedback, I neutered the post and took out the graphic parts. It kind of looks sad now, and I’ve been upset at myself about making the mistake. However, it’s a lesson learned, and I’ll move forward from here.
Stupid Foreigner Rudeness (バカ外人のしつれいします)
Other things, however, I wish I had known earlier, because they’re easy fixes. For example, from now on when eating with Vietnamese folks I will take only a few bites’ worth of food at a time from the serving plate, and never eat the last morsel.
The conversation was definitely a nice big smack to my ego, but overall it was a relief, because now I have some easily-actionable advice to take from it, and also it helped clear the air between us.
This conversation came about because I had done three super-rude things in a row, two days in a row. I knew about one of them, and already felt sufficiently bad about that one, because I really did just plain screw up. But I had no idea about the other two issues, so the conversation really helped restore our relationship in the face of my “oopsies."
Makeup Or: Making Up
They made up the same day my roommate made up with me, and I learned how to be less of a “stupid foreigner” in Asia. I noticed at the end of the day, after all the various “makeup” sessions, I had started humming and whistling again, my mood significantly improved. Gravy.
I also had a bunch of hotel reward points from my novice foray into travel hacking, and was able to get hotels for all 5 nights of the journey for $41. I’m pretty excited about it, since learning these travel hacking tips will allow me to finance my travel addiction, err I mean passion, in the future.
This journey to visit family in the Azores has been 2 years in the making, and I am super excited to see everyone!! I’m not going to lie; I’m also excited about actually having wifi at home! It’s the little things.
Year (Week) Of The Yo-Yo
I’m excited for my next adventure, too, though, so I’ll keep trucking along...
Until next week,