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[personal profile] redmisoplz
I suppose it's not possible to simply "cut and run" from here without any damage. For all my bitching about not being connected to the community, that's actually a bit of a lie.

I got an e-mail randomly a few days ago from Miaki-sensei. It said there was a visitor from Duluth's sister city in Japan coming here for a week and there would be a party for him. I had a ticket to see a comedian that night at 8pm, but since the party was at 6, I figured I could say hello and just leave a little early. So I made up some tabouleh and took that as my contribution to dinner. Many of the local Japanese wives were there as well as affluent people connected to the sister cities program and the local Rotary. I hadn't seen the wives in a while, so I was happy I had a chance to talk with them again. I told them I was leaving, and everyone was really sad to hear it. They were saying things like, "Well, if Robin leaves, what'll we do? It's such a shame we're losing her." I don't know that I really make much of a difference, but I guess it's nice to know some people think so? Taeko-san, the "grand madame" of the wives, was there and introduced me to one of the Duluth women by saying,"This is Robin. You know, she speaks fluent Japanese." The woman said,"Is that so? Wow!" I said, "Oh no no no, I'm certainly not fluent*." Taeko-san replied, "No, it's true. I don't say that about just anybody. I'm serious." I'm happy to hear someone has that much faith in me... I just wish I hadn't lost all the stuff I used to know. (*People who knew me in Japan: You wouldn't recognize me now. I can't nihongo my way out of a paper bag these days. >_<;;)

The visitor was the grandfather of a young woman studying English here for the summer. Of course grandpa didn't speak any English, so when he wanted to make a speech to the group, a translator was needed. Have you ever been watching a cartoon where a volunteer is needed, so the people who don't want to volunteer take one giant step backward and the clueless individual is left out in front as the sucker? Guess who was clueless last night! ^_^; So there I was kinda suckered into translating this man's speech. I hope I got everything right! >_<; But from what I could tell, he was just saying he appreciated everyone coming together on his behalf and he was grateful to the hosts for having the party and hosting his granddaughter in their home. I felt so bad for him at times because he didn't really have anyone to talk to. The woman I was sitting next to wanted to ask about his koi pond, so I was doing my best to translate her questions and his answers. She wanted to know how long the fish lived, and there was a time in my life when I would've known how to ask how long an animal's life span is, but I ended up just saying something like, "How old are your fish?" which is a weird question, I think. =/ But I think it all worked out. His granddaughter and another young girl who just spent a year here as a high school exchange student talked together a lot, and I was listening in. At one point the high school girl was explaining turducken and I almost choked on my soumen laughing. XD

I was having a lot of fun until someone really unpleasant walked in. Did I ever tell you all about this other guy that works at my school who also does study abroad advising? Well, in case I didn't, I'll make it short: There's this other guy here who is the international student recruiter, a job that takes him away from school a lot, so when study abroad students need help, he's not here. Even when he does talk with them, he doesn't really "advise" and tell them what they need to know, so they don't get all the info and it sometimes ruins their plans to go abroad. (It happened twice this past semester alone.) Nobody at the school has the guts to just tell him, "You need to stop advising for study abroad," so I've been working this whole time kinda behind his back except not really because it's my job? Ugh, so confusing and frustrating. Anyway, he walked in last night, and I was like, "FML. Why does he have to be here?" As it turns out, I didn't even get a chance to talk to him because he had friends to talk to and I was with the wives and the girls. Still, though, super awkward. =/

Before I had to run to my next obligation, I did get a nice gift from the grandfather. He'd brought us all small plates - kutani yaki - from Ishikawa prefecture. It made me think that maybe I need to buy something nice for all the wives to show my appreciation for them sort of taking me in when nobody else did. I'll need to think of something nice...



redmisoplz: 1月 (Default)

March 2015

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