Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I do love them ;-)

Again and again I feel the dichotomy of my stay here in Japan. There are things I love like Japanese people walking all the way with you after you asked them for directions just to make sure that you really get where you want.
But then there are also situations when I feel the urge to explode or better, to be able to speak Japanese fluently to communicate clearly what's on my mind. I know, it wouldn't help/change anything, but still it would maybe give me some satisfaction. ;-D.

For instance, I sometimes keep the car during the day and therefore go and get my hubby from work. I usually then wait at the side of the street that runs close to his office building, next to the pavement. Well, so one evening I arrived there about 5-10 minutes before 9 p.m. As my hubby usually brings his trolley from work and puts it on the back seats of the car, I thought it might be more convenient for him if I stopped the car in front of a gateway. For except for these gateways there are otherwise some sort of balustrades that separate the pavement from the street.

Well and this particular entrance way, in front of which I stopped, belongs to some sort of exhibition hall where trucks often come and unload or load things. But that particular evening there was no truck in sight and I thought "If ever a truck comes, I can still backup or sth.". Besides it was only some minutes before 9 p.m. So not much action was to expect.

After about 5 minutes of waiting there, some guy came, obviously some kind of janitor. I knew what was coming as he walked towards our car. I let down the window and he started talking to me in Japanese. Of course, I knew what he wanted. Well, after breething deeply, I backed up the car in order to get rid of him. Otherwise he probably would have kept talking to me and at that time my Japanese was way to bad to explain to him why I was standing there.

And guess what the guy then did?!!!! He pulled a metal chain across the gateway to close it for the night!!!!!!!

Japanese university students

I think it is pretty interesting to observe Japanese university students (undergraduates) giving presentations.
Quite a few of them dress up even more formally as some of us Westerners do for a job interview: suit, neatly ironed shirt and necktie or in the case of women the typical above-knee-long skirt, blouse and jacket.
Of course, giving such a professional impression you might expect them then to give also professional presentation. The reality is, however, often somewhat different: Often they read out their text, depending on their English skills more or less fast so that it gets difficult to really concentrate on their presentation all the time. Often their slides are way too fully packed. And sometimes the content isn't of the best and most interesting quality either.
Well, of course, this does not apply to all Japanese students, but still I experienced quite a bunch of these presentations.