Sunday, June 13, 2010

Getting Settled

On the train when I was about to meet my host family, I swear to god I almost puked. But the second I saw my adorable host mom and my host sister, it all went away. All of my worries about not having a host sibling and my family being super traditional and everything else disappeared, and I felt okay. They have a shiba-inu, so it's like I have a smaller, better trained version of my puppy with me even when I'm in Japan. She sits a the table with us during dinner! (They had to pull up an extra chair because I took hers.) It's only my second day living with them an already I feel at home here.
And if I thought I was going to stop speaking AP Japlish, well, that won't happen. My host sister spent last year in New York City, so her English is pretty good. Our conversations are a little odd; she speaks English to me with Japanese words and phrases thrown in, and I reply in Japanese with English words and phrases thrown in.
My host dad also likes to use English, but he's not as good at it. He knows different words, like peanuts (he insisted on showing me exactly what a peanut was), small insects (he has these crazy little insects that look a lot like shrimp, and it was their birthday today), and various random words that I can't quite understand at first because of his accent.

Today I went with my host sister to her teacher's party. Her teacher's from the Philippines (she speaks basically perfect English, so she's a winner in my book) and she leads a volunteer group that helps out in the Philippines. Right no they're making bags for kids in the Philippines to use in school. So today we got to the party, cooked, had curry and rice, cleaned up, went shopping for fabric for the bags, got back, got some more food ready to eat (cake, Pocky, and another Japanese snack called Choco Pie, I think), ate, and talked about how they were going to make the bags.

All they do in this country is EAT. The first thing I did when I got home, after eating twice, was eat dinner. Another thing I've noticed about Japanese food is the way they treat seafood. In America, people will always ask you if you'll eat seafood and at least in Texas, it's sort of alien. In Japan, they don't think anything of it because it's most of what they eat. That attitude is very catching too. Last night I ate shrimp, today I ate shrimp in the curry and rice, and this evening I ate clam chowder for the first time ever without a second thought.

I think I'm gonna like it here.


Katie B said...

Hahahhaa oh lena your family sounds so awesome!!!! And that is exactly how I felt before I met my host family..But it sounds like you're having an amazing time!! I'm so glad!!

Anonymous said...

I've been told the Japanese eat with their eyes. In other words its all about presentation. Have you experienced that? - Kaci

Lena Ray said...

I guess the presentation's pretty good (I wish I had brought my camera to that cake shop I went to yesterday) but the taste isn't too bad either. Food is much prettier here than it is at home though.

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