a little east of reality

Friday, August 19, 2005

my new japanese boarder

I have a Japanese student staying with me for 3 weeks. She arrived yesterday afternoon, tired from the flight and crying over being away from her family and boyfriend. I think she is not so much homesick as nervous at being in a new country and unsure how far her not at all fluent English is going to take her.

The hardest thing is resisting the urge to speak Japanese. I SOOOO want to, but she's here to learn English so it hardly seems fair to use the opportunity to practice my Japanese. Still, it is nice just to be able to talk about 'things Japanese' even in English. She was surprised to walk in through my front door and find that the first thing she saw was a poster of Hyde, a Japanese rock star (that's his pic to the left). Though she prefers pop singers like Ayumi Hamasaki, I think it was a nice surprise. Who knows?

So far she seems very much like other typical Japanese girls, in the 'my hobby is shopping/my cat is pretty/I am ever-so-slightly vapid' sense of 'typical'. I know that sounds negative but when you've had three years of asking 17-year-old girls what their dream for the future is, and most of the time gotten an answer along the lines of 'to own a Louis Vitton bag', you get a little impatient with the shallowness of it all. I always preferred the boys, who were generally into something - whether sport or music or whatever - something more than taking purikura and reading fashion mags anyway. I was surprised to learn that she doesn't like sushi. That's certainly atypical for a Japanese. But hey, I wasn't planning to make sushi anyway, so I guess it's a positive. Anyway, it's too early to tell what she's really like, so I'll try not to label her too quickly.