If I had to describe my time in Japan using one word, that word would be BUSY.
It’s been non-stop during the six days since my last post, and I’ve barely had time to keep up with my poorly written travel diary, let alone write a coherent blog post.
This week I’ve been more than a tourist; I’ve been a student, a teacher, a cultural guide and an eating machine.
Despite the title of this post, I’m not actually in Osaka as I write this. I’m in the neighbouring city of Amagasaki, where I’ve been attending classes at Sonoda Womens’ University.
I’ll leave details about uni life for another post, but for now I’ll leave my comment that Japanese is a bloody difficult language (for me to learn, at least) when you’re thrown in the deep end.
But this week hasn’t been all classes, there’s been plenty of exploring and other fun stuff going on. There have been plenty of shopping trips trying to find a bargain, and so much wonderment as I’ve wandered the aisles in supermarkets and konbinis (convenience stores).
I’ve gotten lost, I found back alley ramen, and have panicked a little when locals have come up to me and started to chat. Bear in mind, despite lessons, my Japanese is terrible.
As for a highlight, being a part of the Sonoda Junior High School English Festival has definitely been it. The young women in grades 7, 8 and 9 were not only excited to have special guests at their event, but to show their incredible communication skills.
It was so heartening so see teenagers so engaged and excited about learning, and their level of English is astounding for people so young.
Kudos to you girls – you’ve been an inspiration.