Homestay, day 1
We got ourselves checked out of the hotel this morning and I found that calls to the US must be around $1/minute, as I’d called Ariesna a couple of times and hadn’t spoken all that long but the bill was rather high. After we were all checked out, we walked down to the language school. It was extremely hot out and there wasn’t a lot of shade. I noticed K was having problems, so I carried her bag for her to the school. Once we were there, one of the teachers brought us some drinks and snacks, but the A/C wasn’t working all that well and we were still frying.

About the time we’d gotten cooled off; the Hippo Family Club showed up. Apparently they study foreign languages by listening to music, singing, dancing and hosting foreign visitors for home stays. After a few silly dances and some singing, they paired us up with our host families. Then they asked somebody to say something to their host family. K-san asked me to go first; so I stood up –and then remembered to grab my phrasebook– then I rattled off the Japanese for: It’s nice to meet you. My name is Mark McKibben. and something else that I can’t remember now. Then I sat down expecting them to call on somebody else, but instead they broke up the meeting and we all went off with our host families. AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Why I did have to be the only one to embarass myself that way?!?!?

D and I went off with M-san & R-san and their 2 boys A & T to their apartment. We rested there for a while and then walked down to the grocery store. T kept trying to run ahead, so R-san had me hold his hand. We’d still occassionally run ahead, but I kept him from going too far. R-san bought a bunch of stuff for tempura and some sushi. We went back to their apartment but this time D took care of T while I pushed A’s stroller. Then Rika cooked up a storm with just a little help from M and we sat around their dinner table eating for a looooong time. I tried several pieces of sushi that I’d never had before and several that I really wish I hadn’t eaten. During dinner, M-san offered me a beer and pretty much by the time I said maybe it was poured and waiting for me to drink it. I think D looked a bit put out by that as he’s not old enough to drink yet. Then M-san and I chatted, using his laptop with a tranlating webpage up. He really wanted to work on his English, which was considerably better than my Japanese and we talked about a variety of subjects:

  • fishing
  • music
  • politics
  • movies
  • American food

M-san would definitly like to come to the USA someday and I offered to take him to dinner if he ever makes to my part of the USA. After dinner during our chat, M-san pulled out a bottle of Suntory whiskey which amused me because I’d seen Lost in Translation. He poured me a small amount and it was smooth in my mouth but burned all the way down my throat. After that he offered me some sake, which was much better than the hot sake that I’d tried back in the USA. Then I went to bed, and I got to sleep on a futon in the one room with tatami mats which was much more comfortable than one would think.

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