Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Useless Lesson.

I have to get the most important item out of the way:

Tah Dah!  or, alternatively, Shyan! (シャ ン!)
Check out my new distinguished soap dispenser.
Last week I was listening to some stand up comedy mix while I worked on a few things for FINvites, and one of the bits I heard was talking about how you can tell poor people from not poor people.  I don't have a better way to phrase that, stand up is generally a blunt art form.  But the observation the comic made was that if you go to someone's house and they have their plastic bottle of dish soap on the edge of their kitchen sink, they're poor.  At the time I giggled a bit.  Except then every time I've done dishes after that I've had this inner monologue of "People will think we're poor if we keep this jank bottle of ¥100 dish soap out on the counter.  I need a proper dispenser."

Do you ever get an idea stuck in your head that YOU know, logically, is REAL dumb?  
But it sticks anyway?  
Tell me about it in the comments!

I let that weirdly eat at me for about a week.  Today I realized it had festered too long.  Just go GET a dispenser already if it bugs you, Kp.  So I did.  I walked 3 miles to the big mall and bought the pretty dispenser you see.  Also I bought the bottle brush, but that's irrelevant to the story.

Moving on.

This is more or less a continuation of the last post about coffee.  As you may recall, I make a point to grab a Venti drip-coffee on my way to my weekly Japanese class with S-San, because
A.  It's a nice treat
B.  My lesson is in the morning
C.  I need coffee to be a decent, functioning human being in the morning
D.  All of the above and more.

Except yesterday I was running late.  Just a conglomeration of little things all piling up as I was trying to get out the door to get on the train, and I realized if I had any hope of making it to class on time, I was not going to be able to stop at the Starbucks for the 3 seconds it now takes for me to get my order (Side note: perk of being a foreigner in Japan?  If you stand out like I do, and go to the same Starbucks and order the same thing enough times in a row at the same time each week... they'll start making it for you when you round the corner in front of the store so you just have to give them money).  So I went to class completely un-caffeinated.  It was predictably a train wreck:

(I borrowed a tactic from another Japanese Expat's comic: from here on, assume that if I've used Japanese quotation marks:  「」that the words are actually in Japanese.)
I need you all to appreciate how awesome S-San is for her confidence here.
Japanese women are so traditionally demure, and she just laughs in the face of
that expectation to pantomime an explosion so that I can understand
Smokey the Bear does NOT need to get on a flight over here ASAP.
And then when my brain completely crapped out, she switched gears and just started practicing her English a bit.  Which is much easier for me to process:

Thankfully S-San is an insanely patient person, so even though I was completely unable to focus on anything long enough to understand her, her questions, or what she was trying to teach me yesterday, she didn't chastise me at all until I was packing up after the lesson, whereupon she just smiled and said "don't forget your coffee next time, Kristin-San!"

today's tiny language lesson
公園に動物がいます。縞馬のとなりがいます。キリンはあそこです。
ko-en ni doubutsu ga imasu.  Shima-uma no tonari ga imasu.  Kirin wa asoko desu.
The animals are in the park. The elephant is next to the zebra.  The giraffe is over there.
(aka the grammar I was supposed to be practicing yesterday)

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