When living in Japan I think it is important to (1) have Japanese friends and (2) have Japanese friends who are not just your students (assuming you are a teacher). I know many people who either just hang out with other foreigners, or hang out with their students, but I think it’s important to get a mixture of friends. And it’s even better if those friends don’t all speak English – this will help your Japanese to improve greatly and you’ll learn more!
I’ve often mentioned my Anjo family. You might recall that I once spent a very magical Japanese New Year with them. These people are the family of my ex-student’s husband. Some of them speak English a little bit, but generally we communicate with Japanese. Well, last Sunday it was time to visit them and say “sayonara”.
I went to their house with my ex-student and friend, Kazue. We walked there from Anjo Station. Anjo is a very quiet place – there’s really not much there at all. I love the house in Anjo, though. It’s full of interesting trinkets and photos, and seems like a really normal Japanese house to me. We always sit on the floor around a low table and, this time, we had a feast of “temaki sushi” (hand-rolled sushi which you roll yourself with your favourite ingredients).
(L-R: Mikaさん, Akihikoさん, Yukiちゃん, Masatakaくん, Atsuoさん, Chitoseさん, Kazueさん, Me)
I’m so grateful to my Anjo family for sharing so many adventures with me and for their endless kindness. They are really lovely people, and I hope to see them again someday (Akihiko – I’ll let you know if the Pet Shop Boys are playing n London!). 😀