Oh bloody hell, where do I start? So today was the day I was to meet with the board of education for my teaching area Oyabe. I was told to dress smart but not to worry about speaking in the meeting as my IC (international co-ordinator) would handle it all. OK fine, so I just need to look nice oh and smile a lot since smiles go a long way in Japan!
So my first formal meeting in Japan. Typical then that instead of meeting one of the usual lakkies in the department this time we have to meet the head of the BofE in Oyabe. First time for Etsuko, my IC (international co-ordinator- helps with settling in). She got so nervous which just makes me nervous. We both get out our speeches in the car. I'm trying to remember how to say "I'm learning Japanese but its not good yet" and am struggling. She's trying to recite where & what I did at uni. Poor love. Communication and cultural studies with media doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
So we were ushered into the big cheese' office where 6 or so men stood up to greet us; a flurry of bowing. Eeek, I didn't know who to bow at first and how low to bow so that all went a bit wrong but nevermind. I made sure I wasn't the first to drink my green tea (now I should say in Japanese; O-cha) so not to offend. The meeting lasted for approx 5 minutes and in that time the head cheese decided to target all the questions at me. My "wakarimasens" just didn't work, he carried on with his questions. I smiled a lot and ended up answering in English. I was cringing. My intro Japanese course got me nowhere!
The minute I landed back on Kanazawa soil, I signed up for 2 x Japanese lessons per week at the Rifare. Never again! I'm going to be fluent in no time....