My stomach is full of mochi right now. I just got home from the Mochitsuki, a Japanese new year celebration put on by my uni’s Center for Japanese Studies. I volunteered for four hours and my job was to help at the games table.
The time actually passed really quickly because it was basically spent playing games with the people who would come up to the table. I was expecting something more like carnival games where I would simply direct the players in what to do and then monitor their game-play, but instead I got to play Japanese board and card games with them. It did start to get old after a couple hours, but at least I was occupied. 🙂
The person in charge of the games table turned out to be a Japanese teacher at the university. I believe he teaches third-year Japanese; I’m in second-year. I felt pretty embarrassed talking to him because he was speaking Japanese and I kept having to ask him to repeat himself, and then sometimes I still only understood part of what he was saying. I was probably pretty disrespectful, too (in Japanese culture it’s important to be extremely polite to your superiors), but he knew I was only a second-year student so hopefully he understood. Maybe he won’t remember me when I have him as a teacher next year… or maybe he’ll remember me and like me more because of today. xD He was very nice, at any rate.
And then there’s one of my Japanese teachers who I’ve had ever since I started three semesters ago. I love him to bits, but I always get so caught off guard when I run into him. I remember the first time I saw him outside of class, instead of the required bow, I WAVED. I was so, so, so ashamed. It’s easy to remember to conform to Japanese cultural standards in a Japanese setting, like class or today’s Mochitsuki, but outside of that, oh man. OH MAN.
I ran into him a couple times today since he was also working at the Mochitsuki, and he waved both times. Both times! I don’t understand things anymore. “Leggetto-san, konnichiwa!” And yet, a wave. Ah well. I’ll go nurse my smarting brain and tired stomach with some good old-fashioned video games. That, or a book. Not a Japanese book, though. I need some respite.