Final day of Japanese practice before this gets real, ahhh! Yet another nice sensei again today, and it was more basic grammar review which meant I remember a lot more of it – huzzah for feeling capable! Today my group was lead by another super sweet sensei, KaXX-sensei, who’s pictured below! Once class was over there was a huge slot of free time for me (no class ’til 3, gosh what a break) so Lizzie, Lydia (new pal from Carlton College!) went on an adventure.
Okay, adventure might be a bit of a strong word for our little afternoon stroll, but it was exciting, so charge me as guilty. When we stayed at the Kyoto Garden Palace Hotel there was a jinja right down the street, as in 1 block over, so we decided to head there from school and check it out. It’s a 10 minutes or less walk, so it’s likely that I’ll be back in the future. Anyways, this was shrine dedicated to some boff warrior guy back back way back. Legend has it he was in battle , being his usual fantabulous strong self when his leg got injured. You know what that means? It means woah no, man down. No good, right? Well, he must’ve been tossing his coins in a fountain, or perhaps jinja since he was in Japan, ’cause luckily for him 300 wild boar popped out of nowhere to whisk his sad butt away to safety. I just have to say, I’m sure this is a well-respected story of cultural significance, and I completely get that and admire it, it’s just that I just can’t help but picturing some guy cartoon-style bouncing on the back of this herd of chibi-boars (like the pic below) with speed clouds animated and a slew of weird piggy grunting noises. Tacking his armor onto the image only makes it better. Disregarding that, story goes on just a bit more to explain that when he hit safety, then the ground, his leg magically healed and this shrine is dedicated to him, so if you’re having leg problems, or are traveling, this is the place to go. In the trend of my year, I’m definitely going back and I’m likely to buy an omamori from the shrine. Oh, and regarding the title? There are 2 boar statues in front of the shrine, one male one female, and you can’t tell which is which unless you find their parts, which I couldn’t do. Lydia figured it out, but there was some intense questioning before that.
For lunch we headed to that cute cafe I went to last week, Cha no Man, to enjoy some tea/coffee, salad and spicy curry-rice. Oishikatta! Then it was class time for Lizzie and break time for me & Lydia, so we went back to the campus and I did some reading before class. Not too exciting. Oh! On the way back though some taxi veered up on the curb, no hesitation, to dump its passenger before proceeding to just chill there for a bit. I took a picture of it because it was just one of those “what the hell?” moments. Then class happened, it finished, I questioned why I bothered to read my article and left. Upon leaving the campus they were trimming a bunch of branches and making a mess in front of Meitokukan, so of course I took a picture. Why not? Featuring: the lovely Lydia.
At home I just got ahead on some homework, talked to okaa-san and otou-san as usual. Or did I? No, because I’m cracking otou-san’s shell and it’s getting exciting! He’s pretty shy, and doesn’t know any English (not that it should matter, but okaa-san does have that background which has proven useful for some of our more involved convos) so when we come to a questionable point in the convo it’s a full halt. But that’s okay, because charades is totally my thing (if it wasn’t before you bet it is now!) and we have jishos. Oh man, we were talking and I asked what was across the street from the house, since it looks like a car garage but I have no idea? So what does he do, he looks up what it is in Japanese then so adorably sweetly wrote out the name of the place in romaji. We’d gotten to the point where I understood what the place was generally (a research facility), but it doesn’t look like one and I couldn’t understand what type so he looked up its roman characters and wrote it out for me – it’s the . . . (tbu). So. Nice. Uwahhh!
Last but not least today I was telling okaa-san how I went to a jinja and I wanted to know which one (I forget it’s name), so I was talking about it a lot. We got into the fact that there are stamp books for jinja, and I told her about my wanting to get one for my time in Kyoto. So, being the goddess she is she gave me this old, beautiful unused stamp book (that’s a casual thing here) to bring around. So pretty!
wifi is wonk again, i’ll try w/pics tomorrow!