Friday, August 5, 2005

You Can't Even Tell That It's 8,000 Degrees

Gosh, I had the best time on Monday. I went to my first hanabi -- Japanese fireworks party. It was so much fun! I couldn't take my eyes off of all the kawaii kids in their yukatas, but my favorite cutie pies are in the other picture. I've never gotten into American fireworks, so I almost skipped the event here. In Japan, there are fireworks all summer long, as each cho or neighborhood has their summer festival on a different day. It blew my friend's minds when I told them that in America we have fireworks once a year and it's always on the same day everywhere. She said, "Seattle?" and I said, "Yes, on July 4th." She thought about it for a minute and said, "New York?" and I said, "Yep, July 4." She doesn't know a lot of cities in the US or I think we would have been doing that all night.

My vocabulary is always pretty basic around my friends because they don't speak English and I don't speak Japanese. I try to be accommodating, so I end up saying one-word sentences a lot when my friend Toshi-san introduces me to new Japanese things. I can't really express myself by saying "You've gotta be kidding me" or "Holy crap" or "Man, that's twisted." She frequently mimics me to learn English (uh-ho...) and now has a habit of saying, "Gosh-o" all the time. Whenever she says that, she looks at me for approval. On Monday I noticed that she picked up something new since the last time we got together. Apparently she used her electronic dictionary to look up some words, so every time I said "Wow!" she whispered to herself "Shock" trying to memorize the meaning. Better keep it PG-13 around her.

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