It's coming down to the wire here, and my Japanese is, at the least, someone utilitarian. In the very least I can respond to "Amerikajin desu ka?"
"Hai, Atoranta kara kimashita," and all the typical foreigner questions which is the most I can hope for after only a year of Japanese. Even still, it HAS been a full year since I began, and while I definitely see how I'm above a first-two-months student, I've got such a long, long way to go. The problem with any language at this point is choosing the way in which you want to learn it- a pedantic, scholarly way, a polite, business-etiquette way, or just the normal way. It's pretty much impossible to learn the normal way to speak a language without actually living there, so, huzzah, my path is set.
That's all I really wanted to post about today.
As for whats just going on:
I'm still working at Choo Choo's Express, a restaurant that serves a schizophrenic blend of Korean and Japanese ethnic food. It's passable fare, but the people are nice and I've never had any problems with the place as far as work is concerned. I don't want to work a restaurant job again but the management at the place is my sort of atmosphere. Plus, I got to say, I like my bosses. They are stereotypical Asian bosses: they'll reward you and help with whatever you need if you're a hard, dedicated worker, and that's the kind of worker I am.
Katie says I've been studying too much- that I'm going to Japan for the whole purpose of learning a language, so why waste time on this? I agree to a certain extent, but I don't want to just stop and have a basis to be nervous in conversation. That itself would defeat the purpose of this trip.
So, I've decided to socialize and learn English in the Japanese fashion- drinking with Japanese and pretending to be drunk, so that they let down their, er- etiquette shields. This is a cultural fact of life over there- if a boss wants to know the progress of his employee's project, he takes him out drinking to get a straight answer. Alcohol is just a great excuse to be socially forward in a reserved culture such as that of Japan.
I guess I'm out of writing energy. That's all for today.