Oh, today was a fun day! It was rainy all day long, which made for an interersting trek to and from the train stations….but it was just one small part of a really fun day. While I was at the Ayaragi-eki (station), two women in their 60’s started talking to me…I think the one was the same woman who had verbally accosted me a few weeks ago…but they were nice, and I have learned a bit more Japanese since then, so I was able to communicate a little more than before. We established that I still don’t know Japanese, that it was cold-ish outside, and rainy…that the Japanese I do know is very good, but it’s difficult, that the one woman’s grandmother had been to Wisconsin at some point in history, and that they would like to swap noses with me.
I shopped for some goodies for movie night tonight, and some eggs so I could make my “Sarah Special” for lunch. It’s a really yummy dish and I don’t see myself getting tired of it any time soon. When I describe it to people some say that it sounds like an American/Japanese dish…so they’ve all just settled on calling it the “Sarah Special.” I’m satisfied.
At 2pm, Mika came by and picked me up for my yukata putting-on practice lesson today. Her dog, Dinah, a boy dog, was in the car with her, and repeatedly tried to have his way with my arm…all to the wonderful tunes of Avril Lavigne. It ended with me hanging on to his collar, forcing him to lie down on the seat between Mika and I…my arms were tired of holding him back by the end of it.
Mika’s mother works in a kimono shop and teaches women how to put them on. She decided to give me a yukata, which is the summer version of the kimono (not as many layers and therefore, easier to put on). She gave me all the accessories too!: The special undergarments (not like the Mormons wear), the sandals, a handbag, the yukata itself and the obi that is wrapped around it. My homework is to sew together the underwrap that is used to minimize the curves of a woman’s body. In old Japan, the straighter the more attractive…which is kind of difficult for me, but it went over very well. We practiced putting on the yukata first…doing it three times. My arms were exhausted. It’s a very elaborate procedure, but really interesting. It’s like a dance in itself. Mika was having trouble and her mother concluded that I am more Japanese than Mika because I was learning very quickly. After that, we learned how to put on the obi, which is just as elaborate as putting the dress on itself! We did that three times and finally I got the seal of approval. I’m going back next week for a refresher course (ha!) and to see that I finished my “homework.”
It was such a fun time and I really got to interact with Mika’s mother, which was great. It’s very seldom that you are invited to someone’s home…and, well, I actually didn’t go inside their home…it was a side building, set more in the garden, but still, it was within their gate (a very expensive gate…they are wealthy people.) After that, Mika took me back to the Center and then decided to stay as we had a movie night. We watched “Flight of the Phoenix”…the new one with Dennis Quaid…and either I was in a poor mindset for it, or it really was a badly made film, I would suggest not watching it. Anywho, there you go, and here are links to some pictures for you to enjoy!
Have a great weekend everyone! Sarah ><>