Friday, January 12, 2007

Alison san to Matthew san wa desu.

Another day in the productive lives of Alison san and Matthew san. . .

Well . . . Today opens with Alison san and Matthew san waking up around 7:30 to try and make it in and out of the single shower of the house with enough time to get out of the door by 9:30. Success! They are practically skipping to the Subways station excited about their Japanese classes. But Wait! The two adventurous youngsters need to get a day pass of the subway and the ticket machine is all in Japanese. Since they were on their way to the Japanese class for beginners, you could imagine they had some difficulty. Despite their best efforts they retrieve money, not tickets from the machine. Almost losing hope they turn to their trusty pocket phrase book and the ticket counter. Thank goodness Most people in Kyoto know more English than the two know Japanese! With tickets in their hand and saving more money than they thought, they are off to conquer the world, or at lease a couple sentences in Japanese.

After Learning how to say "I want this please", "How much is the udon and Beer" and "Here is 28,000 yen". They feel brilliant and are ready for another challenge. - Taking the subway then the train to the Fushimiinaritaisha Shrine. This actually proves to be simpler than they thought.

The next stage in their day opens with Alison san and Matthew san standing at the entrance of the shrine looking up at a huge red Torii with an angry looking fox on either side. Once they entered they saw that the shrine was beautiful and large. Both Matthew san and Alison san were impressed and amazed. They took a look walk under the Toriis. There where hundreds maybe even thousands! As they walked they felt a vague memory. Wait. . . Wait oh yes they realize what it is. The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The inspiration for The Gates now seems clear to these two, however, the impression that the Gates leave in your mind didn't seem to compare to what they experience this day.

As they wondered around the Toriis seemed endless. They eventually arrived at their destinations- the Archory Ceremony. This Ceremonry was particulary interesting because of all the formalities. -The multiple bows, the shooting of the bows in 4 different directions and also up and down. After the final shots, three women preformed thier tasks which were to serve sake and rice to all of the Archors and ceremonial helpers.

After leaving the ceremony, Alison san decided to be a little more adventurous and try the what the food vendor was selling. This was a pretty big mistake and the details will be spared from this story.

You would think this day was packed and the two youngsters must be tired and ready to head back home. Oh no. they are not done yet. There is still one more 50 yen Japanese Class offered at 7:30 pm. They hop back on the train and subway to learn more. During the time they waited for the class to start they sat in the International Community center's Library and studied more Japanese, looked over Japanes cook books for ideas and began reading more about India, their next stop on this world travel.

The two finished their class and made it back home by 9:30 pm and are preparing for another day at the communtiy center- takign part in culture activies such as ink painting, tea ceremonies, or maybe playing some Go ( a board game)

Thank you for taking the time to tune in. Please come again to see what these crazy kids are up to!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful writing.
I feel like I am there with you experienceing all these new adventures too. Wish I could.
~christopher san

Anonymous said...

Alison san, thank you, thank you for a great entry. How exciting is this - you two are so fortunate to be there and even more fortunate that you both have the wherewithal to take advantage of all these opportunities to really connect with the culture. Congratulations!! This takes a lot of energy and focus - keep up the great work - bonnie