I’m hopeful that someday I will get where I understand what other people say to me and I can make myself understood by others. I hate it when I’m able to say something in Japanese, then the other person thinks I really can speak Japanese and rattles off a bunch of things that I have no idea what it is. The other day I was walking down the path and it was rather cool out. I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, a fleece jacket and my rain coat on the outside. Several children were shoeless with their pants rolled up playing in a knee deep pool of water. I said Konnichiwa to them and they all stopped and stared at me, so I wanted to say something. The only thing I could quickly think to say to them was Samui desu (It’s cold). All of them started talking at once and I have no idea what they were saying.
We finished the original book in Japanese class and our teacher showed us the book we would be using next – Minna no Nihongo.
I took a photo with my iPod of the back cover with the ISBN number and headed to the bookstore. The store has four floors and I have no idea how things are arranged, nor can I read the signs. I went to the service desk and said in Japanese I want to buy the book and I pointed to the picture of the back cover on my iPod. The clerk understood me! and said in Japanese Wait a minute. I understood him! He poked his computer and made a phone call and again said wait a minute in Japanese. About one minute later another employee came running down the escalator with the book I wanted in his hands. He gave me the book with two hands and bowed. I gave the book to the clerk, who scanned it and told me how much it cost (in Japanese, which I understood). I paid and happily left the store with my book. I know it was just a few simple sentences, but the clerk understood me and I understood him and I bought the book all by myself. But still, I really need to study more.