Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'd recognize that accent anywhere...

Ah, the small joys one clings to when living in Japan. Went out to the Lion's Head with Takashi and Scott as is the usual plans on Wednesday night. After his one beer, Takashi-san ran off to get his train and Scott and I ordered our second (and last) round as usual accompanied with the weekly Tomatoe and Basil Pizza. Shortly after devouring the pizza, I headed to the can in the back of the bar and as I walked by a table with three young gents talking, my seventh-sense kicked in... Was that French? No no no, was that Canadian-French? Non non non, c'est impossible! Ce ne peut pas être un accent québecois-français, provenant de la région de Montréal ou même de la rive-sud!!!

Sure enough! After removing the beer from my bladder I stopped on by their table and there it was. My mother tongue in all it's glory! I hadn't heard a native French speaker in Japan since meeting those two girls from Rimouski in June. It was great to have a quick chat with them and I hope to see them again at the Lion's Head some time soon. They are engineers working for Honda, from Montreal but originally from the Laurentians and the South-shore of the St-Lawrence. It made my day to have a good ol' chat with them in true crass french... none of this refined stuff I have to use with others I speak with here!

So that was the high point of the day for sure!

In other news, the plane tickets to Beijing are purchased... I have to make my way to Narita for 6:55 AM on December 25th, which means I need to spend the night near the airport, which means I have to leave directly after work on Saturday the 24th. I may stay at a group hostel type place which has cheap beds for the night... or I may just say fudge it, take the latest train I can out of here directly to Narita and spend the night dozing on a bench in the airport... don't know yet. Another option would be to spend the night at Alex's place in Saitama and take an early train out to Narita... we'll see when the time gets closer.

Other than that, not much else going on... except for the quake we had a couple of hours ago... around 8:40??? 6.5 magnitude quake, situated off the Japanese coast line, maybe 100 km from Utsunomiya. I think it was the biggest I've felt so far, and some of our students got pretty freaked out by it... I was in the middle of a discussion on whether Robots would make humans irrelevant and useless in the future when Isao looked up and said "Earthquake"... shortly thereafter, I noticed the quiet rumble and it turned to a more substantial shaking and rolling and the building got creaking pretty bad... lasted for a few minutes before it quieted down. In true Japanese form, I continued teaching... lol This was the second "big" quake in 4 days... the last one was a 5.0 about 60 km from here... didn't rock so bad as today though, I was on the 8th floor of Parco in the book store when it hit... such is life in Japan I guess.

I've started reading Alex Kerr's Lost Japan, pretty good so far. I also have a BBQ\festival thing to go to on Sunday by the riverside. Yoshi and I will be joining Takashi and his friends for a yearly event which involves some kind of river-side cooking... not sure quite what it all entails but all I was told to bring was some beers... so that works for me! Following the BBQ, I need to run back down here to prepare dinner, so busy Sunday but no plans (yet) for Monday.

Am of course anxiously awaiting the care package which is making it's way from Canada to Japan, sent by Mr. Lewis himself... at great expense from what I understand... shipping is a bitch! Will be a great morale booster, just in time for Winter! You da man Smee!

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Anonymous Kinuk said...

Hiya Michel,
This has got nothing to do with your blog post, sorry. I've just stumbled across your blog and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the photos of Utsunomiya. I was an ALT in Haga-machi for a couple of years (97 to 99) and came into Utsu regularly. So your photos are a real trip down memory lane (Tobu! Is that the big Tobu in the centre?). Keep them coming. I've really enjoyed reading about your experiences, as well.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Yes, that is in fact the large Tobu in the center of town... about 10 minutes walk from the station, near Orion-dori...

Tochigi is a great place to live, glad I could take you down memory lane a bit... if you poke around in the August archives, you can see the Mia-Matsuri festival as well.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Kinuk said...

I've checked out the August archives and the sight of Parco and Orion-dori had me all reminiscent-like. I showed it to my husband and he enjoyed seeing the photos. Glad to see you're enjoying your life in Utsunomiya and Tochigi. I really did like it, too. Nice and quiet, with pretty good weather year-round and close enough to Tokyo.

2:01 PM  

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