Yesterday I went to a dinner party that was put together by one of the wonderful older ladies that I have been able to meet while living in Yanai. I call her Akita-san, she owns the company that I rent my apartment through. I have been able to meet many new people and do many different things because of the connection I have made with her.
Earlier this week I received a call from her asking if I was free Wednesday night to meet for dinner. I said yes I would be happy to join her, when she said “That’s great! I want to introduce you to someone. They are young.” This one line got me worried up until the moment I entered the room for the party. Who am I meeting? Are they male or female? When she says young, how young?? Not thinking to ask these things I just finshed with, “sounds great! I’ll see you then.”
So many questions continued to riddle my mind, but I continued to try to not let it bother me. In the end I am glad that I went. I was able to meet two Japanese gentlemen that are just a year younger than I. They had been fun to chat with and get to know. I now have made some friends in the area that are my age. I am looking forward to the possibility to talk with them more and get to know them even better.
It has been hard to meet new Japanese friends that are of a similar age. Most do not live in the area and/or work in larger cities. So, I am left to meet children form drooling toddlers all the way up to seniors in High School, along with people who are parents or grandparents. So, those who are really young or really old. Heck, my best friend is a five year old boy named とむ, Tomu (one of my supervisor’s nephew). BUT! Thanks to Akita-san that might be changing. She really is looking out for me.
Though I am glad to meet the two young guys I met last night, I am still thankful for all the new people I have met while staying here. No matter what age they are. Everyone I come across is always very nice and willing to speak to me, even if it is a messy mixture of broken Japanese and English. I am also happy to still have all the wonderful Japanese friends I have made while in University. It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to meet up with them and chat like old times. It’s like I am getting to know them all over again.
What is the next adventure? Well, I signed up to run in a 5k in a city within Yamaguchi. I have not been preparing for it as I should. I better get my butt moving. It is being held in the early part of March. Let’s hope it goes well!