Thursday, August 4, 2011
This was when we first arrived at the airport. I have a number of videos of our travels. I'll post them as I can.
It was difficult to find a bus to Sendai, but we got it done. We ended up on a number of trains first. Fun times! We caught the bus at 9am and arrived in Sendai at 2pm. Made some friends on the bus on the way there.
One woman came up to me when the bus stopped for a ten minute break. I thought later how brave she was to approach me not knowing if I spoke Japanese. She spoke to me very slowly at first "Konnichi wa." She wanted to know why we were in Japan. I told her and she told me that she was grateful to us for coming and that knowing that, she wanted to cry.
Later, she approached me again and asked if she could introduce us to everyone else (on the bus, I think) and tell them why we were here. She said she wanted everyone to clap for us. I turned her down. Oh my goodness...embarrassing.
When we arrived at the station, she followed us around for quite a long time. My traveling buddies said she was all teary. What? Okay. Funny.
I sat across from a man named Shingo from Hokkaido. He was sitting typing away on his computer doing something that looked really important. I couldn't help myself, I had to know.....So, I turned to him and asked if he was typing in Japanese or English. He was typing so fast. I wondered how he typed Japanese on an English keyboard, so he showed me. It is SO COOL! You type the sounds--Japanese is all syllabic, so if you type the word "mizu," which is "water," you type "m-i" the hiragana character for "mi" comes up then you type "z-u," and the hiragana for "zu" shows up. After that, you push the space bar and it turns into kanji.
Anyway, after that, the lady came back and asked me where I was from. When I told her Oregon, he chimed in with, "Oh, I went to Oregon." He was speaking Japanese--we had been the whole time, but then he shared that he had gone to New York University for his Masters degree. WHAT?! He speaks ENGLISH?! Well, you'd better believe the Japanese went right out the window. We sat and chatted about everything. It was pretty darned great.