Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

The word of the year

I saw on TV the other day that they officially declared the word of the year (or, rather, kanji of the year) at Kiyomizu Temple. This is apparently something they do every year to sum up the year's events, but I never happened to hear about it before. I just keep learning new things all the time. For those interested, the kanji of the year for 2004 is

(Read wazawai, it translates to "disaster.")

One of my team teachers decided it would be a good idea for a lesson to have the students decide on their own "word of the year" and explain their reasoning for the word they chose. In doing so, he challenged me to write the kanji for wazawai and say what it means in English...I guess as a kind of test? In case the Level 1 Japanese Language Proficiency Test I just took, like, a week ago wasn't good enough?

But I got the last laugh! HA! Little did he know, that happens to be one of the kanji in the TITLE of the Japanese novel I wrote this spring. Like I wouldn't get THAT right.

I arrived at work this morning to find that the superintendent had left me yet another gift of fresh vegetables. This time it was a large plastic bag containing some enormous heads of Chinese lettuce. I honestly don't know how I can possibly eat it all.

The gingerbread cookies went over better than I expected. Perhaps this is because they weren't too sweet or spicy. (Japanese people tend not to like things that are too sweet.) Many people said they were delicious (though that doesn't mean much, since saying food is "delicious" when you take a bite is pretty much a behavioral stimulus-response reaction here, regardless of the actual flavor), but I tend to believe it more when a student looks at me piteously and asks "Only one?"

There were a lot of surprised reactions when the students found out the cookies had ginger in them. Now, ginger is a commonly used condiment served with things like tofu and noodles and sushi, but they looked at me like I was insane when I said there was ginger in the cookies. One teacher even flat out asked why we would make cookies with ginger in them. (Um...because it tastes good?) I said it was because the spice helped the cookies last longer, and that seemed to be a satisfactory answer.
Tags: culture, school
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