Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm still pretty sure a first grader can out talk me though...

We are officially Japanese 1st graders! Well, language-wise anyway. Thankfully we both passed the JLPT 4 quite easily, which apparently means we have mastered 80 kanji and 800 words. We both know more than that, so next December we hope to shoot for a higher level...
...which brings me to the second topic of this post: we're staying another year! It was a tough decision, but we haven't been able to travel nearly as much as we've wanted to and, let's face it, this is pretty easy money. I've pretty much gotten the hang of things at work and next year will be even easier because I can recycle lesson plans from this year. Besides, neither of us has really figured out what we want to do when we get back, so hip-hip-hooray for procrastinating!
Because we're sticking around we've made a few upgrades to our living situation. Japanese homes typically don't have an oven, but they'll often feature a "moven" microwave/toaster oven combo. We didn't even get that. We have finally given in to our grumbling tummies' demands for fresh baked goods. We got an adorable little table top electric oven off of Amazon and I'm totally in love with it. Here's some bread I made (real bread, with crust!). It works surprisingly well.

I'm lazy so I usually just run through google translate when I'm shopping online. This makes shopping far more interesting than it is on boring old For example, we needed a table to put the oven on top of:

Our table table table table is working out quite nicely.

Today some of my students at the special needs school told me about Setsubun, which is when Japanese people celebrate the coming of spring by having beans thrown at them. This seemed ridiculous until I had to tell them about Groundhog Day.


  1. Very nice looking bread. A note about travel. I've found it doesn't happen unless you start planning your next trip now.

  2. Have you invited people over to dinner? Or is this not done in Japan? That seems like a great way to add to the vocabulary.

  3. Are you going to visit the Bay Area any time in the next year and a half? I miss you to pieces! Love, Monica

  4. Miss you too! We'll be back this summer, probably toward the end of July. Can't wait to see you. We should talk soon. It's been awhile.