Omisoka, New Year’s Eve – By Yasu

Cream with Caramel is on coffee

So you know what I am going to talk about here. It is Omisoka, New Year’s Eve. I did some work, cleaned my family’s car and took my mom and her sister Akiko to shopping. For shopping, we went to LaLaport Koshien. As we had guessed, there were many people and cars. But they have a huge parking space, we found an empty one easily.

While we were looking for our space in the parking area, Akiko said “oh there is a foreigner”. Yes it is very unusual to find foreign people here. They are a family, husband is Japanese, wife is that lady (looked like Russian or East-European) and their two kids. Suddenly my brain automatically imagined the future. If Louana and I live here for about 10 years, we will be like that.

My family’s car, Estima is very high-tech. I like it very much. For example, at the parking of LaLaport, we found a small space to park. I set the car at the right place and went backward (this is how Japanese people often park). When you go backward in Estima, it shows you a video so that you can know how close you are to the wall or a car next to you. I perfectly parked in a crowded parking space. I was proud of that.

We first went to a bookstore because Akiko was looking for a book about Buddhism, and me NLP books. I found one of the books I wanted and bought it. Others I looked for and one Akiko did were not in their stock, so I’ll amazon them later.

My mother and Akiko went to grocery shopping, so I went to a cafe to work on translation. I found a cafe near where I was. I went in. I could have gone to Starbucks but it s located at the center of the whole building. I was certain there would be many people which makes it very tough for me to concentrate on my translation work. They have a good coffee with caramelled-cream, so I took one. What I need to do in this work is make sure the first part and the second part are consistent with each other since they are translated by two different people. One of them is Mr. Yamasaki. Yeah he is not an expert of English so that is understandable there are errors in his translation. Another part is translated by Japanese lady who teaches English in Japan. She scored 990/990 in TOEIC. What surprised me is there are several errors in her translation too. She might be busy or tired when she was working on it but the quality was not really high. First of all, Japanese sentences she wrote are hard enough to understand for Japanese readers, I felt. It looks like I will have to correct it a lot although I am not getting anything from this but trust from Mr. Yamasaki, that lady and Prof. Uechi. Well, that should be worth it.

Speaking of TOEIC, I have not found its advantage so far. Sure, it is a very well-known English test in Japan. But only that. Well, whom are you talking English to? Their website says it is taken in about 60 countries, but I have not found any foreigners who have taken that yet. There are some who have taken TOEFL, but not TOEIC. How mysterious.

Ok, I am going to enjoy the last hours of 2006.

Comment by Louana: Akimashite omedeto! Is that written correctly?! “Ow there is a foreigner!” Haha that is what people might say when they see me in Japan! Sounds like you are a very good parker! Good job no kareshi! TOEIC measures the ability of non-native English-speaking people to use English in everyday work activities, so not how perfect the command of English is, which might be why the lady made some mistakes. The TOEIC was developed in the USA following a request from the Japanese MITI, which could be why it is so common in Japan and not in other countries. Well, I already wished you a happy new year when the year changed in Japan, and now I am going to enjoy the last hours of 2006 here, and then soon we will join you in 2007. xxx

Reply by Yasu: Yeah almost. Akemashite Omedeto!! Right, that may be something people say when they see you here. Thanks, I’ll park well when you are in a car I drive. Oh I see, that is why TOEIC is so popular here. Understandable. We didn’t count numbers for a new year twice, but spent together the transition of the year, that was good. mwah


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