On Sunday there was an event planned by a local organization that caters to foreigners living in Imabari. The name of the organization is really long and I don’t really want to look it up, so I’ll just call it… M.I.B. (ah nostalgia). Anyways, the M.I.B. sent out a mass email to all the foreigners on its mailing list (myself included) asking for volunteers to create a presentation about their home country/town. I thought about creating a presentation, but I promptly forgot about the event about 5 minutes after reading the email.
However, Pirate is an active member of the M.I.B. and promptly invited Captain Crunch and me to attend the event. I also learned that Quebec was going to be doing a presentation. And thus, early on Sunday morning (ugh), Captain Crunch and I set out for a rousing day of power point presentations*.
*When I made power point presentations in grade school, I had words appear letter by letter with each letter accompanied by a laser sound**.
Did anyone else do this?
The event took place in an outdoor seating area that occupied the space between a supermarket and a bakery. On an aside, that bakery made the best pizza I’ve had in Japan so far… I miss real pizza. Anyways, the presentations were kicked off by a speech from the president of the M.I.B. followed by other people saying stuff. As you can tell from my vivid descriptions, these speeches were rather riveting.
The presentations themselves were pretty standard. Foreigners showing pictures of their hometown and listing off miscellaneous facts. I can pretty much condense what I learned/remembered from the presentations into 2 things.
1) Just because someone has lived in Japan for 11 years doesn’t mean they can speak Japanese.
2) British accents make me sleepy.
On point number one, my mind was kind of blown. I can almost fathom it if you lived in Tokyo or Osaka where there are a lot more foreigners, or at least people that speak English; but in a place like Imabari I feel like you’re pretty much forced to speak Japanese. I’m just kind of amazed she was able to live in the area for so long using only English.
On point number two, the power that British accents have is scary. I had just finished drinking a cup of coffee when a girl from Britain started her presentation. Just a couple words into her presentation I already wanted to go home and sleep. In college one of my professors was from Britain too; I slept through every one of her classes.
Brewster was attending the event too. I spotted him and struck up a bit of conversation, half-way through an ‘Aha!’ expression crossed his face.
Brewster: You haven’t met Kohrn have you?
Me: Kohrn? Nope.
Brewster: I should introduce you two, I bet you have a lot in common.
Me: How so?
Brewster: She’s Chinese and from Canda.
Me: Does she speak Chinese?
Me: I fail to see any similarities.
Brewster: Come on!
Brewster led me over to where Kohrn was. She was collecting donations to build an elephant enclosure in Thailand.
Brewster: This is Colgan, he’s from Canada.
Me: No, I’m from…
Brewster: Just kidding, he’s from America.
Either I don’t get the joke or he, like everyone else, forgets I’m from America
Me: So you’re fundraising for elephants in Thailand?
Captain Obvious to the rescue!
Kohrn: Yeah, I’m actually going there after my JET contract is over. I’ve been there 5 times already.
Me: Oh? So do you speak any Thai?
Kohrn: A little, I know how to say “give me a kiss” and “I’ll miss you.”
Brewster: So you spend time in the shadier places I take it?
Lots in common indeed.