Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I am a camel

I watched a TV programme on Japanese TV at 1am last night where they actually taught the sentence, 'I am a camel'. WTF?

Not exactly everyday English now, is it? In fact, I don't recall having ever said that in my life.

One of my students was telling me her son has just started English lessons at school and he finds them boring as they learn things like, 'This is a pen'. I laughed and told her there'd been an article recently that I'd read (in Metropolis, maybe) that had been talking about the same thing, and how in language lessons the world over that is often the first sentence people get taught. And how utterly useless it is as a sentence.

I suggested, 'Where is the toilet?' should be everyone's first sentence in a new language.

Don't you agree?


Today the builders started earlier than normal. They woke me up at 7am. Bastards. Guess who was NOT a happy bunny?


However, the day wasn't all bad as the lovely Julia was in town! I had to work but had a two hour break and somehow a jetlagged Jules managed to follow my instructions and we found each other easily at Ikebukuro Station. Not such an easy feat if you consider I've had problems in the past meeting up with people there who live in Tokyo and who have phones with them!

I gave her a condensed Tokyo experience. We had a quick babble over sushi and I then took her to buy a present for her boss's wife (which took about five minutes).

Whilst women everywhere struggle to make friends with their inner goddess, or inner bitch, or whatever, I took Jules to make contact with her inner kitty. Talk about a kid in a toy shop..... If she'd had more time (and less shoes to carry home) I'm sure she'd have bought up half the Hello Kitty shop.

Hell, she was even suggesting new ranges they should come up with....

From there, and running a little bit short on time now, we went and did some puri cura (print club: see previous post). Of course, as I didn't actually operate the machine myself last time, it was all a bit hit or miss, but we had a laugh posing and trying to not be knocked out by the new screens that kept dropping down in the machine.

Decorating them was also a giggle, although I did have to get the help of some school girls to print them out. We could have spent hours in there but, unfortunately, I had to get back to work, and she had a plane to go and catch.

Lovely lunchbreak, no?


P.S. I am a camel.


Blogger machiruda said...

Yay, sounds like a good lunch break. Glad Ikebukuro station didn't turn out to as difficult as I thought it would be ;-)

And yes, 'I am a camel'... Huh?

5:20 pm

Blogger Jo said...

I am a camel.

9:33 pm

Blogger Karen said...

Ahhh, so that was the mystery guest! Sounds like a fantastic lunch break!
Surely I am a monkey or I am a pig would be more useful?

10:15 pm

Blogger Jo said...

Karen, do you mean if you are doing a homestay and the host mother asks you if you want more to eat, and you say, 'no, thank you. i am a pig'?

And yes, it was lovely seeing Jules again. The last time was 3 or 4 years ago, I think.

10:30 pm

Blogger Karen said...

Yes exactly. Or if they don't offer you anymore and you need to beg - usually telling them you are a pig will help to bring out more food.

12:15 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly "I am a camel" should be compulsory in any language. Perhaps there's a special class one can take in order to learn non-sequiturs...

Ben J

8:47 pm

Anonymous shadowavenger said...

I agree about the first sentence thing, my first sentence in Hebrew was "Where are the toilets?" and it's likely to be a lot more useful if I'm in Israel than "this is a pen" or "I am a camel". Another sentence I believe should be crucial is "two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please".

3:32 am

Blogger Julia said...

Oh hon I had such a great couple of hours! Was so great to see you. I will defo scan and send the photo, tomorrow if you email me your address. And thank you for helping me unleash my inner kitty - ha!

I had to get a cab because I finally got the train to Tokyo Station (the next Narita Express was at 20.00 - WTF?) and by the time I got there (6.30) I knew there would be no time to get to Terminal 1 to pick up my hand luggage and shuttle out to Terminal 2 in time. As is I just made it, can you believe.

Can't wait to come back for a proper visit, hopefully soon.

11:05 am

Blogger Julia said...

And...LMAO at I am a camel! Very good suggestion at "where is the toilet" - essential!

Heading over to meet you on the train they had English lessons on the screens and they were explaining the difference between funny and interesting. The guy's mock laughing to the 'funny' TV show he is watching is brilliant! See if you can catch it.

11:08 am

Blogger Jo said...

Jules - sounds like the ads run by NOVA to me - they're one of the large English language conversation schools - with a huge advertising budget!

10:19 pm


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