“Garvige day?”I asked. “What’s garvige day?”
“Gar-vige,”Akemi enunciated for me. “Garvige day.”
“You mean garbage day,”I said.
“Yes,”she confirmed as if that’s what she’d been saying all along. “Garvige day. Why? How do you spell it?”
“G-A-R-B-A-G-E”. I said the letters aloud as I wrote them in big block letters on the piece of paper.
She gave the word a quizzical stare and then, brow furrowed: “Gar-ba-ge-jy.”
She threw me a suspicious sideways look as though I was trying to pull one over on her: “That’s not gar-bage. That’s gar-ba-jy.”
I assured her: “No. That’s garbage.”
She gave an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know. English so mysterious for me.”
And yet, even though she’s continually frustrated in her attempts to master the language, she’s come a long way from our first date when she could barely speak it at all. Today, she can converse freely and is easily understood. Sure, she makes the occasional mistakes and is baffled by the intricacies of the grammar – but, in all fairness, so am I (as I immediately discovered when she asked me to explain the rules of my mother tongue). All this in contrast to me whose Japanese hasn’t progressed past the verbal skills of a polite Japanese three year old boy. On the bright side, my hiragana and katakana has improved, meaning I can now read most of a Japanese menu – although it would admittedly take me the better part of the day to do it.
Still, we’re both trying. Every day, I drop her off downtown where she takes one or two classes (conversation, listening, idiom), then head back home to study a chapter from my Japanese language book and translate two pages of manga. I’m about to finish my first book (Baby, Please Kill Me) so Akemi surprised me with two new mangas –
Gintama on the left and, on the right, strangely, some girl's Japanese baseball series.
Speaking of Gintama, we cap off every night by watching an episode of one of the most outrageously entertaining anime out there. The nightly screenings help me improve my listening skills while also educating me to the nuances of Japanese culture…
We’re a mere 95 episodes in with another 150+ to go. I take the occasional break to check out other anime shows as well. We watched the horror-themed, Another. While effectively creepy, suspenseful and engaging, I felt it ultimately collapsed under the weight of its own overly-complicated internal logic.
Mighty visceral and quite gory. It reminded me of Gantz and Elfen Lied, two other titles I greatly enjoyed. I’m also halfway through another reputedly graphic series, Deadman Wonderland, but have been disappointed with the heavy censorship. Some scenes are so dark it’s impossible to make out what’s happening. Disappointing.
Thanks to everyone who has weighed in with their book recommendations. Keep ’em coming!
BoltBait writes: “Joe, what do you think of a story like this? http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/04/12/foods-biggest-scam-the-great-kobe-beef-lie/ Is traveling to Japan to have real Kobe beef worth the trip?”
Answer: Thanks for the link. A great read. I look forward to the next installment. Yes, I’ve noticed a discernible difference between the “kobe beef” they serve in North America and the real kobe beef. Is the real stuff work the trip? Well, let’s put it this way. After tasting kobe beef for the first time in Tokyo, I was unable to eat regular North American steak for years.
jerem writes: “1) It is possible to see one day, Dark Matter in France?
2) Any revelation planned by Robert Cooper or Brad Wright, concerning the end of the arc story of SGU? How it should be end?”
Answer: 1) I believe you can get a digital copy here: Store | Dark Horse Digital Comics
2) Not that I know of. Given the opportunity, however, I’m sure they would love to deliver their big reveal. All they need is the green light from MGM.
Kathode writes: “Have you done a carrot ice cream?”
Answer: Not yet. Great idea though.
cwilmanbunge writes: “Not that this isn’t cool, but is there at least a graphic novel for what the Atlantis movie would have been about, and SGU as well?”
Answer: In my upcoming visit with MGM, I’ll make it a point to ask them about the script for the Atlantis movie.
SISI writes: “Did you ever read Ready Player One?”
Answer: No but it is on my pick-up list.
Lewis writes: “Do any of them prefer any of the superhero flicks that Cookie has been watching?”
Answer: So far, no. I have high hopes for Dark Man.
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