Thursday, March 25, 2010


Just last week I got a new housemate. His name is Tim, and he's on a short-term trip here to Japan. And he's from a friend's church in Singapore (actually, I know three friends from that church but ok).

So anyway it's been pretty good so far. He's kinda quiet, I'm kinda quiet, so we're pretty chill most of the time. But I guess so far he's had a rather decent time. He's helped out in the Kids' Club, he's gone to help Steve do Bible Study, and he's also attended the housechurches. Here's the evidence:

Tim is the one on the extreme left side, next to JP.

Incidentally, that day during Shinagawa Kai, there were a grand total of 7 nationalities in that group (8 if you consider me to be American). You can see it in the picture above. I'll describe it from left to right.

So Tim is from Singapore, JP is from Brazil. Simon is from New Zealand, Sam is Swiss. Shion, and the guy next to him, Jun, are Japanese, as is Koji, who's on the extreme right. Yannick is German, and Kaede is from Hong Kong. Plus American photographer = 8.

So anyway, since I've been here a bit longer than Tim, usually I get to show him stuff like a senpai. But just because I've been here longer than him doesn't make me immune to making dumb gaijin mistakes, for example, this:

Japanese red packets sometimes make the ones I get for CNY look a little shabby. Not that I'm complaining though.

What we have here is a relatively standard Japanese red packet (Shugibukuro 「祝儀袋」), meant specifically for weddings. You know it's for wedding cos it's got pink and red and gold stuff all over. Very pretty. And it's for one of my friends, Motoka, who's dad met my dad when they were both in Wisconsin, and have been friends since then. She's getting married some time later this month, so I bought this on behalf of my family to give to her.

The problem, of course, is in the name on the front. No, it's not that it's wrong kanji. That really is her name in Japanese, 小山田基香 (though after the wedding, it probably won't be Oyamada anymore). The problem of course, is that as a foreigner, I automatically assumed that you write the recipient's name on the front of the letter. Thing is, you're supposed to write your own name on the front so the recipient (as if it could have gone to anyone else) would know who it's from.

Good thing they had spare slips inside for me to write another one. haha.


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