A Wedding, Tin Tin, Donuts & a mouthful of Japanese
Sunday is, as every week, the time for the JLPT Study meetup. And it really has become sort of a routine for me. As usual I had to literally force myself out to walk to the train station, change trains at Shinjuku and then try to survive leaving Harajuku station.
Shortly before I reached my destination I overheard a Japanese man dressed in a suit talking to everyone that they should clap and cheer for a newly-wed couple that was about to exit the building. Maybe they didn’t have enough relatives or so, but they seemed to be genuinely surprised when they walked out. Well, I also clapped for a minute or so. Hope they have a happy married life!
A few days ago it looked like I would be the only one coming for this meetup but Wye-Khe and two other people also found time. I thought that the female employee at Starbucks was new and she tried her few English words, looking really nervous. “Heat up?” – “Hai, atatamete kudasai” – fortunately, she switched to Japanese after that. I’m always thinking about answering in French when Japanese talk to me in English (pretending that I don’t speak English) but I’m not that mean. I may still do that in the future, however.
Plus the staff there always puts up their worried face saying something like “It’s very full here.” – and they are right, but Starbucks is always full…
At the meetup I practiced some JLPT2 grammar, finished my Kanji game (I want to get to level 7 to take the real-life test) and prepared for the next chapter. While there were some people who think that I might be up to JLPT 1 (the highest level: 10000 words vocab, 2000 kanji and more grammar that you can bear on an empty stomach), I’m not that optimistic. Besides, since JLPT 2 is a level that you can actually use (in job etc.) it seems to be a good idea to just aim for that one.
After that, we visited the Tin Tin Store in Harajuku which sells all kinds of merchandise, books etc. about Tin Tin, his dog and the captain. The umbrellas were cool, if a little pricey.
On my way home, I made a stop-over at the Kinokuniya bookstore near the Times Square complex which houses also HMV, Tokyu Hands and Takashimaya. I already own a vocab/reading practice book about JLPT2, so I bought a book about the grammar and another one with a mock-up test. Kinokuniya has a good selection on Japanese learning material, including books about the University Entrance Test (which I will take this year, but only the Japanese language one).
At the end of my shopping trip I took a look at the Shinjuku Lights. Nice, but I was more impressed by the line forming in front of a donut shop. “The” donut shop and I guess half of them stood there because other people stood there, and thought it must be something tasty.