The first day back at school was not quite the baptism of fire that I had been expecting, and I felt as though I acquitted myself reasonably well in front of my new classmates. Also, as this new class consists of mainly non English speakers, it is a great opportunity for me to always be practicing my Japanese. Whilst it is true that I coped reasonably well with the lessons, I did make one rather large error, asking someone: ‘What is coffee?’, when I meant to ask: ‘How much is the coffee?’ This had the effect of making me look like a bit Amish, but at least the grammar was correct.
In the afternoon we had a conversation class, and again it genuinely surprised me how I was not totally lost at sea. I’m not saying that I’m in danger of complete or even semi-, comprehension, but I was able to get across some reasonably complex ideas without sounding too much like a lethargic child. After these two relative successes I attended a late New Year’s party in Yotsyua, where as usual I ate far too much, including a rather interesting selection of Dairylea cheese cubes, which ranged in flavour from fried onions to ham to ‘nature’, which thankfully had none of the smoked wood and rural decay flavour that I was expecting.