Monday 24th January

The way that languages have to be taught mean that you often end up in a position when you are trying to run before you can walk. At least this is what I tell myself as I continue to repeatedly smash my head against the metaphorical brick wall that is the Japanese language. Today we learnt the incredibly useful phrase: ‘A face like a horse’, and I for one can’t wait for the social situation to arise where I can use that particular gem.

Even the pains of verb conjugation are melted away by sunsets like this.

At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, learning Japanese really is incredibly difficult, and consumes far more of my time than I previously thought it would. This means that I have had to put a lot of projects on the back burner, and the flow of my writing output has become somewhat stagnated over the past couple of months. Sometimes it feels like I am putting so much effort into something which will not reap any significant rewards for a considerable time, and this is obviously maddening. It is at times like this that I take a deep breath, leave my work behind for a short while, and go and have a good old look at Tokyo. From a certain viewpoint, and at the right time of day (just before dusk) it looks and feels truly magical, and I am encouraged by the notion that one day I will be able to unlock all of the secrets that this sprawling metropolis has to offer; then it’s back to my freezing apartment room and under my kotastu, where I continue my education in how to tell someone that they have equestrian features.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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