This morning in class we had to give a small speech to the rest of the class, who then assessed us based on our performance. The theme was ‘Proverbs from the Mother Country’, and I chose the rather obscure ‘A cat may look at a King’ (even a subordinate is not completely restricted in what they can and cannot do), mainly because I hoped that by talking about cats it would help me with my ‘thinking like a Japanese person’ dilemma. Given that I barely understood what I was saying myself, the feedback was remarkably generous; predictably I scored particularly well in the ‘speaks with a loud voice section’.
One of the problems with not quite having gotten the grasp of this language thing, is that I am often unsure of the validity of conversational exchanges; obviously only a small concern, and not at all vital to living a healthy and fulfilling life. Thus, when the teacher told us that the reason for the flowers and plants at the bottom of the school’s main staircase was to improve the air quality and make climbing the stairs easier, I didn’t know if I had heard her correctly, or if this was just yet another thought process that I found impossible to comprehend, even with my new name and fondness for feline-based proverbs.