I seem to be in a really lucky area of the world right about now. My area has not been greatly effected by the corona virus, with the few cases that have appeared being quarantined immediately. This is definitely not how I expected my exchange year to begin but it has none the less still been an amazing experience so far. In the past month, three members of my host family have had birthdays. I was intrigued to see that birthdays are much more of a family thing in Japan with only about 30 minutes of the day actually being dedicated to being that persons birthday. My host family seemed shocked when I told them that in Australia it was normal to have 10-20 friends over to your house to celebrate your birthday for a few hours. Another thing I have learnt this month is that there is such thing as funeral flowers. I knew there were flowers at funerals but not flowers that were specifically used at funerals. I may have accidentally gotten my host mum funeral flowers for her birthday. Luckily my host family laughed it off and were still grateful for the flowers.
My host family has been amazing when it comes to taking me to new and interesting places. A little while ago they took my to an aquarium and we saw all of these weird looking fish and quite a few very scary looking sharks. We also saw a dolphin show which was really interesting even though I had absolutely no clue what the trainers were saying (still working on the language part of being in Japan). After the aquarium we went to a glass museum. The glass pieces were from all different places and times and it was interesting to attempt to understand what the piece. As I could not read the description I had to read the title and make wild guesses from there.
On a bit of a sad note, I had to say goodbye to many of my exchange friends in these last few weeks because their sponsor districts or parents wanted them home because of the virus. I am really grateful to have met all of them even if it was for a short period of time because they have been really helpful and also very understanding to any issue I have faced (such as not knowing the kanji’s for ‘push’ and ‘pull’ and looking momentarily very stupid whenever I come across doors). They are a real snazzy group of people.