I arrived back in Melbourne yesterday morning. The experience was great, I really wanted to stay in Japan. I had a lot of fun, did quite a lot of sight-seeing, took lots of photos. I will try to write a bit more about it, and post some photos. But for now here’s a quick summary:
- Homestay was great, the 田中 (Tanaka) family were fantastic, it was really nice to get to know them.
- Speaking is a lot harder than understanding. During the homestay I understood a lot of what my host mother was saying (she used simple language for me), but I found it really hard to say anything back.
- School was good (insanely hard to begin with). Hopefully I retained at least a little bit.
- I can actually have a basic conversation in Japanese (where are you from, etc. etc.)!
- Restaurants and shopping are difficult. After 2 years of study, I could ask basic questions, but barely understand anything that people said in reply. After 5 weeks, I went from understanding nothing to the point where I could hear they were using the super-polite verb forms, but I still couldn’t catch the actual verbs or point of the sentence. I still managed to get by okay though.
I can’t wait to go back!