Silence Please, I’m Not Lost

10:03 UK time

Today’s Armistice Day where we remember those who lost their lives during the period of World War 1, as it was on this day 90 years ago that the bulk of the fighting came to an end. Like most people back home I observed some time of silence at 11 o’clock this morning after making a somewhat’s successful attempt to explain it to my teacher in Japanese. A few moments ago I had another period of silence as it turned 11am in France, and will be having another 2 minute silence at 8pm (11am UK time) so I can still participate with everyone.

Yesterday while making poppies out of paper to wear, for both myself and some other students (Royal British Legion poppies are not-surprisingly hard to find here), I was asked by a numerous Japanese and North American students about what today was about. Now I’m the first to admite I’m not a history fan, so I explained it as well as I could whilst remembering the assemblies we’d have at school every year. Ironically non of the American’s who asked me realised that it was also their own Veteran’s Day today.

To be honest, since the bludgeoning of my new textbook on Sunday (which of course you’ll all know was Rememberance Sunday; also known as Poppy Day), not a lot has happened. Well, one little thing happened today which not only caused me to look like a complete and utter plonker in front of a couple of friends, I also confused a Japanese security guard somewhats.

On a random trip to Nishinomiyakitaguchi on the way home, we went to what I was led to believe was a large department store. As we got closer, the signs indicated that it was a shopping area and cinema. They were doing roadworks around the building, in the near vicinity as the station, so we tried to comply with the temporary changes to the path. The main door for the centre was blocked off by the roadworks, and given the option to choose left or right, we chose right.

After going round a corner and up some stairs we passed some very confused looking passers by, but kept on our way. After a few moments of walking down the side of this building we approached a door with a security man handing out security passes. I was about to ask him if he could tell us where the entrance was, but I hit a problem. I couldn’t remember the Japanese word for shopping centre. Hmm … what could I substitute it with … the cinema! So I asked him how where the cinema was and he stared back at me blankly.

“The cinema?” I reiterated incase I’d ballsed up my pronunciation the first time. He told us it was back from where we came (obviously we should have turned left instead of right), and then added some more words which at the time I couldn’t make out. I thanked him and we carried on. He looked so confused.

Heading back to wear we made our wrong turn, we then proceded on what we thought was the right path. Once again we passed wave after wave of baffled face, but I merely passed it off as “ooh look, a foreigner” syndrome. When we reached the back of the building we realised what had happened. The nice new looking building and complex was indeed nice and new. So new in fact, that they were still building the thing! It was hear I rememebered what the security chap told us at the end of directing is … “but it’s not still being built” … (ish). We headed back to the station a slightly different way, but still going past the guard at our left-right decision point for a third time in ten minutes.

On the way back to the station we headed into the Konami sports club; none of us were members there of course. One friend wanted to see if their (tiny) sports shop had martial arts equiment and one wanted to see the pool. The pool iteself is pretty amazing as it’s on the second story. Wanting to know how much it was, she was just going to check online, but I thought it be an idea to put those Nihongo lessons to use and asked a member of staff how much the pool was.

Just a tad of worry went through me when we were asked to head down to one of the membership desks on the far side … well, a fair bit of worry actually. Thankfully the member of staff realised our Japanese abilities were low so she spoke clearly and carefully (thank you ^_^). It turns out that to use any of the facilities you had to be a member, fair enough, and she produced a handout saying various prices. They do also do a student rate, but I missed where that info was.

Needless to say pricewise I’ll be sticking to the Uni gym, and a bath at home.

On that note, I WILL be moving before Christmas, but more on that next time.

I’m going to go now, and get ready for the 2 minute silence (which is 2 minutes away). Laters.

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