A new favourite! Tara and I made a Japanese pumpkin soup, with ginger and cinnamon. The recipe came from one of my Japanese cookbooks. It was delicious, and healthy. Japanese pumpkins look similar to our pumpkins, but they're smaller and green on the outside, but still bright orange interior. The soup was supposed to be blended, but since we don't have a blender I just cut the pumpkin really fine, and we boiled it until it was mashable into a pumpkiny paste.
As I was waiting for the elevator to descend to the ground floor, an older Japanese man came wandering into the apartment from a back entrance. He didn't seem to see me. He was looking at the bulletin board in the lobby - all the signs were posted in English (a lot of teachers live in our apartment remember, but it's not a Nova building, so there are Japanese tennants as well) - and he was kind of muttering to himself. Maybe trying to make sense of the signs, or perhaps complaining about how they didn't make any sense to him. He had his back to me when the elevator dinged at our floor and the doors opened. He turned to see me, and looked surprised and smiled. "Ah!...." But didn't say anything.
We entered, the doors closed, and then he turned to me with a huge grin and said "Youu-a look like-a Clarke Kent....... SUPERMAN!"
I laughed and told him that I had been told that before. He smiled more.
I said "Well, I'll take that as a compliment." He smiled some more.
The 9th floor dinged and I bowed myself out of the elevator.
My Mondays seem like they'll be nice days. I only work from 5-9 at night, leaving me the whole day to get things done. Hopefully I'll be able to track down a Japanese class, or karate class (or both!) to do on Mondays. Today I made a trek to an international food store where such classics as Kraft Dinner and Old El Paso taco kits can be found.
I've now had one of my absolute WORST lessons. One class with 2 low level students who just did not seem to understand at ALL what I wanted. It was a pretty simple topic too...travel. We went over some example language like "I want to go to ________. I want to go shopping." The books are illustrated with pictures and lots of examples, so it shouldn't be that hard to put together. Even the kids class I had, we were using "What did you do?" "I went to a baseball game." and they caught on fast! These were highschool students and they didn't seem to have any clue what I wanted. I finally got "I want to go to hawaii" out of one, but then when I asked her what she wanted to do in Hawaii I got the scared blank stare again. I really don't think it should have been that hard, because the example of hawaii was illustrated on the page, and there were things like scuba diving and shopping and going to the beach all written in front of them. Anyway, that was a painful 40 minutes of pulling teeth, but I've had some pretty good discussions and group activities. It's certainly MUCH easier to work with the higher level students who just need adjustments on their grammar, appropriateness, intonation, etc. Even the lower level students are fun when they're excited about it, but when they're just quiet and terrified it can be quite painful. You feel like you're torturing them sometimes.
Alright, time for me to finish eating, study a little Japanese, then hop on my bike and ride on down to the train station with my breifcase in my little basket and my tie flapping in the breeze.