This was the week of the long-awaited performance that I won’t quit talking about. And I found out I am the most smiley taiko drummer. Oh, yeah! And May the Fourth be with you!
Tuesday, I went with Sydney to do a little for-fun shopping. There’s a chain of stores here called “Super Dry Japan” that sell athletic wear. It’s kinda like the equivalent of Northface where it’s expensive yet everyone seems to have a jacket from there. Anyway, the clothes have Japanese on them so I was determined before I left to get one item of clothing from there. It’s very expensive, but I was willing to splurge. The thing is though that the chain is actually based out of England—not Japan—so some of the Japanese on it is wrong. The few clothes that have katakana on it I know are spelling “Super Dry” wrong, and, according to my Japanese teacher and Yuka-chan, the kanji (the form I can’t read) is wrong—like someone just put “Super Dry” into Google translate or something. Oh well. Most of the international students who could read the shirts (such as the Japanese and Chinese students) still wear the shirts anyway so I didn’t think I was above that. I got a shirt anyway—just not one that had bad katakana on it.
Also, on our little shopping trip, I finally got a box from this shop that we pass by every single day. I collect soapstone boxes, (if I haven’t already explained my strange obsession) and there was this soapstone box that has been sitting in the window of this shop that I have been eyeing for months. So I finally went in. I didn’t end up getting that box specifically because there was another box inside that looked much more like the ones I collect and it was smaller and less expensive. Win-win as far as I’m concerned. Yay, boxes! (It’s going to be hilarious because I’m going to send some of the stuff I bought back home through the mail to save space in my luggage so I’ll be sending back a box that will be basically full of other boxes. I have a problem.)
So Lucky Fish had an official fangirl/boy session on Thursday during a few minutes of downtime during practice. Lots of the songs and choreography that we have been dancing to during the past two performances has been from a k-pop group called BTS. And, BTS released a new CD (OMIGOSH IT’S AWESOME) on the Wednesday of that week and a new music video on that Thursday. So we restrained ourselves though it was painful and waited until we were all together and filmed all of us reacting as we watched the new music video for the first time. It was hilarious and wonderful! We’ve talked about having a Lucky Fish youtube channel, and if we ever make one, our Lucky Fish Reacts video will definitely go on there.
As our performance was that week, we had hours and hours of dance practice. It was fun though. I never found myself looking at my watch and wanting it to end. I love spending time with my Fishes! We also ordered matching t-shirts for our performance that have the Language Society logo on the front and our Lucky Fish nicknames written in hangul (Korean) on the back along with whatever number we wanted. My Lucky Fish name is “Jinjja” which is Korean for “really”—as in both “really awesome” or just “really?”. It became my Lucky Fish name because it’s pretty much the only Korean word I know so I would try to work it into conversation whenever I could during practice. I did that to the point where it annoyed the other members so much that they started calling me “Jinjja.” I chose “93” as my number because I was born in 1993.
The performance itself on Friday was wonderful! It was so well attended and the audience was very responsive! One pound of each two-pound ticket went to Nepal relief so that was awesome too. We had so much fun! Our friends were so supportive of us, and the audience was so into it! I heard many people say that they want to join the Language Society next year after seeing our performance! I’m so glad all of our hard work paid off! I’m going to miss these people so much!
Saturday, Sydney, Yuka-chan, and I went to Taiko Day! My Japanese prof is a part of a local five-person taiko drumming group, and they came to campus and had a little workshop. Most of the other students were people who were in Japanese classes here and a few of them are also in the Language Society with me too. It was so much fun! They kept saying how I got the imaginary “smile award” because I just couldn’t get over how cool it was to play those drums!
After that we all went to Yo Sushi and feasted! It was wonderful and I had sushi and mochi and all was well with the world! Then we went to see a professional Taiko drumming group called Yamato who were in performing in York. It was so much fun! As a marching band graduate, I have always thought of percussionists as super serious, but these guys were smiling and shouting and having the greatest time up there! There were seven of them if I remember correctly with five guys and two girls. They were so talented and so funny! I would definitely recommend people go even if they have no idea what in the world taiko is. It was cool though to see them do it after we had gone to a workshop and learned the basics. Oh, that was a good day!
Sunday, I went to church at York Baptist for the first time in what feels like forever. Because I’ve been traveling so much I haven’t been able to go, but it was nice to be back. I love it when the body of Christ doesn’t care how long you’ve been gone but just that you’ve returned. It’s such a warm and loving community!
I can’t get over how close it is to when I get to go back home. Part of me is so ready because I’m a little over doing school work (though it’s nothing compared to what this past week would have been like had I been at Taylor instead), but I also really want to see my family again. I haven’t even been able to hear any member of my family’s voices for more than a few seconds because I don’t have a phone plan here and the app I got is total crap for phone calls. But, I also have made really good friends here, and it’s jarring to think that once I leave here I will never see them again.
Right now, I’m just trying to spend as much time with the people here as I can. Like, next Saturday, the people that participated in the culture show are planning on going on a day trip together to Scarborough. So that is something to look forward to. I still need to get my portfolios done and other projects at the same time. Ugh.
Please pray that I am making the most of the time I have left here. Thank you all for supporting me in your prayers and keeping me in your thoughts. I miss you all!