Language Experience and Creating Long Lasting Friendships
Chemistry and Japanese Studies Major
Seinan Gakuin University, Japan
One of the most memorable events was going to the Nakasu-kawabata region in Fukuoka. I was going there with two of my Japanese friends to try some special Spicy Ramen. I had many experiences like this where, when not busy studying, I could set up a time and place to do something with friends. Indeed, it was an eye-opening and enjoyable experience. The spicy ramen was quite exciting as I was used to Hakata Ramen, or pork-bone-broth ramen, which is served all throughout Fukuoka. So, this was a treat. It was not so surprising that I liked the food (I enjoy spicy foods) but I think it was the quality that made this ramen standout. I felt lucky. Afterwards, we still had time, so we walked around for a bit until we found a game-center. It was filled not with video games, but with board, table top, and other types of games. My friends were surprised at how fast I could adapt and win. It was a fun and memorable night.
Another one of my favorite memories was going to Kyoto as a nice two-day field trip. At night, as we walked along the streets, my advisor asked me what I liked about Japan. Though struggling, I tried my best to speak in the native language. Then we went into what is called an Izakaya, which is basically a laid back bar, and I got to know many of the other first-semester international students. Another one of my advisors asked me if I was drunk, to which I wasn't sure if I should have felt happy or embarrassed. Finally, some of us went to a Karaoke bar to sing.
The fact that I could go to Japan and experience these things is something I am eternally grateful for. It means I can continue to study the language confidently and perhaps go back to or live in Japan in the future.