Sunday, February 28, 2010


Hmm. What have I got to say today? Not too much. On days like these I should just close the computer and not force you to read drivel. Writing is a habit I can't break. I guess I don't want to.

Which leads (I knew it would lead somewhere) to the fact that I can't write in Japanese. And I've always wondered if the frustration of being illiterate for more than 30 years is why, when blogging entered my life, I've gone completely manic and feel like I have to write something!

Yesterday I was "writing" my resume for the crosswalk job. That hasn't been approved yet, I was asked to send in a resume. So I sat there with pen in hand saying things to Tetsu like,

"Umm. Is there a "to" or an "in" or an "of" in there? (I have trouble with prepositions.) Is that word supposed to be in formal Japanese (honoring the person reading the words) or in informal Japanese? (humbling myself.) I can't remember how to write that Chinese character. I'm using all the simple characters for this. Oops. Made a mistake there. Where's the White-Out?"

Tetsu, who didn't think writing in a daily crosswalk log was going to be much of a problem for me, seemed to be having second thoughts.

"Come on, Tanya. You can't use a lot of White-Out on a formal resume. You're going to have to start over. What? You don't remember how to write that simple Chinese character? You know, when you speak Japanese I don't notice how much you DON'T know."

"Thank you, Tetsu." (I think...)

I had thought when I came to Japan that I would study Japanese writing and be able to read and write anything in a few years. WRONG!

When we were married I tried to get Tetsu to teach me to write Japanese. As anyone who tries to learn how to drive with husband as a teacher will tell you, this is a good way to end a marriage quickly.

I thought I'd do Takumi's homework with him when he got to elementary school and we would learn to write Japanese together. Hmmm... Can't keep up, BUT I have another chance when Leiya hits elementary school.

33 years later I don't know what my excuse is for not being able to write Japanese but I scribble along furiously at 1st or 2nd grade level. (And that's being optimistic!)

I'm hoping that if I become a crosswalk guard and am FORCED to write in a daily log, that my Japanese will improve! I can just see you out there shaking your head and saying,

"Tanya's letting herself in for a lot of headaches. A glutton for punishment?"

Of course, when the city officials see the Japanese on my resume, they may put it quietly away and tell me to apply again AFTER my Japanese has improved.

No comments: