My ultimate dream when I was a child was to go to Japan. Before my 22nd birthday, I was able to make it happen.
It was 2008 when I first went to Japan. The company I used to work with sent me to a technical training program in Nagoya, portions of which I spent at a training center where all I had to do was study Japanese, meet new friends from different countries and eat my hearts out at an every-day-every-meal buffet provided at the training center during weekdays. It was like living a dream for straight 6 weeks! My weekdays were filled with fun times of studying, eating sumptuous food, and meeting people.
But there weekends were a little different. There were no classes, no buffet meals, no teachers to guide me on what to say or where to go or how to read signs. Weekends were the time when we were allowed to go out: go to supermarkets on our own, do sightseeing, eat at restaurants and the like. It was all days of adventures and discoveries. But not armed with the basic Japanese language skills to survive, it also came to me as a challenge.
I remember the first time that I went to McDonald’s in Japan. I was shocked that the menu was different from the ones that we have in the Philippines. Their burgers were bigger and their ketchup did not come from plastic packs but in small plastic containers making it easy to dip your french fries into.
With my Japanese skills being in a yes-or-no level at that time, I just pointed at the meal of my choice at the crew. The crew then asked series of questions, all of which I did not understand. I had little money with me then. I thought the crew was just asking if I want to upgrade my meal so I answered “no” to all of her questions. When I got my order, I ended up with a lonely burger without fries and drinks. Turned out, the crew was asking if I want a set meal or not and I said “no”.
Going to a place where you have very little knowledge of the language they use could be quite an adventure, but it is always better to arm yourself with at least the basics of the language like asking for directions, placing your orders in restaurants and so on.
Having experienced this myself, I’ve decided to put up a workshop to help people going to Japan—especially travelers—to make it easier and more fun for them to navigate the streets of Japan by teaching them the basics of the Language.
In this site, I will document my progress, market my products and projects, and give you a peek on my adventures a few years back when I reached my childhood dream. I hope that this could help you in a way or at least entertain you with the stories of adventures that my 22 year old self went through.
I love telling stories, so brace yourself in a story-filled learning through this site. I hope one day you can also join one of my workshops so you can say “hi” to me in person.
PS: that red portable bicycle in the picture is my bicycle named “Mandy”. Together we explore sideways, alleys and corners in the places that I stayed in Japan. It was quite an adventure. I can still remember the wind in my face, the drumming in my chest and the smile stretching my lips as I navigate city after city with my Mandy. I hope I can make you feel that same feeling as you learn the basics of the Japanese Language from me through my stories.
Thank you for visiting! Enjoy your stay!