When I was a teenager I attended the local high school that was only a short level walk from home. There was nothing terribly remarkable about this school however it did become known for having educated a girl named Elanor McPherson who for many years has been better known as ‘Elle’ or ‘The Body’.
Besides educating Super-Models the school taught Japanese which was unusual because the standard languages on offer were typically French and German or, if you attended a private school, the obsolete language of Latin would also be offered.
Bucking against the traditional, I decided that one of my subjects would be Japanese. The Japanese teacher was Australian but she had learned to speak Japanese by living and studying in Japan. On days that were special in the Japanese calendar she would come to school dressed in a kimono and wearing the little wooden thong shoes.
The Japanese room was different to all the other classrooms. Firstly, we had to take off our shoes as we entered and this wasn’t always pleasant on hot days with unhygenic boys sending an odour of sweaty, smelly feet through the poorly ventilated room. Instead of carpet the room had traditional Japanese matting on the floor. The desks had had their legs chopped off and instead of sitting on chairs there were cushions on the floor and somehow we crouched on these and tried to write kunji or hiragana with good posture.
I actually enjoyed these difference as I found it a welcome relief from the monotony of the other classrooms. And I really liked the teacher because she wrote very easy exam papers and I used to achieve over 90% and so in one part of my schooling I felt like a total scholar. I did well in the oral exams as well because if you became stuck she would almost prompt you with the right answer.
Recently I was ‘talking’ with Nami from Just One Cookbook and she asked me if I could still speak Japanese. Sadly, after graduating from the school not only did I fail to achieve super-model status but my brain cells that once knew and understood Japanese, have gone walkabout.
Recently good friends of ours invited us to their beautiful home for a relaxing and leisurely lunch. Bec always cooks with a theme in mind and on that day she was cooking Japanese cuisine. It is always such a treat to be invited into a home and be spoiled with not only good food but excellent company. I know Bec wouldn’t mind if I shared with you some of her wonderful cooking.
Oh, and although I was nominated for The Sydney Writer’s Centre Best Blog Competition I failed to make the finals. However, within seconds of opening the email advising me of my losers badge, I discovered I have been written up on the Australian Women’s Weekly website as a ‘mummy blogger’ who has one of the best ‘undiscovered’ blogs.
A very big thank you to everyone who is ‘un-discovering’ me.
Oh, and I have a few brain cells left that tell me ‘Konnichi wa, ogenki desu ka’ means ‘Good Morning, how are you?’
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