Visiting Japanese School

March 1, 2009 in Japan

So Yuriko had arranged the school visit on the second day. I did a bit of homework. Prepared some big ass posters of Malaysian fruits and the twin towers and stuff, some Rasa Sayang songs, and… nemai i would just make something up if i run of out things to talk about.

I don’t think anyone of them has ever been to Malaysia!

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It looks just like how a school is in a Japanese drama. The shoe racks and all.

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They had a request, though. They wanted me to speak in English or Malay (i was so glad i was given a choice, i was so afraid they wanted me to speak both) instead of Japanese because of the, you know, whole culture thing.

So i spoke English reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal slow. And that only contributed more confusion and cluelessness to their collective little face. Then i would explain in Japanese then they would go ahhhhh.

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I swear i had done enough homework beforehand to avoid any embarrassment. I have checked the amount of population in my home country, the number of levels on the twin towers, the climate pattern, and double checked the name of our prime minister (just in case).

And then this little boy asked, with his eyes blinking with intense curiosity,

“Do the people in Malaysia have the same blood type as Japanese people?”

For a brief moment i wondered if that was the reason why i flunked my Science in highschool, before i realized that all the homework i had done the previous night would have been entirely unecessary because

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was something they were more interested in.

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It was much fun. Only one of them has ever eaten a Durian before (whose dad has business in S.E.A countries). They rest went completely awestruck. By they i mean everyone in the classroom, teachers included.

They thought Rambutan was Lychee. The thought the mosque was a shopping mall. They exclaimed in amazement at the sight of a Langkawi beach. They gasped at the fact that when you cut a star fruit it really looks like a star. They were sorry that Malaysia doesn’t snow (apparently it’s something to feel sorry for). They are shocked that Malaysian students only have one type of school uniform (“ehhh? Not cold during winter?” and then stopped himself immediately in embarrassment realizing the obvious fact that there’s none in Malaysia).

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And i sighed at the beauty of their young, innocence heart.

After (my) class, they were super excited to show me around the school at lunch time.

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Some of them tugged my overcoat eagerly wanting me to follow, some of them pull my hand (Rena chan), walked by my side and went all giggly (lol, What’s so funny Gwen Stefanie?), some of them just ran and hide into a corner looking shy.

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They showed me their art work.

Suddenly i felt as if i was a character in one of those (hard to understand but supposedly meaningful) movie about summer holidays at Japanese primary school that has unexpected won a César Award. Or something.

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Where at the ending they all jump happily rushing out, get on their bicycles and paddle off into a vast greenfield. Sounds like it, doesn’t it?

Except that it was winter and was freezing cold.

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They are the bane of all peace sign photo posing. After doing it 8325120332 times in a row, i somehow lost the ability to pose without a peace sign, up till today.

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I don’t understand what is so ineteresting about their text book, or rather, me looking at their text book. But they all seemed immensely fascinated with me flipping through the pages.

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The boys were the shy ones. They pretended to be uninterested (maybe it’s a cool thing to do, to pretend to be uninterested in a new girl at school, although the girl is twice their age, precisely.)and buried their heads in homework.  But just before i left, they had requested (through the teacher) that they wanted a photo with me.

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So cute.

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Rena chan showed me the toilet. It was impossibly clean compared to the one in my highschool. (Honestly, i still have occasional nightmare about school toilets until today. Sometimes in my dream the toilets are full of people and i had to go in a doorless toilet hoping no one would look my way, sometimes the toilet floor would be flooded i had to wear Wellingtons and walk in pee. Imagine how haunting school toilets are.)

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Then they brought me outside to see the pond and the garden and the bunnies (they kept two bunnies at the back of the school).

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And took a picture in front of the school.

Believe it or not they are all 12 years old. Rena chan (next to me) is super tiny i thought she was 6 whereas one of the girls is like, 170cm.

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The headmistress was very pleased with my visit. She made me tea. The 6 grade students also made me potato salad (during their Kemahiran Hidup class or whatever) for lunch. It was very very nice.

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Group picture with 5A class.

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Group picture with 5B class.

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Group picture with the 6 grade.

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And hugs.

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And it was one of the happiest days (and many to come) during my Japan trip.

Before i left,

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We went to the music room, because the 6 grade students had prepared a song for me.

They sang really really really well, so unexpectedly well i almost teared (i would have cried if i hadn’t tried very hard to tahan).

Here’s the video.

I had problem uploading the high res file. So pls bear with the bad visual. But you can still listen clearly. :)

Two days later, Yuriko passed me a copy of the school’s newsletter.

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And i felt so glad i met them.

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