Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wirklich?! Eine Japaner?

[ Really?! A Japanese person? ]

Tuesday night was my last night in Saarbrücken and after everything was all complete with my language school and receiving my certificate, the only thing left on my agenda was enjoying as much time as I could with my host sisters. Both Eva and Adriane had mentioned that they had a surprise party for a close friend of theirs and they wanted me to come with them for the evening. I was pretty excited because I would get to meet a lot of new people and also share time once again with Eva, Adriane, Olli and Lutz on my final night before my move the next day.

Once at the house, there were a lot of friends all crowded in a small room and tons of food on tables all around. The birthday girl’s roommates really made a very nice spread for the surprise party. Once she arrived, and everyone hushed in the dark room and then yelled Überraschung! Surprise! The party began and everyone began moving inside and outside and socializing.

The hosts were so nice and definitely brought me right into the mix of the party, and I joined some conversations on the outside patio. It was there that I saw one of the German guys talking with an Asian girl, which initially I passed off as her being from Germany as well like many foreigners I see here speaking perfect German. Well, that wasn’t the case since I heard both of them speaking poor English together. So I asked her where she was from, and go figure – Hokkaido, Japan.

ヘぇぇぇぇぇ ?!?!?!


I probably looked really excited and just went out into a full banter in Japanese. It was my first time being able to speak some Japanese here in Germany over the past two months and I had been looking forward to conversations somewhere like Paris or Munich that never happened. The excited and rapid Japanese responses from me caught the attention of some Germans around as well – I guess it would look funny… the American guy hears English… so asks the girl where she is from... and then they all the sudden go off speaking in Japanese. We became an entertainment fixture for a while I think, but I enjoyed talking to Hiromi about how my brother had traveled to Asahikawa, Hokkaido and the things he experienced there. Of all places to meet a Japanese person, the last place I would expect was a random surprise house party, but I thought it was so cool.

The conversation with Hiromi went on for quite a while and I learned that she met her boyfriend from Germany when they were both studying abroad in Australia. She had been in Saarbrücken for three months, but realistically couldn’t speak anything more than a few accented words in German. I was amazed at how she had gotten by – Practically no Germans in the area study Japanese, English is really not that reliable, and she spoke virtually no German. Her only response to that was an awkward laugh. I guess it had been an awkward three months!

In the beginning of the conversation my Japanese was very rusty – German vocabulary and grammar would hit my tongue first, but after a while this began going smoothly again – actually so smooth that when a German next to me would ask a question I had to regain my thoughts to form the German grammar correctly! After a while the party all began to mesh together and everyone’s conversations blended as we socialized outside. I was having such a great time since the conversations were back and forth in German, Japanese and a little English when the Germans had a question about some American slang or something. Overall, it was just one big translation event in my head, and honestly my brain was in overload, but with the great company, laughing with my host sisters, the surprise of meeting Hiromi from Hokkaido, and also chatting long into the night with other German students my age, I couldn’t have asked for a more fun, challenging evening for my last night in Saarbrücken. I truly hope that this year has more nights like Tuesday night.

1 comment:

  1. sweet...wonder if you will meet a girlfriend?

    Maria K.