14 Aug

Hello Everyone!

Today, not really doing great. Just had a big fight with my dad.  It all started when I told him that I wanted to travel before starting school.  Since I am financially dependent on him, I asked him if he could give me a little bit of money to pay for my Japan Rail Pass.  I have a bit of cash aside, doing some babysitting for my neighbors, but not enough to pay for the Rail Pass, the food, and the hostels once in Japan.  According to my dad, since this is extra and it doesn’t go into the budget he is willing to give me to finance my school expenses.   Plus, according to him, traveling alone at my age is really not a good idea.  Even though I argued telling him that Japan was the safest country in the world, he did not listen.  I then said that I was tired of him looking at me as if I was a child and that he should start to see me for whom I am: a grown-up.  But there are some truths that my dad just doesn’t want to hear.  In that case, he just stop talking and listening to me.  HE becomes the child.  I just hate it!

When I have a fight with my dad, my mum also gives me a headache.  She just tells him that HE is right and she tells me exactly the same (that I am right).  Choose a side mum, come on!!!

Arrghhh, parents!

I don’t really care because, once in Japan, they have no way of knowing what I do, who I talk to, where I sleep, what time I go home, unless I tell them.  I love my parents but, at times, I found them too intrusive in my personal life.  In a way, I think that is why I am going away, so far.  Let me be but give me money to enable me to do what I want!! Hahaha!  I am such a spoiled kid and I know it!  But I am really looking forward to the time in life where I will be the one financing my own project!

Anyway, let’s talk about something else.

I am leaving on Monday night. Seriously, how can I spend so much energy on fighting with my parents while I am leaving in like… two days!!!!!

So, I am getting ready.  First, I think my Japanese is good enough.  I know all the surviving sentences (Where is the bathroom? How much is it?  A beer, please?  I am lost.  Can you speak English? See Zoe notes) and I can’t wait to learn more.  I am starting to really love learning Japanese.  Even if becoming fluent seems like an impossible task, confident I feel.  May the force be with me!

I am so excited about leaving that I had already packed my suitcase last week! I saw on the net that it is 93 °F (HOT!!) in Tokyo today so I am not taking a lot of things with me. Plus, when my parents come in December, they will bring my big sweaters, my boots, my jacket… and other missing goods.

The thing worrying me the most at the moment is that I haven’t found a host family yet.  I contacted my new school in Fukuoka, and Miss Okamoto, the responsible of Housing department, told me that Japanese people are currently on vacation (some holidays called “OBON”)  and that is probably why I don’t have any answers.  She also proposed other housing options, such as dormitory or shared apartment, but I am not interested.  I really wish to experience living with a host family.  I am going to wait a bit more. At first, I will be staying with Sean, my friend mum, in Tokyo and after, I will be traveling.  So, I still have some time.

Yes, dad, I will travel… whatever you think!  And again, talking about my dad.  I get so angry at him sometimes!

Let’s change of subject again!  Last night, I went out with my best friend Sophie.  We went to see a Reggae concert in bar in the district of Oberkampf (a very popular district of Paris) to celebrate our last night together this year.  Actually, just realized that I haven’t talked to you about her yet.  To be brief, it is my best friend since junior high.  We met in the middle of 1st grade, when she moved to Paris from Guadeloupe. At first, she was talking in Creole: Ti femel, ka ou fé ? (Hey, girl, how are you ?)  She lost it since then but I still love the way she speaks. She is really relax. I’ve never seen her angry, that is to say.  I consider her like my sister, since we have spent all our weekend together since the day we met, either my house or her house.  Thinking of it, I am going to miss her mum Colombo*.  I am going to miss Soso.   She promised to come see me in April, once “I mastered Japanese and the Japanese”, as she explained.  Sophie stays in Paris, studying Literature at La Sorbonne (French Faculty of Paris).  Her goal is to go live a year as an exchange student in Spain with the Erasmus program*. According to Sophie, Spain,  as Guadeloupe,  is one of the places on earth where people actually know what is means to party.

Here are for the last long news from France.  Next time, it will be from Japan!!!!!!!!!

* Columbo is a traditional dish from Guadeloupe


Hiragana “alphabet”

28 Jul
Learn Hiragana - う u

Image by Danny Choo via Flickr

 A あ        I  い        U  う          É  え     O お

  KA か     K I き        KU く          KÉ け       KO こ

  SA さ    SHI し      SU す         SÉ  せ       SO そ

  TA た     CHI ち      TSU つ       TÉ て       TO  と           

 CHI is pronounced tchi

     KA か    K I き        KU く       KÉ け       KO こ        

     NA な     NI  に       NU ぬ      NÉ ね      NO の

     HA は    H I ひ        FU  ふ     HÉ  へ      HO  ほ         

     MA ま     MI  み      MU  む    MÉ  め     MOも

     YA や                   YU  ゆ                 YO よ

     WA わ                                      (W)O   を        

We write WO to distinguish it from O (wo is a verb marker)

     N ん

Numbers Suuji 数字

28 Jul

One                            ichi 一

Two                            ni 二

Three                       san 三

Four                          yon 四

Five                           go 五

Six                             roku 六

Seven                       nana 七

Eight                         hachi 八

Nine                           kyu 九

Ten                            juu 十

…                               …

Eleven                               juu ichi  十一

Twelve                               juu ni   十二

Thirteen                            juu san  十三

Fourteen                           juu yon  十四

Fifteen                               juu go  十五

Sixteen                              juu roku 十六

Seventeen                         juu nana 十七

Eighteen                           juu hachi 十八

Nineteen                           juu kyuu  十九

Twenty                       ni juu  二十

Twenty-one                       ni juu ichi  二十一

….                                      …

Thirty                        san juu   三十

Forty                         yon juu  四十

Fifty                          go juu   五十

Sixty                         roku juu  六十

Seventy                   nana juu  七十

Eighty                       hachi juu   八十

Ninety                       kyu juu  九十


One hundred              hyaku   百

Two hundred                     ni hyaku  二百

…                                       …

A thousand                 sen  千

Two thousand                   ni sen  二千

Ten thousand             ichi man  一万

Note From Zoe Japanese Class

28 Jul

Japanese: nihongo: 日本語

My name: ゾエ

Introduction :  jikko shoukai

The word

Image via Wikipedia

My name is Zoe : watashi no namae wa zoe desu

I’m 18: 18 sai desu

I am French: furansujin desu

I am fromParis: Pari kara kimashita

I like chocolate:  chokoretto ga suki desu

I like to dance salsa: sarusa wo odoru ga suki desu

Important Sentence/ Word 

I don’t speak Japanese very well:  Nihongo amari wakarimasen

Do you sepak English ?  Eigo ga dekimasu ka ?

Where is the toilet  ?  Toire ha doko desu ka

How much is it ?  Ikura desu ka ?

Can i have water, please.  Mizu oneigaishimasu.

A beer, please.  Biru oneigaishimasu.

Thank you very much: arrigatou gozaimasu

You’re welcome :  doitashimashite

About Zoe

27 Jul

Zoe is a young lady of 18 years old, from Paris, half-American, half-French, who lives in Parisian the 14th district.  She graduated from high school in July.

She is :

–        capricious

–        a bit spoiled

–        fond of good food

–        very curious

–        adventurous

–        mature

–        positive

She loves:

–        chocolate

–        purple

–        reading ; especially in english

–        her parents

–        nature, and especially the mountains

–        listening to ragga/reggae music

She doesn’t like :

–        critics

–        people that follow fashion

–        cream puffs

 Activities/ hobbies :

–  She is taking salsa classes every Wednesday night

–  She runs twice a week with her mother at the “Jardin du Luxembourg”

About Zoe

–  She is an only child

–  Her best friend is named Sophie, and she is from Guadeloupe (French overseas department)

日本語を習ってる!! Learning Japanese!!

27 Jul

Hello everyone!

Good news: I got my visa!! Soooo happy! I also called Sean, my mom’s friend who lives inTokyo.  He seems nice and he told me again that I was more than welcome to his place.

Last week, I started taking some Japanese lessons in a language school in Opéra *.  I am doing an intensive summer program, two hours a day every morning. My first classes went well even though learning Japanese is harder than I thought!  That said, in only a week, I’ve already learned how to introduce myself, count (which is much easier than French or English) and I also know the Hiragana “alphabet”!* Indeed, on Friday, I got an A to my first test…. Kinda proud!!

Regarding the Japanese school in Japan, I decided upon one, in Fukuoka, the biggest city of the island of Kyushu in the south of Japan. The website is all in English, and the teachers, native Japanese, can all speak English. In addition, this school has a host family program.  I’ve already applied to it and I am now waiting for an answer, which should be around next week.  I hope to find a nice host family. I asked for one with children because, being an only child, I have always wanted to have a brother or sister.  Thinking of it, it would really be fun to have a Japanese brother or sister!!

So here is for the latest news!!  Still can not believe that in less that three weeks, I will be inTokyo!  TANOSHIMI = looking forward to it!  Just learned that today in my Japanese class.

* Opéra is the Japanese district of Paris

* The Japanese language is composed of three different writing systems: the hiragana (“alphabet” of the Japanese sound), Katagana (“alphabet” of the foreign sound), and the kanjis (Chinese characters which can be pronounced using the hiragana alphabet)

私の家族!My family!

14 Jul

Hello Everyone,

Today, I decided to introduce you to my little family as I have nothing new to say reagrding the preparation of my trip to Japan. So,  at home, we are 4: my parents, our cat  “Mallow” and I.  We live in an apartment in the 14th district of Paris, close to the RER station Port Royal.  I have been living there since I was born and Mallow joined us on my 5th birthday.

So let’s start with dad.  His name is Jean and he is the greatest of all the daddies!  It is my daddy chéri , so I am not very objective about him!  So, trying to be more objective, he is tall, green eyes, dark skin, and a nice mix of black and white hair.  He is rather handsome (my girlfriend always said so!), even though he has been putting of weight lately.  Well, when you are 55 years old and a real epicurean,  I guess you tend to gain on some pounds!! He also loves movies and goes to the movie theater anytime he can.   In life, he is a banker and works a lot.  I mostly see him  weekends for our weekly “backgammon tournament”!!

Mum’s name is Elizabeth, but everyone call her Lise.  She is a blond with big blue eyes American, originally from Seattle.    Mum has been living in France for about 25 years, but still has a lovely American accent when she speaks French. She is slim and very fit as she loves going to the gym and is always on a diet.  She is also hyperactive and has a very dramatic way of speaking, using lots of “OH MY GOD”, reminding everyone of her origins.  As for everyday life, she is a housewife who goes shopping way too much,  gets her hair cut once a week,  and goes running at the Luxembourg garden every morning.  On top of all of that , she is also doing lots of volunteer work.  So, even if mum is not actually working, she is one of the busiest person I know, as she often says: “I don’t work but I am more busy that all the little working  bees around me!”

Mallow* has a name that fits him well as he is just the sweetest cat ever!  Despite his fatness and dumbness, I just love him so much!!  He is a red hair cat who eats, sleeps, and asks for  loving all day long.  If I were to describe him with three words I would say: LOVE TO EAT.  If you go into my kitchen,  you can be sure that he will follow you there and then beg you for food, as if we had the mean habit of starving him!!

So here are the loving members of my family that I will soon leave behind to start my new adventurous life in Japan.   After writing these few lines, I realized that leaving them might be harder than I though at firstt!!

* Cat in French is chat, so Mallow is a pun for “chamallow”!

Pour voir la version française, aller à lesaventuresdezoe.wordpress.com