January 21, 2008

A GIANT Victory

It was such a sad start to our day this morning when Mike had to head off to work leaving Ilena and the kids to stay home and watch the Giant's playoff game without him. Sure, following along on the web has its perks, but it's nothing like the real game. Especially when our Big Blue manages to pull off a painful, but amazing victory and will now be heading to the SuperBowl!! What has this world come to? It looks like we will be making annual trips to Japan during the playoffs from here till eternity, since apparently our karmic journey has led to this amazing playoff run. It seems that GAORA (our Japanese cable channel) will be showing the game again tomorrow night (and if it's anything like TBS, the night after that, and the next and the next and the next...). So we declare that SuperBowl Sunday, or Monday morning here is from here on out now officially a National Holiday in Japan.

The most popular commercial we've seen - for the "Shrenda-Shaypa!" I swear, we've seen this commercial twenty times this week:

Our big purchase of the weekend was yesterday at (believe it or not) our local supermarket. So we bought bikes for the kids and Ilena. We're still working on one for Mike. But at least the kids and Ilena can now go to the grocery store as all the other locals do (by jitensha).

Mike also picked up some toys for the kids on Friday night:

Finally, Ilena and Mike are going to attempt to teach themselves Hiragana (so we can attempt to read things like signs and menus). There are 46 Hiragana characters (kana), so we are doing a couple a day. We are also practicing by doing a daily Hiragana to Romanji (writing Japanese words with roman characters) translation of one item we buy in the supermarket, and then looking it up in one of our books or online. For example, the other day we had this: さ わ ら. The first character is sa. The second character is wa. And the last character is ra. When you put it all together, you get sawara, which translates to Spanish mackerel. Cooked up in our fish broiler, it was tasty! We are also making little signs to put around our apartment. Here was Mike's reminder to take out the trash (trash separation and pick-up is amazingly complex here; that's for another post): ご み = go mi = garbage. So, we're trying! Not being able to read sucks. If we are successful, we will also try to learn Katakana, a phonetic character system used for foreign names and words. Kanji, which is more like picture-grams (not phonetic) and of which there are thousands of symbols is likely beyond the scope of this visit!


Mandona said...

Ilena, Mike, Jacob and Lauren -
GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep the posts coming.
All our best,
The Zackers

J & S said...

Go, Giants! The news is still headlines around here. I hope you, Mike, enjoyed watching the game after work. Atleast you knew that it was worth taking the time to view it. I'm glad it was on TV.
Learning your way around the language sounds like a challenge that only you would attempt to meet. Good luck!
We look forward to your next entry. The pictures are always an added bonus. Lots of love, J&S

Gabriel said...

We are enjoying the blog...we cant wait to hear about what Lauren and Jacob will think of their new school.

Gabi had some "homework" for school. He had to come up with certain words that began with the letter 'O'. (An animal, a name of a person, etc.) So, one of the categories was a food. So he came up with "Octopus" citing your blog as his inspiration.

michelle weiss and family