Saturday, January 23, 2010

Everything was so unexpected.

When I was 15, I traveled to Vancouver. It was summer. That was the first time that I ever went abroad.

Although I had by then studied English for three years at the junior high, my language skill was still poor.

Verna came to pick me up at the Rembrandt hotel. When we arrived at 7580 Railway avenue, two boys dashed towards us. They were Trevor and Randy.

Trevor and Randy wanted to play with me the moment we arrived. So we played the Game of Life. What followed was the most trying time in the history of my learning English as a second language.

Adults make considerations for the fact that I am not a native English speaker.

Kids don't. Trevor and Randy bombarded me with questions and comments like a rapid fire, and I had to respond in kind. The first ever game of life played in English was a milestone in my upbringing.

Everything was so unexpected.


砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

"The Game of Life"
Nostalgia runs deep.

"He bought a new board game!"
"Let's get together at his home after school!"

I recall the sound of that roulette wheel. Yes, it was always unexpected...

Yuzu said...

How wonderful memories there are. I like to stay at Vancouver. Fast time,sudden I step in there I felt many nationality live together. That kind of feeling was something so special I thought.
After I traveled around the world, I felt very strange feeling to live in Japan. This country is very special for the world, but something unnatural in the world.
We should keep that kind of something in Japan,also we might unnecessary for people in the present day.
Anyway my English is still very poor. I have to change my studying.I am very ashamed to write here.Mr.Mogi, I am sorry.

Anonymous said...

So fitting that what you were forced to play then was the game of Life. I wonder f it is another one of those little tricks played by the big G. The very dramatic moment for the 15 yr old, giving a try at his first "spin of the wheel".

(ma)gog said...

When I was 15, I started babysitting for the English speaking children (&babies). That was the first time that I ever had the opportunity to communicate with native English speakers.

Although I had by then studied English for two and a half years at the junior high, my language skill was still poor.

The children in the nursery wanted to play with me, or wanted me to read stories for them. Often a very patient 5 year old girl corrected my bad pronunciation, after having struggled to understand what I was reading. I was astonished to hear just a year old Rebecca say "my mummy likes ice cream, too!". Little two year old Tom taught me to call the toy train "chu chu churain". 7 year old Heather was already like a little mother and expected me to treat her like an adult.

Indeed, children don't have any hesitation to talk to you once they decide that you are their friend, and you are driven to soak yourself in their questions, in their laughter, (or sometimes in their anger), and you find yourself responding to them in their language!

That was how I started to be drawn to the english world outside the school. More than three decades ago.