✱ Last Wednesday I took my son to the Japanese Consulate in São Paulo, where he had an interview following up his MEXT exam approval last week. Due to the interview requirements he needed to come all suited up with formal clothing, including a tie — which is an unusual way of dressing not only for him, but for me as week (I can’t even recall the last time I put on a suit). The whole interviewing lasted for about 20 minutes: so it felt to me he came back right after having gone into the room, but of course it must have felt like an eternity to him. He kept studying interviews for the whole week in preparation, and it was wise of him to do so, as he had to face four different people in front of him, asking him lots of questions in Portuguese, English and Japanese, all around and again. Right after the end of it, as we left the Japanese offices and stopped to eat something at a mall in the same building, my son told me all he could recall and it looked really promising.

✱ The following day great news arrived via email. My son did it! He got approved in the interview, meaning now he’s one step closer to being apt to travel to Japan, earning his college scholarship. The Consulate representative called him and other approved candidates via Teams for an online post-interview comments and orientations section. He passed the São Paulo stage and now has been recommended to the National stage. Once the analysis is done, what must happen by July, 24th, he’ll be eligible to going to Japan. Fingers here, as it’s been through all this process, are to be kept crossed 🤞

✱ Meanwhile, I’ve been working on my own Japanese learning. I love languages, being fluent in English, and having basic knowledge of French and Spanish, but Japanese, I knew from start, would be a totally different animal. From my standpoint it must be because of the three sets of characters that comprise the language’s writing system, hiragana (ひらがな), katakana (カタカナ) and kanji (かんじ). As I try to learn the first and most basic (also the most used one), ひらがな, using sites like Realkana and getting retention rates ranging from 87 to 92% in apps like Kana for practicing, I’m at the same time satisfied with my own progress and anxious to learn more. But I have to admit that some of these characters are very confusing, yet the language seems to be simple and structured in nature.

✱ To help me deal with all this Japanese input, besides my son’s assistance, I’ve decided to start logging the little I learn here, in this very same site. I’ll probably create a new post category named Japanese (surprise!) and whatever Japanese language learning I make will probably be narrated in Brazilian Portuguese (as it’s easier for me to use my mother language to note important and interesting discoveries along the way). It’s gonna be the learning in public principle all the way. I’ve even figured out a neat Japanese name for the posts: 私きょうまなんだこと, which translates to “what I’ve learned today”, or “o que eu aprendi hoje”. Stay tuned!

✱ Had my hair cut. It’s incredible how it annoys me when it starts to get even slightly longer than the usual. As I’m in a meeting on Microsoft Teams and I notice that single, annoying, strand of hair coming into my field of vision. But nobody notices that, someone could say. I do. I do, and it really gets on my nerves. So there’s nothing better than having my hair short, again. It’s really a relief.

✱ It had hinted us a couple of weeks ago, and now our refrigerator really did it: it’s gone to refrigerator heaven, where it’s probably nice and cozy. But as it’s done that to us, we needed to buy a replacement, which will take an average 6 workdays to be delivered home. Think of living with a half-working, palliative refrigerator. It’s a real hell, driving me nuts. Thankfully, this will all be soon behind us here, and maybe we will even laugh about it someday… 😂😂🙏

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