Yesterday, one of my teachers, T. Sensei, gave me her daughter's old bike.
It was really quite the ordeal, so let me tell you all about it. First, our groundskeeper, I. Sensei, drove me & my borrowed bicycle (from my other school) back to my apartment, so he could pick up the busted bike. He said it would be much easier to throw it away with the rest of the school's trash, so I wouldn't have to worry about calling the garbage men & paying for them to come and collect it. It is unbelievably nice of him AND my school to do this for me.
Because Japan just isn't a very big place... refuse and what to do with it is always a problem. You've got your burnable garbage, un-burnable garbage, recyclable garbage, and then your large items.. like broken bicycles. Because they are too big and troublesome for the regular trucks, you have to call the city office and pay to have them haul it away for you.
So then we took the broken bike back to school, and T. Sensei was waiting in the parking lot for me. She drove me to her home, which actually is right across the river from my neighborhood, where my bike was waiting! I. Sensei followed behind us in the little truck that belongs to the school. He said he would drive me & the bike home in case it would start to rain.
T. Sensei and I had a good conversation in the car. She told me that she thought I was so brave for living so far away from home and in a country that is so different from my own. I told her that living in a foreign country is hard sometimes, but the one singular thing that made it quite easy was the fact that I can speak the language. We talked about people that go abroad to teach English who don't speak their host country's language at all and how difficult everyday life must be for them. We also listened to a little bit of a Spanish conversation CD and practiced some Spanish. We talked about the fact that the vowel sounds in Spanish are the same as the vowel sounds in Japanese, so she finds Spanish very easy to pronounce. However, since she doesn't get much chance to speak it, she said she unfortunately forgets many words.
I personally feel that it's really like that with any language. If you don't use it, you lose it. But, some people are just amazing at recalling words & grammar, and can produce it at a moment's notice. I wish I could be one of those people.
Then, T. Sensei told me that she and her husband had taken the bike to the bike shop and replaced the light and bake pads, and made sure everything was in working order before they gave it to me. The bike was their daughter's, who is actually the same age as me, and also like me, no longer lives at home, and an elementary school teacher, but in Kanagawa prefecture.
I was able to ride home on the new bike since it had not begun to rain yet, so after many 'thank you's' I said see you tomorrow to to I. Sensei and T. Sensei, and rode home.
The generosity & genuine concern from my teachers during this whole bicycle fiasco was very touching to me, so I really want to do something nice for them in return, especially for the teachers like I. Sensei and T. Sensei.
I think when I go home I will bring them back a little something to thank them for all of thier troubles. They really took care of me, and I am so thankful for that. They are just good-hearted people, what can I say? I am very blessed.
So here is a photo of the bicycle that was so generously given to me, It's pink!!! yaay :D
The care and generosity of my teachers, along with good conversations and of course, pink bicycles.
That's what I love this Thursday. How about you?! What do you love?