22 December, 2013

A brief trip to Kyoto 2013

By the way, I went to Kyoto during summer perhaps since the year of 2011. And to be honest, this time was the worst visit ever in my life probably.

The reason I have been to Kyoto this summer was to visit an Italian friend studying Japanese language in a Japanese uni as a foreign student for a year. For me it is absolutely envious to study in Kyoto as it is one of the best cities in Japan. I could have done that or lived once in my life, if possible. The friend is a girl that I have met in Turin in 2012 when I was following the series of rhythmic gymnastics in Italy, during the particular period, I have of course visited many cities in the nation and Turin was one of them. We happened to get to know each other at a pasta take away shop when she was working there. And somehow we had a conversation about her study, which was Japanese literature. She was a uni student Torino university. Although I could not communicate with her properly she has mentioned "Kyoto" whilst our talk. At that time I was not sure she has ever visited in Kyoto or she is supposed to come to Kyoto but the answer was obviously the former one.

This was maybe 8th times for me to visit Kyoto, therefore I have visited many temples that I wanted to come already. That means that I mostly came back there just reunite with her.

The reasons that I have mentioned like above are as follows.
First of all, during 2 days of my visit to Kyoto, it was mostly rainy and annoying. So my feet were really wet all the time.
Secondly, the places I dropped by were not necessarily fun for example Nijo-jo. My old guidebook says that it might take 5 hours but it should be crazy. It doesn't take that long. And again, it was literally rainy.
Thirdly, my expectation towards her was too much. My first impression about her was really good because when I have got acquainted with her, I have felt a sort of destiny. And also I talked with her in Italian as much as possible this time and she has understood what I have spoken, and I thought I made it unlike usual. However, eventually it seemed to me that she had a boyfriend who was studying with her on the same course. Not only that, there were some miscommunication between me and her and it has caused me a long time waiting.

I've got something to note here in order not to forget.
Japanese, English, Italian, I can speak these three language in a practical way, Japanese is my native one though. At that time whilst I was in Kyoto, I mainly spoke with the Italian friend in Italian, and English with her friends, in Japanese when I had a casual lecture for her and her friends. This is ultimately exhaustive. Don't do that. It makes your brain literally dizzy.

And this might be the most significant thing to refer though, don't go study abroad just in order to study its local language. It could be miserable.
The Italian girl seemed to me that she was immature in her linguistic skill to be honest. Her attitudes to me proofed it in a way because she hasn't spoken Japanese almost at all during my visit despite she was studying it. Maybe because she was too shy to implement and I could speak Italian however, it cannot be helped to say "wasting opportunities". And even though Kyoto is a massive sightseeing spot in Japan and relatively friendly for visitors yet there are tons of signs written in Japanese anywhere and it is still hard even for those who studying Japanese. It is understandable that people coming to Japan to study Japanese but you need to live in the nation at the same time, which means that you might be getting in a trouble by chance. In that case, if you can't speak and understand Japanese, obviously you cannot solve it by yourself, even it could be difficult to make precaution if you don't know how everything works locally. I'm sure she was one of those examples. Actually she mentioned that it cost a lot whenever she has withdrawn her money from her bank account in Italy from a cash point in Japan because she hasn't got her Japanese bank account, which seemed to me just ridiculous. If your linguistic ability is not enough, you can still ask friends some help to live locally. I never know in her case at all though.
Living in a country unavoidably means to get to know its culture as well. Food is one of typical things and it's gonna be hard to remain in the country if you refuse local food and keep sticking onto food of your country. Obviously if you dislike for example Marmite, you don't need have it. In the case of the Italian girl, she can't eat fish or fish flavoured stuff. When it comes to Japanese food, there is loads of cuisine along with Dashi flavour, which contains fish savour. Therefore anytime she stared to eat, she sniffed over deeply every single plate. It is OK to do but not beautiful honestly. Yet this is not her fault, it could raise the levels to survive. And from native's point of view, it might be seen that you are unwilling to embrace local food.

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