Monday, July 9, 2007

International students, ep3: Enter Asuka

"A Geman, huh?"

Asuka's (yes, another codename) 'docket' arrived shortly after the conversation with the school board. Her picture looked a bit on a punk side. Just a little. Cool.

I had a pal in highschool who was a German exchange student, and he was a neat bloke. We made a bit of fun with his accent now and then, ("We watched wiolent wideos in wancouver.") and he got his revenge by stealing my girlfriend. Well, not really.. he actually asked permission rather formally, since he knew she and I had some kinda something going on, but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, Asuka. Before she arrived, we has to let Rei know there'd be another girl in the house. We told her over dinner. Her response? Emo silence for a while, followed by "I think just 3 is better." (Me, my wife, and Rei)

I figured she'd adjust to the idea, and that she just wanted to be the only student in the house beacuse she wanted to be special. Little did I know- she probably just didn't want someone in the house that she went to school with... that could pose a threat to Rei's cunning plan.

Asuka arrived, looking notably less punk-ish than her picture, but with all the spunk and energy you might expect. In many ways Asuka was Rei's opposite. Outgoing, open, chatty. (A contrast that coincidentally mimics the namesakes of thier codenames.) Rei was also mortified that Asuka's english obliterated her own. The Germans study english a good degree more seriously than they do in Japan.

Japanese highschools seem to study english almost as a novelty. The Germans study it to communicate with their neighbors. Asuka, much like my buddy from highschool, was almost entirely fluent, with only the occasional unknown word, which was easily explained without the use the little notepad that Rei and I had been using a lot.

It occurred to me briefly that we now had descendants of the WW2 axis living here. History is odd. If you could have sent a picture of our dinner table with everyone joking and talking back to 1950, what would people think? In 2050, will my daughter be hosting students from Iraq?

Asuka's level of energy brought a bit of much-needed volume to the house. Remember I said in the last post that I was trying hard to be quiet and un-rude for Rei's sake? That went out the window, and I realized that I might have been giving Rei the impression that I didn't like her much. (Which is kinda silly, given how much unrequired time I spent with her on homework and such.)

Asuka didn't need much help with homework, but we had lost to talk about.. like chocolate. We would have an hour long chat at the drop of a hat about chocolate, and related items. How this kind was good, that kind was not, and the stuff at the corner store was mostly shameful shadows of true chocolate.

Then a week later, something would set one of us off, and we'd have nearly the same conversation again, with just as much enthusiasm.

In 3 short months, this spunky girl had become part of the family.

Next post: Exit Asuka, Enter Ping.

Book update: Lifehack revision 33% done. Evenings don't get much done, I have to try t make better use of the mornings. Lil Caitlin's an angel in the mornings.


Anonymous said...

Asked permission huh? Figures... Sure he 'stole' me, but I did find you a replacement - and you married her! :)
PS: Is it Beth??? She has good comments - insights I would never think to have about your stuff... shamefull, really :(

Joseph Picard said...

Beth? Who? wha?