IMG_1345

Look what hubby brought back from Tokyo!

IMG_1346

What’s inside?  Scroll to the bottom for answer.


Meanwhile, I will talk about the July 2016 N2 Japanese test that I took recently.

First of all, they changed the location.  Previously, it had been in downtown Fukushima City.  That’s VERY convenient for me!  It was literally down the street, about a five minute bike ride.

However, they changed the location to Fukushima University, which is two stops from Fukushima’s downtown by train.  Less convenient for me, but still a whole lot better than for other people.  I think this is the only testing site in all of Fukushima Prefecture, so that’s a real burden for people who live far from Fukushima City.

IMG_1364

To tell the truth, though, I didn’t like it as much as the previous location (a small college.)  The room was very, very cramped.  You could practically cheat we were so very close to each other.  I wouldn’t cheat of course, but it was definitely possible.

No nice places for lunch.  People sitting out in the rain, eating their bentos.  I was smart and went straight to the library, which is comfortable and air conditioned.  (They would not let us into the test building until immediately before the test.  So everybody was waiting outside anxiously.  Just really annoying.)

As far as the test takers go, in my room only two others were not young–an Asian middle aged woman and an older Asian man.  And me, of course (mid-forties.)  Lots of young Asian males, seemed to be many Vietnamese men.

The test itself:  The first part was harder than in years past.  I think I did okay, maybe, but the kanji and vocabulary was tricky. Then the essay reading part. This seemed easier than years past, but it’s hardest for me, so still very tricky for me.  I skipped around unlike last year and tackled what looked easiest.  The very last page had a brochure on apartment hunting, and if you read carefully it was easy.  I feel confident I got that right.  Also, there was an essay on……READING CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS!!!!!!!  Banzai!

My husband has been nagging me about reading the kiddy books, saying “They won’t be on your test.”  Well, he was wrong, now wasn’t he!  Mr. Know It All!

I ran out of time with a BUNCH of questions left, so I am very nervous about that.  I am just really slow at figuring things out.  I want to get answers correct though.  One’s score doesn’t have to be terribly high to pass so I figure if I can just get some right, I’ll be okay.

They don’t give you any warning that time is almost up.  The proctor just yells in Japanese, “FINISHED!”  I mean YELLS it. I was scared to randomly mark answers.  Husband scolded me saying I should have noticed that there was a minute left and that’s when I should have been randomly marking the rest of the anwers.  He says he’ll buy me a new watch if I don’t pass.  I’ve been on the Swatch site all morning choosing the cutest one.

The listening was hard…but listening is my strong point so I think maybe I did okay.  There was a question where one of the choices was “Go to the library and read aloud to kids” (Yomikikase)  and I do yomikikase every week, so I was again “Banzai!”  All the other test takers were probably like, “Yomi—What?”  Yeah, we book lovers are cool.

Okay, afterwards a cat was outside waiting for us.

IMG_1366

And I was reminded to just relax and chill and be like a feline.


Did you figure out the correct answer?

It is a……..

IMG_1343

a green grape!  Seeds and all!  Super yum!