i know what you mean!

two emails I wrote tonight…

Posted on: July 18, 2007

konichiwa Ngo san!

O genki desu ka? Nihongo o takusan renshuu o shimasu ka? Nanimo oboeta ka ? Watashi wa, Nihongo wa, nanimo oboetaranai… (is that even the right syntax??)
My Japanese is totally busted 😀

I saw Tomizuka sensei today at a local sushi place in El Cerrito… total hole-in-the-wall place.. I came up and greeted her out of respect, and introduced myself like Tarzan “watashi wa… gakusei… san-nen … zen!” 😀 I completely forgot if we have learned how to say “three years ago…” in J1A… Oh man, am I not making her a proud sensei or what?

Must renshuu o suru … takusan renshuu o suru …. 😀

how’s your life?


I spoted a Japanese couple sitting against the wall, 3 seats away from us (all of us were seated at the counter). Then when I heard her lovely Japanese voice and I knew right away it was my sensei. Tomizuka Sensei from Japanese 1A at Berkeley 3 years ago. During that semester, we had Japanese 5 days/week, absolute insanity everyday, me running like mad to class during lunch hour at work, and quickly rushing back to work after lecture… Tomizuka sensei used to teach us every Wednesday, and she was the cutest, funniest, and most well-loved teacher of all. She has the old school charms, the “tsk tsk tsk” way of correcting you if you say something wrong, but a very humble way of carrying herself as a role model for all students to observe & learn Japanese manerisms. And her voice is so lovely, pronunciation of each word clean and final, the voice of a language teacher. It’s a magical voice of your teacher so that no matter where you go, you hear her voice and you would understand the language… So, what did I do ?

I came up to her and …


Diana… I went to Yusan sushi tonight… guess who I saw? Tomizuka sensei! I went up to her to greet her since she was my sensei, except after saying

“Tomizuka sensei?”


“uh… konbanwa… uh…” I forgot the rest of my japanese, and started speaking like Tarzan “watashi wa … gakusei… san nen … zen!” 😀 😀 … I didn’t even know how to say “three years ago” so the only word that came was “zen.” I’m not sure what I have told her 😀

Her husband, another UC prof, was very kind and he started making conversations by pointing at a beckoning cat and asked me if I understand that. Me = huh? what’s there to understand about a beckoning cat? Is he asking me about the cultural significance of that thing??? “Shiranai…” I looked to sensei, she looked at my confused face and said “me-de-tai, desu ka?” Me = absolutely confused, why would that cat be lucky?? What do I need to know about that lucky cat??? Then she pointed again, and I saw a big hiragana “de” on the stomach of the cat, and then she pointed to its pink arm and said “tai, deshou? It means happy, good luck…” I nodded wondering what clothing article is called “tai” in japanese, because it looked like a pink sleeve. That’s because I didn’t wear my damn glasses. When I got home, I looked up the damn me-de-tai kitty and saw that it was indeed a big-ass eye painted on its stomach, in addition to a big as red snapper resting on its arm….

Next time I’ll wear glasses so that I can speak Japanese better!



We had kick ass sushi from Yusan Sushi tonight, so nice. My best pick would be the fatty tuna and the halibut, and the unagi too. Most places I have tried thus far have served up storebought unagi reheated, but I think Yusan does their own unagi + sauces. So yummy mmm….

The sushi chef told me that sensei comes once or twice every week, so I’m resolved to review my Japanese everyday. Hopefully I’ll see her again to make up for this sorry occasion. I did get my chance to tell her that she was a very good sensei, and that I remember her wherever I go … Sighs… I miss taking my Japanese class…


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July 2007
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