Hanami, Part 2

Last Sunday I woke up bright and early to head to Nobeoka for one of my regular volunteering gigs.  This week’s volunteer event was the adult conversation group that lasts for two hours.  As interesting as it is, sometimes two hours is a lot for me to be the center of attention.  All discussion questions seem to be directed at me, even though I am not there to practice my English.

After that, I walked over to Nobeoka’s Shiroyama Park and got ready for yet another Hanami.  This time the Hanami was for the northerners, as we are affectionately called in the prefecture.  Since my friend Kyle also used to be a lacrosse goalie, just like me, I grabbed my toy lacrosse sticks and brought them along.  I got to make some new Japanese friends as well and even got to play catch with one of them for a while.  It was a good and relaxing afternoon.

A food festival going on in the park.

A food festival going on in the park.

Stairs up to where we set up our picnic spot.

Stairs up to where we set up our picnic spot.

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Sent to me by my new lacrosse buddy.

Sent to me by my new lacrosse buddy.

I later discovered that my new English teacher had actually seen me, but didn’t say hi because he didn’t want to bother me when I was with my friends.

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2 thoughts on “Hanami, Part 2

  1. I saw you guys having a hanami when I was walking with my in laws and son. I was about to say hello, but the glares I got from some of the people in your group put me off it. I tried again later on, with my son wanting to touch the flowers, but were again given glares by the same person in your group. Now, im not a JET, nor am I an ALT, however in your future hanamis it would probably be more worthwhile to be more welcoming to other foreigners

    • Hi there. I’m sorry you got glares and felt unwelcome. I think I remember seeing you there. If I am remembering correctly, you have a young son? I remember thinking he was adorable, but I did not want to say anything if you wanted to be left alone. I know for me, at least, I am never quite sure what to do when I see another foreigner I don’t know. Should I say hi because we are both foreigners in this country or should I just leave you to go about your business because we are just normal people? I often get frustrated with how some Japanese people seem to treat me less than a person, staring and pointing as if it is acceptable simply because I’m not Japanese. So I have trouble balancing what I think is being respectful with what some people might perceive as rudeness. I have no idea if this was the case with the rest of the people I was with, but I know that because I’m shy and cautious it can sometimes come off as coldness. I am really sorry that you felt snubbed by our group. I will try to keep this in mind next time I see you or any other foreigner out and about in public. Thank you for letting me know.

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