What is he doing all the way over there ? [03]

by Grungi

Sorry for the belated, almost picture-less and short post. But I’m getting very tired, and unfortunately Day 5 is a event-heavy one, which means quite a bit of writing. So bear with me here, I’ll try to get “episode 4” done quick snap.

Day 4 [02/05] : A prelude

So, I said something about a “more culure-oriented” day, right ? Well, this was because it was the day when Pascale and I would have the opportunity to attend the 50th anniversary concert given by the Fukuoka University’s mandolin club.

One can ask : “But why ? You’re not particularly known for your passion for mandolin.”, which would be a valid point. But the thing is, I know two members of said mandolin club, which was more than enough of a reason for us to take this chance to try something new. Not to mention one of the two mandolin players had sent me two tickets for the event ! So sweet (and if you ever read this, thank you so much, Erika) !

The Fukuoka Acros, where the concert was taking place. Beautiful with all those plants, and the inside is just as impressive.

And I’m really glad I went. Even though I must admit, not all the pieces played were awesome, much of the concert was very good. It was also a very original experience. At first I thought it would be only – or almost only – mandolins, but it was a whole bunch of them, plus many guitars, and some other instruments (percussions, flutes, contrabasses, …). That made for a very full sound. And at one point, a Japanese singer, Kazuo Zaitsu, came to perform some of song, backed by the orchestra. So, all in all, an impressive and memorable experience. Too bad I couldn’t take pictures inside the concert hall…

But, but, BUT, that’s not all ! After the concert, I was left alone by Pascale to wander through Tenjin while she went to meet her famed boyfriend before they would come and pick me up so we could go to his grandmother’s house in Kumamoto.

Yeah, you left me alone, “bad sister” !

Saying that I was impatient to finally meet “the man” would be an understatement. I didn’t even have the chance to talk with him on Skype like my parens did, so I really only had seen pictures of Takahiro, and of course the description from Pascale. But that wouldn’t do anyone justice, now would it ?

Conclusion : a very cool and natural first contact. We readily went along, and the trip to Kumamoto ended up a very relaxed one, with us going to eat a ramen before leaving Fukuoka. We had fun watching the very scary ramen shop owner, who really didn’t seem like the kindest person…

Kumamoto, here we come !

The end of the evening was spent a Takahiro’s grandmother’s house, among the almost non-english speaking family, and I must say I was really nervous at first. But then, as I discovered that not only could I pick up the general topic of what was being talked about in a satisfying manner, but that they all were very nice people, it was a bit easier. To give you an idea, there was a total of 8 people in the house : Takahiro, his cousin, his aunt, his uncle, his older brother, his mother, Pascale and me. Made me realize I really should take those Japanese classes I’ve meant to for so long…