I heard of Japan first time, when one of my childhood friend mentioned of their relative was living in Tokyo back then. So, every once in a while, I keep hearing from them about the
$relative in Tokyo. I didn’t know anything about the country in my childhood, just heard its name, its capital, and maybe its currency. And that’s it. Didn’t even know its geographical position, or ever tried to locate it on the map. It was just strange. Now that I remember about it, while it fascinated me, but way less than how Java fascinated me.
Then in late 2000s, I came across Japanese cinema, I don’t recall how, or which was the first Japanese movie I watched. But seeing the old Japanese movies (70s or 80s times), people wearing sunglasses, reminded me of Calcutta from the movies. I could see a similarity in the culture. I loved Bengali culture, and now with the similarity, I became curious of Japanese culture too. After being introduced to the mangas by an IRC friend, and I read my first manga. The friend mentioned about the language, and I became curious, and decided to learn the languague. Initially enthusiastic about the language, enthusiasm soon died after realizing how many characters I have to memorize before I could even start anything. So, I gave up for a while, picked it up, gave it up, picked it up.
In 2015, I got chance to visit Tokyo. I was super excited about visiting the country, and trying out my Japanese vocabulary skills. At the immigration checkpoint, I greeted the officer, “Good afternoon”, and he replied, “Konnichhiwa!”. I realized, what I forgot in all excitement. And that trip, while being memorable, I didn’t use a single word of Japanese language there, after the incident at the immigration checkpoint. I was a bit disappointed.
In 2016, when I visited Japan again, I greeted immigration officer with “Ohaiyou Gozaimasu!”, and he replied with “Good morning!” :). Throughout that trip, I used some Japanese words, not too many, as I was still a bit under-confident, but it was good, and motivating. I even greeted “Oyasuminasai!” I felt like, and I broke out of the shell. This trip had been pretty good to me. I got to see Japan, outside Tokyo, which was a good experience. I got to try the Japanese pancakes, and the cold soba noodles. From the experience, I was motivated to be serious this time.
After few months of the 2016 trip, in 2017, I visited Japan again with my sister to see the cherry blossoms. Since, she was visiting Japan for first time, I acted as a bit of guide :P. I was more confident in my use of Japanese vocabulary this time. And since my last time, I had picked up lots of words. The trip was fun. We took lots of pictures, and had lots of cold soba noodles of different places, almost daily. I loved every moment (and bite) of it. And now that the trip has ended, I miss it.
Anyways, after all these trips to Japan, and attempts at learning the language, I decided to be serious. The real serious this time, and have enrolled for JLPT N5 exam this year in July, 2017. After a long time, I am preparing for an exam, although thanks to a fixed goal, I had become more disciplined with my learning. All the best to me. And さよなら…