February 21, 2017
For the last four weeks I have been going to a language class for immigrants. If I am only looking to improve my English, this might not be the best class because it is not very structured. For me, a structured class means the curriculum is set in advance, and the teacher focuses on finishing the tasks. I would prefer some homework every day and I wish it were possible for everyone to come on time. And do their homework. However, I understand that they are adults and have many responsibilities. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the informality and the friendly atmosphere in class. I appreciate the opportunity I have of meeting people from all over the world and being able to talk to them in a relaxed setting. I had many friends from other countries in Tokyo and used to hang out with them sometimes but I didn't have friends from countries like Iraq, Bangladesh, Turkey, Russia or Cuba. It is very interesting to hear stories about their countries. One of the Iraqi students told us electricity is limited there and it is available for only a few hours a day. She told me the weather is extreme and in summer, the temperature sometimes reaches 50 degrees Celsius. I wonder if Japanese people could survive there since we use air conditioners so much. I was also surprised when a classmate from Bangladesh wondered why there are different prices for the same items in different stores. She told me that in her country, prices of products for daily life are the same everywhere and Government controls prices! I like learning those things and being here I find more opportunities to get to know about other cultures. Even just sitting and observing peoples' behavior makes me realize I only know about my culture and don't know how things are in other cultures.