Sunday, January 01, 2006

And Happy New Year!

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

Although nowadays many younger Japanese will abbreviate this new year's greeting to "Ake Ome!", whenever I try it I feel like I'm not young and hip enough to use it.

Aside: a while back, I was walking with my girlfriend though a park area between two of the office buildings by our station. It was a pleasant evening and already dark out, and many young couples were hanging out in the park chatting (one assumes) in the darkness. I muttered to my GF, "It's only couples here..." and she laughed at me. I had used the word アベック abekku for "couple" - the word comes from the French word "avec" and used to be reasonably hip. My GF knew the word but suggested that no one used it in the last 20 years. Nowadays they use カップル kappuru from the English "couple".

All I could retort with was that it couldn't be 20 years ago... when I learned it as a student here, a mere 17 years ago, it was in common use. I couldn't see in the darkness if she rolled her eyes, but if she didn't, she should have.

We got back into Tokyo early yesterday evening, the last day of the year. It was a long, tiring trip, so I'm glad to be back in my own home. Jet lag sent us to bed at 9pm, but also woke us up at 4am, so we were easily able to see the first dawn of the new year, a Japanese tradition. Too bad it was too overcast to actually see the sun.

I didn't blog during my trip, so I'll try to write up some bits of my Vegas trip and general America impressions over the next few days.

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