Feb 15, 2013


***I have a question. How many hometowns do you have? How, many, hometownS. There is a popular music, "Country road, take me home, to the place, I belong." How many places do you imagine when you listen to the song?" I guess many of you might have thought, "What a stupid question she's asking! Of course each one of us has just one hometown" But for me, the answer is not one, but three. I'm going to tell you why.

***The first place I pick is Nishinomiya where I was born, raised and lived for twenty-five years in total. So Nishinomiya should be the place I most feel like belonging to. But Nishinomiya is no longer a special place for me.

Because, firstly,when I was an elementary student, I spent five years in Utsunomiya in Tochigi, so my childhood memories are devided into two places, not only Nishinomiya.  

And secondly because my family home that I grew up was, torn down completely by the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. Not only my family home, but the sceneries in the neighborhood were totally changed, so there is not much that reminds me of my young days in Nishinomiya.

***The second place is Kurume in Fukuoka. When I got married, I moved to Kurume and lived there for twelve years. I started a family, gave birth to two children, son and daughter. 

Tell you the truth, the first several years were like hell. I was a town girl, so I didn't know what the life is like in the country. I felt like kicked out of the society and my world was shrank into a tiny one of my house and a small park in the neighborhood, where I played with my kids. 

But as time passes, I came to know the way to enjoy the country life. As a family, we did many kinds of outdoor activities, such as growing vegetables and herbs, driving, hiking, mountain climbing, and of course, Onsen! I was beginning to think I'd like to live in Kyushu forever.

***Then, one day, my husband came back from the office and dropped a bomb. He said, "have you ever imagined living in Tokyo? It was like "What?! Are you kidding me?!!" I was not one bit interested in living in Tokyo.

Why do I have to throw away everything I'd built in Kurume and start a new life in Tokyo from scratch? I was devastated with the news and kept crying for two, three days. But I didn't like the idea for a family to live separated, so I made up my mind and came to Tokyo.

Now, it's been about six years since I came to Tokyo. It's extremely difficult for a middle aged woman to get used to the hectic life in Tokyo, but lately my curiosity has been growing, and that led me to a new challenge of making a speech in Toastmasters.

***Sometimes I feel like an floating grass, which isn't attached to anything. No anchor. No hometown. But if I look at it from the different perspective, I'm very lucky that I was able to experience three different cultures, Kansai, Kyushu, and Tokyo. So I'd like to enjoy the life in Tokyo to my heart's content.    

スピーチ作成って、思っていた以上に楽しいし、勉強になる。 まあね、辞書を引きまくらないと文章が作れない、多くの日本の生徒には、タスクが大きすぎると思うけれど、多読多聴で自然に出てくる英語が溜まっている生徒や大人には、とてもやりがいのある課題かも。

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