On weekdays, I usually arrive at my fitness club, TIPNESS , a short time before closing time. One day this week I finished work earlier than usual at my English conversation school （英会話）, Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi （スミス英会話塚口校）, located in Tsukaguchi （塚口）, Amagasaki City （尼崎市）, Hyogo Prefecture （兵庫県）, Japan （日本）and went to the fitness club earlier than usual. I decided to do some weight training first, then go swimming and finish off with a dip in the jacuzzi near the pool. First I went to the weight training room. As I was getting some dumbbells to train with, a man said something like “you have a lot of time today” to me, in pretty good English. I had seen the man before but had never spoken to him. I was surprised to hear someone speak to me in English and also by the fact that he had noticed that I usually train late at night. We introduced ourselves to each other. Later on, I chatted a bit with him before going swimming. I asked him why he could speak English. He said he had studied for 4 1/2 years in New York when he had been a student, 40 years before! We mentioned our jobs, and I told him I sometimes wear my Smith’s t-shirt while training there, although I wasn’t wearing one on that day. He knew. (^.^) I guess a lot of people know me because I often wear my Smith’s t-shirt, even when training at TIPNESS. I don’t know a lot of people, but probably a lot of people in Tsukaguchi know me as the Smith’s School of English guy! (^.^)
I believe that Japanese people look at me, or at least notice me, because I am a foreigner and therefore naturally stick out. If I were them, I would look at or notice me too, as I look quite different! As I mentioned in a prior post, I prefer people noticing me and walking away with “Smith’s School of English” in their heads to walking away with “hey it’s a foreigner” in their heads.
I hope to be surprised again someday by someone speaking to me in English! It was great! I encourage all Japanese people to speak to foreigners in English when they get a chance! Please don’t be shy! Like Nike says, just do it! (^.^)/
Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi