We held a small farewell party for a young man from the Netherlands named Robin this week. Robin is a graduate student in astronomy at Osaka University. I met him at my horseback riding school last year. He is an excellent equestrian (horseback rider). He came to my Christmas party last December and also to my Hanami party at Shukugawa Park in April. Robin is returning to his home in the Netherlands this weekend. This time we had planned to get together at one of my favorite “watering holes” in Okamoto called “Konan Highball”. Unfortunately, Konan Highball was still closed for the Bon holiday so we had to settle for the “Rude Bar”. Don’t let the name bother you, the staff are very kind and courteous.
I had not visited the Rude Bar for about 6 years so it was nice to go there again. It is quite different from Konan Highball in that it is a bit darker and more like an American bar. They have heavy wooden tables and benches. But the beer is just as cold and we had a good time there.
We were also joined by another young Danish woman named Gerd who studies Japanese history. Robin and Gerd know each other from Osaka University graduate school and Gerd is also an excellent equestrian. In fact she is about the only person other than the coaches who can ride the famous steeplechase horse known as “El Junction”. El Junction is a very active horse and can be a little bit hard to control. El Junction winning on YouTube
Robin and Gerd use English to communicate. They don’t speak each other’s language so English is their “communication bridge”. To see this is really great and it is what I want my students to see and experience. English is actually more important for communication between people from non-English speaking countries. Robin and Gerd are a perfect example of why it is great to learn to speak English.
We were also joined by three of Okamoto School’s students, Hiroshi, Satoshi and Yurie. It was great for everyone to enjoy each other’s company and conversation. You know, now that I think of it, we spoke almost no Japanese. Wow! That was fun!
The party was a success with everyone enjoying some fish and chips and chili-cheese fries with their drinks in a pleasant and COOL atmosphere.