March 30, 2016

Elena’s world at nine (2)

Part two: things
What’s your average day like? Share some of your secrets!
I get up, usually in a foul mood. Just not a morning person. When we’re eating breakfast my friend F.-san calls up to three times about something or other. We walk to school, do a little exploring if the weather’s nice. My first and second period classes drive me crazy, but I recover a bit when we sometimes head outside to tend our class’s little vegetable garden. I’m usually home by mid-afternoon, craving and demanding a sugary snack. Then I hang with little sis and alternately terrorize or help mom. 

Who are you wearing these days?
Oh man I have these uber-funky jeans with vivid peacock stitching running down the leg; these jeans draw a few views from the competition on the playground. Mom and Dad have to convince me to try new clothes, and occasionally I indulge them on that. I’m very fond of this black long sleeve shirt with “Pretty Stars” embossed on it that flatters my hair color. And I got these fabulous Roller Shoes for Christmas; basically, athletic shoes with a small roller embedded in the shoes’ rubber soles that enables me to slide on pavement or down hills. Love that technology! Plus they are black and hot pink. Solid fashion, I think.
What’s your favorite food? You’re quite thin—any diet tips for our readers?
No brainer: fox udon soup, known as kitsune udon. No, it’s not made with fox meat, that’s just what it’s called. And “stinky senbei”, the salty rice cracker treat that smells like farts but tastes great. And I adore those fake teeth gummies that Grampa sends to us from the Loblaws Bulk Barn because he knows M. and I love them and cannot get them here in Japan.

What’s on your reading list lately?
I do like reading at night before we go to bed. These days, Magic Tree House is super-cool. I read it in Japanese and my Chinese character reading skills are coming along nicely, thank you very much. For English, we all like the SpongeBob Squarepants books. And the Disney storybook and songs compilation we got from Grampa. I know the plots of the Disney stuff Inside-Out. Get it?
And I am becoming interested in music. Like my Mom, I am more partial to the English music than Japanese pop, probably because that’s all we hear. I like Carly Ray Jepson’s work, and of course Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, most stuff by Taylor Swift. I am oddly fascinated by one of Dad’s songs that I heard—Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” He said I would understand the lyrics someday, so just enjoy the words for now.

Have a joke for us?
Nothing specific. In general, though, we laugh a lot, even when Marina and I are alone. For example, I will ask something to Marina, she replies with something nonsensical or silly, and I will stare at her, then blurt out “BWAAA Haaaa Haaaa HA!
We usually both burst out laughing. It’s very cutesy-girly but damn it’s funny.
That’s it.


March 29, 2016

Elena’s world at nine (1)

In late 2015 we interviewed Marina on the state of her life, her worldview, and how she goes about her daily business. Equal airtime dictates we should do the same for her elder sibling, Elena. As a double-down, we’ve broken it into two parts.
Part one: thoughts
What makes you proud? Can you give us one fearless move you’ve made that establishes your mettle?
For me that means “ichiban ganbatte koto” [Things for which I worked the hardest to achieve.] That’s a softball question! So let me give you something you want to hear followed by a kicker. Hey, I know I am among the world’s worst in putting off doing my homework. But lately I am getting better and doing my homework faster and more accurately, with less psychological torment of my little sister as my stress release. That isn’t too shabby in my book. But honestly I am proudest that I could make myself eat an umeboshi [sour plum] in my school lunch once this year. I couldn’t make myself do it before, and haven’t done it again since.

Embarrassing habits?
Last week I was in this heated talk with a couple of girlfriends and I waited for them to finish speaking (good manners-ed.). When they finally finished and I’d forgotten what I wanted to say--just a teensy bit mortified about that. I’m no airhead so lapses like that bug me.
The other one is definitely my tendency to apply mental pressure on my little sister when I don’t want her to come with me to play at a friend’s house, or if I have a sh---y day and get cranky because of homework. On the plus side, lately there’s fewer body blows between the two of us, so that’s progress. And I sometimes eat my own boogers.

Three things that make you unique at school?
I’ve been to Canada, probably the only person in my school to do that. Definitely the only one whose dad is a Canuck. And, yeah, I can speak a little English and have memorized some pretty awful words that Daddy uses when he’s driving. I was in the school cheerleading team this year for sports day—the only one from my class. Maybe that’s why my family is always saying I am l-o-u-d.

Boys or girls—who is more fun to play with?
Girls, no question. They’re just easier to understand and get along with, most of the time. Sometimes we fight, though. On the other hand, I do get along OK with the boys but they aren’t a priority right now due to the majority of them having some really disgusting habits.

To be continued.