Just got back from a night of drinking with friends at an izakaya (like a pub, where you can order small dishes and everyone shares while they drink.) Among those included were fellow ex-patriots who teach English here, and also my friend Mona's Japanese boyfriend and a friend of his who I interpret for and to when there are no other Japanese English speakers around. At first it was me and Mona, then her boyfriend, Masahiro, and his friend, Toshi, showed up. A little later my Japanese teacher, Karina, and her boyfriend, Peter, came, and they arranged for Karina to teach Masa and Toshi English on Fridays. Then Katie came along after she was done having a dinner party with her fellow schoolteachers, and we had a grand time. Before and after Karina came and left, I did most of the talking for and to Masa and Toshio. They're really great guys. Very sweet and funny. Toshi is such good people. He's going to study English with Masa to make it easier for him, and he really hasn't got any reason to other than he wants to. But it's not like it's essential for him to be able to talk to anyone in English. They do bodywork on cars for a living. No real need for English there. So Toshi scores big points in my books. Masa's got a good friend there.
In other news, I found this link through Chance, and am quite appauled. I have to admit, there are many times when I miss America, when I have a tug in some part of my essential being where I want to get on the next plane and come home to be where that core part of my self was formed is. But then I read things like this and think, I'm better off here for now. I don't know how much worse it has to get before Americans will take a stand and say they do not want this sort of government, and *demand* that it change. America was forged on freedoms. On freedom of expression and speech, and it's a shame when the secret service shows up at someone's door to question them about why they are posting negative things on their online journal about the president. Sorry folks, but that sounds like the old red days of communist Russia where you couldn't open your mouth unless you were going to say what the leaders wanted you to say. This has got to stop. And people can't be silent about it. When you're silent, it only allows them to continue doing things that are wrong.
And what our government is doing is wrong.