Once in Ni-Hong!

“Wakarimasen – -” ” or sometimes “Wakaranai” and even “Wakaraheng” were always my replies when I was there in Japan, one of the top countries people want to visit!

Last September, I took a test (First, paper then interview and interview again together with the speech on random topic) that AFS organization set up. I wasn’t so excited or that proud when I passed the paper exam because there were only 3 people taking it! I got the highest scores but still, only one mark ahead another girl so we both were interviewed by the teacher in our school and .. that was the start when I became tickled pink.. I was chosen.

But that was not it, I still had to compete with more 80 students from all around the country to be really chosen as Thailand’s representatives. I did OK. during the interview part but then time to make a speech ..

Pick the card.. 5 minutes to prepare then go for it for half an hour ~ look at what I got; How to protect corruption in Thailand! I never even corrupt even such a little thing in my life before so it was quite hard for me :p but I used that point of me to buid up the speech.. don’t ask me what I said, it went pretty ‘not good’ but I was still glad that at least I already did my best that time that moment..that day 🙂

A week later, “Successful candidates are…
1. Peeyanut
2. Nattarika

“Wait, the name I just passed seemed to be a bit familiar..It might be somebody I’ve know..” so I came back to that name on the 2nd;
2. Nattarika Chaiyadaecha, full scholarship to join ASEAN 2 program

Now that it’s so clear..that somebody’s name seemed to be the name involved with me —

Exactly, it was me! I never felt any happier in my life. I mean, I could get it..at last.. after having efforts for like 5 years in order to go abroad..and this time, it was free ~ Whoa, all I could say and thought was just, “YES!”

Then it was time to fly to join the 3-week program in Japan. There, I got a chance to meet friends from 10 Asean countries at the camp for a few days. We had fun al-together because all, of course, were the most exulted to be selected.. we became friends so easily ~ but that was when English was still the speaking language..

Later, we had to be seperated to go to homestays and high schools there in different parts of Japan. I was set to be in Osaka and went to Namihaya High School 🙂 As soon as I stepped in my host family’s house, “Obaki!!!”, as the first expression from my host little sister to welcome me .. I smiled although I didn’t know that word but she was cute so I thought it was definitely something nice .. I found it out later that it meant ‘GHOST!’

She loved breaking into my room so much and messed it all :p She also brought some toys in always ~ I knew she wanted me to play with her.. I did and we had some fun but sometimes she asked me questions.. now that I felt stupid..I never understood what she said or wanted ..

One morning when it was the first day to visit Namihaya, I, absolutely, was excited but also on the other hand, nervous like I was going to make speech to the whole world or something.. and here it came, the first sentence from friends.. “Onamae wa?!”

I knew that one!!! But I answered, “YES!!!”..everyone laughed. Well, they should because they asked what my name was but I said yes.. They already knew you had a name, Bow. – -”

What I had to face there was people speaking rare English and I was always lost in classes.. sometimes, I slept or drew loads of pictures in my notebook. When going home, I was always lost ~ and people always waved and walked away if I asked them in English.. I was even once greeted by the guy in the train which I believed to be a bit drunk.. I didn’t get what he said..AH!!!

– – – –

However ~ That was when I looked only at one side. Everything’s like coin which has two sides.. then I began to be a optimist. Understanding nothing from my host sister, Aiko, was not that bad actually because we still could play together and I could always get smiles from her..I painted pictures with her and taught how to write her name in Thai, it was fun and that was the most important. At school, if I didn’t say, “YES!” that time and began to shake or walk away instead.. I wouldn’t get a chance to stay at one of the friends’ house, smiles or even a look when walking pass.. I wouldn’t be able to make friends if I ignored when people paid attention to me..

If I just kept walking alone in the darkness trying to find my way home..without asking anything ~ the next day, I wouldn’t get a smile from the guy at bookshop who showed me the map the day before ..

Also, understanding nothing from what that drunk guy said was quite good because the next day I went out with my friends, we met that guy again but he turned out to be the sick person who kept trying to take my friends’ pictures and asked something in a bad bad way.. :p

It was one of the precious time of my life that I would never ever forget.. I might have said too little but well, I did notice how clean Japan was and how prosperous it was..but I don’t want to talk about that because it’s something clear that other people have noticed, too. What really got my heart was something different. I experienced that although there are thousands of languages on this earth, written and unwritten, people are still people..we’re made to me friends living in the same home called world. We can still contact and understand one another by heart-to-heart language. I know that a lot of people have persuaded you to learn new languages, parents send their children to extra classes to gain the third..the fourth language..it’s true that you’ll get benefits from that but it’s not so true if you know only your own mother-tongue.. you, we, can still make friends.. believe me, difference can never be barrier ~ Now, let’s start smiling and gain more friends and happiness to lift up your life!

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