November 30

Congratulations! Your Test Has Been Preponed!

This kanji reads “ganbaru,” which is usually translated as “good luck” but which actually means “try hard.” This explains Japan better than any other example I can think of.

We all groaned when the Japanese kanji teacher handed us this week’s schedule: on Friday, in addition to her weekly test on the 25 characters we were supposed to have learned, another teacher was hitting us with a three-chapter grammar review exam. Two tests to cram for on the same day!

She saw our faces and said sympathetically, “Two tests on the same day really does sound like a hardship. I’ll talk to the head teacher and ask if we can move the kanji test.” Whew.

The next day, she came in and and announced with a big smile, “Good news! We’ve agreed to change the kanji test. Instead of taking it on Friday, now it will be…on THURSDAY.”

<facepalm> Welcome to Japan.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)