Tomoko-san and her daughter Rinka-chan, welcome Mark, an English teacher at the beginning of Tokyo Autumn to their house.
“Mark is tall”, said Rinka-chan. “Mark is a good young man.” Tomoko-san told us, “Both of us are too busy with our schedule during the weekdays and came home late, which made me think we are share mates, but things change on the weekend.”
Rika studies and lives in a dormitory during the school times, and only goes back on weekends. “Saturday came soon, and I spent time playing with Rinka-chan” Mark said, “I was trying to teach her English, but Panjan is more interesting, for me too”, and he laughed.
Panjan is a Japanese game like Mahjong for children. “Do you know Chinese living in Northern Ireland are using Mahjong to negotiate the name of the store, and the name of the store may change depending on the game?” said Mark.
While playing, Mark speaks English and Rinka-chan replies in Japanese, most of the time, Rinka won the games. “She’s good, and I did improve my Japanese while playing with her”
“Mark also did kickboxing, so we went to see his match. After that, I prepared a cake, with half icing, and half chocolate” Tomoko san said. “Mark told me before that in Northern Ireland, most cakes are icing cakes. Ireland, and Northern Ireland, it’s different, and it’s good that I could give Rinka-chan these opportunities to have interest in such a world different from Japan”.
Saying goodbye to Mark, Tomoko-san, and Rinka-chan, we left them with their Panjan game still on the table.
Homii Homestay Hosts and Guests story series: #1. The Weekend family