Thursday, February 22, 2007

Coffee hour with Eiji

Got kicked out of our normal conference room today by, of all things, a conference. lol. So we headed over to Tim's for a coffee & our lesson (vocab lesson- black coffee/tea), and I had to spend an hour and a half remembering not to give away that I know that it's his birthday tomorrow and we're having a surprise party. (What do you get for someone who you know is trying to pack up all their stuff and won't have room for anything? And on a very limited budget? I settled for the least cheezy card that I could find and a motorcycle magazine- hey, he's my student, and I want him to read! lol.)

Today's conversation was perhaps more eclectic than usual. We talked a lot about travelling, and how Eiji's first trip overseas was to Europe when he was 32 (and we both agreed that we're jealous of the hubby, who has been to close to 35 countries. Lucky bugger.) We somehow got onto the topic of allergies (vocab lesson- antihistamines/ anaphylaxis/ epinephrine/ ragweed/ hayfever), and he was shocked to find out that so many Canadian children have severe peanut allergies. Apparently it is unheard of in Japan. People are allergic to tree pollen, wheat, milk, and eggs, but not peanuts, and deadly allergies are extremely rare. I was telling him how all of last year I only ate peanut butter on the weekends because I was afraid of taking traces on my hands to school with me, because some of my kids were allergic to them. He thought I was nuts! I wonder why this only seems to be happening in Western countries. Different diet, I suppose, although the Japanese love Snickers as much as anyone (that and KitKat are pretty much the two North American chocolate bars you can commonly get in Japan.)

We also talked about all of the Torontonians who have been killed in Mexico lately, trade relations with Cuba, off-road racing in the Baja Peninsula, parasailing, how expensive Japanese beer is here, our shared love of Keith's, wine, good Halifax bars, and Scarlett Johansson. I told you it was random.

I can't believe that Eiji is leaving in 25 days. I can tell that he's excited to go home (he's started packing already.) I don't know how he has managed being away from his wife and kids for so long...I bet they'll be glad to have him back. But as soon as I have enough money, I'll head over to good old Nihon and say hi; and the younger sister of one of my friends may be going over to do the job that I did, so I get to live vicariously through her too! Oh, how I miss it. Maybe Eiji can ship me over in one of his boxes...