Daniel Santos

Week 15, 2024

I got so happy and at the same time so relieved to see my son's nice adaptation process to living in Japan that it certainly calmed my father's heart down. By the way, he's been doing really nice in Tokyo — by having started his college's first year classes, but specially because he's made more than a handful of friends there, people who, like him, are students also holding a scholarship.

Adapting to a new place can be hard. My son's usually the kind of person who minds his own most of the time. He's not exactly shy or anything, but he's not the first one to make friends either, and that's why I'm very, very happy to see him with so many new friendships in so little time (after all, its hasn't been two full weeks since he arrived in Japan yet). He's gone out to dine, he's played soccer and videogames with friends... they've even gone to a karaoke bar! So, so happy.

This happiness is soooo welcome. It took me more than a couple of days, along with the support of family and friends, until I was able to get over the fact that my son is not near us geographically anymore. I have a great family — and great friends as well.

One of these friends, by the way, I have to say, made me a so very unexpected surprise this week! As unexpected as welcome. It all started when, last Thursday, he sent me a message via WhatsApp asking me for my home address. I asked him why, just to have him insist. Then I gave him my address and, while finding it a little odd, didn't give it a second thought.

Not longer than a couple of hours later, I received a notice which said I received a package at the front desk of the apartment building I live in. It was a bag, packaged as a gift, filled with fine goodies. There was a big Toblerone bar, a hazelnut Lindt chocolate bar, a box filled with Ferrero Rocher candies and a Chilean bottle of rosé wine.

Along came a handwritten card, which said the following (in Portuguese):


A son is someone we raise in order to improve the world and, above all, so they uncap their potential and can be happy.

I admire you both as a person and as a professional, and, from now on, also as a father. A great hug, and congrats for everything.

I got his gift and went immediately speechless. I got so happy and so grateful for his demonstration of kindness. This, certainly, has also played a considerable part in soothing my heart. God bless my friend — all of my friends and my family for being so generous and so supportive.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned in my last weeknote, I have restarted studying Japanese. Yes, lots of kana repetition, trying to make everything stick to my mind. The number of symbols is not that much, but they can be confusing, at least for me.

But I've taken two different moves in learning this time. First, I created a Japanese learning journal — in which I wrote about とても, a nice discovery with which I improved my vocabulary and got to memorize three more kana. The texts will be in Portuguese, as it will be easier to register what I'm thinking, but that's always easy to translate anything, should you be interested.

Second, I have decided to look for ways to learn words and expressions. I'm not worried about learning kanji yet, not even the most basic ones. It just occurred to me that basic words and expressions are made up of kana, and that by memorizing them, in context, it's more likely that I'll be able to make kana stick to my mind. Everyone learns differently, so I'm just looking for something that makes it a little easier to learn in my case.

I watched the whole third season of Last One Laughing Brazil on Amazon with my younger son.

That's a six-episode per season show where comedians are locked in a big room for six hours and have to resist laughing at each others' gags and jokes. They range from saying nonsense to impersonating characters to improvising, and it's all condensed into little more than 30 minutes per episode. So funny.

#english #weeknotes