Well, I've gone and done it. Just when I was starting to cruise along, not a worry in the world (except next week's test!) I put myself in the same type of situation for which I am (for better or worse) famous. After class today, the gang hung out together in the hallways. I had originally had a plan to perhaps go somewhere this weekend with Chen-san and Ro-san, my two cute Taiwanese apartment neighbors. When I asked them during this morning's coffee break, they looked very uncomfortable and said they might have other plans. That was totally fine with me and I told them that. Daijoubu des, ne? I assured them.
By the time that class was over Chen-san asked where I was thinking of going. Since we don't speak the same native language everything is in Japanese. I told them maybe Kyoto (only an hour away by train) or possibly Matsumoto, a town I had wanted to visit last time, famous for it's castle and the most famous Ukyio-e (Japanese Woodblock Print) museum in the world. It's also famous for it's very old buildings in parts of the city that are made out of mud and grass and still standing. However some of the town is brand new and sprawling, my guide books pointed out you kind of have to seek out the colorful old areas of the town.
My thought was that Matsumoto sounded more "doable" in a day then Kyoto, since Kyoto is a little hard to manage from the train station -- a very large city and you must get from the train station to the sights in various ways, mostly subway and bus. The idea of trying to do that sounded a little daunting with two women who didn't speak my language. Matsumoto seemed easier, if farther.
Soon, the others in the group were hanging out with us too and Ro-san asked if all of them would like to go with us. Now, Ken-san, Ko-san, Chen-san, Ro-san, and possibly a few of their friends are coming with me to Matsumoto. I found out when I got home that it's a 3 hour train trip, not 2, and then had to madly write to my new friends on Facebook in Japanese to tell them of the change and if they didn't want to go, that's fine.
I didn't hear back from anyone, and later as I was taking out my garbage, Chen and Ro were biking up the hill. They invited me to their apartment and we all discussed it as best we could then they wrote the others and it is now all set. I am to play tour guide.
Oh, the weight of the responsibility! Only one week ago I was a carefree single white woman pretending to be a journalist. Making mistakes and getting lost without a worry at all. Now I have a band of Taiwanese students in my charge! How did this happen? Shikata ga nai, ne? (Nothing to be done about it, it's out of my hands...)