Her Life in Japan
Antoinette talks about habits she has adopted in Japan and the one she hasn't.
Warren: So Antoinette, you’ve been living in Japan for a while now, right?
Antoinette: Yes, that's right.
Warren: Well, can you tell me, do you like to use chopsticks or forks and knives more?
Antoinette: It depends on what I’m eating really. For the most part, I enjoy using chopsticks. They are easy to use. I don’t have to worry about cutting anything. And especially if I’m eating Japanese food, which tends to be chopped in small pieces, small bite-size pieces, chopsticks are perfect.
But when I’m eating Western food or spaghetti, I prefer using Western style utensils.
Warren: Oh okay, that makes sense. What about sleeping, do you like to sleep on like a Western bed or a Japanese futon?
Antoinette: Actually, it depends on the season.
Warren: Why is that?
Antoinette: Well, in summer, I prefer sleeping on a futon. It seems cooler than a bed. But in winter, I love a cozy, plush bed with lots of pillows and quilts or duvets. And yeah, I like to feel cozy.
Warren: That sounds nice. Okay. How about having shoes on or off in the house?
Antoinette: Hmm, I like to go barefoot – well, with socks. My feet get cold.
Warren: Well, do you use slippers?
Antoinette: I find slippers uncomfortable unless they are the kind that fit your foot. They’re not actually the correct size for my foot.
Warren: Oh, I see. So Japanese slippers are a different size from you.
Antoinette: They are one-size fits all and I just feel like kicking them off anytime.
Warren: Right. Okay. How about, you know, in Japan, a lot of times people sit on the floor, but you don’t really do that very much in the United States. Do you like sitting in chairs or on the floor more?
Antoinette: I like both actually. Again, it depends on the season. The floor is so nice and cool in summer, and I like just feeling that coolness. But in winter, I want fabric underneath me, and I want cushions that tend to act – provide a barrier for cold wind.
Warren: Right, right. Eating out is a little different, too. I think in Japan, you tend to share all the meals that you have but maybe back home you usually just buy one meal.
Antoinette: That’s true. Maybe I’m a germ-phobic American – I don’t know. I like eating my own food. I don’t like to share. If it’s one huge serving plate that’s meant for several people, then fine. But I like just having my own plate of food.
Warren: Oh, okay. There’s one more. What about having a shower or a bath? I think in Japan, they usually have like a detachable shower-head and you can shower yourself before going into the bath. What do you prefer?
Antoinette: Well, I like showers, either way as long as the water is hot. Whether it’s detachable or not, as long as the water is hot, I like showers. And I like having water run down my body. That’s a pleasant feeling. But I also like sitting in a hot tub of water but not for too long.
Warren: Well, what about the bathtubs because I think they are different sizes, aren’t they?
Antoinette: They are. I like the fact that Japanese baths allow you to sit in water up to your neck. But I also like the fact that Western style baths allow you to recline in the water.
Warren: Right. You can stretch out more.
Antoinette: So you can stretch out, yeah.
Warren: Oh, okay. I see.
Antoinette: That’s a hard call.
But in winter, I love a cozy, plush bed.
When something is plush, it is made with very nice material, such as wool or leather. Notice the following:
- The house had plush furniture.
- This chair is plush.
I love a bed with lots of pillows and quilts or duvets.
A duvet is a big, soft cover for a bed. Notice the following:
- The girl is hiding under the duvet.
- It is too hot to sleep under the duvet.
I just feel like kicking them off anytime.
When you kick off your shoes, you take off your shoes. Notice the following:
- Is it OK if I kick off my shoes?
- I kick off my shoes as soon as I get home.
I like having water run down my body.
Here, 'run down' means 'move down.' Notice the following:
- A drop of water ran down the window.
- Sweat ran down her cheek.
Western style baths allow you to recline in the water.
When you recline, you lean back. Notice the following:
- I hate people who recline their seats on a plane.
- This chair does not recline.
You can stretch out more.
When you stretch out, you extend your arms and legs. Notice the following:
- My cat likes to stretch out on the floor.
- It is hard to stretch out on a small bed.
run down • recline • stretch out
About the Teacher / Creator
Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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