Captain’s edit: I wrote this article for our work’s newspaper. The guidelines were 400 words on any topic of your choice with English basic enough for adult learners to be able to read it and get the gist. A japanese translation was issued alongside it. Without further ado, I bring you … my Mother!


Tough Love

As some of you may already know, my Mother, Grace, came to visit Japan during Golden Week and Mother’s day. “Fantastic!” I thought, or was it…?

 It was her first time in Japan and I was really worried for her. I remember my first few months in Japan. Getting around was no picnic!

 In my first few months in Japan, there wasn’t a day that I didn’t get completely lost. I remember throwing away my money on expensive taxi’s because I missed the last train home. Or worse, sometimes I got on the wrong train and I was stuck in the mountains!

 I remember cycling past convenience store after convenience store thinking, “Should I turn left or right here? What street is this?” Local cats and dogs gawped at me when I slowly cycled past them. “Why is he here again?” they thought.

 It took me months to get it right and I knew a little survival Japanese. However, my Mother had a two week stay and only knew how to say, “Domo arigatou Mister Roboto.” This was bad.

 However she proved me completely wrong.

 I didn’t really know that she was a travel veteran. In the past, she visited many foreign countries. She lived in Iran for two years and Dubai for eight. In these Middle Eastern countries sometimes people can’t go outside in the afternoon because it’s so hot there! Every day she killed mosquitoes and sometimes she found little transparent, green scorpions in the bath tub. “Wow!” I thought. My mother was a female Indiana Jones.

 When she came to Japan, she ignored her jet lag and carried her luggage with her. The first thing she did was clean my apartment before she started studying for a difficult podiatric course she wants to do. She’s almost fifty-five years old.

 Seeing my Mum do all these things opened my eyes. It made me stop and look around at some of the Mothers of our students here at Future English. Many have increasingly busy schedules and many chores to do but they always wait for our students finishing their classes. Seeing that warms my heart.

Mother’s day is over now but if you haven’t done something nice for your Mother yet, please take the time to think about something nice for her. How about a hand-made ‘Thank You’ card in English?

 And don’t forget! Father’s Day is coming soon – Dad’s can be just as tough!