Sabine and me

This whole experience began when I got an e-mail from a German person named Sabine living in Edinburgh, Scotland on December 4th last year.

Since her boyfriend was planning a trip to Japan, she seems to have been interested in Japan.

We both loved to travel, and our mails were centered on the topic.
When I told her in my mail that I wanted to be good at speaking English, she asked me why not come to Scotland. I did have a necessity to be a better English speaker concerning my job, and I decided to go abroad and ask Sabine to be my English teacher.

Although I was successful in finding a cheap flight ticket, I could not find any accommodation there. There is an International Festival in Edinburgh starting on August 8th, and all the accommodations were full way back in February. The ones vacant were very expensive that I could not afford. So, I asked Sabine if I can stay with her, and she said OK.

At that time, however, her flat only had a kitchen, a living room and a bedroom.
Although she might have had the idea of moving before, she bought a different flat with two bedrooms before I arrived.

At this point, I had the urge to go there. I had no time to think about the danger. Since she bought a new place, probably because of me, I could not say I will cancel my trip.

So, finally, on August 8th, I arrived at the Heathrow International Airport, passed the most strict entry inspection, and was on board of BD heading for Edinburgh. There I met Sabine who had come to pick me up.
I was a bit surprised when she suddenly hugged me and kissed me on the neck. We took a cheap shuttle bus from the airport to the station and a taxi to go to her place.

A Midnight Welcome Party!

At her house, her boyfriend John, her roommate Kisty, and her cat BooBoo were waiting for me.

Even in summer, it is about 8degrees Celsius at night in Edinburgh. The sake I took from Japan was quite useful. I told them in my not- so -good English that in Japan, the water is excellent and we raise good rice. So, we make Sake from rice. They were excited about this 'rice wine' and after all, the four of us drank 5 bottles of wine and a bottle of Sake. We were rowdy until midnight.
By the way, Sabine had to get up at 6 next morning to go to work at 7.

But, it was around 9 o'clock when we all woke up. Sabine could not go to work because of hangover. I felt a bit uneasy thinking whether it was right for me to be welcomed like this.

A Unique Sightseeing Different from the Ordinary Guidebook!

During this time, based on Sabine's house,I traveled around Scotland and enjoyed it very much. Looking at the Japanese guidebook, she suggested me to rathe go to different places. She said the guidebook was a bit strange. So, I went to Glasgow, Starling, Perth, Lake Ness, and Glenkou. I even saw the solar Eclipse and had an enjoyable time.

After all,I even attended the wedding ceremony of some couple that I didn't even know. The couple was happy to have someone from Japan celebrating their marriage, and I was welcomed to their Scottish wedding. The ceremony was based on the idea that the people around would make a big blast for the newly weds. The people sitting at the same table would pitch in an equal amount of money to get food and drink at the bar.

Since I had told Sabine in the mail that in Japan, we eat Soba, the Japanese noodles, when we move to a new place, I took some Soba and soup with me. I, however, did not have a chance to cook it for her. I gave her the English recipe, but I wonder if she had ever eaten it.

All the Experiences Would Work Positively in My Life.
I Hope Sabine Would Come to Japan Next Year!

I am really glad that I was able to be friends with Sabine. Since I missed seeing the event called Military Tattoo there this year, she told me that I should plan another trip over there next year. I will have to save money for that.

Although we were exchanging mails, I didn't know her in person until I went to Scotland. I did have to check if this whole thing was safe, but it was also difficult to do so only through the mails. I made a big decision that it is safe.
And took a trip abroad. I think I have earned something special through making this decision and I am sure the experiences I had are valuable in my life from now on.

Next September, I will have her over here and enjoy the conversation over Sake and Sashimi. Since Sabine is looking forward to learning Japanese, this will be my chance to answer to all her hospitality and kindness.

Lastly, I would like to send my sincere gratitude to the Kawasaki International Cultural Communication Society for giving me this wonderful chance.
The Castle of Edinburgh

Background is Edinburgh city