Nihon go o amari wakarimasen

Because I understand little Japanese, I search for conversations elsewhere. I mostly have the BBC to thank for saving me and indulging me in the spoken word of my mother tongue. Of all of the 'Terebi' I have seen here, I am left confused, irritated or nauseous with mindless gameshows, Japancentric news or eating related viewing. Ocassionaly, they make me laugh, but often by mistake, during a genuinely heartfelt tribute concert where the selection of singers can't hold a note or play a chord. It seems too isolating. So I retreat to the radio, my friend. My constant source of connection to my constant state of dislocation. Today, I lay ill due to a weekend overdose of outdoor 'onsen', dehydrated and dizzy, I discovered a gem.

I was lulled in and out of thoughts and woven through memories by Marcel Proust's In search of lost time, evocatively adapted and exquisitely read on radio 4extra. A relief to feel fed by language in what can seem like days of word starvation. My Japanese ability is nearing that of a native two year old. I know this because I met one on Saturday and we conversed happily in mis-pronounced one-liners. We understood each other, which was novel. Though I am only a toddler in Japan, I still crave challenging and insightful immersion into language and discussion. For now the BBC is my gold. Do retreat for a day and soothe your ears to 6 hours of the richest, realist narrative beauty here.