Superheroes and Presidents

Quite often, when I meet a new class, they ask where I'm from. Usually they do this by randomly calling out the names of a few English-speaking countries, so that I prompt them to ask, "Where are you from?" Yesterday, when I replied, "I'm from America," all of the boys in the class immediately began singing, "La la la la O-ba-ma. La la la la O-ba-ma. La la la la la la la la O-ba-ma. Obama is beautiful world." I might have been confused had my good friend Katie not alerted me to the town in Japan called Obama, which the Japanese have used to support our new president in an undeniably Japanese way. Here is the music video for Any Brother's Band's "Obama is Beautiful World." Quite nice.

I recently set up my Japanese bank account. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't learned nearly enough Japanese to accomplish this task on my own, so I went to the International Affairs Center at the Civic Center where there are loads of helpful people who speak English and Japanese. They called the bank and warned them that a blonde girl who won't understand them was coming. I was armed with a post-it note that I was told said (in Japanese), "I want to open a bank account." It was a strange moment. I felt like a small child completing a task she didn't really understand. The people at the bank were kind and patient, especially when it came to putting the sounds of my name into Japanese characters. My bank card reads "Dahna Shitersen," but it'll do. My bank has a superhero mascot, Mighty Atom. I even got a cute little packet of tissues to carry around to remind me that my money is being protected by a small child wearing only underwear and rocket boots.