Min's Berlitzine (Dec. 2016) | ベルリッツ藤沢校





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Min's Berlitzine (Dec. 2016)



by Min Son

Some interesting facts or sayings about the month, December:

  •  The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples depicting Adam and Eve's creation and fall.
  •  December is the month when couples argue the most.
  •  According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas is one of the most popular times for couples to break up.
  •  The stock market tends to do better in December than any other month.
  •  During the Christmas season, nearly 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second.

  •  "Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives." - William Shakespeare (from the play, Roslind)


Turbulent Flight II

I needed to be quick and discreet[1] like a ninja. I didn't want her to notice me looking at her and I had to look at her. Well, I was more curious than anything. What if she's crying? What if she is feeling really scared? How do I comfort her? Should I even try to comfort her? What if I freak her out[2] even more? A million questions were going through my mind. 

I glanced at her. Her medium-length wavy black hair was covering most of her face while her head was tilted[3] towards the wall of the window seat. I noticed her hands were gently resting on her lap[4]. It looked like she was asleep, but something was telling me that she was only pretending. I mean how could she be sleeping through such turbulence.

The turbulence lasted the majority of the first half of the 10 to 11 hour flight. As I mentioned, it got so bad that I couldn't pay attention to the movie. It got so bad an empty plastic cup on my tray table fell over.  It got so bad other passengers began to scream at every jolt[5]. Worst of all, it got so bad that most of the passengers began to pray. The image of a chubby man in his 50s or 60s with glasses is still vivid[6] in my memory. His eyes were closed and both of his hands were raised. He had to be reciting[7] a passage or some sort. I could see people next to him, behind him behaving in a similar fashion.

I used to pray when I was younger. My family is Catholic and I was baptized before I could even remember, but I do remember everyone calling me by my biblical name at that time, Anselmo. I used to be devoted[8]. Going to church every Sunday, praying before and after every meal, praying before going to bed, praying whenever I felt sad or angry. And yes, I prayed before a test. In high school, I started distancing myself from the religion. I wasn't feeling entirely comfortable with it anymore. I'm glad my parents didn't force it on me. By the time I turned 20, I made a conscious choice to be an atheist[9] and I completely removed myself from Catholicism.

Seeing other passengers praying reminded me how silly I really was. I used to use prayer as a shortcut to a desirable outcome of something. For instance, tests. I would pray for an A even when I didn't study very hard. Of course, I have never achieved an A that way. I was able to achieve it when I worked hard for it. There was no need to pray for it. This situation, however, was different. I was helpless. I had absolutely zero control of the situation. There wasn't a thing I could do to influence the outcome, the fate of the flight.

I wasn't praying in a traditional sense, but I was saying to myself in my mind, 'Please make it stop. Please let it pass.' I wasn't praying to God, but I was wishing upon a higher power or spirit or some sort. Is the girl next to me praying or wishing as well? Is she an atheist like me and she doesn't know how to handle the situation? Or did she take some sleeping pills and she is knocked out cold[10]? In the midst of all kinds of thoughts, I remembered a saying that made me laugh except this time I wasn't laughing.

"Communist until rich. Feminist until married. Atheist until the plane starts falling."  - Unknown (from The Hypocrite Diaries)  

To be continued...

Read the past newsletters at

[1] careful, cautious

[2] a wild reaction or response out of fear, anger, excitement

[3] leaning to the side, angled

[4] the flat area between the waist and knees of a seated person

[5] a rough or violent movement

[6] clear, colorful, graphic

[7] repeat aloud (a poem or passage) from memory

[8] loyal, faithful

[9] non-believer, a person who disbelieves in God

[10] very unconscious, in a very deep sleep





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