I am planning a trip to Japan countryside and I thought knowing how to speak Japanese would make my trip more enjoyable. After three weeks of using Japanesepod101.com to learn the basics, I met Matsumura Sensei to practice oral conversation. Over a period of 1 week, we met intensively over 3 sessions. She fixed my pronunciation and we practiced different scenarios. We role-played different conversations from Japanesepod101: ordering food, getting train tickets, asking for directions, etc. She tried to force me to speak Japanese by minimizing the use of English, which was very helpful. After the lessons, I tried out my new language skill at my favorite lower East Side ramen place called Minca and a Japanese curry place called Mimi & Coco. I had no problem ordering food and the staff were very happy I spoke to them in Japanese. The lessons were very valuable. Of course, I had only been taking Japanese for 4 weeks and I skipped a lot of the basics to focus on the practical (e.g. I know how to order a cheeseburger with no onion, but I still don't know the word for a fireman). Nonetheless, her lessons made me feel confident that I will be able to manage in Japan countryside without using Google translate too much.