So, I went to bed after my last post feeling sad and bored and depressed and thinking that whoever wrote that stupid Annie song “Tomorrow” should be force-fed turpentine. But after sleeping in till noon, finishing my library book (the Woman in the Dunes- a really good and yet depressing book about how all our efforts are futile), and getting some homework done Okasan decided to take me to the library! We go to the library and all is turning out well when this old man on a bench starts waving at me. I look around to see if I’ve dropped something or if he’s waving at someone behind me, but no- he’s waving at me. I walk up to him:
*the following conversation takes place in japanese…*
“Do you speak Japanese”
“Yes, a little.”
“Are you American?”
“somethingsomethingsomething go to the park something chikaku?”
And while I’m trying to remember what the word for chikaku was (it means close or nearby) and why he’s asking me about a park, he smiles at me.
So, here we are: a tall-ish foreign 20-year old woman with brown skin, dark brown woolly hair (that is at this moment frizzy and wrangled into a bun), funky cranberry-colored glasses, and a huge spot on my chin; staring down at a short, wrinkly, Japanese man sitting dressed all in black, who is smiling up at you with only four-to six of his real teeth. The rest of the teeth are either silver or missing, leaving black and red gums behind.
“…I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” I say. And I really mean it. Sometimes, in situations like this I try to play dumb. But this time I really had no idea why he wanted me to go to the park.
He repeats his question, pointing off somewhere behind him, and I get that he wants me to go to the park, which is nearby. But I still don’t get why. Is there a foreign language school nearby? An embassy?
“My host mom’s over there, so…” I murmur, then bow and walk off in the opposite direction.
He keeps trying to get my attention, but I shake my head at him and eventually leave with Okasan. I want to ask her about what happened, but I can’t find the words and the more I thought of it, the more I figured the guy wasn’t up to much good. My suspicions were confirmed Monday at school.
Turns out (according to my friend Brittany) that “going to the park” is actually slang for going to a LOVE HOTEL! Ew ew ew ew EW!!!
Well, aside from that the rest of my Sunday was good. We made takoyaki for dinner (see Facebook for details), and my family bought a big new TV, and it has perhaps 30 digital channels now instead of our old 7 regular ones. We celebrated by watching the Sumo special, where famous sumo wrestlers fought with children, arm-wrestled, sang Karaoke with famous enka and pop stars, and demonstrated their skills at calligraphy, smoothie-making, etc.
To top it all off, Okasan said we’d probably go somewhere next Sunday! And my friends and I are busily planning a trip to Okinawa for spring break. Oooh, I’m so excited!
Well, Cyberfriends I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Ask for awesome-sauce, and God shall provide. (^_^)v
P.S. I think I am possessed by the soul of my dead grandmother. Her sweet-tooth is legendary, and lately I have been stuffing myself with all sorts of Japanese treats. Mmmmmmm, Japan sure knows how to give a girl a sugar rush! And waste her money… (=_=)
P.P.S. Where are the bugs? It was warm enough for just a jean-jacket today, though it’s been pretty warm for weeks, but the only bugs I’ve seen so far are dis-interested mosquitoes. Not even inside bugs! I’m not complaining, but it’s pretty strange…