Monday, February 3, 2014

There’s something about this place

I can’t say what it is exactly, but over the past few month, if I don’t talk about or write about something that happened, that day, I’ll forget about it entirely. I think I can wait a week to collect all my thoughts and events to compile into a nice pretty package (blog post) but when it comes time to sit down and type it out, nothing comes to mind.

So is the case again, while I sit here under my blanket; the blanket I’ve been under all day long, listening to the wind howling outside the glass windows that are fogged up from my warm interior that’s met with the cold outside. It’s supposed to snow tonight, so they say, and I wouldn’t mind one bit. It won’t stick, but to see the soft flakes fall down while I watch from the fourth floor would be a relaxing sight. I have the apartment to myself tonight. G-man has to stay on the ship until tomorrow, so after kissing him goodbye at 5:45 this morning, I was alone. I don’t mind it, I have plenty of schoolwork to keep me busy, but it will be lonely once the night comes.

In true fashion, I haven’t done much since being here, in the way of tourism. I have been a (partial) slave to my schoolwork every day, only escaping to go grocery shopping. Which I must say was a truly fun adventure. I first stopped for lunch on the eighth floor of the mall before going to the basement where the grocery store is, filled with fresh fish, produce, a butcher, and a fully stocked grocer on the other side.

lunch spot
photo 1 (6)photo 2 (5)

A highlight was ordering two pounds of ground beef by holding up my two fingers, only to receive 200 grams of it. I forgot it came in grams, even though I had just ordered 400 grams of bacon seconds earlier. I was able to make one taco with it…one. But it definitely served to give me a good chuckle.

G-man and I went to a big mall (malls are everywhere here) in Yokohama to look at six floors of furniture. We like looking at furniture, it’s a thing of ours. Furniture here is comical for us tall Americans. It’s all miniature sized and low to the ground, our knees were up to our chest on anything we sat on. One beauty of looking at furniture in another country is they don’t bother you. We’re just Americans, we’re not there to buy, and they know that. Plus the lack of understanding Japanese gives us an advantage and assurance we’ll be left alone. They say their ‘say meh say’ (my wording, not theirs), which I think I’ve figured out means, “greetings”?? I’m still not sure but once they say that we become ghosts.

After the long day of walking, we stopped in a conveyer belt sushi place. We sat next to two old women and began grabbing sushi that went by. Midway through, the older woman next to me begins talking to me in Japanese and I look on clueless not to mention helplessly. After much back and forth of ‘I don’t understand’, she grabs the waitress who asks me in broken English if I like the sushi. Then they all begin pointing to the chef and making hand motions as if they were packing rice to make sushi. We finally figured it out! They’re telling us to stop grabbing the conveyer belt sushi and instead have the chef make it as it’s ten times better fresh.

Ah Ah, Arigatou gozaimasu! (thank you) and we all giggle as they keep talking, while G-man and I say under our breaths we have no idea what they’re now saying. As we eat the freshly prepared sushi, the old ladies watch on with big smiles on their faces waiting for us to say how delicious it is. It’s cute. We’re loving how they helped us and are enjoying this restaurant more by the minute. As we get up to go pay, the young couple on our left, who didn’t say a word to us the entire time, stop us to tell us bye bye with big smiles on their faces. Genuine kindness.

We’re floored but this is truly how the Japanese are. We say bye bye and while at the register, the old woman comes up to me with her flowers she bought from the market and tells me to smell them. I do and they’re as sweet as honeysuckle and I tell her ‘sweet’ ‘nice’ and she says ‘nice’ and giggles right back and walks away.

We walk out slightly dazed from everything that happened but loving it just the same and vow to go back there next time we’re in the city.

This memory I want to remember. It happened three days ago so the fact I still remember it means I definitely want to hold onto it longer. I like this place. Its humidity ruins my hair and the wind keeps me cold, but there’s something about this place that makes me like it more and more each time I stay.

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Pretty Zesty said...

Ha! Cute story about the little old ladies. It's sad that we tend to get shocked by kindness. Living in NYC it's constant negatively and growling all the time. :o(


sandi said...

It's great to hear stories of Americans being treated nicely overseas. I agree with the statement above, it's sad that we are shocked by kindness.

We have a friend who lost their luggage while traveling in Japan. He tried to find a few things to tide him over until his bag was located and they just did not make anything off the rack to accommodate him. If we ever make it there, JD better pack a change of clothes in a carry on... at 6'5" he would be rocking some off the rack capris and belly shirts. I'm cracking up right now thinking about it.

The Heart Of A Woman said...

This is too sweet!!! That is all I can say! It's precious and sweet!

My-cliffnotes said...

8 story mall! Omg!


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