Sunday, June 30, 2013

Watching and Waiting

Sometimes when I am in Sapporo, I have time in between other things.  Often, I sit on a bench in Odori Park and watch people go by as I wait.  If the weather is less than ideal, I go to the underground walkway.  Recently, I had about 45 minutes to wait, so I was in the underground walkway sitting on a seat that looks like a rock, but is made from wood, watching people walk by.  I like to see what people are wearing in the “Big City”. I don’t see such stylish clothing where I live.  I notice many young women wearing high heels here that are dangerously high. They are probably glad to take their shoes off at the door when they go inside.

So anyway, I was sitting on the wood rock, eating some carrot sticks, watching and waiting.  A little boy ran up to the wood rocks and started climbing on them and his family (mother, father, and a baby in stroller) followed.  I noticed the mother’s shirt said Carbondale, Illinois. I said to her, Carbondale kara kimashita, which is not really true, but it’s easier to say I’m from Carbondale than to say, I lived in Carbondale for three years when I was in law school, then moved away for a few years, then returned to live there for about seven years, then lived somewhere else before moving to Japan. She pointed to her shirt and said Amerika desu ka? You have to understand that many people in Hokkaido wear shirts with English words printed on them and they have no idea what the shirt says. They let me take their picture, then were on their way.

A woman on another wood rock was witness to this and came over to my rock after the family left.  She told me, in English, that she was from Chiba prefecture and studies English with a Canadian teacher.  She tries to practice her English with foreigners whenever she can. She was interesting and her English was very good. She told me she is 65 years old and has three daughters and four grandsons.  She showed me family pictures on her phone. Two daughters are married and living in Hokkaido, and she is here visiting them.  Her other daughter is 33 years old, not married and living in Chiba.  My new friend said she wants to find her daughter a husband so she can have a girl grandchild. We talked for about 20 minutes, then she was on her way.

Watching and waiting can be very interesting. I never find the time to be wasted.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it wonderful in Japan, how easily one can strike up a conversation with strangers?

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