Friday, July 23, 2010

Strange Encounters

I was sitting down by the beach under the shade of a palm tree just reading and taking in the sights as I love to do. Joel calls is people watching and "creepy," but whatever. Anyway there I was when this elderly Japanese woman came slowly walking by me. She was short and a bit pudgy. She was wearing a white tennis hat (click here for a pic) and carrying a large plastic bag full of aluminum cans. She was a happy woman. Out of no where she started smiling at me and speaking to me in Japanese. She then sat across the way from me. We proceeded to have a conversation. You know how it is trying to communicate with someone when you don't speak their language, there is a lot of nodding your head, pretending like you know what they're talking about, and a lot of gesturing. Through our conversation I found out that she is 81 years old. Let me just say right now that she looked maybe 65. She has 4 grown boys, her husband is dead, and there is no bus to her home in Chatan so she walks. She found out how old I was, that I was married, and have no babies. She just yabbered on while I smiled and nodded at her. She pointed at her cans, said something, and did some other gestures to which I think she said that she has collected enough cans for 3 drinks of sake. This amazed me 1, because she's so old and still getting around, rather slowly, but still. And 2, well, she drinks quite a bit. She also asked me if I was going to be there tomorrow too. I think she enjoyed our strange conversation. I did too. Days like today make me wish I spoke Japanese.

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