I started my day off in a truly wonderful way. While running to meet Julie at the travel agency attached to the train station, I passed two elderly women walking in the opposite direction. One said to the other, “Sono hito, ookii desu ne, gaijin-san!”
I slowed down and just stared at them, feeling completely taken aback and unsure what to say–they were both smiling at me, so I managed a smile and a hasty bow and kept on running, but the smile kind of twisted on my face once they were out of line-of-sight of my face. I could have stopped and corrected them (one, “big” means “fat” in western cultures, so please use “se ga takai” or “tall” from now on, and two, we tend to prefer “gaikokujin” over “gaijin”), but words completely failed me. I know that “ookii” (“big”) means “tall” in Japanese, but considering that I’ve lately been gaining weight and I’m living in the most weight-conscious country in the world, that hurt.
At least we scored a really nice discount on our ferry tickets between Fukuoka and Pusan, South Korea, though, because there’s a women’s discount if you travel during the week, and we have all our getting-there accommodations taken care of. Korea in three weeks! (And Okinawa in two!)
It’s now time for me to toss black and white clothes into a duffel bag and head out for this weekend’s musical performances. Today’s is going to be taped for cable TV, though it’s a channel very few of us will get, but they’re making a DVD of it for us, which is quite nice. The pressure’s on, though, because these and next week will all be highly-attended performances, so wish us luck!