I was at our local YMCA getting a membership today. When I finished and went out to the parking lot, I promptly walked right up to the right-hand side of the car, opened the door, and got in, without even batting an eyelash. I sat there for several seconds and wondered why the wheel was on the left side of the car before it hit me.
A couple of people were staring at me, so I tried to play it off by opening the glove compartment and pretending to search for something. It wasn’t very convincing. I just hurried around to the driver’s side, got in, and left in a hurry.
I blame it on the fact that I had another completely random Japan encounter today! My second in two days! I was chatting with one of the ladies in charge of membership, and it became relevant that I’d been away for a couple of years. This woman had worked for Georgia State University and took groups over to Japan annually for eleven years.
Yesterday I was at the library picking up some books for my brother, and it came up that I’d been away for two years when I renewed my library card and realized that I had late charges dating back to 2005. (Thank god they don’t charge interest…) The woman behind the counter had lived in Japan around the time of the Tokyo Olympics and was married to a Japanese man and spoke fluent Japanese, and her daughter had done JET too. We spoke in Japanese to each other, which felt so good after speaking barely any these past two weeks. She let me know that there used to be a Japanese conversation group that had sort of fallen apart, but there was still an English/Japanese book club that met once every two months. She took my information and promised to pass it on to the people who run it.
And it’s now 1:00 AM on the 29th, and I just realized I’d left this sitting here for the last couple of hours, as I got caught up in playing online Scrabble with some friends (who are totally kicking my butt). Today’s my 26th birthday! It’s also the birthday of Michael Jackson, Bae-Yon Joon (Yon-sama), and Slobodan Milosevic. Happy birthday, gentlemen.