I taught a few classes at the hair and makeup academy in the morning, then caught a ride from Nabuko-san to the post office, where my bank card awaited us. Nabuko-san parked illegally, and steps happily out of the car. “Just a short time,” she chirps, and saunters into the post office at a confident clip while I jog to catch up. I’ve grown very fond of her, and appreciate her frank, friendly approach to all things.
While discussing our personal opinions of the way different languages sound, I told the only two women in the class that I thought German often sounded like fighting, and they all nodded. One woman then shouted, “Aishiteru!” (I love you!) while punching the air. It took me a while to regain my composure. The students chatted easily among themselves, and the topic turned to sports. They mimicked Hideo Nomo’s pitching style. “Tornado,” they say, and one of them contorts her body before whipping around and accidentally hitting a chair.
They were both surprised I ate jajamen alone at the time. I told them I went to Pylon and sat at the bar to eat. “That’s a… man’s space,” one of them said, and the other nodded in agreement. “Oh, I don’t care,” I said, then added, “Anyway, I’m American, so…” At this they nod vigorously. The rules are different for foreigners, especially bold American women who can be said to not know the unspoken rules of Japanese pub/restaurant culture, and may or may not choose to be bound by them regardless.