Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Excuses, excuses

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 11/08/2006
Where have I been? Where have I been? Where have you been?!? That's what I want to know.

I could give you all the excuses in the book:

The dog ate my homework. I was abducted by aliens over the weekend...blah, blah, blah.

Look at me turning the tables and trying to put the blame on anyone but myself. Ah well, I've just been plain lazy and very, very sleepy. I think my body is going into hibernation mode now that winter is almost upon us.

Just as an example, let me tell you a bit about today. I went to work, yawned throughout the entire day, didn't get around to doing anything resembling what I get paid for until about 3PM and on the way home, when I was almost halfway to the station, couldn't for the life of me remember if I had locked the office door or not. So I had to trudge back in the cold and check with the security guard only to find out that, yes, in fact, I did lock the door.

On my way back to catch the train for the second time--in the barren wasteland that is the area between my office and the station--I overheard a woman who happened to be from Osaka asking a couple where a particular hotel was. A not-so-nice-hotel, that E7 had booked for us when I came to visit him during our "Great Long-Distance Relationship" period in the late '90s.

Of course, the couple had no idea where the hotel was and (sigh) I debated with myself about whether or not I was going to do my RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) for the day.

It's not an easy decision to make in Japan because this is usually the reaction that you'll get:

  1. A look of surprise (if you're in luck), suspicion, or the person will run away.
  2. A brief discussion on where you're from, how long you've been in Japan, if you're married, and of course, if you have any kids. Remember, you've just met this person and I don't usually carry around my gynecological records with me to share with strangers.
  3. Once you get past the niceties, you'll get to the actual reason why you're standing in the cold, having a conversation with this random stranger.

I hope I sent her in the right direction (God, can you imagine if after getting to know her life story, I ended up directing her onto the nearest train back to Osaka?). I'm not sure now because if I can't remember locking the office door five minutes after leaving the building, how can I be sure that I remember a hotel that I may (or may not) have stayed in 10 years ago?

If you see a woman wandering around Kokura, be nice and help her find a place to stay the night, OK?

5 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I love that RAK idea!! And so happy to see Morocco on your list of places to go!

liina said...

I hate when I forget things. The other day I almost walked away from an ATM with my cash still hanging out of the machine...

Christie D. said...

Hi! Do Japanese people ever stop you to ask you for directions? This happens to me sometimes, and it doesn't seem so strange when I'm the only person around, but one time I was in a crowded subway station and an elderly couple, seemingly from the countryside, stopped ME (gaijin!) to ask me the way to the main train station. I got them on the right subway train and told them to get off after one stop, but couldn't help thinking that maybe they needed glasses or maybe it was one of those funny things set up by a TV show!

jean said...

I'm all for RAOK -- I think you did the right thing, Kuri!

kuri & ping said...

maryam, yes, Morocco is definitely on my list of places to go! :)

liina, I hope that't not a regular occurance.

christie d., thanks for dropping by! I've never had anyone actively search me out to ask for directions. They're usually going in the opposite direction and I tend to have to chase them down!

jean, yes RAOK is a great thing but sometimes it's damn hard! :)

 

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