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Movable Type 2.661
February 01, 2005
Small Victories #3
I am so far doing quite well getting around this country on nothing other than "domo arigato goziemashta" and I am impressed with myself every time I say it. Others are impressed too. Today a group of 14-year-old girls dressed in matching, navy blue, school-girl outfits asked me if I spoke Japanese. When I replied with my stock phrase they actually broke into applause and one raised her fist above her head and shouted "Score!"
January 31, 2005
Small Victories #2
It is a damn good thing that I love to read maps -- and that the ones I have are accurate -- because it turns out that the English street names written on my map are, well, written in kanji on the actual street sign.
January 30, 2005
Small victories seem so huge.
Today I walked by a bakery called "Petit Chambord" -- this, I assume was to make it appear a French bakery, though it had as little to do with the pastries I'm used to as it did with the liqueur. There were pastry-like things, however -- danishes with a variety of cheeses, meat, vegetables, eggs, and something mayonnaise-y squiggled across the top. Looked pretty good, actually.
As they were sitting out in trays open to grabbing, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to simply pick up one by hand and take it to the counter or what. I hovered. I contemplated. I looked confused hoping someone would help me. I finally looked up at one of the women behind the counter and mimed picking up a pastry and bringing it to her. She smiled, came out from behind the counter and handed me -- from the pile that was sitting there right in front of me -- a tray and a set of tongs. I smiled with what was obviously complete relief. And she gave me a very genuine smile back.
I bought my pastry, gave my one Japanese phrase: "domo arigato goziemashta," and walked out inordinately pleased with myself.