I often find myself in strange situations in Japan. It`s becoming quite the normal habit for people around me to have conversations in Japanese and not explain what they are saying.
The grounds keeper at school in one such person. He will often say hello to me (which is normal when passing other teachers in the hall) but then he will go into long detailed descriptions of what I can only imagine are stories about fishing trips or the good ole days with him and his friends. Most of his conversations consist of laughing and joking with me. So, I laugh and joke back, shaking my head in agreement. This is quickly followed by me walking away not having the slightest clue as to what just happened or what I might have agreed to do.
Other times it will be completely random people I`ve never met before. About a month ago I was at the cherry blossom festival with some of my friends. There were many booths set up and vendors selling everything from cotton candy to okonomiyaki (my favorite!). I approached one booth and saw they were selling some sort of bbq meat on a stick. It looked good and was cheap so I decided to buy some. Without warning a little old Japanese lady jumped out from behind the booth.
Little Old Lady `Hello!` she shouted
Me `Oh, hello.`
LOL `Where are you from!` still shouting
Me `America, I`m from...
LOL `Great!` still shouting `You like cow?`
Me `Sure, I`ll take 3`
LOL `This is cow knee!` still shouting and now hitting me in the leg
LOL `Cow knee!` again hitting me in the leg
Me `OK, why are you hitting me?`
LOL `Cow knee` Hitting me again
I`m pretty sure she would have kept hitting me if I wouldn`t have bought my cow knee and walked away! By the way, the cow knee was pretty good!
Finally, and certainly not by far the strangest thing that happens to me on a daily basis. I sing along with the water heater when it finishes heating up the water. Just a little clarification, everyone owns a water heater here in Japan. It`s a great device for heating up water for tea, soup, coffee, or whatever you might need scolding hot water for. And, because it was made in Japan it plays music when it is full of hot water. The first few times I though someone had just left their phone on and I had no idea where it was coming from. Then, one day, I was washing my hands and I heard it again. This time I was close enough to figure out where the sound was coming from.
These are my adventures in Japan. Most people aren`t going to think that there is anything out of the ordinary with what goes on here. But it`s the little things that stick out to me and make me laugh.